The 2019 Jaguar E-Pace is truly a sign of the times. After 80 years without an SUV, Jaguar suddenly has two in its stable, and unsurprisingly they’ve become the brand’s best-selling models. The city-sized E-Pace crossover SUV is attractive, upscale, and even fun in some configurations, warranting 6.2 overall on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
With a gaping grille, swept back headlights, and muscular sheet metal, the 2010 E-Pace echoes other vehicles in the Jaguar lineup, one of the best-looking collections out there. A long(ish) hood and sloping roofline suggest a rear-wheel-drive bias, but the E-Pace hides its front-wheel-drive based architecture cleverly.
Inside, the design is considerably less expressive, borrowing cues from the F-Type sports car but ultimately emphasizing straight lines and function over form. Unfortunately, some materials feel unworthy of a luxury vehicle, and though the dashboard seems utilitarian. It’s not as smooth to use as it could be given the brand’s history blending form and function.
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Power is supplied by a 2.0-liter turbo-4 offered in two different states of tune: 246 horsepower on the standard engine or 296 hp as an option. A 9-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox. All-wheel drive is standard, but there are two different forms. The higher-powered engine comes with an Active Driveline system borrowed from the Range Rover Evoque (with which the E-Pace shares a platform), allowing this little Jag to shuffle power front-to-back and side-to-side at will. This improves handling significantly as well as grip in slippery situations, even off-road to some extent.
Speaking of handling, the E-Pace uses its short wheelbase and potent powertrain pleasingly, offering tight turn-in, excellent road-holding manners, and a reasonably comfortable ride. Power delivery is adequate on the higher-output model, but the transmission often feels a step behind.
Despite its small footprint, the E-Pace fits four adults comfortably, better than competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and BMW X1, and could even be compared to larger off-beat options such as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
For 2019, the E-Pace receives a few small updates to its InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, including an optional Smartphone Pack that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Two additional paint colors, Narvik Black and Caldera Red, join the stable as well, and S models and above get new 20-inch wheels.
The 2019 Jaguar E-Pace has not yet been crash tested by the federal government’s NHTSA or the independent IIHS. It manages 24 mpg combined in base configuration and 23 mpg combined with the more powerful engine.