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2018 Jaguar E-Pace Leaps Into the Compact Crossover Frenzy

Don’t call it a cute ute; this one is a bit of a fat cat

Last month, Jaguar said that we would see its latest offering, the 2018 E-Pace, on July 13. Well, today is that day, and Jaguar has delivered, starting with a ridiculous barrel roll at the launch event.

As you can see, the compact crossover carries a resemblance to its F-Pace sibling, though up front, its lines are not nearly as taut or muscular. To use the obligatory cat analogy, it’s more of a jaguar cub than an adult cat. LED units are used for both the headlamps and taillights, with J-blade running lights fitted on uplevel E-Pace S models. A choice of 11 exterior colors is on offer for the E-Pace, and wheels ranging in size from 17 to 21 inches.

With a 105.6-inch wheelbase and a 173.0-inch overall length, the E-Pace is a fairly small cat in stature, straddling the territory between the compact and subcompact segments. Where it’s not small is weight. This fat cat tips the scales at 4,175 pounds, more than 100 pounds heavier than the larger F-Pace and some 400-500 pounds more than most other compact CUVs. For comparison, our Four Seasons Infiniti QX30 is similar in size but weighs just 3,364 pounds, a huge difference even when you account for the extra weight of the E-Pace’s standard AWD system.

Power will come exclusively from Jaguar’s new Ingenium 2.0-liter turbo-four, with a nine-speed automatic getting exclusive distribution rights in the U.S. It’ll be offered in two flavors: one making 246 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque and one making 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Per Jaguar, the 246-hp variant of the E-Pace will be able to hit 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, while the 296-hp version will get there in 5.9 seconds.

Inside, the E-Pace receives a sprinkling of the F-Type to go along with the brand’s more conventional bits. Mixed in with Jaguar’s 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 10.1-inch infotainment screen is the sports car’s driver-oriented layout and electric shifter (rejoice, ye that dislike the retracting rotary shifter). Along with the F-Type’s shifter, the E-Pace receives its rotary climate controls and mode selector switch, cleaning up the center stack and console. In all, it’s an even more attractive space than the F-Pace’s.

The aforementioned mode selector has four settings — Normal, Dynamic, ECO, and Rain, Ice and Snow. The modes control the E-Pace’s throttle response, steering, transmission shift speeds, and, if equipped, the optional Adaptive Dynamics active suspension, which will be available some time after the initial launch. An individual mode called Configurable Dynamics, which will let the driver choose between normal and dynamic for each component, will also be available as an option.

Other notable features include the usual arsenal of active safety features, available 825-watt Meridian 15-speaker sound system, 4G wi-fi hotspot, and a windshield-projected head-up display.

When the E-Pace goes on sale in early 2018, it will be available in seven flavors — three “Core” models with the 264-hp engine, three R-Dynamic models with the 296-hp engine, and a First Edition version available only for 2018 that is effectively a loaded Core model with cosmetic bits taken from the R-Dynamic range added on. Prices will start at $39,595 for the Core range, $48,245 for the R-Dynamic range, and $54,545 for the First Edition.

2018 Jaguar E-Pace Specifications

ON SALE Winter 2018
PRICE $39,595 (base)
ENGINE 2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/246 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 269 lb-ft @ 1,200-4,500 rpm; 2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/296 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 265 lb-ft @ 1,200-4,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV
EPA MILEAGE N/A
L x W x H 173.0 x 64.9 x 78.1 in
WHEELBASE 105.6 in
WEIGHT 4,175 lb
0-60 MPH 5.9-6.6 sec
TOP SPEED 143-151 mph

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Buying Guide
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EPA MPG:

22 City / 27 Hwy

Cargo (Std/Max):

34 / 61 cu. ft.

Seating:

5/5