What's the used Jaguar E-Pace estate like?
SUVs. You can’t walk down the street without tripping over one. Even premium manufacturers are falling over themselves to launch new ones, and, though late to the club, Jaguar has already given the world the sizeable F-Pace, the all-electric I-Pace, and this, the baby of the range, the E-Pace.
Style-wise, it looks enticing, provided you don’t mind your cars short and tall. The ovoid headlights, wrap-around taillights and butch haunches all offer a glimpse of that proper Jaguar look – like a large and powerful cat about to pounce. It’s based on proven Land Rover underpinnings, notably the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport with the consequence that it's very heavy: heavier even than the larger and more opulent F-Pace.
On the road, the lower powered petrol and diesel engines feel slow to respond, even if their actual on-paper turn of speed is pretty good. The automatic gearbox is often hesitant in its responses, which can be problematic on roundabouts and at junctions, but once on the move it changes gear smoothly. Opt for the more powerful units and gathering speed is no problem, but there is an obvious drop-off in fuel economy. The middle-ranking 178bhp diesel, the 2.0d 180, probably strikes the best compromise between outright punch and efficiency.
The ride is a mixed bag. The E-Pace isn’t horrendously firm and only crashes over the worst potholes, but you are jostled around quite a bit along pockmarked and beaten-up urban roads. The ride doesn’t settle out on the open road, either; even on the motorway, things are far less settled than in a Volvo XC40, for example. Adaptive suspension was available as an option and that improves things. Smaller wheels are likely to do so, too, but this does reduce the obvious visual appeal of this sporty Jag.
From new, the E-Pace was available with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Most versions come with the all-wheel-drive option that predictably offers plenty of traction, although the entry-level diesel engine came only with front-wheel drive. In that guise, the E-Pace’s handling isn’t quite so assured; the steering wheel squirms under your hands if you accelerate eagerly through corners – something that you don’t find in the four-wheel drive versions. That said, most will only really feel the benefit of four-wheel drive in bad weather.
All versions of the E-Pace come with a 10.0in touchscreen infotainment system that Jaguar calls Touch Pro. It’s relatively snappy to respond when you prod it, the graphics are sharp and the interface reasonably easy to get your head around. Mind you, some of the icons are small so can be a bit tricky to hit with any degree of confidence on the move.
Space up front is good, with a reasonably good amount of head room, but rear seat passengers long of leg will find it cramped behind a similarly tall driver. The rear seats fold down to leave an almost flat floor, while the boot is easy to access and usefully shaped, and has a good carrying capacity on paper. However, one or two rivals are able to carry slightly more luggage.
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