2018 Jaguar E-Pace: Compact luxury SUV with the look and feel of a ‘Cat

By Mike Blake Carlisle Events
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

An all-new compact-luxury crossover with the iconic Jaguar body shape, the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace packs the design and performance of a Jaguar sports car into a practical and connected all-wheel-drive vehicle with SUV practicality.

The newest member of the Jaguar family of SUVs, the E-Pace, presents a five-seat compact performance SUV imbued with the latest connectivity and practicality for busy families, with streaming for up to eight devices via the optional 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. And E-Pace features a choice of two four-cylinder Ingenium gasoline engine options producing 246hp or 296HP, each mated to a ZF® 9-speed automatic transmission.

E-Pace is also loaded with standard amenities. The base model comes standard with such exterior accouterments as LED headlights, chrome side vents, grained Black grille with chrome surround, body-colored bumpers, grained black door claddings, heated door mirrors, electric windows with one-touch open/close and anti-trap, automatic headlights, rear fog lights, heated rear window, rain sensing windshield wipers, infrared reflective windshield, approach illumination (via remote) and “Follow Me Home” lighting, twin tailpipes with finishers, tailgate spoiler, Jaguar script and leaper cat, and a 3-flash lane change.

Inside, E-Pace is filled with such niceties as a leather steering wheel, two-zone climate control, center console with armrest, sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors, start-up sequence with lighting and dial movement, outside temperature gauge, second row air vents, illuminated metal treadplates with Jaguar script, 8-way manual front seats, Ebony fabric seats with Ebony interior, metal treadplates with Jaguar Script, Hill Launch Assist, Jaguardrive Control, Speed Proportional Steering, Electric Power Assisted Steering, Torque Vectoring by Braking, Dynamic Stability Control, Electric Parking Brake, push button start, Jaguar Sound System, Touch Pro system, Dynamic Volume Control, Voice Control, ECO Driving Style Assistant, trip computer, Bluetooth® Connectivity, 10-inch Touch Pro screen, emergency braking, cruise control and speed limiter, driver condition monitor, Lane Keep Assist, rear view camera and front and rear parking aid.

From a safety perspective, E-Pace is prepared with Anti-Lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Emergency Brake Assist, front airbags, with Passenger Seat Occupant Detector, front side airbags, full length side window curtain airbag, standard alarm, customer configurable Autolock, Rear Isofix, power-operated child locks, seat belt reminder and passive front head restraints.

Weighing in at 4175 lbs (curbweight), the sporty E-Pace fits compact SUV dimensions at 173 inches long, 64.9 inches high and 78.1 inches wide on a 105.6-inch wheelbase. Ground clearance is 6.4 inches and coefficient of drag is a good-for-niche 0.34.

With a ‘Catlike look indicative of its Jaguar DNA, E-Pace is inspired by the Jaguar F-TYPE, with a purposeful stance. The front view of the compact SUV reveals a confident, assertive face. The short front and rear overhangs and the teardrop design of the side windows blend with the fast sweep of the roofline working in harmony with the bold side window design. The body sides have the fuselage-like profile found in the most iconic Jaguar designs. Muscular haunches, which taper towards the rear, borrow from the F-TYPE sports car, and sharp creases in the front and rear fenders further emphasize powerful sportiness.

The Jaguar E-Pace cabin is luxurious and filled with connectivity and infotainment. Intuitive in item placement, the interior offers a coupelike 39.2 inches of front headroom and 38.2 in row two; a comfortable 40.6 inches of legroom in row one and a tight-for-adults 35.1 inches in the rear seats; and 56.1 inches for front shoulder room with 55.8 in the second row.

The first Jaguar in history available only with four-cylinders under the hood, E-Pace is outfitted with either a 246-hp/269 lb-ft of torque turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine in the Base, S, and SE models, or a 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque version in the performance-tuned R-Dynamic models. My 296-hp engine had plenty of power for the highway and for motoring around town. At the track, we zipped from zero-to-60mph in an impressive 6 seconds flat during a 14.5-second quarter-mile. Fuel consumption was fair for the niche, as my mixed-use tests averaged 23.3 mpg.

Light and agile on the road, E-Pace handled well … auto-cross well, with responsive Electronic Power Assisted rack-and-pinion steering; and the MacPherson strut front suspension works well with the integral multi-link rear to provide a supple and soft ride.

The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace starts at $38,600 for the Base model and 246hp; the E-Pace R-Dynamic starts at $47,250 with the 296hp engine and adds a ton of exterior and interior extras. The E-Pace First Edition starts at $53,550 and goes back to 246hp and adds even more upgraded enhancements.

I tested the R-Dynamic in S trim. Firenze Red exterior paint added $590; 9-spoke style wheels added $100; a fixed Panoramic roof added $1225; Chrome side windows surround added $130; Ebony Grained-Leather sport seats added $510; 10-way heated front seats added $510; the Meridian Sound System was $360; the Drive Pack was $970; the Cold Climate Pack added $640; Auto High Beam Assist added $255; Cabin Air Ionization added $105; Premium Carpet Mats were $105; the Air Quality Sensor was $80; Sirius XM Satellite HD radio added $510; 360-degree Surround Camera added $360; Power Tailgate was $360; Garage Door Opener was $255; Keyless Entry added $565; and with Delivery and Destination charges of $995, my 2018 Jaguar E-Pace stickered at $55,110.

> Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.

Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.

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