Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Jaguar E-Pace rear

Should you buy a Jaguar E-Pace? 

Yes, if you're a keen driver and you want a premium small SUV. The first qualification to that statement is that it's far from perfect, has a few rough edges inside, and appeals to the heart rather than the head.

What we like

We love the compact looks and the sense of agility on the road, while the cabin is simple to get to grips with.

What we don't like

We've not been set alight but the engines on offer, or the frankly eye-watering price of some of the upper-tier models. The cabin doesn't feel that special either for the price and needs the brighter colour options to liven up the ambience.

Refinement levels are not the best on the motorway and some may find the ride a little too firm.

Which Jaguar E-Pace is best?

Those on a budget will want to seek out a manual front-wheel drive model because it’s the cheapest to buy and run. Performance is willing, but the manual gearbox isn't the best to use. It's still a serviceable small SUV if lower running costs are a big concern.

For the ultimate in E-Pace performance, you’ll want the P300 model which looks a bit meek, but is actually a fairly good hatch on stilts. It offers urgent acceleration throughout the rev range, and is great in corners. That said, anyone wanting a balance of brisk acceleration and more modest running costs should look to the diesel D200 model.

The plug-in is a perfect fit for a niche market. Buyers willing to fork out more than £5,000 to have 30-or-so miles of electric range most likely won't be doing mega mileages. Around town, this E-Pace is brilliant. Dare we even bring up the cliched school run? It's perfect for that.

Look at it without context and it's a brilliant product. The problem is the effectiveness of rival cars that will be on your shopping list. The Audi Q3BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA sell well because they're good all-rounders.

While the Range Rover Evoque is available with the same powertrains, for broadly the same money. And some people just will prefer a SUV with a Range Rover badge.

Further reading

>> Need something bigger? How about the Jaguar F-Pace

>> How about these stylish alternatives?

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained