Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review: 2018 Jaguar E-PACE D150 R-Dynamic


There’s a storm brewing and it can potentially re-write the premium compact crossover pecking order. Heading straight for the Germans and Swedes, is the newest kid on the block: the Jaguar E-Pace. The so-called “cub” of the Jaguar family, there’s nothing baby about this crossover. It’s fierce, capable, and most importantly, desirable. It’s the one that’ll surely bring Jaguar back in the Philippine luxury map.

The E-Pace’s quest for attention starts with the design. Instead of simply scaling down the larger F-Pace midsized SUV, Jaguar instead took inspiration from the F-Type sports coupe. Now, whether that’s dismissible as marketing contrivance is best left for debate, but what’s not debatable is that it’s the segment’s sexiest offering. The feline qualities work very well—the ovoid headlights, wraparound taillights, and pronounced haunches give it a stance rare among its peers. Curiously, the already generous 18-inch wheels look visually weak here; this crossover is begging for something two inches bigger.



Climbing aboard requires a bit of a step up, but once inside, the look and feel is more driver-centric sportscar than family-oriented crossover. The driver’s seat is fairly low-slung resulting in a sporty vibe. Visibility is alright, except for the back. Thankfully, parking sensors front and back are standard, as is a rear parking camera. From here, the E-Pace feels wide because of its high central tunnel that demarcates the front thrones. The passenger-side grab handle is whimsical, but the rest of the interior—the all-black number with aluminum accents borders on the sterile. Still, its straightforwardness is appreciated as is the top-notch fit and finish. This is certainly a great way to while away the miles.

Naturally, Jaguar’s emphasis on the E-Pace’s curvaceous design has had some detrimental effects on the interior space. Upfront, it’s quite alright, but at the back, it’s cramped. Brushing knees against the front seatback is common as are complaints that the cargo space isn’t generous enough. Sitting four is possible, but five is a squeeze because of the obtrusive center tunnel. There’s a good amount of cubby holes though, some of which are hidden like the front cup holders.



Another weak point for the E-Pace is its infotainment system. Opting for a 10-inch touchscreen than a central click wheel, it’s sometimes hard to press certain icons when on the move. This problem is compounded by the propensity of the screen to washout in sunlight—a problem shared by the deeply-recessed gauge cluster.

Sitting atop a platform shared with the Range Rover Evoque, the E-Pace is Jaguar’s first transverse-engined model since the ill-fated X-Type. Thus, engineers focused on finding ways to help distribute weight better and as a result, aluminum is used for the hood, tailgate, and front fenders. Magnesium is also present for the dashboard crossmember. Shockingly, all that effort hasn’t exactly paid off. This E-Pace D150 R-Dynamic steps in at 1,843 kilograms, just two kilograms less than the bigger F-Pace 2.0 D Portfolio.



The portly weight means that the E-Pace’s 2.0-liter diesel engine feels labored. It never feels quite energetic as one would expect from Jaguar, an observation confirmed by its less-than-sporty 10.5-second 0-100 km/h time. Power delivery is peaky, but at least the Ingenium motor isn’t lacking in smoothness and refinement. The accompanying 9-speed ZF transmission is suitably smooth as well, but the shifts are leisurely—clinging to each gear a bit too long under acceleration. The weight combined with the taxed engine results in a not-so-spectacular fuel economy figure: 5.91 km/L.

Unexciting as the E-Pace is in a straight line, it comes alive on two occasions: when cruising and when pushed through corners. When it reaches highway speeds, the ride and handling are well tuned. The cabin remains well-cushioned against any sort of road bumps while still keeping good levels of feedback from the chassis. The steering itself is beautifully conceived with its crisp responses and progressive effort. Through the twisties, it’s capable as well. Best experienced at 80 percent effort, where it serves lovingly agile driving dynamics thanks to the Active Driveline system that effectively transfers power to the set of wheels that need it the post. However, push the extra 20 percent and the car’s weight can be felt along with some copious amounts of understeer. As for the ride, it can be a bit brittle at times; it’s no deal breaker, but it’s less cultured than Jaguar’s other offerings.



Priced at P 4,190,000, the E-Pace D150 R-Dynamic sits on the higher-end of the premium compact crossover spectrum. Yet, compared to its more direct rivals—say the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Volvo XC40—the equipment level is just so-so. Common luxury features are present, but the spec sheet doesn’t go far enough. There’s no smart keyless entry (although it’s got a push-button start/stop), no power tailgate, no power sunroof, and even its speaker count is limited to just six.

While the Jaguar E-Pace is hamstrung by its less than sharp engine, it more than makes up for it everywhere else. Undoubtedly, its biggest plus is its beautifully designed exterior and on top of that, there’s the solidly-built interior, and well-mannered driving dynamics. With that, it espouses traditional luxury values perhaps better than any of its rivals. And because of that, it stands out as a car of style and desirability in a sea of country club parking lot anonymity.





2018 Jaguar E-Pace D150 R-Dynamic
Ownership 2018 Jaguar E-Pace D150 R-Dynamic
Year Introduced 2018
Vehicle Classification Premium Compact Crossover
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Compact Crossover
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/AWD
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 150 @ 3,500
Nm @ rpm 380 @ 1,750
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 9 AT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 5.91 km/L @ 15 km/h,
10.30 km/L @ 30 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,395
Width (mm) 1,984
Height (mm) 1,649
Wheelbase (mm) 2,681
Curb Weight (kg) 1,843
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-Link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV 235/60 R 18 V
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Front and Rear, with Reverse Camera with Traffic Detection
Other Safety Features Hill Hold Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring
Lane Keep Assist
Driver Condition Monitor
Automatic Parking System
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Electric (driver)
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Yes, Dual
Audio System Stereo
CD
MP3
USB
GPS
Bluetooth
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes

2 comments:

  1. If you plan to buy this, save extra money for tires and rims. The stocks kinda made it look like a chubby cx3.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is it just me, or did you change the fonts, Uly? :)

    ReplyDelete

Found a great car on CarGuide.PH? Let us help.

eCompareMo.com

Sponsored Content