‘In the dense jungle of South America a mother and her cub are on the hunt for prey. The young cub walks behind her mother watching her every move, knowing that one day she will have to find her own food and teach these same skills to her cubs’… Well that’s the story that plays in my head when I see the projection of the jaguar and cub on my garage floor for the first time.
This was my favourite feature of the Jaguar E-PACE First Edition P250, it immediately created a bond between me and the car when I saw it, straight in the feels Jaguar, bravo.
I showed the image to some of my female friends and they agreed that that feature alone would be the reason they would buy the E-PACE. The same image is repeated on the base of the windscreen on the passenger side, so you can point it out during the day as well.
The E-PACE is the compact SUV of the Jaguar range and in a segment filled with a plethora of choices for new car buyers from budget to lux the E-PACE offers a great choice towards the lux end of the market. But beyond the standard features of a car we will always want more and the Jaguar E-PACE delivers more with some meticulous touches that really show that the Jaguar designers have thought about whom they wanted the E-PACE to appeal to. Other car companies project their name or model of the car in a similar way and Jag could simply have had their emblem projected, but they chose an adult jaguar and cub and it’s a beautiful touch.
First Edition models are only available in three colours Caldera Red (as tested), metallic black and metallic white. Only the P250 is available in Australia and not the more powerful P300. The P250 20″ 6 split-spoke ‘Style 6014’ with Satin Grey Diamond Turned finish wheels are easy to clean and their two-tone finish means they hide brake dust well also.
So apart from the tale of the jaguar cub, what else is good about the E-PACE First Edition P250? Well it has the long doors that cover the sills and this stops the sill becoming dusty and therefore reduces the risk of your skirt or trousers getting dirty when in you get in and out of the car. The same feature was highlighted at the Rolls-Royce Cullinan launch as a thoughtful touch for occupants. Another great feature is the rubber that seals the front and rear doors again to stop dust from getting into the door sill area and with the added advantage of reducing road noise.
The E-PACE is an ideal car for a modern connected family. It has two USB and two 12V sockets in the front plus a smartphone holder in the centre console between the cup holders. Add a sim card to the E-PACE and you get live traffic information on your satellite navigation, web browsing via the infotainment system and your car becomes a Wi-Fi Hotspot. There are another three USB ports in the back so no device will ever run flat; plus in the boot there is another 12V outlet. Also in the boot are tie down points which can be moved along rails to be ideally positioned to secure the load you are carrying.
The boot is not very large though and would not fit a weekly shop plus a pram at the same time, but it does fit a space saver spare tyre under the boot floor. There is plenty of storage in the door pockets on all four doors, so much so that you have to be careful you don’t lose stuff in them. I also liked the jaguar skin textured rubber mat that is in the front of the centre console storage cubby, it looks particularly good under the blue ambient lighting at night.
If you have more activity gear than can be carried in the boot never fear the E-PACE has a towing capacity of up to 1,800kg. For those of you into outdoor activities such as swimming or cycling have you ever been stuck for a place to put your car key whilst partaking in these activities? Well Jaguar has a solution for that and it’s called the Activity Key. It looks a bit like a fitness tracking bracelet and once activated allows you to lock your car with the bracelet while leaving your car key safely in the car in a ‘deactivated’ mode.
The E-PACE range offers a choice of two petrol and three diesel Ingenium engines. The P250 has a 9-speed automatic gearbox with the 2.0 litre 4-cylinder 183kW turbocharged petrol engine that can reach a top speed of 230km/h and does 0-100km/h in 7.0 seconds. Claimed combined fuel economy is 7.7L/100km and for my week of driving that included freeway and town driving I achieved 11.8L/100km.
Although the E-PACE is an all-wheel drive (AWD) car, it’s not constantly engaged in AWD and transfers torque between the front and rear wheels as driving conditions dictate. For the majority of the time it is a front wheel drive car for better fuel efficiency with the rear wheel drive only engaging during harder acceleration and cornering. One of the infotainment options lets you view the live drive mode of the E-PACE while you are moving.
In addition to the safety of AWD the P250 also comes standard with many safety features including high-speed emergency braking, which is available for speeds of up to 160km/hr whereas many other car brands only offer emergency braking at lower speeds. The E-PACE blind spot assist consists of a small warning light in your wing mirror and this will guide you away from an approaching vehicle if you ignore the warning, I’ll take Jaguar’s word for this as I didn’t try it out personally myself.
The adaptive cruise control with queue assist, which automatically brakes for you if the cars in front of you slow down, is a must for your freeway commute. Plus there’s lane keep assist that warns you if you leave your lane through a vibration in the steering wheel and illumination on your dash. For parking there’s a rear view camera, park assist and a 360 ͦparking aid and rear traffic monitor. And once you have driven a car with all of this technology it’s very hard to go back to one without it because it just makes driving easier.
Like most modern cars there are two ISOFIX points and three rear tether points for child seats. The seat belts also have pretensioners meaning you don’t have to use an additional buckle for tether-only car seats. The E-PACE has an ultra-high-strength steel safety cell and six airbags including front and passenger side curtain and thorax as standard. There is also an external airbag with sensors in the bumper that trigger it in the event of a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist and the airbag deploys over the windscreen.
The First Edition P250 E-PACE comes standard with seats covered in Ebony Windsor leather with Flame Red twin-needle contrast stitching. In the front the seats have 18 way adjustment and are heated and cooled using the same selection mechanism as the F-TYPE. The roof is lined with ebony Suedecloth that is beautiful to touch and it has a huge panoramic sunroof that stretches all the way to the back of the car, but it doesn’t open. Recline the front seats back and you have a great place for star gazing on a cold winter’s night.
Speaking about night time light shows the E-PACE has ten ambient lighting colours to select from. Ranging from purple, blue, aqua, yellow, orange and red, I liked purple the best. But if you are driving in R-dynamic mode red is the only colour that can be selected. You can also adjust the brightness of the ambient lighting if you wish to.
Delve into the infotainment menu via the 10” touchscreen and you can select options such a low grip launch, an analysis of your driving style and your energy impact. In dynamic mode you can configure the engine, steering and gearshift between normal and ‘dynamic’. There is no adjustment for suspension, but that’s OK because the ride of the E-PACE strikes a nice balance between comfortable and sporty offering decent cornering for an SUV while being soft enough to absorb bumps in the road.
For the most part I really enjoyed my week with the Jaguar E-PACE and there were only a few things I didn’t like. For starters the button to cancel auto start/stop was directly adjacent to the button to turn the traction control off meaning if you were not paying attention you may accidently disengage the traction control. Sometimes the throttle was sensitive on take-off making it a bit jerky. I also didn’t like the selector mechanism on the stork for the headlights it had a spring mechanism that bounced back to a starting position and I found it hard to figure out what setting I had the lights on. The voice control is only available for phone and audio settings and not satellite navigation and I found it did not work as well as other systems I’ve tested. There is not much leg room for rear seat passengers and no rear passenger temperature control for the dual zone air conditioner.
Of the four Jaguars I have driven over the past few weeks I think the E-PACE offers the best value for money ($AUD 84, 370 plus on-road costs) and comes with everything listed above as standard. This is great for people who don’t have time to analyse the ins and outs of car brochures because they are busy with day-to-day life of raising their cubs.
For more information about the Jaguar E-PACE range contact your local Jaguar dealer.
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.