The 2021 Jaguar E-Pace is a small entry-level luxury SUV. After three years in production, Jaguar is giving its cute ute a few slight styling updates, though it would take a keen observer to spot most of them. From the outside, the new signature double-bladed daytime running lights are the main difference. Those familiar with the E-Pace will notice a more significant change on the inside, which primarily adds a new infotainment system and larger curved touchscreen. Otherwise, the E-Pace returns largely unchanged.
2021 Jaguar E-PACE
The E-Pace continues to be offered with a choice of two turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The P250 and P250 SE models have an output of 246 horsepower, while the 300 Sport model gets a bump to 296 hp, thanks to a boost from a mild hybrid system. A standard nine-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels.
We are disappointed by Jaguar's current and previous infotainment systems. They are generally slow to respond to user inputs, and testing in multiple cars has revealed glitches and crashes that prevent the most basic of interactions. Jaguar promises the new Pivi Pro infotainment system (standard on the P250 SE trim and above) has a quicker startup time, and we hope its revised virtual layout will be easier to navigate. It certainly looks impressive behind the striking new 11.4-inch curved touchscreen. Only a thorough test will reveal if the digital gremlins have been exorcised.
The base-level E-Pace is priced thousands of dollars higher than other top subcompact luxury SUVs, which is a fairly significant premium when you consider rivals start in the mid-$30,000s. That said, the Jaguar's standard all-wheel drive narrows the gap somewhat. On top of that, the E-Pace lags those competitors in fuel economy, but only by a few mpg, depending on powertrain choice. One bright spot in the value side is Jaguar's warranty, roadside assistance coverage and complimentary maintenance. All are offered for five years/60,000 miles, making the E-Pace more comprehensively covered than the competition.
The Jaguar E-Pace is one of the more athletic choices in a very competitive class of SUVs. If you're a driver who seeks more performance and engagement than the typical luxury crossover can deliver, the E-Pace deserves consideration against our favorites that include the Mercedes GLB and GLC, BMW X1 and Volvo XC40. The updates for 2021 will likely improve the E-Pace's standing, but not to the point where it would surpass the top picks, which we think are more well rounded.