With the F-Pace being such a hit, it was inevitable that Jaguar would follow it with a smaller, more accessible compact SUV – one that could propel global sales figures beyond 250,000 for the first time.
The result is a car that hits a few highs, chiefly in its exterior design, but mostly leaves you disappointed at the missed opportunity to set a new benchmark in a class short on handling dynamism.
The E-Pace is hamstrung by its heavy underpinnings and, in D180 guise, has particularly lacklustre performance. Neither moderately enticing steering nor a fairly keen front axle can quell our regret that the car doesn’t handle with more of the alacrity, fluency and balance we now expect of Gaydon’s sportier brand, and nor can the fact that this is a comfortable long-distance cruiser with good fuel economy.
Even so, the E-Pace will find buyers because it espouses traditional luxury values better than rivals and stands out as a car of style and desirability in a sea of anonymity. It’s good enough for the segment but not quite good enough for Jaguar.