At the start of the SUV boom a generation ago, sporty European luxury marques such as Porsche, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati might’ve been content to let the commoners pump out sport utility vehicles. But as the SUV evolved into the preferred people hauler, these upmarket brands saw the necessity of expanding their portfolios, while at the same time were well-suited to deliver on “sport” over “utility.”
Porsche stuck its flag in the sand with the Cayenne in 2003, followed by the smaller Macan. Jaguar followed much later with the introduction of the compact F-Pace SUV in 2016. It was only inevitable that Jaguar would launch an even smaller version with the E-Pace, a 2018 model.
The sister brand of Jaguar is, of course, Range Rover, which essentially defined European luxury SUVs. The E-Pace shares the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport’s platform. Will these new models cannibalize share?
The Jaguar models look for more mass-market appeal with lower price points than the Range Rovers. They’re still aiming slightly higher than their competitive sets, for the E-Pace that includes Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3, Volvo XC-40, and BMW X-1.
The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace is propelled by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 246 hp and 269 lb.-ft. of torque using a nine-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can opt for the 296 hp tuned engine.
The E-Pace is a head turner with its teardrop design, steeply raked roof profile, and F-type sporty thin front and rear headlamps and taillights. The wraparound cockpit borrows F-Type cues as well.
The sports stance carries over into performance. The five-passenger E-Pace is an anti-SUV on the road; no body roll, rear sway, or torque lag here. It felt more like driving a sporty compact sedan. All-Wheel Drive is standard.
At an EPA-rated 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy fuel economy the E-Pace is about average against its luxury competition. I averaged 19.6 mpg during three days of half city, half highway driving. Fleets will like the large (18.1 gallon) fuel tank, which delivers over 500 miles in range.
There is plenty of competition in the small SUV market, particularly when considering the top trims of mass-market models such as Mazda CX-5 and VW Tiguan Limited that deliver luxury packages with cheaper price points.
But for those drawn to the Jaguar name, this is the cheapest Jag model on the market. The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace starts at $38,600. Our tester with the SE trim started at $44,300 MSRP and climbed to $54,190 with options such as 18-way leather seats, a panoramic roof, heated seats, and surround camera system.
2018 Jaguar E-Pace Specs:
- Engine: 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder gas engine (246 hp and 269 lb.-ft. torque), 296 hp option
- Transmission: 9-speed automatic transmission
- Standard all-wheel drive
- Cargo Space: 52.7 cubic feet with rear seats down
Originally posted on Business Fleet
See all comments