2018 Jaguar E-PACE AWD SUV Launch Review

Jaguar E-PACE first drive

Jaguar E-PACE Overview

Jaguar E-PACE adds to the Jaguar brands late entry into the lucrative and ever expanding SUV class of prestige vehicles.

Jaguar is a brand that is better known for stunning sports cars like the classic E-Type or long distance tourers like the XJ. When you think of Jaguar, SUVs are definitely not the first thing that comes to mind.

This all changed a few years ago when they launched the F-PACE, a stunning larger SUV on an aluminium frame and a series of powerful engines. It received worldwide acclaim.

Enter into the equation the E-PACE. A smaller slightly heavier SUV that will compete with the likes of the Audi Q2 and Q3 , The Lexus NX range, BMX X2 etc.

The Jaguar E-PACE range consists of: E-PACE First Edition, The E-PACE and E-PACE R-Dynamic are available with S, SE and HSE specification packs and a choice of five powertrains, with three diesel and two petrol engines.

Jaguar E-PACE

Jaguar E-PACE External

The E-PACE continues the design flair of the F Type sports car. It has typical flowing lines of a Jaguar. The DNA is obvious.

Despite it having flowing lines it also has short overhangs and is quite muscular as well. Standard rims are 17 inch and there are optional up to 21 inch rims and tyres that fill the wheel arches.

I really like the look.

The R Dynamic has some extra design features such as tail pipe extenders, Gloss black front fog lights surrounds, grill surrounds and rear valance, in addition to body coloured wheel arches.

There are optional matrix LED headlights, J Blade daylight running lights, roof rails, etc.

The fun ‘Jaguar Cub’ graphic in the obscuration band of the windscreen and integrated into the puddle lamp projection have been incorporated solely to put a smile on customers’ faces

E-PACE  can be specified in 11 exterior colours, either Caldera Red (First Edition only) or Fuji White (Solid); Borasco Grey, Firenze Red, Caesium Blue, Yulong White, Indus Silver, Santorini Black or Corris Grey (Metallic); and Farallon Pearl Black or Silicon Silver (Premium Metallic).

Jaguar E-PACE Internal

Inside the E-PACE is a mix of flowing design and a few areas that are a little disappointing.

Jaguar E-PACE

Let’s start with the seats. The standard seats are great. The entry level fabric seats have an 8 way manual adjustment. The optional leather electrically adjustable seats are comfortable for long distances.

The R Dynamic sport style seats are awesome. The 18 way electrically adjustability, higher shoulder bolsters, squab extenders. They feature a highly tactile Sportmesh finish and a selection of leather seat finishes in vibrant colours with contrast stitching.

These are close on the most comfortable seats I have sat in. My fellow driver liked them, I loved them. We drove for 4-5 hours over a range of conditions and jumped out fully refreshed at the end.

One complaint is that they are only heated, not air conditioned which is ok on a car at $50,000 but not at $90,000.

Both front occupants have spacious head room and leg room with plenty of seat travel and even though the centre console is quite wide, adequate hip room. With the front seats at full travel, there isn’t much room behind.

The manually adjustable steering wheel is first class and houses the usual fingertip controls. The driver feels cocooned in a cockpit style.

Jaguar E-PACE

The dash can be either analogue or a 12.3 inch HD virtual Interactive Driver Display. Both provide clear graphics and a configurable MFD in the centre. In front of the driver is a soft touch dash bulge that houses the optional heads up display. While it looks large it is not intrusive.

Jaguar E-PACE

Speaking of soft touch finishes, everywhere you place an elbow, arm or hands in the E-PACE is soft touch. The beautifully crafted leather-clad facia and seat upholstery with twin-needle stitching all enhance the sense of luxury. Which is why there are a couple of disappointing things that niggle a little. There are also no overhead grab handles, which seems strange.

Jaguar E-PACE

These are:

  • a strange cup holder lid which is a piece of plastic that you take off and have to store somewhere.
  • The centre screen surround and transmission lever/tunnel cap are a matt plastic with a silver plastic surround for the lever and seems out of place lowering the ambience of the interior a little.
  • There are no roof grab handles anywhere, which seems odd

Jaguar E-PACE

The centre stack houses the air conditioning controls, a row of buttons for various functions and then the 10 inch touch screen.

Storage is excellent from the large flexible centre console, with removable cup holders, large glove box, good bottle holders and extra storage in the doors and a sunglass holder below the rear view mirror. There is also a little spot in front of the transmission lever for phones etc.

Jaguar E-PACE

Rear seats are also very comfortable. Behind normal size drivers there is adequate knee and leg room. There is good head room for all rear passengers. Like most of these cars the rear is better for two rather than three passengers.

There are rear air vents and USB ports. The open rear three quarter glass panel greatly enhances the open feeling for rear passengers.

Jaguar E-PACE

The rear seats fold in a 60/40 style, unfortunately not totally flat though. The boot area ranges from a reasonable 484L through to 1141L of space. One key point is that there is a touch over a metre between the wheel arches that aids flexibility.

The aluminium electric tailgate open nice and high and comes with optional gesture opening and activity key system.

Jaguar E-PACE Features

The E-PACE introduces a wave of design and technology innovations that make connectivity even more practical and user-friendly.

Jaguar E-PACE

Key features include:

  • Jaguar’s Touch Pro infotainment system,
  • 10inch touchscreen display which allows customers fingertip control,
  • a choice of two premium audio systems developed with Meridian, (although DAB is an option)
  • HUD as an option,
  • Jaguar Land Rover’s latest InControl connected car features,
  • Dual zone climate control air conditioning,
  • 5 USB charging points and 4 x 12V points,
  • Sun visors with illuminated mirrors,
  • Rain sensing wipers, heated exterior mirrors, heated rear windows,

 Jaguar E-PACE Engine and Drivetrain

The E-PACE First Edition, which is available for the first full year of sales, is powered exclusively by Jaguar’s 132kW Ingenium diesel or 183kW Ingenium petrol engines paired with the nine-speed ZF automatic transmission and a host of selected options.

Jaguar E-PACE

The E-PACE and E-PACE R-Dynamic are available with S, SE and HSE specification packs and a choice of five powertrains, with three diesel and two petrol engines.

All engines are matched to the nine-speed ZF automatic transmission. Customers selecting the R-Dynamic Pack also benefit from gearshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

Engine Power (PS) Torque (Nm)

  • Ingenium Diesel: D150 110kW @ 3500rpm 380Nm @ 1750rpm
  • Ingenium Diesel: D180 132kW @ 4000rpm 430Nm @ 1750rpm
  • Ingenium Diesel: D240 177kW @ 4000rpm 500Nm @ 1500rpm
  • Ingenium Petrol: P250 183kW @ 5500rpm 365Nm @ 1200-4500rpm
  • Ingenium Petrol: P300 221kW @ 5500rpm 400Nm @ 1500-4500rpm

The E-PACE has two different AWD systems.

The standard permanent AWD system reacts to driving conditions to seamlessly distribute engine torque for optimal control and confidence in all circumstances on 110KW and 132kW Ingenium diesel models and the 183kW Ingenium petrol.

Jaguar E-PACE

In normal conditions, the system intelligently distributes torque between the front and rear to maximise stability and handling, or fuel economy, where appropriate.

On slippery surfaces the system can send almost all of the engine’s power to the rear if the front axle loses traction. The split is up to 90/10

The E-PACE’s Active Driveline all-wheel drive (AWD) system is a technological first for Jaguar that combines phenomenal all-wheel traction with Jaguar’s unmistakable rear wheel drive character.

The Active Driveline AWD system can transfer almost all the engine torque to the rear axle in extreme conditions.

At the rear axle, two independent electronically-controlled wet-plate clutches distribute torque between the rear wheels, with the capability to direct 100 per cent of that torque to either rear wheel in 100 milliseconds (0.1 seconds).

This is quite stunning!

Jaguar E-PACE

Jaguar E-PACE What is it like to Drive

It is interesting jumping in a SUV from a manufacturer that has a long history of making sports cars. Can they transfer that driving dynamics to their SUVs?

The E-PACE is relatively heavy around 1800-1900kg depending on which model and what engine and options etc. This is quite a hefty weight to lug around.

It’s fair to say that although all engines range from adequate to spritely, none are what you would say a sports SUV. But they aren’t meant to be.

The advantage of the heavy weight is that the E-PACE feels well planted to the road.

I had the opportunity to drive a couple of variants over many different road surfaces and styles, from tight twisty hilly sections, rough secondary roads, freeways (while in peak hour and bucketing down with rain) and suburban streets.

On the hilly twisty sections the E-PACE’s lithe agility belied its hefty weight. You really didn’t feel any weight shift through corners. Heavy mid corner bumps failed to unsettle the composure and the responsiveness through throttle and steering inputs was rewarding.

When pushed really hard, I mean really hard, there was a little understeer, but mostly it simply went where it was pointed with little complaint.

Jaguar E-PACE

Configurable Dynamics gives the driver even more control with individual settings for the throttle, automatic transmission, steering and, where fitted, the Adaptive Dynamics suspension system.

The Adaptive Dynamics set-up senses driver input, body and wheel movements and pre-emptively loads the suspension and chassis and adjusts the damping for improved roll control and agility in all conditions.

All around visibility is very good. Especially aided by the optional surround cameras. Thick ‘A’ pillars as usual can obscure oncoming traffic from the side, the same as almost every vehicle these days.

Over bonnet visibility is a little strange. It appears that the bonnet disappears about 60cm from the windscreen. However you do have a good feel for where the corners of the car are.

The diesel engines, especially the 500Nm version, were relatively linear in their torque delivery. When kept in the right rev band they were a delight to drive on the hilly sections.

The petrol engines were a little jerky from start sometimes lurching under initial throttle. However again when they were driving along they provided more immediate feeling of acceleration as you would expect.

Surprisingly the ride from the 20 inch rims and tyres was supple, with little transfer of road irregularities. Usually such combinations will push minor bumps etc. in the road to be felt through the steering wheel.  I even had to get out and check on one occasion to see if we actually had the 20 inch rims.

Internally the E-PACE is quiet, although there was some minor drumming on some road surfaces that appeared and mysteriously disappeared again. There was little wind noise or for the most part, road noise.

It should be noted that on such test drives I will often push these vehicles, well beyond what most drivers will ever do themselves, although well within the capability of the vehicle. Given this I would have to say the E-PACE, while not a Jaguar in the pure sense, certainly has the Jaguaresque DNA running through its veins.

The drive is engaging and with the right degree of fun expected from such a vehicle.

Jaguar E-PACE

Jaguar E-PACE Dimensions

The Jaguar E-PACE   dimensions are:

  • 4395mm long,
  • 1984mm wide,
  • 1649mm high and
  • A wheelbase of 2681mm.

As the most dirt the E-PACE is likely to see is the gravel driveway to the weekend abode, it really isn’t appropriate to discuss clearance, wading depths etc.

This places it around the middle of the segment in size. It is slightly smaller than a Mazda CX5 but feels bigger inside.

However towing at 1800kg and a tow ball weight of 100kg means that it is more than useful for the jet skis or small boat or lightweight camper etc. It does promote an active lifestyle.

Jaguar E-PACE

Jaguar E-PACE Safety

The E-PACE introduces an array of new driver assist technologies. The dynamic compact SUV is packed with active safety technologies, ensuring a stress-free driving experience

Key innovations include new sensing technologies that see where the driver cannot and a new pedestrian airbag system.

Features include:

  • Blind Spot Assist: The technology combines the capabilities of Blind Spot Monitor with the Lane Keep Assist functionality to prevent drivers sideswiping another vehicle.
  • Forward Traffic Monitor: The feature is particularly useful in situations such as at blind junctions, where the driver’s view to the side is restricted. Forward Traffic Monitor displays a warning if an oncoming vehicle is detected.
  • Adaptive Driving Beam: Available as part of the advanced Matrix LED headlights system. The vehicle’s forward-facing camera detects the presence of oncoming vehicles and adjusts the pattern of the light beams to prevent them from dazzling other drivers without compromising visibility.
  • Park Assist: To help the driver park in even the tightest spots, the Park Assist function can steer the vehicle into parallel and bay parking spaces. The ultrasonic sensors measure the space to ensure suitability and then steers the vehicle itself – the driver simply controls the accelerator and brakes.

These are complemented by six airbags: driver and passenger, thorax, and side curtain airbags. Front and rear seat occupants are also protected by seatbelt pre-tensioners, while two ISOFIX points are fitted to the outer rear seats for the protection of small children.

The E-PACE will be the only vehicle in its class to provide an innovative pedestrian airbag.

Like the F-PACE performance SUV, the E-PACE offers Jaguar’s Emergency Braking technology with pedestrian detection, powered by a stereo camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror, which scans the road ahead. The camera can determine the distance of any objects in the vehicle’s path. When an imminent collision is detected, the system warns the driver and primes the brakes. If the driver fails to respond the system can activate full emergency braking to bring the vehicle to a halt.

The Emergency Braking system is designed to mitigate collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians. To help minimise potential injuries, the E-PACE has an optimised design for the front-end, bumpers and bonnet, which includes a deployable Active Bonnet system.

The airbag system, patented by Jaguar Land Rover, is part of an array of safety technologies, including:

  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
  • Roll Stability Control (RSC)
  • Electronic Traction Control (ETC)
  • Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Emergency brake lights (EBL)
  • Emergency brake assist (EBA)
  • Corner Brake Control (CBC)

Jaguar E-PACE Warranty

All Jaguar vehicles purchased in Australia benefit from complimentary Jaguar Roadside Assistance service for the length of the new car warranty. This covers you Australia-wide 24 hours per day, every day.

WARRANTY* 3 year / 100,000 kilometres mechanical warranty together with a 3 year unlimited kilometre Paint Surface Warranty and a 6 year unlimited kilometre Corrosion (Perforation) Warranty

Jaguar E-PACE

Jaguar E-PACE Conclusion

Jaguar has been late to the party with their SUV range. Strange given the experience on the land Rover side.

However they are making up for their tardy entrance with some clever features and typical Jaguar DNA. The ability to almost bespoke package the E-PACE you want, is both mind boggling and stunningly clever marketing.

Given this flexibility it is impossible to discuss pricing other than to say you can buy a E-PACE from anywhere from around $50,000 to a heavily optioned $99,000.

Jaguar expects the bulk of their sales to be in the $50,000 to $75,000 region and for this money it is a viable option for buyers. At $99,000 there are a bunch of other choices that may be better.

The E-PACE looks visually exciting, has a strong element of Jaguar ride and handling DNA, is spacious and luxurious inside and introduces some clever technology.

The prestige smaller SUV segment choices just got more complicated.

What’s Good?

  • Very stylish – compact yet internally spacious
  • All engine combinations
  • Road handling and agility

What’s Not?

  • Some internal plastic trim
  • No Air conditioned seats
  • Long and very expensive options list
Jaguar E-PACE SUV
4.0

Summary

Jaguar has been late to the party with their SUV range. Strange given the experience on the land Rover side.

However they are making up for their tardy entrance with some clever features and typical Jaguar DNA. The ability to almost bespoke package the E-PACE you want, is both mind boggling and stunningly clever marketing.

About Rob Fraser 189 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. Coming from a Financial services background, where everyone drives a prestige car, he has a unique perspective on the market segment.He has owned a number of prestige cars himself amongst the way too many cars he has owned in his time. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures.The Prestige Car Guide eventuated from a continual demand from Rob’s strong ties to the financial services world and the advice he still provides to prospective buyers