Whether you find its particular hue fetching or not, the quilted ‘Siena Tan Windsor’ leather of our test car holds your attention immediately. And perhaps that’s just as well, because the clean architecture of the E-Pace’s interior is so conservative as to be just a little sterile, and it therefore relies on the quality and colour of its materials to bring it to life.
The E-Pace is a mixed bag in this respect, because while its cabin is a pleasant enough place in which to while away miles, closer inspection is hardly likely to endear it to owners. Plastic – matt finished, and of fairly high quality, admittedly – features no more heavily than in many of the car’s premium rivals, but you perceive it more acutely because there’s not much in the way of switchgear to break up its expanse.
A smattering of chrome finish helps matters, although, somewhat curiously, that of the air-vent surrounds is more lustrous and cooler to the touch than the large piece found on the transmission tunnel.
Jaguar’s Touch Pro infotainment, which is standard across the range, uses a 10in touchscreen neatly integrated into the dashboard (rather than sitting atop it in the manner of so many rivals’ systems).
That means there’s no click-wheel – a device we find currently offers the best balance of control and usability. Latency is usefully improved over slightly older Jaguar models, even if some of the icons along the bottom of the screen are inconveniently small.