The Jaguar E-PACE comes in two models: P250, and P300 R-Dynamic. The P250 is the entry-level trim, but can be upgraded to S, SE and First Edition trims. The P300 R-Dynamic is the upgrade model and can be had in S, SE and HSE trims.
Motivating P250 models is a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine making 246 horsepower. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. P300 R-Dynamic models are powered by a more aggressively tuned version of the same engine that makes 296 horsepower. Jaguar claims that the 0-60 sprint can be covered in just 6.6 seconds for the less powerful engine and 5.9 seconds for the more powerful one, making both relatively quick for an SUV.
Standard features on the base model E-PACE include LED headlights, heated door mirrors, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, 17-inch wheels, 2-zone climate control, a leather steering wheel, a 10-inch touchscreen entertainment system, two USB ports and four 12-volt sockets, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, parking sensors front and rear and a lane-keep assist system.
S trims get 18" 9-spoke wheels, 10-way heated front seats, a park assist system and navigation. SE trims add bigger 19" wheels, a power liftgate, 14-way power front seats and an audiophile audio system by Meridian. The HSE gets even bigger 20" wheels, 18-way power front sport seats and premium "Windsor" leather.
R-Dynamic E-PACEs are recognizable by their gloss black grills and unique 18-inch wheels. Standard features on the R-Dynamic model include bigger brakes, gearshift paddles for the steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 10-way powered front seats, a navigation system, better smartphone connectivity and a whole host of additional electronic goodies such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot assist, a 360 degree camera and a rear cross-traffic monitoring system.
The First Edition comes pretty loaded, featuring automatic high beams, 20-inch wheels, configurable ambient internal lighting, a suede headliner, 18-way power adjustable heated seats with a memory function, Windsor leather seating surfaces with contrasting red stitching, a 380-watt Meridian sound system with 11 speakers, SiriusXM radio and a heads up display. Convenience features on the First Edition include even more USB ports, keyless entry and a gesture controlled rear tailgate that will swing open for owners whose hands are full with bags of groceries or the like.
Safety features on the E-PACE include anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control, along with an emergency brake assist system, full length side curtain airbags, front side airbags and an alarm system.
The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace is a playful cub and a fantastic little performer. Whether on twisty back roads or during interstate blasts, the company's most compact model is fun to drive, delivering a perky powertrain and strong showings in the chassis and handling departments.
Plus, it pulls off the delicate balance of looking adorable and approachable, yet still sporty, with just the right amount of aggression. It's so charming, in fact, that by the end of a short test drive, I'd expect most drivers to come away thinking, "it's so good."
In truth, I had the same reaction. But after making such a strong initial impression, the rest of my time with this particular E-Pace First Edition was riddled with minor annoyances -- from fit-and-finish issues to tech hiccups and seemingly outright broken features. It's possible that these foibles affected just my test vehicle, but even still, my experience makes this model hard for me to recommend.
The Good The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace's sharp looks and smart design details drew me in. Its fantastic handling and great power won me over.
The Bad Tech annoyances -- including park distance sensors that simply didn't work -- made the E-Pace difficult to trust and live with. The interior looks nice, but some parts, like the paddle shifters, feel cheap.
The Bottom Line Jaguar's playful 2018 E-Pace is an extremely stylish and fun little luxury SUV, but inconsistent and at times unreliable tech make it hard to recommend over the strong competition in this class.
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