Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how the car drives, we need to address the elephant in the room: its weight. You see, despite looking a bit like an F-Type, underneath its designer suit the E-Pace has far more in common with Land Rover’s Discovery Sport.
True, the engineers have shaved off a few pounds by making the tailgate, bonnet, roof and front wings out of aluminium, but the E-Pace still tips the scales at a hefty 1.8 tonnes – around 85kg more than the larger F-Pace. Unsurprisingly, then, the 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel model isn’t exactly rapid.
Floor the accelerator and even once the slow-witted nine-speed automatic gearbox has decided on a ratio, you accelerate with all the urgency of an asthmatic runner. Things improve once you've built up a few revs but, even so, the E-Pace never feels a match for equivalent versions of the Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40.
Thankfully, the range-topping 298bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine goes some way to addressing the imbalance. It’s lighter and revvier than the diesel and imbues the E-Pace with the performance you'd expect from a sporty SUV. But should you plan on regularly exercising your right foot, be aware that this is a 35.3mpg car in official tests. In the real world, you’ll struggle to achieve more than 25mpg.