'Jaguar stole my heart again' - A fan's review of the E-Pace compact SUV


When you're a car enthusiast, you love all things cars. Thought for some there's always one band that cemented your love of driving, one manufacturer that made you fall madly in love with cars. For Llewellyn Fielies, it's Jaguar. 

Over a weekend he decided to surprise his girlfriend, a longtime close friend of mine, for a visit. We hadn't seen each other in yonks.

But, the day turned out to be a bonanza treat for him as he pulled-up alongside a new model that I had been testing, parked in my driveway - Jaguar's E-Pace. For Jag-fan Fielies, it was a dream come true.

He had owned a 1984 Jaguar Series III XJ6 for 14 years. Naturally, I offered to take him on a test drive and he came back spending most of the afternoon walking around the car, sitting behind the wheel, and just taking everything in.

jaguar xj6_llewelyn fielies

                                               Llewellyn's 1984 Jaguar Series III XJ6  Image: Llewellyn Fielies

The model in focus is the Jaguar E-Pace D240 AWD. The 2.0-litre engine is mated to 9-speed auto transmission and it delivers 183kW at 5500rpm, and 365Nm at 1350rpm. It reaches zero t 100km/h in 7.1 seconds and has a claimed top speed of 231km/h.
jag epace rear

                                                                         Image: Llewellyn Fielies

After spending some time in the E-Pace, I thought I'd share the views of a Jaguar aficionado:

Fielies: I had the opportunity of being driven in the all-new Jaguar SUV E-Pace D240 AWD.

"From the get-go, I was hooked by the looks of the prowler, the curves and gorgeous lines from front to back – it's just awesome. The exterior is inviting especially in the 'candy lollipop' red. Sitting on 20" wheels wrapped in 245 Pirelli P Zero’s, we set off on a quick whip around Somerset West.

"I had the honour to sit in the driver's seat and take in all its awesomeness, a glance of the instruments, and a feel of the steering wheel, and leather upholstery. Immediately, Jaguar stole my heart again as I love the brand's comfort and style of life. I could see myself owning one of these SUVs.

"I gave way for Janine, our reliable driver to whisk me away to feel the car's amazing prowess. The initial feel of the seats, glance of the cockpit, even though I was a passenger – I wanted to command the E-Pace on the journey myself... and just like that the motor came to life and we backed out of the driveway and commenced forth.

jag epace

                                   Image: Llewellyn Fielies

The seats: "I must say – I'm impressed – the way I was clawed into my seat – I felt safe. Back support was well-balanced from buttocks to leg support. I was enjoying the drive. In terms of legroom, I feel like the automaker forgot to cater for my size as I am not an average guy.

"I felt a tiny bit squashed as my knee caps were up against the dash. Jaguar, please address this cabin issue."

The engine: "On startup – I felt she was alive with a slight growl… and on acceleration, you have a bit of a grunt and I just could not help to think of Flo Rida's Whistle song.

"On every bit of push on the throttle, the Jaguar's seats embraced me to keep me safe like a Mother wanting her cub to feel safe, and she does this well." 

Road handling: "The 20" keep everything grounded, and the car's 'paws' claw the ground once its mind is made up no matter the direction we might be going. The suspension has its conversation and every part of it is in sync. There's not too much body roll for the ride height, and I had not picked up any wind noise during our drive. "

jag follow me epace

                                                         Image: Llewellyn Fielies                   

Here are some of my likes and dislikes:

• Seats – love them
• Suspension: feels tight and solid, minimum body roll.
• Tyres and wheel size: love it, feels like I am well taken care of as the size of the vehicle compliments its ride quality and power on and stopping.
• Window operation(open and closes) awesome touch and feel of the button lay out
• The panoramic glass roof is super-awesome as it makes you so much more appreciative of the interior and its spaciousness.
• Dash layout: Looks beautiful  - lighting, love the door lights, functionality and practicality of the middle console and dash.
• 2 USB ports 
• 12Volt charging point
• Lighting in the arm rest compartment
• Size of the side mirrors
• Hidden speakers and honeycomb-shaped covers.
• The captivating rear and distinguishable tail lights design of the Jaguar
• Appealing twin exhaust with centre diffuser incorporation the PDC sensors
• Gorgeous led headlights and design - brilliant
• The adorable follow me home signature night lights

• The boot space is smaller than what I expected seeing it as such a big SUV, yes I know it's supposed to be a compact SUV.
• No full size spare wheel

In the end I can go on but, all-round my likes far outweigh the dislikes. So to Jaguar, well done on the E-Pace. Please keep mine ready one day.

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