2018 Jaguar E-Pace Review with video

The basics: 
Starting price: $46,800+ taxes
As tested: $46,800 + taxes
Average fuel economy over a week: 12L/100 kms (20 US MPG)
Competitors: Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3, BMW X1, Etc.

Hello, I’m Scott From Family Wheels.ca with another Car review for your Growing family, and this week we’re taking spin in the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace, and despite what it’s name might lead you to believe, this is not an electric car.  Yes, many people will ask you, “E-Pace, like E, as in electric?” Well, no.  That would be Jaguar’s I-Pace. Makes sense right?  Ok, now that that’s out of the way, This is 2018 Jaguar E-Pace.  It’s the little brother to Jaguar’s Flagship SUV, the F-pace, and at first glance, it’s a pretty good looking little crossover utility Vehicle, but how would it work for your family as a daily driver?  Well, let’s go find out.

Jag Launched the E Pace in 2017, so it’s still really new to the market compared to competitors who’ve had a lock here for years now…. Guys like the Mercedes GLA, BMW X3, Or the Audi Q3, and right away I think it has a leg up on those other vehicles for one good reason…. No one has it yet.  And what I mean by that is here in Vancouver at least, you can’t buy a loaf of bread without running into a Beemer or Audi. I’ve been driving the Jag for not even a week yet, and can barely go a day without getting a comment on how good it looks, and that’s the thing about it… It’s a great looking car.

It has a really sharp and sporty look from the back, and from the front and sides it has an almost classic Jaguar look to it. I’d say it’s refined and sophisticated like those others it runs with, but it feels more confident in it’s looks, almost like it knows the heritage of it’s namesake, and is proud of it.

The E-pace is available in Canada in several different trims, but really only 2 different driving configurations…. This one we’re in is the P250, which means it has a 246 HP and 269 pound feet of torque coming from a  turbocharged 4 cylinder.  You’re other option is to bump up to a P300 which gets you the same motor, but tuned up to 296 Horsepower, and 295 Pound feet. In this model, over the week we tested I averaged right around 12L/100Km, which is just a hair shy of 20 US Miles per gallon, so not great, but not terrible.

Both Models come with a 9 speed auto and All Wheel drive is standard, but it’s only when you go with the P300 that you start to get access to some of the options you’d expect from a name like Jaguar.  I was actually a little suprised to get in a find that even in a base model we’re missing things like heated seats and a sunroof. Now like I said, you can get those things, but be prepared to pay for them. This guy, the P250, comes in around $46,800.  Bump up to the P300 and you’re going to need to add about 6 grand onto that, and from there you can option this thing up to the hilt with things like heads up display, digital dash, ambient lighting, 360 degree cameras, panoramic sunroof, the list goes on and on.  I played around on Jaguar.ca and Kitted an E-Pace out the way I’d want it, and it came in around 68 grand.  Not cheap, but let me tell you, if you think this thing looks good now, just picture it totally blacked out with big rims and red calipers. 

Now let’s talk about the infotainment system.  Right out of the gate, I love it.  It’s clean, it’s easy to navigate, and it’s really responsive.  I found very little delay in it trying to follow commands, and trying to find the options I needed out of it was really easy, just 4 big buttons, click the one you want, and you’re off to the races.  It also looks hi-tech, somehow more elite than the screens I’m used to seeing. All of the options just work, including the self park app. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are both available, though it’s a 300 dollar option, and Jag also offers their own system called In Control Apps.  You have to download a separate app to your phone, but like the rest of the system here, I found it to work really well, and actually quite liked it.  They also have an app called iGuide, and if all this car tech intimidates you, this is for you. It uses your phone to explain how everything works in your E-Pace, and also doubles as a mobile owners manual.  you can also get The E-pace with it’s on wifi hot spot, and one of the coolest things about the E-Pace, is the activity Key.  Essentially, its a wristband that you wear if you’re out and about somewhere you don’t want to take your key, like maybe the beach. Just lock the keys in the car, and use the waterproof wristband to lock and unlock the car, set the alarm, and disable the key you left inside.

The rest of the interior is great too.  Very Clean and classy, fit and finish are excellent as you’d expect, and it’s quiet, measuring in at just 64 decibels at 100KM/H, and I was actually surprised to see how roomy it really was when we got down to it. Now, that said, this thing is small.  You should know that if you’re considering it. I couldn’t see it for a big family, or people who find extra space essential, but what it does have, it makes great use of. 

In our rear facing car seat the test, the Jag got 25.5 inches of space from the back of the front seat to the glovebox.  Not great, but like I said, it’s a small car. 

The leg room in the back though, was actually pretty decent, with the front seats set right about in the middle.  Trunk space was fine, passing our standardized trunk test of a stroller, backpack, diaper bag, 2 bags of groceries and soccer ball without any difficulty, and it actually bested competitors the BMW X1, and Audi Q3, and even the Range Rover Evoque with whom it shares it’s many of it’s pieces.  In the E-pace, you get 577 Litres with the rear seats up, and 1234 litres with the 60/40 splits seats laying down, though it’s worth noting, they don’t fold flat, so don’t plan on camping out back there. And if you really wanted to, you could tow with the little jag, but nothing too crazy, it maxes out at 1800 Kilograms.  So like I said, for it’s size it’s surprisingly great, and uses it’s space really well.

Now, here’s where we get to the best part, the way this thing drives.  To put it simply, it’s awesome.  When I was a kid, My dad had an old Jaguar, and though i never got to drive it, I remember it well.  It felt stiff and strong.  I distinctly remember feeling like it was different than other cars I’d ridden in.  Somehow more composed and present in it’s place.  Now, a generation later, I got that same feeling from the E-pace, except this time I got to drive it. 

I feel like it actually achieved something that so many crossovers aim for, but rarely get right… A utility vehicle that actually drives like a sports car.   I loved it. Tonnes of pep, great throttle repsonse, and awesome suspension. Of course you can switch between 4 different modes to customize all this, but honestly, it’s a really fun car to drive, and this is the smaller of the 2 available engines.

So would the E-pace work for your family? If you don’t need a tonne of space, and you don’t mind spending a little extra on fuel, and you like to have fun, value quality, and want to stand out from the pack, well, you may have found your new ride.

Family Wheels report card:
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4/5 (64 dB @ 100 kms/h w/ winter tires)
Family Wheels performance score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels trunk score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 40.5/50= 81%

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