T3 recently spent a weekend blasting around the beautiful island of Corsica in the much anticipated Jaguar E-Pace, the smaller sibling to the F-Pace, with just as much style, dynamics, and attitude as its larger brother. It's set to be Jag's biggest seller yet, so we couldn't wait to get behind the wheel and see what all the fuss was about.
In terms of design, the E-Pace actually looks more like a blown up F-Type (Jag's thrilling sports car) rather than a shrunken F-Pace. That's no bad thing, because I think we can agree the E-Pace looks amazing from all angles. Inside is a similar story, the driver focused cockpit is a lovely, cosseting, place to be, with premium materials and tech all within reach.
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The E-Pace comes with a selection of five engines, three diesel and two petrol. Our favourite was the P300 Ingenium petrol engine, which feels the most energetic, reaching 0-60 mph in 5.9-seconds. Still, it's not exactly the most dynamic or sporty SUV out there.
The E-Pace is very easy to live with, though, it's comfortable, and there's plenty of luggage space. There's even several features aimed at adventurous types, like the 'Activity Key', which is a wearable waterproof bracelet which allows you to leave your key locked inside the car.
The Jaguar E-Pace is available now, with prices starting at £28,500, the model we drove was priced at £44,860.
It's certainly an attractive prospect, and here are 5 reasons we think it'll be a big hit for Jaguar:
1. It looks fantastic
We know looks are subjective, but we're objectively saying the E-Pace looks fantastic. It looks like a muscular sports car, with a powerful stance and dynamic sweeping body lines.
There are short front and rear overhangs which accentuate its large wheels, and the sharp creases in the front and rear fenders further emphasise the car's sporty intent.
The design is finished off with Matrix LED headlamps, sweeping indicators, and little "Easter Eggs", such as cub graphics on the windscreen and puddle lamp.
2. It drives well
As a technological first for Jaguar, the E-Pace features Active Driveline all-wheel drive system, which delivers optimal stability, dynamics and fuel efficiency in all conditions.
Under the bonnet, you'll have the choice of five Ingenium petrol and diesel engines. The 300PS Ingenium petrol turbo engine (T3's favourite) powers E-Pace from 0-60mph in just 5.9 seconds.
If you're looking for something more environmentally friendly, opt for the front-wheel drive 150PS Ingenium diesel, which delivers CO2 emissions of 124g/k.
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.
There's also plenty of systems keeping you safe, such as high speed emergency braking, blind spot assist, plus front and rear parking aids as standard.
3. It's reasonably refined
The Jaguar E-Pace gets the same sporty styling inside as it does outside, with a driver-focused cockpit that amplifies the driving experience, while providing space and practicality for everybody else in the car.
The interior design is directly inspired by the Jaguar F-Type, but the extra height of the E-Pace gives you an elevated "Sports Command" driving position, with improved visibility.
Everywhere you can reach you'll find premium materials, with leather, and soft-touch plastics. Dig a little deeper and you'll start for find cheaper plastics, though, which is understandable given the entry level price of this car.
But over all, the attention to detail is also evident, with neat little touches like ‘contemporary animal print’ designer labels which are sewn into the shoulder hem of the front seats (in red on First Edition vehicles), and the same pattern is repeated on rubber mats in stowage areas.
4. There's plenty of tech available
Despite being small the E-Pace features plenty of technology. Everything is centered around the 10-inch Touch Pro display (just a single screen, there's no fancy dual screen setup here).
Nestled behind the steering wheel is a 12.3” HD Interactive Driver Display, which offers a configurable UI featuring all the information you need.
There's also the option of a next-generation Head-Up Display which can project up to 66-percent more information onto the windscreen than JLR's previous HUD.
To keep passengers happy, you'll find up to four 12-volt charging points and five USB connections dotted around the cabin, as well as a 4G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices.
If you're an adventurous type, you can get the Activity Key, a waterproof wristband which allows you to lock your key fob inside the car while you go surfing or swimming, etc.
5. It's practical
Okay, we're ending on a slightly boring one, but this is important. This compact SUV is 4,395mm long and has the large luggage capacity of 577 litres. That is large enough to hold a pushchair or set of golf clubs widthways.
If you fold the seats down you can increase the luggage capacity to 1,234-litres.
The spacious centre cubby can be configured in four different ways and is suitable for smaller tablets or four 75cl bottles. The deep front door bins can carry a range of items including phones, cans and a 1.5 litre bottle of water.
- Read about Jaguar's I-PACE