Jaguar leaps into the highly competitive compact premium crossover-SUV segment with its all-new E-Pace. The 5-passenger vehicle puts style, luxury, sporty driving dynamics and off-road capability before overall utility, but that may be precisely what someone moving out of a traditional sport sedan is seeking.
You'll Like The 2018 Jaguar E-PACE If...
If looking stylish is your craving, the new Jaguar E-Pace serves it up by the plateful. The gorgeous exterior of this subcompact is complemented perfectly by its stylish interior, which is beautifully designed and covered in premium upscale materials. It’s not just appearances -- sporty driving dynamics are also an E-Pace strength.
You May Not Like The 2018 Jaguar E-PACE If...
If you are seeking family-friendly accommodations and cargo utility, we suggest you look elsewhere. While Jaguar ensures that front passengers of all shapes and sizes are very comfortable within its new E-Pace crossover SUV, everyone (except for small children) will feel cramped in the second row. The cargo hold is acceptable for a few suitcases, but carrying anything with more volume will require folding seats flat or an optional roof-luggage system.
The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace is an all-new model in the automaker’s lineup. Standard models feature a turbocharged 246-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. However, performance-oriented R-Dynamic models boast an additional 50 horsepower. To celebrate the launch, Jaguar will sell a First Edition trim the first model year configured with unique colors and appointments.
Passengers within Jaguar’s all-new E-Pace are coddled with a stylish interior crafted from premium materials. High-resolution, configurable digital displays replace analog instruments and the infotainment system operates like an oversized tablet (warning: there’s a learning curve for its operation). The cabin is sleek, upscale, and decidedly futuristic.
The front seats are comfortable and accommodating, even for those over six-foot tall. However, second row passengers will find themselves a bit cramped -- all bets are that Jaguar wasn’t targeting those with a few teenagers in the household. The trunk will swallow a couple suitcases, or a few bags, but not much more without dropping the seats.
Jaguar’s design team did a spectacular job sculpting the 2018 E-Pace -- it’s arguably the most attractive SUV in its segment. The iconic Jaguar grille leads the way, with a pair of sleek cat-eye shaped headlights on either side. The greenhouse is perfectly proportioned and a pair of aggressive-looking round exhaust ports bring up the rear. Even with the standard 17-inch wheels (Jaguar offers wheels up to 20 inches in diameter), it looks fabulous. The overall design is impeccably cohesive, visually sleek, and decidedly sporty.
Jaguar touts its new subcompact crossover SUV as a vehicle with the utility of an SUV, but the driving dynamics of a sport sedan -- and they aren’t exaggerating by much. Mash the accelerator pedal in the 296-horsepower premium R-Dynamic model, and there is a slight delay (engineers call it "turbo lag") that is followed by a strong surge of power -- the sprint to 60 mph takes fewer than six seconds. (The power is appreciated, but we are betting that the 246-hp model, which we didn’t get a chance to drive, is more than adequate.) Expect a 23-mpg combined fuel-economy figure, which is about average in the segment.
The ride is firm on pavement, but it’s never harsh or bothersome. Straight-line stability on the highway is exemplary, while sport-tuned suspension damping allows the E-Pace to dance through twisty corners -- the steering effort is light, but very accurate. Handling is impressive for a vehicle with a curb weight of 4,175 pounds (the new E-Pace is about 150 pounds heavier than its big brother, the F-Pace). Despite being extraordinarily capable off-road, the ride can get very jarring when the pavement ends.
The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace has a base manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $39,595 including the $995 destination fee. The S model is priced at $42,495 and the SE arrives at $45,295. The R-Dynamic S starts at $48,245 with the R-Dynamic SE at $51,045 and the R-Dynamic HSE at $54,095. Offered for the launch year is the First Edition, which is priced at $54,545. Jaguar has priced its subcompact E-Pace higher than the BMW X2 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. The pricing is also notably more than the Audi Q3, its other close competitor. Interestingly enough, the E-Pace pricing is better aligned with the larger Audi Q5, which is a Kelley Blue Book 2018 Best Buy Award winner.
This vehicle has just arrived in showrooms, so we are unable to calculate a Fair Purchase Price. That said, while Jaguar vehicles have historically had weak resale values compared to others in their segment, the F-Pace SUV has demonstrated renewed residual strength for the brand.
Jaguar is launching its E-Pace in seven trims: E-Pace, S, SE, R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic SE, R-Dynamic HSE, and First Edition. All are fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine (R-Dynamic model are tuned for more horsepower) and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes LED headlights, 8-way power-operated front seats, a 10-inch infotainment screen, and automatic emergency braking.
The E-Pace First Edition is offered with a Caldera Red exterior -- unique to this trim -- and Ebony Windsor leather inside the cabin (accented by Flame Red twin-needle contrast stitching). The stunning metallic paint and sporty upholstery is complemented by 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a satin paint finish, head-up display, 18-way power-operated front seats, Activity Key, and First Edition metal treadplates.
Jaguar offers a shockproof, and waterproof, electronic wristband that allows the wearer to lock the vehicle’s key within the cabin when they don’t have pockets (e.g., wearing a bathing suit). A simple swipe of the wristband over the E-Pace’s exterior sensor effortlessly unlocks it for the drive home.
While it is only offered with the premium engine, the performance all-wheel-drive powertrain automatically distributes power to the wheels that need it through an innovative torque-vectoring system. As a result, all-season traction and dynamic handling are improved.
Under the Hood
Five years ago, Jaguar would have launched the E-Pace with a V6. But, that was an era before downsizing and forced induction. Turbocharged 4-cylinder engines are today’s 6-cylinder replacements -- more powerful and efficient than their larger predecessors. Under the hood of the E-Pace is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, tuned to deliver two different outputs (premium trim levels deliver 50 more horsepower). A 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard across all models.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (E-Pace, S, SE, and First Edition)
246 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (R-Dynamic S, SE, and HSE)
296 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27 mpg
Jaguar leaps into the highly competitive premium subcompact crossover-SUV segment with its all-new 2018 E-Pace, which is targeted to rival the Audi Q3, BMW X2 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. While luxury and superior driving dynamics are expected, Jaguar brings something new to the table thanks to its Land Rover DNA -- strong off-road aptitude. Package those traits into one of the best-looking SUVs on the road, complemented with attractive pricing, and the British appear to have a potential winner on their hands.