Road Test: Jaguar E-Pace 150hp Pure FWD

The newest addition to Jaguar’s E-Pace line-up is, perhaps, the most unexciting – an entry-level diesel model powering drive to the front wheels only via a six-speed manual gearbox.

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SEGMENT SUV   PRICE £28,945   FUEL 39.5mpg combined (WLTP)   CO2 143g/km

This E-Pace does away with three of the essentials of a premium SUV – four-wheel drive, powerful engine and automatic gearbox. So what’s left to make it a desirable option for user-choosers?

Firstly, the Jaguar badge is still there. That means healthy residuals and desirability on the choice list for badge-conscious buyers.

Secondly, it’s still an E-Pace, so it blends chunky looks into a small package yet still offers enough interior space to make it a viable car for a user with a young family.

Thirdly, the interior remains a pleasant place to rack up the miles in – chunky three-spoke steering wheel, big, clear instruments and a touch-screen infotainment system housed in a decently-sized screen.

On the road the E-Pace neither impresses nor frustrates – the six-speed manual gearbox is fine to use, nothing more. Performance is on a par for the sector – the diesel engine remains refined and wind and engine noise is well suppressed.

Where this E-Pace does score is on paper – it is priced a useful £1,800 less than the same engine with an automatic gearbox. Emissions and economy also benefit – a 20% taxpayer will be looking at an annual company car tax bill of £1,671 this financial year, rising to £1,844 for 2020/21. By contrast, the automatic model is several BIK bands higher, spelling an annual bill of £2,243 for this financial year and next.

What we think: A useful addition to the E-Pace line-up which should draw in user-choosers looking for a premium badge SUV but at an affordable price.

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Julian Kirk

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