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2018 Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic D180 Review

2018 Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic D180

Jaguar E-Pace is all class. It is, after all, a Jaguar. Like most Jags before it, E-Pace has space, grace, and pace.

That was Jaguar founder, Sir William Lyons’ favourite saying.


Simple, elegant, lines make the metalwork clean and clutter free. The sporty “coupe” silhouette may cut a dashing figure, but the sloping rear window cuts significantly into the cargo volume. It may be a form-over-function feature too far.

Signature LED tail lights trace a slit across the rear end and blend seamlessly, especially on a red car like our test car. Front lights are LED too, and include a signature J-blade DTRL (daytime running light) and indicator array.

Jaguar’s “growler” badge sits proudly in the centre of the grille. The leading Jaguar on the rear hatch is called, funnily enough, the Leaper. E-Pace looks every bit the XE sedan in SUV form.

Our E-Pace came with an impressive set of 20” wheels, worth an extra $2,740.


Like the XE sedan, E-Pace has an elegant, yet simple interior.

10-way power seats are clad in ebony grained leather with light oyster stitching. Sport seats are usually firm and these are no exception. It does give good support though, and are comfortable even after a few hours in the saddle.

Driver instruments have a couple of traditional dials with an MFD (multi-function display) between them. Controls and settings are split between this display, and the large 10” Touch Pro screen in the centre stack. Sat-nav is standard.

Steering wheel buttons scroll between functions easily. Jaguar’s optional full LCD dashboard is much easier to use and is much more informative. It is worth the extra shekels on the order sheet.

Climate control is dual-zone with neat dials displaying the set temperature. All controls are intuitive and take no time at all to get used to.

Rear seat legroom is sufficient, but rear cargo area is limited by the sloping window of the rear hatch.

Some of the plastic feels no quite up to traditional Jaguar standards, but that is just being nit-picky. The average punter will never notice because the over-all ambience is calm, considered, and classy.

Ambient lighting casts an ethereal glow at night.


Options on the test car

Drive and Engine

 There are 5 Ingenium engines across the range. Our E-Pace had the D180 turbo diesel 4-pot, with 132kw @ 4,000rpm (or 180hp, thus the name) and 430Nm @ 1750rpm. This is mated to a new 9-speed automatic which is incredibly smooth but insists on changing up as fast as possible.

Around town, the Jag SUV feels at home, and this is where is will spend most of its time. The engine is nippy and the transmission smooth. You can use the paddle shifters if you want full control, but why bother?

The high set body makes getting in and out easy, and you sit high enough to make for decent visibility. Looking rearward sees a slightly limited view thanks to that rear window, and thick rear pillars. Thankfully, a crystal-clear reversing camera is standard.

Steering feels light but direct, and brakes are delightfully progressive.

Even on 20” wheels, the ride is great. You notice larger bumps though, and noise can be intrusive. But, as Mae West said, “beauty is pain”.


Good Bits

Not So Good Bits


There is no doubting the E-Pace is fit-for-purpose. Is it good value? Only a buyer can answer that particular question.

It has graceful lines and a serene cabin. You sit high and feel like the master of all you survey. The top models get all the good stuff, at a price. Much of that expense is in construction. The Aluminium body parts add strength with less weight than the similar strength steel, and it won’t rust.

Entry level model from all brands allow drivers to get into a model without breaking the bank, and Jaguar has the kudos that comes with heritage. Royalty favours Jaguar Land Rover, and that appeals to the Hyacinth Bucket in us all.

The Jaguar E-Pace would have scored higher in the ‘Alan Score’ had it come with Apple CarPlay. For me, it is a safety issue. The only time that matters less is when the native interface is better. So far, I haven’t come across one.

Voice control drives me nuts at the best of times, and that is where CarPlay is vastly superior, at least while there is phone reception. The E-Pace’s voice control was patchy at best.

Competition is stiff in a quickly expanding segment, and the E-Pace can hold its head up high.

Facts and Figures: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic D180

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