The $39,595 2018 Jaguar E-Pace Takes the Fight to the BMW X1 in January

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
the 39 595 2018 jaguar e pace takes the fight to the bmw x1 in january

Not to be confused with the electric Jaguar I-Pace crossover, the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace was unveiled July 13 with a blend of F-Type and F-Pace styling cues.

Set to challenge the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3, and Infiniti QX30 when it goes on sale in the United States in January 2018, the Jaguar E-Pace will be marketed with standard all-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic, and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplants generating either 246 or 296 horsepower.

Globally, the E-Pace will quickly become Jaguar’s best-selling model. In the United States, Jaguar expects the E-Pace to, at the very least, sell just as often as the larger F-Pace, which has generated 19,575 U.S. sales for the previously struggling Jaguar brand since going on sale in May 2016.

The E-Pace rides on the Range Rover Evoque’s platform. Although Jaguar offers U.S. customers a diesel option in the XE, XF, and F-Pace, there are no diesel plans for the E-Pace in the U.S. The E-Pace is assembled in China but also by Magna Steyr in Austria — U.S.-bound E-Paces will come from Austria.

While the E-Pace’s tidy dimensions — it’s more than a foot shorter than the F-Pace — make the smallest Jaguar an apparent direct rival for the X1, Q3, and GLA, Jaguar sees the E-Pace is a more affordable alternative to the Porsche Macan. Indeed, the E-Pace is more costly than the other subcompact crossovers, which start at $34,745 (X1), $33,850 (Q3), and $34,395 (GLA).

In addition to standard all-wheel drive, however, the Jaguar E-Pace also offers measurably more standard horsepower than those rivals.

Unlike other models in Jaguar’s current lineup, the E-Pace is front-wheel-drive-based. (Stop muttering X-Type under your breath!) Jaguar claims to have worked hard to limit the appearance of excessive front overhang. Rather than throwing the F-Pace in the dryer, the E-Pace carries a predictably similar crossover silhouette but wears a front end that more closely resembles the F-Type, Jaguar’s popular sports car.

Inside, the E-Pace isn’t chock full of olde-worlde British cues — there’s actually no wood to speak of. Jaguar recognizes the need to appeal to buyers who wouldn’t traditionally purchase a Jaguar. The E-Pace is expected to generate 80 percent of its sales with buyers new to the brand. All E-Paces will offer a 10-inch touchscreen; a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is optional.

With the 2.0T generating 246 horsepower, Jaguar’s all-wheel-drive system is a conventional affair, though JaguarDrive Control is standard in all E-Paces, allowing drivers to select Normal, Dynamic, Eco, and Rain/Ice/Snow, each of which alters numerous powertrain settings. Jaguar says the F-Pace’s standard AWD system “can send almost all of the engine’s power to the front or the rear if either axle loses traction.”

With the 296-horsepower engine, however, Jaguar installs Active Driveline all-wheel drive. Jaguar says this system disengages AWD in normal driving, eliminating drive to the rear wheels, but the system can re-engage in 300 milliseconds. 100 percent of the rear axle’s torque, meanwhile, can be sent to either rear wheel. In Rain/Ice/Snow and Dynamic modes, the AWD system doesn’t disengage.

Apart from a $53,550 First Edition with the standard output, 2018 E-Paces start at $39,595, rise to $42,495 in S trim, and jump to $45,295 for the E-Pace SE. With 296 horsepower, the R-Dynamic models are priced from $48,245, $51,045, and $54,095 in S, SE, and HSE trims.

[Image: Jaguar]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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4 of 19 comments
  • Brn Brn on Jul 14, 2017

    Might drive more people to the Lincoln MKC.

    • See 1 previous
    • Brn Brn on Jul 16, 2017

      @bd2 Because Lincoln doesn't have the ability to create buzz the way Jaguar does. The draw would be to the segment, more than the vehicle. Once the segment has the attention, the better value of the Lincoln might help their sales.

  • Dmoan Dmoan on Jul 16, 2017

    Actually it will compete more with XC60 Imo, Jaguar is eating into Volvo sales at least around here which is bit strange as one would have expected it to complete more with BMW and Benz.

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