There was a time when the corporate suits wouldn’t even consider a station wagon, never mind an SUV – but these days, Jaguar sales are dominated by its three utility vehicles, starting with the E-Pace that is getting a significant update for the 2021 model year.
Among other things, Jaguar tweaked the exterior to put it more in line with the looks of the bigger F-Pace, as well as XF sedan that is also being refreshed for 2021. The cabin, likewise, gets updated, though the most notable changes come in the form of the new, curved 11.4-inch touchscreen that manages the latest version of the Jaguar Pivi Pro infotainment system.
“E,” here, might stand for entry, and with the demise of the XE sedan, the 2021 Jaguar E-Pace becomes the cheapest product offered by the British automaker. Make that “the least expensive” model in the Jaguar line-up. With a starting price of $42,045, a full $1,045 more than the outgoing 2020 model, the E-Pace is anything but cheap.
From a styling standpoint, Jaguar has been pushing to bring its entire portfolio more in sync with the big F-Pace that currently serves as the brand’s flagship (at least while we wait for the complete makeover of the XJ sedan).
There’s a new mesh grille framed by chrome brightwork, new LED headlights, an updated bumper and more sculpted hood up front. More subtle changes to the sides and roofline, Jaguar claims, are inspired by the F-Type sports car. The 2021 E-Pace also gets new wheels.
Inside, there are subtle changes, such as the “cricket-ball” stitch for the soft upper trim on the shifter, and new soft-touch materials around “driver touch points,” including a knee pad. But what you’ll likely notice immediately is the introduction of new technology.
The 11.4-inch touchscreen handles the Pivi Pro system that comes standard on mid and upper trim packages. If it’s anything like the technology we’ve been seeing on other new Jaguar – and Land Rover – models, you can expect it to be not just quicker but also more intuitive. Among other things, you won’t have to drill down through as many menus to operate the most common functions. All versions of the 2021 Jaguar E-Pace will now feature both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – though not the new wireless versions. Wireless smartphone charging is available.
A new, 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display has also been added to the option list, meanwhile. It not only replaces conventional gauges but also shows turn-by-turn navigation instructions and other useful information.
On the powertrain side, the 2021 E-Pace sticks with the two options offered on the outgoing SUV. The P250 and P250 SE models go with a 246-horsepower turbo-4. Sport 300 models get the mild-hybrid 2.0-liter inline four bumping power up to 296 hp. Both engines send powerr to all four wheels through a 9-speed automatic.
The E-Pace 300 Sport features Jaguar’s Active Driveline AWD system which can shift rear torque from left to right using two independent, electronically controlled wet-plate clutches. The E-Pace 250 models, on the other hand, are fitted with the Jaguar Standard Driveline AWD system which can disconnect the driveshaft to the rear axle, effectively functioning as a front-drive system when power demand is light and traction is good.
One other plus for the new model year: Jaguar extends the E-Pace warranty to five years and 50,000 miles.
While you can get into the base 2021 Jaguar E-Pace P250 S for $42,045, the better-equipped P250 SE is likely to be the big seller and carries a starting price of $47,145. The 300 Sport starts at $51,045. Expect to see the updated SUV reach U.S. showrooms around the end of the year.