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Jaguar E-Pace quick review

By Ben Barry, 21 Nov 2017 Car News

Jaguar E-Pace quick review

A new small-SUV from Jaguar brings unique styling and impressive performance to the table

Tell me about this car:

The E-Pace is Jaguar’s take on the Land Rover Evoque, a compact SUV with four-cylinder engines, sharp looks and front- or all-wheel drive.

The Jaguar E-Pace is a pretty compelling proposition, with neat exterior design, an F-Type-inspired interior and enough space for family duties. Despite a disappointing kerbweight, the E-Pace feels agile and engaging to drive quickly, though the top-spec petrol’s pricing throws it under the wheels of the Mercedes GLA 45 AMG – a rival that offers significantly more bang for your buck.

Strengths

  • Shod with Pirelli P Zero rubber, the E-Pace is sure-footed if far from lacking in humour: throw a bung of steering at the apex and you’ll feel the front bite hard and the rear adopt a frisky few degrees of angle.
  • The 2.0-litre turbo/nine-speed auto combo is impressively punchy – flexible and smooth low-down, responsive when you gun it, eager when you hold out for the high notes.

  • Thankfully the suspension calms with speed, introducing longer, more supple movements for comfort with unruffled control.
  • Ian Callum’s design is pert and purposeful and riffs on the F-Type sports car, a theme that’s carried into the interior with its fast angles, signature features and comparatively low-slung – for an SUV – driving position. The showroom appeal that propelled Evoque to stardom is definitely in evidence here.

Weaknesses

  • Our test car rode on 20-inch rims with fixed dampers, though 21s and adaptive dampers are incoming. The low-speed ride is very firm, so much so that I’d fear for young ’uns tums in a package that’s otherwise family-friendly.
  • Hang-on panels as well as the roof are aluminium, but the bodyshell is steel and the kerbweight heavy at around 1800kg – a like-for-like F-Pace actually weighs less.
  • It’s just that a Merc GLA 45 AMG costs little more, weighs far less and punches that much harder. For some, that could be the decider, but there’s little doubt that the E-Pace drives as sweetly as it looks.

Are there any rivals I should consider?

Audi Q3, BMW X1, Land Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLA