There is a lot to recommend about the E-Pace. The finish is good and there are some nice options like the £310 ‘activity key’ wristband. It’s a great first effort into this segment for Jaguar, it just needs to be a little bit better.

★★★☆☆Jaguar E-Pace 250ps Petrol HSE R-Dynamic

Cat with Soft Bite

What Have We Got?

Jaguar has taken the small luxury SUV market head-on with their new E-Pace. Launched last year to much spectacle in London, where on its debut it entered the Guinness World Records with a 15.3-meter, 270-degree barrel roll even before its launch. A year later and with cars available, The Gay UK finally gets to taste the 250 petrol HSE R-Dynamic model.

Driving

One thing you become aware of pretty quickly is that the F-Pace can cover ground quickly. That 250PS 2 litre engine spins happily through its rev range while taking with it its 365 max of torque from 1200 to 4500 rpm through its 4WD automatic drive train. Once on the move that is. For the sporty model in the range, there was a noticeable delay when you pushed the throttle into the carpet. It might be seconds but those are vital seconds.

With power and speed, comes great responsibility and one thing you want is to rapidly decrease speed. My biggest gripe was the brakes. The ABS did a great job and there was no evidence of lockup, even for a moment. That said, they lacked the bite you’d expect for a sporty model.   

Inside

The interior options for the E-Pace R-Dynamic are few and far between with 3 choices of leather colour. The press cars grey exterior with red leather worked well. And the options fitted to the car covered most bases particularly the heated seats and steering wheel.

Door architecture worked well and the illuminations around were welcomed in breaking up huge expanse with lights, leather and brushed aluminium. It all added to the premium feel that you expect from Jaguar

What didn’t work for me was the main piece of plastic that forms the facia. Its saving grace was that it was of smooth plastic. It lacks a lot of tactility and felt cheap in an otherwise expensive cabin. 

Living With It

It’s an easy car to live with and I found ‘comfort’ mode was best suited to most of my driving needs. There is space for all inside despite its dinky size and it’s reasonably comfortable. Long drives result in a refreshed arrival. There is plenty to play with on-route. 

Pushing it hard caused the engine to roar in an unnecessary kind of way and it’s not really something you want to try too often.  

Hurried driving also caused the tyre to vocalise their abundance of grip to all around you. I shouldn’t encourage this but I rather liked it. 

The Verdict

There is a lot to recommend about the E-Pace. The finish is good and there are some nice options like the £310 ‘activity key’ wristband. It’s a great first effort into this segment for Jaguar, it just needs to be a little bit better.

 

Loves

Door architecture

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Ability to cruise quietly

Convinces available in the options. (Though some are expensive)

 

Loathe

Brakes lack bite

Throttle response

facia trim

 

The Lowdown

Car – Jaguar E-Pace 250ps Petrol HSE R-Dynamic

Price – £50,995 (as tested)

MPG – 36.7mpg (combined)

Power – 250ps @ 5500rpm

0-62mph –  6.6 seconds

Top Speed –  143 mph

Co2 – 174 (g/km)