By on July 14, 2017

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - Image: JaguarNot 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.

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - Image: JaguarThe 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.2018 Jaguar E-Pace - Image: JaguarUnlike 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.”2018 Jaguar E-Pace interior - Image: JaguarWith 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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19 Comments on “The $39,595 2018 Jaguar E-Pace Takes the Fight to the BMW X1 in January...”

  • avatar

    Nice Sportage.

  • avatar

    In general I am a fan of Jaguar’s design motif, but it really does not work on this transverse platform blob. The proportions are all wrong. It just looks like a CR-V or something with a Jag grille tacked on.

    The F-Pace is one of the greatest looking crossovers on the road but this thing looks awful.

  • avatar

    How many 2.0t “premium” crossovers do we need? You would think someone would offer something more interesting as a base engine to make things competitive.

  • avatar

    Jaguar isn’t sitting back and watching. They have some great products right now.

  • avatar

    So its an Evoque with new sheet metal?

    And it has the awful 9-speed ZF transmission?

    No problem. It a premium badge CUV lease special – it will sell well.

  • avatar

    I have to disagree about the looks – I think it looks pretty good. Especially for its segment, i.e. it is nicer looking than the somewhat awkward Q3, and reflects the styling language of the current Jaguar lineup. As someone who would like to put an F-Pace in the driveway, but isn’t quite willing to cough up the necessary cash (and can’t quite fit the very wide F-Pace into the small spaces at the city parking garage that is home during the workday), I am surprised by the cost of the E-Pace. I know the headline here has a sub-$40K price, but if you do a “build you own” on the Jaguar website, with the version and options that you would actually want to buy, the price quickly climbs close to $60K. The strikes me a serious bump over X1, Q3 and GLA territory.

  • avatar

    The GLA already has the AMG version, but I expect to see BMW and Audi introduce “hot” and/or “super-deluxe” versions of the X1 and Q3 to keep themselves in the game.

  • avatar

    What’s with that pesky glass on the hatch?

  • avatar

    Might drive more people to the Lincoln MKC.

    • 0 avatar

      Why would a new competitor (actually a segment down) drive more people to the MKC?

      The MKC already has its hands full trying to compete with the NX, RDX and Q5.

      Will get worse for the MKC when the compact CUVs from Cadillac and Volvo arrive.

      • 0 avatar

        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.

  • avatar

    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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