Parkers overall rating: 3.6 out of 5 3.6

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 many rough edges inside, and appeals to the heart rather than the head.

The problem is the effectiveness of rival cars that will be on your shopping list. The Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA sell well because they're good all-rounders. We love the way the E-Pace looks and steers but have not been set alight but the engines on offer, or the frankly eye-watering price of some of the upper-tier models. 

Those on a budget will want to seek out a manual, two-wheel drive D150 model because it’s the cheapest to buy and run. Performance is willing, but the manual gearbox isn't the best to use, so it's still a serviceable small SUV if lower running costs are a big concern. That’s also a good choice for a company car driver, although the D180 automatic all-wheel drive version won’t exactly break the bank and offers a lot more car.

For the ultimate in E-Pace performance, you’ll want the P300 model which looks a bit meek, but is actually a fairly good hot-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 D180 model.

The entry-level car isn't that well equipped, as you do have to pay for a lot of extras, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Mid-range S will bring leather seats and sat-nav. But you’ll be well looked after in an SE model, especially with the attractive R-Dynamic bodywork. In terms of options the adaptive dampers are expensive but worthwhile if you can, particularly if you like big wheels, as these are an essential item on the larger F-Pace.

Whichever model you choose, the Jaguar E-Pace is a smart-looking SUV that drives well, but provides little more practicality or comfort over its rivals. This small SUV from Jaguar certainly doesn't perform badly in any area, but it doesn't shine in any of them either, making it difficult to justify when it comes to the higher asking price over its rivals.

Further reading

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

>> How about these stylish alternatives?

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained