If you fell in love with the F-Type but couldn’t get one owing to its limited practicality, you might like the Jaguar E-Pace. Here’s why.
Following the launch of F-Pace in 2016, Jaguar introduced the smaller E-Pace crossover globally the following year. With demand skyrocketing for premium SUVs of all shapes and sizes, Jaguar has had to concede and come up with its own iterations in these segments. One look at the E-Pace, and you know the British carmaker has got it just right.
Jaguar's smallest crossover borrows a lot of its design from the F-Type.
Ian Callum, Director of design at Jaguar, is widely renowned as the man who penned the stunning F-Type. When Jaguar wanted him to make an SUV, he borrowed a lot of design elements from the range-topping and critically acclaimed sports car. Jaguar E-Pace takes after the F-Type, there’s no doubt about it. Right from the shape of the headlamps, taillamps, grille, down to its prominent shoulder line.
That’s not to say that this crossover has no personality of its own. Look at the E-Pace from any angle, it is undeniably seductive. Sculpted bonnet, swooping roof, and lack of too many lines come together to make this a dynamic looking SUV. The subtle feline design direction is evident in its rear three-quarters with its wheel arches edging ever so slightly into the shoulder line, making for a strong, distinctive haunch. Beyond the C-pillar, Jaguar designers have tapered the glass so its lines match up precisely with those of the rear window.
I remember conversations with people who were worried the F-Type’s design wouldn’t translate very well to an SUV. The 2019 E-Pace is lithe and chunky in all the right places. It’s almost as if Callum had a foresight that his employers would soon be back asking for an SUV that takes after their popular sports car and he has truly nailed it with this crossover.
The interiors are pleasant and ergonomic with modern convenience features.
Step inside the E-Pace and you are greeted with a sumptuous, welcoming cabin. Minimalism is the defining theme here, with the centre console incorporating all necessary switchgear and controls. A leather-wrapped hand-hold neatly separates the console while reminding you of the SUV’s credentials: this little Jaguar sits on Land Rover’s D8 platform shared with the Evoque and Discovery Sport.
Soft-touch surfaces are abundant along with seats finished in fine leather with chrome and aluminium tastefully peppered around the cabin. A panoramic sunroof helps make for an airy, well-lit cabin. When you are in the car, you might not feel it at first, but gradually it will dawn on you: Jaguar has really done a great job making the E-Pace ergonomic and intuitive.
For instance, the sunroof begins just behind where the driver’s head would be so any glares and glints do not creep into your vision. It does not even interfere with the displays, of which there are two. All E-Pace trims get a 12.3-inch fully-digital instrument cluster, along with a 10-inch central infotainment display.
The E-Pace's interactive digital instrument cluster is synced to the Head-Up Display.
Jaguar also offers an optional Head-Up Display which pushes up critical data like speed, gear position, turn-by-turn navigation, and tachometer in crystal-clear full-colour high-res graphics. At this point, the Jaguar E-Pace’s cabin is now a full-on cockpit complete with techno-gimmickry. As a final ace up its sleeve, Jaguar also has an app that tells you about all the E-Pace’s features in case you’re too befuddled by the crossover.
Powering this AWD crossover is an Ingenium 2.0-litre inline-four motor good for 247hp and 365Nm. There’s not much to fault in this engine but yes, there are times you wished the drivetrain reacted more quickly than it does but this boils down to driving habits. All the variants sold in the UAE get all-wheel-drive and a nine-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmission as standard.
Lay eyes upon the Jaguar F-Pace's rear three-quarters and it will prominently show off its feline design.
The 2019 Jaguar E-Pace is an unintimidating SUV that drives more like a car than a high-bodied vehicle. It looks like a proper boulevard cruiser, yet has decent off-road driving ability owing to its Land Rover-derived chassis. The vehicle we test drove was the top of the range E-Pace R-Dynamic HSE priced at AED 292,215. In summary, with prices starting from AED 161,000, you get a mix of decent performance and practicality, and smashing good looks courtesy of fine British design.