“No, you’re thinking of the I-PACE, this is the normal one. No, you do need to put petrol into it, it’s not electric. No, I don’t know why they named them like that, either.” Similar to how one would repeat saying out the 0-100 time of a supercar, or the tow rating for a bakkie, you get used to explaining the Jaguar E-PACE’s oddest feature – its name – at garages or in parking lots. Bars are closed and restaurants are not the safest place to be at the moment.
I can understand the confusion, though. The I-PACE is the all-electric SUV that Jaguar launched way back in 2018. This E-PACE, despite what the badge might imply, is resolutely petrol or diesel-only, not to mention being smaller and roughly half the price at start.
It’s Jaguar’s entry-level crossover, in a segment that has already served the automaker well. The F-PACE, its first SUV, is now the brand’s best-selling vehicle. Dropping a smaller version with a more affordable price tag was an obvious move.
Outwardly, though, you’d be forgiven for thinking the E-PACE was a pumped-up F-TYPE coupe, not a sibling to the bigger SUV. Styling cues like the headlamps, oversized grille, and glasshouse side-profile all echo the sports car, even if the performance of the crossover lags significantly behind.
But that’s not what we’re here for – the specifics and technicalities can wait. In fact, you can find them here and here (my favourite) in our dedicated features of the new E-PACE. This time around we took the updated model on a road trip to Cape Town for a well deserved breather.
Is the 2021 Jaguar E-PACE worth it? Certainly it’s one of the more handsome luxury crossovers on the road right now, seductively curvaceous in a way that the angular Volvo XC40 and the BMW X2 can’t compete with. The E-PACE is surprisingly perky from behind the wheel, too: more, certainly, than its numbers might suggest on paper. Your challenge is to bring that in appeal without setting your wallet or purse alight in the process. Then all you have to do is get ready to answer the same “oh, is that electric?” question, over and over again.
All images are captured by Harmonix
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