The Jaguar E-Pace SUV has become the British brand’s most affordable diesel car, costing from £28,500 and is available to order now, with first deliveries to Jaguar dealerships expected towards the end of this year. Jaguar’s ‘cub’ is in direct contention with the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, as well as the Range Rover Evoque, and should appeal to families who wouldn’t normally consider a regular compact car like the Jaguar XE.
Its designers will be hoping to repeat the success of the F-Pace, which is the reigning World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and the fastest-selling Jaguar to date. Instead of shrinking the F-Pace, however, most of the inspiration for the E-Pace has instead come from the F-Type sports car, giving it a distinctive style. The characteristic mesh grille is present and correct, but its overhangs are shorter than its big brother and the headlights are mounted high up and swept backwards. They will be available with Adaptive Matrix LEDs as an option, and the E-Pace will be the first car in its class offered with 21-inch alloy wheels. The new SUV has particularly strong rear haunches for a baby off-roader, with tailpipes that sprout from the rear bumper to emphasise its sporting influences. Measuring 4,395 millimetres long, 1,900 wide and 1,649 millimetres tall, the E-Pace is slightly wider and taller than the Q3 or X1, so should seat five adults in comfort. Jaguar is also particularly proud of its 577 litres of boot space, which it says is possible because of its integral link rear suspension that minimises intrusion. This figure puts it well-ahead of the Q3 (420 litres) and X1 (505) and there’s an additional 93 litres of space below the boot floor if you don’t specify a spare wheel. Folding the standard 60/40 rear seats provides 1,234 litres of cargo carrying capacity, with the possibility of carrying items of up to 1,568 millimetres in length, while a foot-operated Gesture Tailgate will make access easy when your hands are full. Families will find that its five USB and four 12-volt ports will provide plenty of juice for electrical devices, while the front door bins measure more than 10-litres each. The dashboard is a new design, with heater controls inspired by a Leica camera lens and a standard 10-inch Touch Pro infotainment system. Jaguar’s 12.3- inch digital instrument display is optional, and the E-Pace is the first model to get a new TFT head-up display that’s larger and can project full-colour graphics onto the windscreen. Owners will also spot a ‘Jaguar Cub’ depicted in the edges of the windscreen and door mirror puddle lights – a nod to how the car was referred to internally during development.
The E-Pace also has the honour of being the only front-wheel drive Jaguar, but only when the entry-level 148bhp D150 2.0-litre diesel Ingenium engine is fitted, which also comes with a six-speed manual gearbox. This version has the lowest CO2 emissions of 124g/km, with official fuel economy of 60.1mpg on the combined cycle, making it ideal for company-car drivers. Adding fourwheel-drive results in statistics of 137g/km and 54.3mpg, while eight-speed automatic transmission versions manage 147g/km and 50.4mpg, respectively. Opting for the more powerful 177bhp D180 edition of the 2.0-litre engine results in no change to the CO2 emissions or economy figures, but costs £750 more, while the flagship D240 twin-turbocharged 237bhp engine is paired exclusively to all-wheel-drive and automatic transmission, with CO2 emissions of 162g/km and a fuel economy figure of 45.6mpg.
Standard and R-Dynamic models will be available in Standard, S, SE and HSE trim levels, with the R-Dynamic pack adding sportier touches, both inside and out. Prices start at £28,500 for the D150 2WD, rising to £48,650 for the R-Dynamic HSE D240 AWD automatic. Available in the first year of production only, a special First Edition comes fitted with the D180 AWD automatic powertrain combination and features 20-inch satin grey alloy wheels, a panoramic roof, exterior black pack, configurable on-board dynamics, electric and heated leather seats, suede headlining, head-up display, an activity key, gesture tailgate, keyless entry and configurable ambient lighting. There’s also special First Edition branding to the carpet mats, metal treadplates and seats. The cost of this time limited model is set at £47,800.