Hot hatches, cubs and profitable paw prints: What people are saying about the Jaguar E-Pace

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Jaguar’s F-Pace has been a quick hit with consumers in the short time the crossover has been on the market. For an encore, the automaker has added a second, smaller crossover, the E-Pace, to its lineup. Set to arrive in January 2018, the crossover will be available with either a 246- or 296-hp Ingenium 2.0-liter gas engine and standard all-wheel-drive. Here’s what people are saying about the latest Jaguar.

“One year after the F-Pace crossover became Jaguar’s most popular and fastest-selling model, the company has unleashed a cub poised to follow in those profitable paw prints. The smaller E-Pace is expected to capitalize on the segment’s red-hot popularity with its sports-car styling and high-end heritage. This latest crossover confidently casts its own shadow with a design themes paralleling that of the stunning Jaguar F-Type coupe. Along with all-important practicality and notable capability, the first ever E-Pace may just drag its maker into the most lucrative part of the mainstream market.”

Eric Stafford, Car and Driver

“The E-Pace will put added pressure on premium Detroit brands like Cadillac that have lagged in the SUV revolution. It is also a shot across the bow of Porsche and Fiat Chrysler’s luxury division, Alfa Romeo — direct Jaguar competitors who do not yet have compact SUVs in their lineup. Alfa’s first SUV, the midsize Stelvio, hit dealer lots this month. Jaguar expects that the E-Pace – which offers standard all-wheel-drive and starts at $ 38,600 – will bring new buyers to Jaguar at an affordable entry-price point.”

Henry Payne, The Detroit News

“Internally known as ‘the cub’ within Jaguar (with icons of mother and baby Jaguar cub on the windscreen edge to reflect this), the E-Pace is a transverse-engined, steel-structured crossover that’s loosely derived from Range Rover Evoque architecture. It’s more than that, though: three years of development, and liberal use of Jaguar XF suspension hardware, has created a sporty SUV that, promises chief engineer Graham Wilkins, drives just as a Jaguar should.

It certainly looks like a convincing Jaguar. Instead of downsizing the F-Pace, Jaguar design director Ian Callum’s team have drawn from the F-Type sports car. The headlights are an obvious cue, as is the coupe-like window line with a ‘kick’ in its lower rear section, the bulging rear haunches and the option of 21-inch alloys- the biggest ever offered on an SUV in this sector.”

Richard Aucock, Motor1.com

“So who might be interested in buying a Jaguar E-Pace? Jaguar thinks this will be the ideal car for a young couple, people who probably have no other vehicle and who want to maximize the return on their spending in terms of stowage space, modern connectivity, and attractive design. Though I’m not a couple, I count myself among those intrigued by the E-Pace proposition. I find myself more comfortable riding in an Audi Q7 than an A8, and I see many advantages to these crossover vehicles in my urban environment. Living in London, the times when I need a car are often the ones when I need to move a lot of stuff around – so if I’m going to buy anything on wheels, it’s going to be practical. But I also value good and efficient design, and this E-Pace is certainly compact for its class and has an attractively chunky look to it.”

Vlad Savov, The Verge

“From its grille and headlights to its flared rear haunches and tapered tail, the E-Pace’s styling is clearly linked to Jaguar’s 2-seat coupe and convertible.

Inside, the link between the two is also palpable, though the E-Pace is obviously intended to carry more people and cargo. Jaguar says that the E-Pace will comfortably carry five people thanks to what the company calls generous legroom, but my bet is that you’ll want four people aboard at a maximum.”

Christian Wardlaw, New York Daily News

“While deliberately distancing it from the F-Pace on the outside – to make sure nobody would mix the two up at the dealerships – Jaguar claims the E-Pace still drives like a hot hatch, despite being a compact SUV weighing 4,175 lbs.

They kind of have to say that, because the E-Pace is the only way they can actually make anything close to being a hot hatch. The fact is that since JLR doesn’t have a compact platform, all they could do instead was tighten up the Land Rover platform to suit their dynamic requirements. After all, the E-Pace can hardly afford to be less entertaining to drive than the sporty F-Pace, given the younger target audience.”

Máté Petrány, Road & Track

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