2018 Jaguar E-Pace Performance Review


Performance: 7.9

The new-for-2018 Jaguar E-Pace is a mixed bag when it comes to performance. The two turbo-four engines are capable, but they aren't as smooth or fuel-efficient as rivals' powertrains. On the road, however, the Jaguar is solid. It handles well and absorbs road imperfections with ease.

  • "Now part of me feels like a bully here, knocking what is really meant to be a small practical luxury car for being too soft for canyon carving duty. On one hand, I mean, of course it is. But at the same time, if you put the face of an F-Type on something and have a switch with a checkered flag on the console, certain expectations are going to be set. And the E-Pace comes up short on pure driving pleasure." -- Jalopnik
  • "What's more impressive is that this fun-to-drive character happens with smoothness and silence, too. Our tester, a loaded R-Dynamic HSE riding on 20-inch alloys … felt calmer, quieter, and more relaxed on jittery British back roads than Evoques we've driven on 20s. Impact harshness is better suppressed, and there's much less tire noise from the rear axle." -- Motor Trend
  • "For this first encounter, we were limited to the uprated engine … with nearly 300 horsepower in a 4200-pound wrapper, the E-Pace should have no trouble keeping up with compatriots in the subcompact-luxury segment." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The E-Pace’s base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (the P250) that puts out 246 horsepower. R-Dynamic models feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (the P300) that produces 296 horsepower.

The E-Pace has satisfactory acceleration. However, the engines aren't as smooth as competitors' powertrains, and the throttle response lags at times. Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly.

With the base engine, the E-Pace gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. With the more powerful engine, it gets nearly the same ratings – 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Either way, these are among the lowest mileage ratings in the class.

  • JLR's 2.0-liter Ingenium engine isn't the smoothest in class. There's almost a diesellike graininess at idle and under light throttle at low speed, especially when cold. But it delivers good performance and drivability on the road. The nine-speed automatic transmission has been recalibrated to deliver smoother and faster shifts, especially in Dynamic mode …" -- Motor Trend
  • "The engine sounds just a bit raspy at idle and the powerband feels a bit peaky, as if all the power is coming on higher up on the rev range. Torque is also not as strong as I would have liked at lower RPMs, even though the spec sheet says all 295 lb-ft of my R-Dynamic S P300's torque was online starting at 1500 rpm. But the E-Pace hits 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, so, that's something." -- Autoweek
  • "In low-speed urban driving, the car feels competent and awake. Acceleration from a slow roll to just beyond the speed limit is reasonably satisfying and believe it or not, so is the sound produced by the E-Pace's humble 2.0-liter turbo." -- Jalopnik

Handling and Braking

All-wheel drive comes standard in the Jaguar E-Pace, as does JaguarDrive Control, which lets you select from four different driving modes (Normal; Dynamic; Eco; and Rain, Ice, and Snow) to match the vehicle’s driving dynamics to your needs.

All Surface Progress Control also comes standard. It functions like a low-speed cruise control, operating under 18 mph. It’s designed to be used during terrible weather so you can focus only on steering.

Most critics argue that the E-Pace is fun to drive, but a few might not go that far. What's not up for debate is that this Jaguar delivers a cushioned ride even over rough road surfaces, and it feels sure-footed around turns. While there are better choices for venturing away from the pavement, the E-Pace can certainly handle some light off-roading.

  • "On my first stint behind the wheel over paved two-lane twisties it felt sportier than its platform mates the Evoque and Disco Sport, as you'd expect from a Jag. … On its own, my first impression is that the E-Pace, as its competitors, feels set up for suburban comfort, not mountain two-lanes." -- Autoweek
  • "What we appreciated more on the narrow roads threading through pastoral southern England was the E-Pace's compact footprint and nimble footwork. It rides quite well, even on the 20-inch wheels that were fitted to our example. … But on the 20s, there's no crashing, and even big road disturbances are well damped and isolated. Extensive use of aluminum for suspension components keeps unsprung weight down, no doubt helping the ride stay calm. The steering is quick, linear, and pleasantly light, but we did find the brake pedal a touch too feathery and particularly difficult to modulate at low speeds." -- Car and Driver
  • "As is befitting something wearing a Jaguar badge, the E-Pace's handling is on the sporty side and the ride is a bit firm – particularly on my test model's 20-inch low-profile tires (21s are available). As it turns out, Corsica has plenty of the sort of winding and climbing coastal roads gets driving enthusiasts' synapses firing." -- CNET

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