Jaguar E-Pace long-term test: report 2

Our chief photographer wanted an SUV that was frugal and fun to drive, yet still practical enough to swallow all his gear. Will the Jaguar E-Pace fit the bill?...

Jaguar E-Pace packed up, rear shot

The car Jaguar E-Pace D200 R-Dynamic SE Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer

Why it’s here To see whether one premium family SUV can combine fun, comfort and practicality

Needs to Work hard on weekdays, entertain on Saturday and Sunday, and feel indulgent all the time

Mileage 1640 List price £42,075 Target Price £40,451 Price as tested £47,260 Test economy 41.8mpg Official economy 42.0mpg 

20 August 2021 – Jag life gets in tents

Even before Covid-19 made wide open spaces and holidaying in the UK fashionable, I was partial to a camping holiday in England’s green and pleasant land. And this year’s presented my Jaguar E-Pace with one of its first big tests.

The plan was for my wife and I to take a short break in Weymouth to get away from it all, and packing for the trip didn’t prove too stressful. True, it quickly became clear that we would have to engage 'van mode' by dropping the rear seatbacks. But then camping trips do tend to push a car's boot to bursting point.

2021 Jaguar E-Pace long-term bootful of camping gear

You need to open the E-Pace’s back doors to fold its seats, but once they’re down, the extended load bay is almost flat, with no obstructive lip at the opening. As a result, it was easy enough to load our bulky five-person tent, our gazebo and a long list of other 'essentials'.

An electric coolbox was the chunkiest thing we took with us. Fortunately, the E-Pace’s boot is a handily square shape, so we were able to keep it close to the side wall without wasting much space. Better still, the boot’s 12V accessory socket was perfectly placed for plugging the coolbox in to keep our milk (and beer) cold. Meanwhile, when we arrived at the campsite, the same socket came in handy for inflating our airbed.

2021 Jaguar E-Pace long-term inflating airbed

The journey itself also went smoothly: the traffic wasn’t too severe, and we were able to waft down the motorway with the sun streaming through the panoramic car’s glass roof and the Meridian sound system filling our ears.

Indeed, the only issue – and it’s a minor one – came when we returned home and discovered that it’s quite easy for the seatbelts to get snared up when you’re returning the rear seats to their upright position. Hopefully we’ll get the knack of doing it smoothly before our next camping trip, which – after the success of this one – will be sooner rather than later.

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