Published on December 1st, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Jaguar E-Pace SUV Test Drive Review
Compact Luxury Crossover Tested In Klang Valley
Here comes a crossover with a lot of Jaguar sporting DNA infused into its drivetrain. It is called the E-Pace and has already seen good sales in Europe and North America. Targeted to challenge the BMW X2, Audi Q2, Volvo XC40 and the Mercedes GLA, Jaguar designed this crossover to be very different from its sibling, the highly successful Range Rover EVOQUE.
Some history. Jaguar and Land Rover are now part of an automotive group under TATA Motors and a lot of their engineering and build is shared. So, this latest ‘leaping cat’ shares some of its DNA with the recently launched all new EVOQUE and we get the chance to test drive in the city.
Stand back and take a good look at this E-Pace exterior design and you will notice how it is inspired in many areas by the Jaguar F-Type sports car. Add the distinctive Jaguar grille, muscular proportions, short overhangs and powerful haunches and you get a 4-door F-Type with large ‘Tonka’ like wheels. The 20-inch alloy wheels give the E-Pace a bold and purposeful stance, instantly communicating dynamic agility. Jaguar sports car DNA is also evident in the fast sweep of the roofline and the distinctive rear hatch.
The E-PACE is a five seater and features a luxurious interior which utilizes premium materials, craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail that gives every Jaguar vehicle its unique sense of occasion. This Jaguar crossover measures 4,395mm long with short front and rear overhangs of 882mm and 832mm respectively. Its 2,681mm wheelbase seats five in comfort and delivers generous rear legroom of 892mm while the luggage capacity of 577 litres is made possible by the vehicle’s sophisticated Integral Link rear suspension architecture.
Primary controls, such as the sports gear shifter and drive mode selector, have been carefully designed to promote driver engagement. The sports car interior provides the blueprint with a sculpted tactility that reinforces the E-Pace interior’s sporty feel and tunes the driver into the driving experience.
Premium leathers are used on key touch-points such as the steering wheel, centre-console grab handle and gear shifter to enhance refinement, while the secondary controls have been made simpler and more intuitive. The 10-inch touchscreen for the Touch Pro infotainment reduces the number of hard switches while tactile and intuitive rotary dials operate the climate control functions. A 12.3-inch HD virtual Interactive Driver Display combined with the Thin Film Transistor (TFT) full colour Head-Up Display means the driver has all the information they could possibly need within their field of vision.
The interior also delivers small item stowage solutions. The 8.42-litre centre console compartment can house four large water bottles, as well as configurable cupholders and trays; the lockable 10.07-litre glovebox offers secure storage, while 10.56-litre front and 8.26-litre rear door bins are bigger than most.
Drivers can select both Normal and Dynamic settings for the Adaptive Dampers through a Configurable Dynamics system, as part of the JaguarDrive Control system. The Dynamic setting has been calibrated to provide increased body control, for a more connected and engaging drive. Using the Touch Pro infotainment system, customers can also access the Dynamic-i interface, which has a g-meter, stopwatch and a map of accelerator pedal response.
JaguarDrive Control in all E-Pace models gives customers a choice of four driving modes, selected using buttons on the centre console:
- Normal – an optimum balance of performance, control and comfort for regular journeys
- Dynamic – a more engaging driving experience, with dedicated Dynamic settings for a wide range of vehicle systems. Depending on the vehicle specification, these can include the steering, throttle response, Adaptive Dynamics, AWD/Active Driveline, transmission shift strategy, Dynamic Stability Control and Torque Vectoring by Braking
- ECO – modifies settings to optimise fuel economy and encourage a more efficient driving style, with revised settings for throttle response, automatic transmission, climate control and other interior comfort features
- Rain – enhances stability in low-grip conditions with revised settings for Dynamic Stability Control, throttle response and automatic transmission
Despite its ‘high-stepping’ stance, the E-Pace is an easy car to get in and out of. Wide front and rear doors make it easy for all driver sizes. Inside, this E-Pace looks, feels and smells just like any Jaguar car. Beautifully finished, with contoured soft leather seats complemented by high quality cabin trim and headlining.
Available in Yulong White and Firenze Red, the compact SUV features a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged Ingeniumpetrol engine that makes 200 PS. The 0-100 km/h sprint is done in 8.2 seconds and there is good traction with the help of an all-wheel-drive system.
Start the engine and the fires up with a low murmur. At idle you do not hear the engine and the refinement is like with the Jaguar XE sports sedan, but if you squeeze the throttle the engine responds instantly. Even before the Ingenium engine is fully into its stride, the power on tap is very impressive. Press hard on the accelerator and you won’t need telling twice that the E-Pace is all about quick agile movements. The engine growls as you hit the higher revolutions and the steering returns a firm authoritative handling.
After just a few hours with the E-Pace we found it to be livelier than its engineering sibling, the EVOQUE. The E-Pace felt quicker from standstill, delivered a more entertaining steering feel and was more fun to drive quickly. This is where it seems rather strange as the EVOQUE produces 249PS against the E-Pace’s 200PS and the 0-100km/h acceleration time of the EVOQUE is 7.5 seconds against the E-Pace time of 8.2 seconds and yet, the E-Pace feels quicker and more agile. It could all be due to the suspension system, gear ratios and its low 1,250rpm torque delivery.
Yes, the asking price takes it away from many Malaysian buyers who can reach the Mercedes GLA, Volvo XC40 and Toyota Harrier (all priced in and around RM230-260k) at almost RM150k lower and so this makes the E-Pace even more unique to have when money is no issue.
Visit the Jaguar Land Rover flagship showroom in Ara Damansara and test drive both all wheel drive luxury machines in the same morning and you will understand what we are saying above.
Jaguar E-Pace Specifications
Engine: 4-Cylinder Supercharged
Power: 200PS @ 5500rpm
Torque: 320Nm @ 1250rpm
Transmission: 9-speed Sequential Shift
0-100km/h: 8.2 secs
Top speed: 216km/h
Price: From RM403,216.67