New Jaguar E-Pace vs BMW X1

The E-Pace is designed to dominate the market for small premium SUVs, but the BMW X1 stands in its path. Is it a fair fight? We see how these two cars compare

Words By Darren Moss

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New Jaguar E-Pace vs BMW X1 – interior and equipment

The E-Pace's sporty theme continues inside, where its overall design is borrowed from the F-Type rather than from its larger F-Pace sibling. That's why you'll find a grab handle on the centre console – seperating driver from passenger – and intuitive climate controls which display temperature information inside the rotary dial. The gear lever is a departure from the Jaguar norm, too. Whereas the F-Pace uses the same rotary gear selector as Jaguar's XF and XE saloons, automatic versions of the E-Pace feature a joystick-style selector.

E-Pace drivers can specify a digital display in place of analogue dials, which allows you to place the information you want – including the sat-nav map – directly in front of you. There's no such option available on the X1, instead the part-digital instrument cluster changes between a fuel economy readout and energy recuperation monitor depending on which of its three driving modes – comfort, eco pro and sport – you have selected. The E-Pace extends the number of driving modes on offer to four, including a specific one for rain, ice and snow.

New Jaguar E-Pace vs BMW X1 – infotainment

This is where it gets really interesting, because infotainment is one area where the X1 has, until now, stormed the competition. That's because nothing comes close to the excellent iDrive infotainment and navigation system which comes as standard on every X1. Its ease of use, crisp graphics and intuitive menus, all controlled via a rotary dial on the centre console with shortcut buttons, has long made it a class-leading system.

Now, enter Jaguar. The company's InControl Touch setup, which came as standard on the F-Pace, has been dropped in favour of the larger, upgraded 10.0in touchscreen system called Touch Pro. It features a customisable homepage for your favourite content, and if our experiences with this upgraded setup in the F-Pace are anything to go by, expect user-friendly menus and snappy responses. So, this system is miles better than what Jaguar used to offer, but for our money we'd still prefer a physical dial to control its functions.

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