What is it?
The entry-level version of the Jaguar E-Pace compact SUV – almost. You can actually go one trim level lower on the car’s equipment roster and, in theory, depart from your local dealer with a car costing less than £29,000 at list price – but Jaguar didn’t have one of those for us to test.
The car uses an ‘Ingenium’ 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine closely related to those of Jaguar’s more powerful oil-burners, that produces 148bhp and 280lb ft of torque, and drives the car through a six-speed manual gearbox and also exclusively through the front wheels.
Only one other engine in the range can be combined with a manual gearbox, and no other misses out on four-wheel drive, so this really is the E-Pace at its simplest. And it’s lightest – which, in a car we’ve already criticised for a bit of excessive bulk, is worth noting.
Stick with entry-level trim in your E-Pace and you might imagine you’ll get a pretty pared down equipment level, but you’d be surprised. The bottom-rung car does get manually adjusted fabric seats without heaters, but it has 17in alloys, LED headlights, a 10in touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, cruise control, a reversing camera and a fairly full tally of active safety systems.
Moving up to an ‘S’ is a £4100 stretch, but gets you upgraded headlights, 18in alloys, electric leather seats, heated mirrors and an infotainment upgrade including a better navigation setup, an in-car wifi hotspot and Jaguar’s ‘InControl’ smartphone apps. It may seem like a large premium for that little lot, but there should be plenty of demand for it considering the enhanced connectivity features.