REVIEW | 2021 Jaguar E-Pace is a bit of a tame house cat

Count me among individuals who grapple with the concept of smaller Jaguars and understandably the Jaguar E-Pace tested here in D200 AWD R-Dynamic HSE specification is the British brand's move to benefit from the global compact SUV craze

2021-10-21 05:50:00 PM

Count me among individuals who grapple with the concept of smaller Jaguars and understandably the Jaguar E-Pace tested here in D200 AWD R-Dynamic HSE specification is the British brand's move to benefit from the global compact SUV craze

Count me among individuals who grapple with the concept of smaller Jaguars and understandably the Jaguar E-Pace tested here in D200 AWD R-Dynamic HSE specification is the British brand's move to benefit from the global compact SUV craze

The designers have tried to recreate the slinky silhouette typical of Jaguar sedans and roadsters atop a compact crossover stencil, but it isn’t that convincing.Earlier this year Jaguar refreshed the E-Pace inside and out with minor revisions.Luxury permeates inside the roomy cabin. I did struggle to find my ultimate sitting position as the leather-clad electric chair squab doesn't lower enough and the multifunction steering wheel doesn't adjust for much height.

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Rear passenger legroom is ample but the sloping roof might trouble really tall people. Boot space is one of the largest in the segment. The digital and touchscreen operated infotainment system is similar to other modern Jaguar Land Rover products and it gives the living quarters a tech-savvy sheen.

The recent facelift includes smarter trim appointments in the cabin. Picture: SUPPLIEDYou hit a starter button to awaken the 2ldiesel motor that’s connected to a smooth nine-speed automatic feeding an all-wheel drive system. You couldn't want a smoother and quieter diesel motor than JLR's current crop of Ingenium four-cylinders. It produces 147kW and 430Nm but there's pronounced turbo lag. headtopics.com

The E-Pace launches from standstill without any aggression but once spooled it stabs forward hard enough. We tested its 0-100km/h sprint time as nine seconds, fractions shy off its manufacturer-claimed 8.4 seconds. It’s a decent runner with a 211km/h top speed.

Apart from the 430Nm torque that makes it joyously tractable, the 9.3l/100km consumption average is a boon.The ride quality is good but not top drawer. It’s cushy enough and cruises pleasantly. The suspension also fared well enough on a couple of farm roads I took on during the test period. The damping and noise insulation ensured it glided quietly and satisfactorily over bumps.  

In corners it feels pointy and well controlled with no issues.However there isn’t that girder-strong build quality or the unmistakable air of aristocracy, and it has rather tame looks.It smacks of the same mainstream regularity that's also on offer in most of its rivals from the German triumvirate of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. With 12 models to choose from this E-Pace D300 HSE specification is loaded with amenities and propelled by a peach of an engine but as a range it's not as left-field as Jaguars ought to be.

For the outlay a well specified, top-tier Volvo XC40 that's draped in handsome R-Design clothes is a more tantalising offer. My verdict is that the E-Pace doesn’t deliver the true essence of a Jaguar beyond the leaper that's pasted on its boot. And it’s expensive. headtopics.com

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The powered boot reveals 577-1,234 litres of boot space which is among the largest in the segment. Picture: PHUTI MPYANE Read more: Times LIVE »

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Jaguar E-Pace lays on luxury but lacks soulIf you want a premium crossover, step right up, but if it's true Jaguar essence you seek look elsewhere, says Phuti Mpyane

Jaguar E-Pace lays on luxury but lacks soulIf you want a premium crossover, step right up, but if it's true Jaguar essence you seek look elsewhere, says Phuti Mpyane

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