Words by Gugu Masuku

In keeping with the times where SUVs are becoming the increasingly popular choice, over the beloved sedan, both locally and dare I say globally, the engineers at Jaguar have been putting in the overtime to come up with something that will satisfy this insatiable thirst for the Sport Utility Vehicle – and I think they may have hit their mark.

The all-new Jaguar E-Pace comes in as a compact SUV, positioning itself as the cub in the Pace family, and slotting in neatly below the F-Pace in the shadow of Jaguars.

From the first glance, my thoughts were quite positive; the E-Pace looks worlds apart to what it does in images. It actually looks better! The images put out before the launch of this vehicle honestly don’t do justice to it; you need to have a face-to-face encounter to truly appreciate it. And in as much as it’s a completely new model in the Jaguar line-up, it still looks distinctly Jag with its distinguishable front grill and those powerful haunches at the rear.

 

Compact Finesse

It is a compact SUV and also looks the part, but sometimes looks may not tell the full story. The interior of the E-Pace narrates the rest of this tale. When seated inside the E-Pace, you’re greeted by a welcoming feeling of spaciousness. The baby Pace feels a lot larger than it looks. This little trick is largely thanks to the chassis hardware and tweaks to the rear suspension layout, and as a family car, these are welcomed enhancements. Additionally, the Jag offers generous storage compartments throughout the interior, along with four 12V charging points and five USB slots to ensure that all of its occupants feel valued and catered for!

 

 

The first in line for scrutiny was one of two turbocharged petrol derivatives, which carried a sting with impressive low down torque at the slightest stab of the throttle. Also on the list was one of three diesel offerings, and by the time I got to sample the fossil burner, my impartiality had been tainted by the 221kW petrol motor. The diesel honestly felt the way I expected it to feel, nothing to write grandma about. And as for the Jag’s handling capabilities, there was nothing to question in that department.

As things stand, what the E-Pace lacks in exhaust harmonics is more than made up for by the Meridian audio system, which fills that void effortlessly! This possibly could change further down the line, considering that there’s a 5.0 V8 SVR version of the F-Pace headed in our direction in the second half of the year. It’s certainly something to cast our eyes on.


The Jaguar E-Pace is available in S, SE, and HSE specifications, with a starting price of R598 500.