As the luxury crossover competition continues to heat up, Jaguar has come out with its first compact SUV, the 2018 Jaguar E-PACE. Jaguar describes it as a "Compact Performance SUV," but does that title hold up in the real world?
This little Jag’s performance numbers are respectable with its horsepower rating ranging from 246-296 depending on how it’s optioned. Our editor, Ben, didn’t care for the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine’s power delivery, despite the fact that it looks like a good performer on paper. Ben found it to have an on/off personality when you engage and disengage the accelerator. Our editor, Dwight, also found the engine to be a bit finicky in real-world use with some unpleasantly surprising turbo lag and a jerky attitude that’s not fitting of a luxury vehicle. That being said, it still showed strong acceleration and made a pleasant sound, especially in Dynamic mode.
One thing that all of our staffers who drove the E-PACE were able to agree on was that the crossover looks great on the outside but is a bit of a letdown on the inside. It’s not a bad or uncomfortable interior, but it is lacking the luxurious feel that can be found in some of Jaguar’s competitors. Our editor, Tommy, found the interior to be too cheap for a car in this price range, and he also didn’t care for its collision-warning system, which was just too sensitive and went off too often.
The back seat is a bit cramped, which is unfortunately common in this segment. If there are tall people in the front seat, the back seat becomes almost unusable, especially for adults. If you want to comfortably fit four adults in a Jaguar crossover, you’ll have to upgrade to the bigger F-PACE.
The 2018 Jaguar E-PACE is a crossover that stands out in traffic for the right reasons with its fetching exterior, but once you get behind the wheel, it becomes a bit of a disappointment. There are a lot of strong players in the rapidly-growing compact luxury SUV segment and the Jaguar E-PACE finds itself around the middle of the pack.