Jaguar E-Pace 1.5 Mild Hybrid Review - A Well-Optioned Cub

Text and Photos by James Wong
22 Nov 2021
 

In this high COE environment, the E-Pace has a downsized engine but has kept its option load high to maximise the customer experience.

Jaguar is not quite known for building SUVs, but such is the trend of the car market that the brand now builds more SUVs than saloons or sports cars. The E-Pace is the smallest SUV Jaguar offers, and also the most affordable entry to the brand’s line-up. 

Drawing inspiration from the F-Type sports car, the E-Pace is very attractively designed with short overhangs front and back, as well as a squat stance squared by chunky 19” wheels with a long wheelbase. It won’t drop jaws but there is certainly no bad angle to speak of. 

Inside

Jaguar has taken the pains to specify the E-Pace abundantly and one of the few features that you wouldn’t expect in its class is the 3D Surround Camera. The other is the new 11.4-inch touchscreen dubbed ‘Pivi’, which dominates the interior architecture. Wholly developed in-house and to be used across Jaguar and Land Rover products, it is slick, easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. There is lag in some instances though. 

Otherwise, most surfaces are good to the touch and doors are reassuringly hefty, befitting of a luxury car. The roof is a little low for the 2nd row, but there is ample space all round with a decently sized boot. Jaguar has gone a little cheeky with the E-Pace - being a model for a younger audience - and so referenced a cub graphic on the windscreen (try to find it!) and puddle lamps. 

The Drive

Previously equipped with a 2.0-litre turbo, the E-Pace is currently offered only with a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo paired with a 48V mild hybrid system (MHEV). For this displacement it is a more substantial MHEV system than the typical 24V system, and so offers more associated benefits. 

For one, although the new engine may seem inadequate for the E-Pace, it offers plenty of power on tap for everyday driving. There is hardly any lack when on the move, but there is occasionally some hesitancy from the 8-speed auto gearbox when moving off. There is also a ‘clutch-free’ sensation when the foot is off the throttle, perhaps due to the MHEV system, which takes some getting used to. Despite the MHEV system, the fuel consumption seemed higher than average. All in though, it’s a hushed, well-insulated place to be. 

When the roads get interesting, the E-Pace makes fair progress and is easy to place with its compact dimensions. Ride is well-judged and does a good balance between comfort and tidy handling. 

Our Thoughts

In this high COE environment, the E-Pace has a downsized engine but has kept its option load high to maximise the customer experience. If you’re looking for an E-Pace, it has become more attractive for Singapore drivers in its latest iteration, with a more tax-friendly engine and additional creature comforts in the interior.  

In Summary

We Like

Good looks, well-optioned, impressive NVH suppression, good balance of comfort and sport.   

We Don't

Drivetrain could be smoother especially when moving off. Fuel consumption seems higher than average despite a downsized engine. Occasional hiccups with Pivi.   

Verdict

This cub is optioned like a Jaguar.   

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