What is it?
Don’t be fooled by the looks. Despite this facelifted Jaguar E-Pace appearing nigh on identical to the old car - even Jag’s info stretches to only a few lines of text - this is a radically different car underneath.
For starters, it’s a plug-in hybrid. Running a three-cylinder petrol and a single rear-sited electric motor powered by a 15kWh mid-mounted battery, the E-Pace PHEV is good for a combined, and punchy, 305bhp and 398lb ft - figures that put it well ahead of the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 and matching the Mercedes GLA 250e.
As such, and despite the E-Pace weighing 2173kg (blame the 124kg for part of that mass), it will cover 0-62mph in 6.5sec and reach a top speed of 134mph. That makes it the fastest-accelerating E-Pace and outstrips the GLA 250e.
It’s also on a new platform, ditching the Ford-related P8 underpinnings for the newer Jaguar Land Rover PTA platform. As a result, Jaguar has brought its baby into line with the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque. The update also means the E-Pace gets further powertrain updates in addition to the plug-in: there are seven new engines on offer and six of those are hybridised in one form or another.
As we said, the looks are also slightly tweaked. In case you’re interested, the details are: aerodynamically optimised bumper, revised lower apertures, reworked LED headlights and a new grille. It’s minor stuff, but the Ian Callum-designed exterior is holding up well as it ages so why fix it.
Inside, the transformation is more pronounced. For starters, the E-Pace gets Jag’s Pivi Pro infotainment system, a touchscreen-based set-up that looks far slicker and runs much quicker than the old Touch Pro system. It’s not a bad one to operate, as far as touchscreens go, in that the home screen is three large vertical sections, so it’s easy to scroll between nav, battery status and media. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
The rotary climate dials beneath the screen are new, as is the stubby gear selector. Down here on the transmission tunnel is also where you control the drive mode. The E-Pace even comes with a Dynamic mode, tweaking the steering, engine and gearbox. More relevantly, ahead of the drive mode switch is where you toggle between Save, EV and Hybrid for the powertrain.
Jaguar says the quality of the materials has been improved and it does feel like a smarter environment now, with lots of satin-finish plastics and cloth door cards that are a smart grey colour. It’s maybe not quite up there with the futuristic looks of the GLA, but it’s not as far behind as it was.