I had to Google what the outgoing Jaguar E-PACE’s dashboard looks like, and then wished I hadn’t bothered. Jaguar’s compact SUV may be a lot of things – affordable, economical, surprisingly spritely to drive, and a gateway for new owners to the automaker’s brand – but being memorable for its cabin wasn’t one of them. That all changes with the new 2021 Jaguar E-PACE.
Officially launched locally about a month ago, the updated E-PACE is an important car in many respects. For Jaguar, it’s a crucial point of entry to ownership among younger drivers, a first taste which often sees them go on to replace their XE with an E-PACE, or something else from the automaker’s line-up.
It’s never been a bad place to start, either. E-PACE has built a reputation for pleasant motoring, and though outliers like the F-PACE have added a legitimate enthusiast spin, the everyday E-PACE models are perennially well-rated for things like practicality and reliability. If there’s been a problem, it’s been with personality.
The 2021 E-PACE’s dashboard… does not look like what you’d expect from a Jaguar dashboard. The switchgear and knobs seem more thoughtful and restrained; fully-digital driver instrumentation is available on the top-level trim. That also gets the biggest infotainment touchscreen on any Jaguar so-far, at 11.4-inches, plus a new and much improved UI.
Jaguar says it is not only treated to remove glare on the screen, but also to make wiping off fingerprints and smudges easier. The system itself is swifter to start up, and has Google and Outlook calendar integration, along with embedded dual LTE modems. There is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay present too. Wireless phone charging is now easier to access, in the storage area behind the shift-by-wire selector.
The 2021 E-PACE kicks off at R868 000 for the D200 AWD, R927 500 for the P250 and R1 165 500 for the P300e while the P300 Sport will set you back R1 046 900.
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