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The Jaguar E-PACE is a premium compact SUV that proves that good things do come in small packages.

22 Sep 2021


Just like how the Jaguar F-PACE goes head to head with the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the smaller, more compact Jaguar E-PACE aims to turn your attention away from cars like the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Volvo XC40.

But don't be confused by the moniker though. The 'E' doesn't make this an electric car. That would be the Jaguar I-PACE. The E-PACE that you see here is still a petrol-powered premium compact SUV that, like most modern cars today, has been updated with a smaller engine displacement capacity, a mild hybrid system, and a spanking new infotainment system dubbed the Pivi Pro, amongst others.

Sounds more like a big brand new than an update

The updated Jag has a heritage-inspired grille as well as 'double J' daytime running lights
Thus, it's easy to misjudge this car to be a brand new model rather than just a facelift. A keen eye is not needed here to realise the changes on the outside and in. Like the F-PACE, the fascia now has a snazzier grille that's heritage-inspired, and the new LED headlamps also come with 'double J' daytime running lights. The rear has also been streamlined, with taillights that are now sleeker than before.

Changes are more obvious on the inside. There's the clearer and more modern-looking 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment that serves as the car's main hub, which is simpler to use - many frequently used functions are being made accessible in just two taps. There is also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, features that are now becoming a necessity in a lot of cars. Elsewhere, you get a new gear lever that's similar to the recently updated F-PACE.

494 litres of boot space is better than its peers
In terms of space packaging, the E-PACE is still a decent car. There's room for three at the rear, albeit at the cost of shoulder room, but leg and headroom remain to be adequate. I reckon it's still best left for two. That said, the 494 litres of boot space is a tad better than cars like the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Volvo XC40.

Vroom, vroom, vroom

What's even better though is the way the car moves on the road. Unlike before, the E-PACE now has a smaller 1.5-litre engine (it was previously a 2.0-litre with 245bhp powerplant) that spins out some 158bhp and 260Nm of torque to the front wheels. While it's a downgrade in terms of output, the updated Jag never feels weak on the go, and that's despite its heft of close to 1.8 tonnes.

The E-PACE manages to offer a comfortable ride
There's a strong sense of pull on the straights, allowing overtaking manoeuvres to be done confidently and easily, even if the engine does sound more strained than stirred when extended. Hence, if refinement is what you're after, you're better off looking at something else.

Still, during my four-day test drive with the E-PACE, it never failed to soak up broken bitumen and rough ruts. The marriage between the suspension setup and the firm chassis is undoubtedly spot on. You still get that bit of roll should you decide to push the Jag hard around bends, but it's never to the point where it snatches confidence from you.

Comfort is the name of the game

Fan speed and temperature are adjusted through a single rotary dial
However, I suspect buyers of this car wouldn't be pushing it hard around bends like I did, even if it's mighty capable of holding its own. Priorities would be comfort and space, of which the E-PACE will deliver them on a silver platter, and then some.

After all, that's the whole idea of getting a premium compact SUV, no?

Car Information

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Promotion
There's a promotion for Jaguar E-PACE Mild Hybrid

Price

: $223,999

Engine Type

:

3-cylinder in-line 12-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1498cc

Horsepower

:

118kW (158 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

260 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Jaguar Sequential Shift

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

9sec

Top Speed

:

190km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14.9km/L

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