2021 Jaguar E-Pace Should Be More Than An Also-Ran

The Jaguar E-Pace debuted as a 2018 model and has mostly been an also-ran in the compact premium segment, landing at the bottom of the list in sales. For 2021 the company has given it a refresh with a few visual upgrades, a few suspension improvements and a big tech boost with new electronic underpinnings.

The 2021 Jaguar E-Pace gets a choice of two 2.0-liter turbocharged I4s, each paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. A 246-hp engine is standard on P250 and P250 SE, and output on the 300 Sport jumps to 296 hp, with mild-hybrid technology

All-wheel drive is standard on the E-Pace. Base models get Jag’s “standard driveline” tech using an electromechanically controlled clutch pack to control the torque between the front and rear axles. The 300 Sport comes with the “active driveline” setup that can vector torque to the rear wheels using wet-plate clutches.

Visually, changes include a revised front lower aperture design, new-style headlights and side vents with the Jaguar leaper logo. The optional Black Exterior Pack includes elements finished in Narvik black—including the grille surround and tips, lower bumper mesh inserts, side vents, window surrounds, and rear badging.

The platform gets new engine mounts, and Jag claims they help improve throttle response; there’s also improved front suspension attachment points, “delivering a more comfortable ride,” Jaguar says.

The Adaptive Dynamics system–standard on 300 Sport and optional on P250 SE as part of the Dynamic Handling Pack–analyzes acceleration, steering, throttle and brake pedal and automatically adjusts the dampers to match. Configurable Dynamics, available with Adaptive Dynamics, allows the driver to set up the vehicle in either comfort or dynamic mode, which applies to the throttle mapping, gear shift points, steering effort, and suspension.

Like the older Jags, the E-Pace gets metal rotary dials, but for climate instead of gear selection. Similar to the electric I-Pace, some of the switches are hidden when unlit. All E-Paces get metal shift paddles on the steering wheel.

A stubby new drive selector sits in the center with new storage space behind the wireless phone charger. Touchpoints around the selector are now swathed in soft-touch materials.

The 2021 Jaguar E-Pace gets a new 11.4-inch curved touchscreen with glass that features two coatings: one that is anti-glare and a second that makes it easier to wipe fingerprints. As someone who’s driven a handful of Jaguars, this is a necessary improvement.

The interior can be specified in Ebony, Light Oyster, Deep Garnet, Caraway and Cloud.

On sale in the 2021 model year, the E-Pace is now the entry point into the Jaguar brand for U.S. customers. The E-Pace starts at $40,995 for P250 AWD, $46,095 for P250 SE, and $49,995 for 300 Sport.

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