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Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300 2018 review

This model is the Jaguar E-Pace HSE P300 R Dynamic which is the top of the range petrol version. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

Everywhere you look there’s another luxury car company launching an SUV, because that is what we are wanting to buy these days. It’s hard to go wrong with these cars - it’s like your favourite cake suddenly turning into an icecream (if you’ve ever tried Gelato Messina’s Apple Pie you’ll know what I mean). So a traditional Jaguar turning into an SUV is something we can all get into. 

This particular model is the Jaguar E-Pace HSE P300 R Dynamic which is the top of the range petrol version.

It’s a compact SUV and is in the market with the likes of the Audi Q2 and BMW’s X2. The Jaguar has that amazing Jaguar shaped badge on the back going for it, but what else makes it special? I drove it for seven days with my family of four to find out. 

How does it drive?

Very nicely. It’s fairly smooth and rides over the road like a car much bigger than it actually is - it’s higher than some of the other small SUVs which can still feel quite low, so it gives you that height perspective we all crave in our cars at the moment. It also means it kind of bounces over bumps, and makes for a fun ride if you like that kind of thing.

It’s not particularly quick off the mark - you couldn’t call it zippy. (image credit: Dean McCartney) It’s not particularly quick off the mark - you couldn’t call it zippy. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

There’s a 2.0-litre engine which gives you enough power to get up hills and zoom around town, but it’s not particularly quick off the mark - you couldn’t call it zippy. Still, once it gets going, it gets you there and I had no issues with the driving this week.

Ease of parking is paramount and the size of this car makes parking relatively easy compared to a larger SUV. There’s a good reverse parking camera and also a 360 degree camera gives you a view from the top of the car so you know where you are compared to things like walls around you.

It does have a larger than average turning circle for a small SUV - 11.4m is more on par with a mid-size SUV and this can make U-turns a bit trickier. 

How spacious is it?

Look, for a small SUV we were pretty comfortable. I’ve driven a few new small SUVs this year and I think this is one of the most spacious. The front has plenty of room for me and my 185cm husband, and I didn’t feel compacted at all. Usually in a smaller SUV you can feel rather close together, but because of the height of this car and the interior space, it felt a lot bigger.

  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

In the back my two children aged four and six had plenty of room to slide around like baby pandas (that was purely for the visual, I know you’ve seen those panda videos on Facebook). They had a grand time in the E-Pace this week, and there was also enough room for a third child seat in the middle. Yes, it’s tight in there with three kids’ seats, but it’s been tighter in other small SUVs, so I’m going to pay Jaguar for this one - the seats fit.

The boot has a decent amount of room too. It’s 484 litres which is bigger than a Q2’s and around the same as the X2. I was able to fit the baby capsule in there, which is saying something. A pram will fit, as will a full load of groceries. It’s not as big as a larger SUV or even a sedan, but it’s fine for a small family unless you like to go camping every weekend, in which case you’d be looking at a different car. 

How does it look?

Hear that sound? It’s the ringing bell of a successful design. The E-Pace looks pretty swish, the outside is sporty with curved lines and a cool grille in the front. It’s a high car, too, and almost looks like it’s about to take off. I think it’s one of the better looking SUVs on the road. The winning stroke is the Jaguar logo on the back  - for once I felt like the back of the car looked as good as the front.

Inside is where you’ll get the real luxury. There is an abundance of creamy leather on the seats and on the steering wheel - everything is smooth to touch and for this price, it had better be. The dash is covered in a decent leather-look fabric and continues the luxe vibe. The steering wheel is a lovely shape and feels good under the hands which I always thinks makes a positive difference to everyday driving.

  • Price for the E-Pace P200 R-Dynamic HSE has rose to $79,781. (image credit: Dean McCartney) Price for the E-Pace P200 R-Dynamic HSE has rose to $79,781. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney) 2018 Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

There’s a smooth, matt black finish around the centre console which is a big point of difference relative to the shiny finish of other cars in this price range. I quite like it, it’s chic and less likely to show fingerprints, which kind of takes the gloss off high-gloss.

You can option heated/cooling seats ($1870), the leather packages can cost upwards of $8000 and the panoramic roof, which was so big while we were filming I could see the sky and the trees while I was taking a selfie (natch), will set you back $2160. But gosh, it all looks so good! 

Compared to cars like the Q2 and the X2 which have gone for a cool, funky interior, the Jaguar E Pace still reeks luxury, which is a good thing - if I’m buying a Jag I want it to feel like a Jag. 

How easy is it to use every day?

The front has a good amount of storage, with two cupholders in the centre (one large, one small, so you will fit large Keep Cups in there) and they are removable if you don’t need them and instead want to make the already decent-sized centre storage bin bigger. There’s a spot in the front to throw keys and a phone, and bottle holders in each door with a spot that’s also been designed to fit a phone.

In the back there are two cupholders in the centre armrest, and there are also air vents for rear passengers which is good to see in a small SUV. 

The boot can be opened with a swing of your foot under the back of the car, but only if you’ve opted for keyless entry which is an extra $950. Otherwise you can do it from the key and there is a button on the boot to close it. I always find these features incredibly helpful because for some reason I am always overloaded with… stuff. Just so much… stuff! I’m not quite sure where it said in the non-existent parent manual that we’d have so much stuff. 

What’s the tech like?

As far as media technology goes, Jaguar has gone with its own in-house system over Apple CarPlay. There’s a 10.0-inch multimedia screen with Bluetooth connectivity and you’ll be able to listen to Spotify and make phone calls etc.

The sat nav works well and is easy to use, but there is no voice-control for the Australian market. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The sat nav works well and is easy to use, but there is no voice-control for the Australian market. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

But I know there will be some people complaining that there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, however, I feel like I don’t want to use the same technology in a car in this price range as they use in a Ford/Holden/Hyundai, which all use CarPlay and Android Auto. If I’m in a Jaguar I would like Jaguar-specific technology. If only this technology was a teensy bit better. 

The sat nav works well and is easy to use, but there is no voice-control for the Australian market, which is a great feature when you’re driving, so you will miss out on that. 

The sound system is fab and you can pump up the volume (pun intended) every time you’re in the car alone and want to release some pent-up steam. 

How safe is it?

The E-Pace scores a maximum five ANCAP stars, and there are six airbags inside, but there is also one on the outside of the car for pedestrians - it pops up in front of the windscreen if there’s a collision. You’ll find two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for children’s car seats across the back seat, too. 

At this top end of the scale, all the newer safety features come standard like adaptive cruise control, high speed emergency braking which will stop the car if a crash is unavoidable, and something called blind spot assist, which detects if there’s a car next to you when changing lanes and will steer the car back away from other vehicles. 

You’ll also get rear-cross traffic alert and park assist which will park the car for you. Believe it, it works. 

How much does it cost to run?

The Jaguar E-Pace HSE P300 R Dynamic comes in at $83,733 - before extras and on-road costs. But it is top of the range and there are other options in the range which are much less (the entry-point is $47,750). Fuel consumption for the P300 is 8.0 litres/100km which is a bit higher than average for a small SUV. 

There’s a three-year/100,000km warranty which includes paint and an anti-corrosion cover.


The Wrap

The Jaguar E Pace was a surprisingly good family car this week, with more interior space than expected. It has a fairly decent boot for a car this size and my small family of four was comfortable in there, plus we could even fit a baby seat in between the children. It’s loaded with luxury and looks pretty fab on the road. 

I gave it a family rating of eight out of 10, taking points off for the optional extras which will jack the price up. My kids also gave it an eight - this blue is their absolute favourite colour!

Likes

Exterior and interior design
Interior space
Boot space

Dislikes

Cost of optional extras
Higher fuel consumption

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$75,460 - $86,790

Based on third party pricing data

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