2019 Jaguar E-Pace

By October 8, 2019

The 2019 Jaguar E-Pace crossover SUV shares the stage with the larger F-Pace. The smaller E-Pace is particularly suited to urban life, given its compact size, and to winding roads.

For the 2019 model year, the E-Pace earned a few minor updates for its InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. Revisions include an optional Smartphone Pack that provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Two additional paint colors, Narvik Black and Caldera Red, are available, while S models and above adopt new 20-inch wheels.

Four trim levels are offered: S, SE, HSE, and R-Dynamic. Each contains a 2.0-liter turbo-4, offered in two states of tune. Base (P250) models get a 246-horsepower version, while a 296-horsepower variant goes into R-Dynamic (P300) E-Pace crossovers. The more powerful engine is the better choice for most drivers. Each works with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Unlike most competitive crossovers, all-wheel drive is standard, but E-Paces use two distinct systems. The base setup provides a 50/50 (front/rear) power split. In P300 R-Dynamic trim, an Active Driveline system can vector torque output independently to any wheel, front-to-back or side-to-side. That system is borrowed from the Range Rover Evoque, which shares its platform with Jaguar’s E-Pace. The Active Driveline AWD system improves handling significantly, while boosting road grip in slippery conditions.

Neither the NHTSA nor the independent IIHS has crash-tested an E-Pace.

E-Pace models may be equipped with most modern safety technology. Most trim levels include standard forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitors. A surround-view camera system, parking sensors, and a forward-mounted camera that can “see” around obstructed intersections are available as options. Adaptive cruise control also is offered. Jaguar’s strong warranty is a welcome bonus.

Model Lineup

Prices do not include $995 destination charge.

P250 ($38,900) contains the 246-horsepower turbo-4 engine with all-wheel drive. Standard features include LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, ebony cloth seat upholstery, keyless start, automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and dual-zone climate control.

P250 S ($41,200) adds18-inch wheels, power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, and parking sensors.

P250 SE ($43,900) gets 19-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate, premium audio, and such advanced safety features as adaptive cruise control.

P300 R-Dynamic S ($46,700) upgrades to the 296-hp engine, equipped similar to P250 S.

P300 R-Dynamic SE ($49,400) is equipped similar to P250 SE, but with the 296-hp engine.

P300 R-Dynamic HSE ($53,200) gets 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a motion-activated tailgate, power front seats, shift paddles, navigation, and a head-up display. 

Exterior

Sultry yet muscular in shape, the E-Pace echoes the appearance of other Jaguar models. Blending sharp and sculpted lines with a pleasing profile creates quite a potent first impression.

Swept-back headlights flank a wide, toothy grille. The sloping roofline and relatively long hood suggest a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. In reality, the E-Pace architecture cleverly conceals its front-wheel-drive origins.

Even though the E-Pace is relatively tall, low sculpted body lines and flared wheel arches make it appear lower, resulting in a sleek, sporty-looking crossover. Higher-trim R-Dynamic models have stronger visual flair, with bigger wheels and more aggressive styling touches. They include blacked-out intakes and mirrors, and contrasting stitching.

Interior

The cabin’s design is less expressive, with cues adapted from Jaguar’s F-Type sports car, notably a driver-focused cant to the controls. 

Spacious even for taller occupants up front, the E-Pace feels a bit cramped in the back seat. With legroom topping 35 inches, though, two adults should feel comfortable. For a small crossover SUV, the cabin is surprisingly large.

The new 10.0-inch touchscreen now offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as part of an optional Smartphone Pack.

Ample cargo space totals 24.2 cubic feet behind the rear seat, expanding past 52 cubic feet when seatbacks are folded flat. Both figures beat the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Driving Impressions

Like a typical Jaguar, the E-Pace delivers spry handling and excellent road manners. Steering feels light, but turn-in is direct. Considering overall competence, the E-Pace equals some lower-slung compact luxury sedans. Even with available 20-inch wheels, and despite a short wheelbase, the ride is comfortable and composed.

A choice of all-wheel-drive systems combines with mannered handling. The E-Pace draws adequate power from the higher-output engine, but the 9-speed transmission doesn’t feel quite matched to the engine.

The R-Dynamic’s AWD system provides exceptional grip during spirited driving or under slippery situations. Even though engines emit a gruff exhaust note, the cabin is suitably quiet. 

Fuel economy is decent. The lower-powered turbo-4 is EPA-rated at 21/28 mpg City/Highway, 24 Combined. At 21/27/23 mpg, the 296-horsepower R-Dynamic version is a tad less thrifty. Both require premium gasoline.

Final Word

Despite its sultry, racy appearance, the 2019 Jaguar E-Pace has its practical side. It’s surprisingly spacious and pleasant to drive, with plenty of features. It’s a stronger value in lower-priced models, but the top-end versions have features normally reserved for bigger SUVs—such as Jaguar’s own F-Pace.

 

Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.