Like its bigger sibling, the F-Pace, the Jaguar E-Pace is getting a major update for the 2021 model year. Not only that, but the E-Pace crossover now serves as the entry point to the Jaguar lineup. The slow selling four-door XE has been pulled from the U.S. market, and while we’re sad to see the excellent sports sedan die, we hope the improvements to the small E-Pace make it a worthy contender in its segment.
Luckily, the updates for 2021 are nearly as comprehensive as the work done to the F-Pace. On the outside, the sides and rear of the E-Pace remain mostly unchanged, but there is a new face up front that’s slightly more mature than last year’s giddy looking treatment. There is a new mesh grille with chrome brightwork, a set of new LED headlights, and a new, more sculpted hood, all of which bring the little SUV in line the rest of the 2021 Jaguar lineup.
As before, the E-Pace offers two turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains. The P250 and P250 SE models will use the carryover entry-level 246-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that sends power through a nine-speed automatic to all four wheels. Sport 300 models get the (also carryover) 296-hp, mild-hybrid 2.0-liter four along with a nine-speed auto and all-wheel drive.
Even though both E-Pace powertrains include all-wheel-drive, there are key differences between the P250’s system and the Sport 300’s. The former’s setup is the second generation of Jaguar Standard Driveline tech. It works like most AWD systems in that it splits torque between the front and rear axles using an electromechanical clutch pack, sending power to the rear axle should the E-Pace’s brain decide it needs extra traction. It can also completely disengage and make the E-Pace front-wheel-drive while cruising under lighter loads for improved fuel economy.
The AWD system in the Sport 300 models is a little bit more sophisticated, though. Instead of just one clutch that activates the rear axle, Sport 300 models have two electronically controlled wet-plate clutches that are independent of one another located on the rear axle. That allows the E-Pace to distribute torque across across the rear axle to the wheel that needs it the most.
Interior Changes Pace
Jaguar says other improvements to the chassis of the E-Pace should net better dynamics and enhanced comfort. When we reviewed the E-Pace in 2018, our main issues were with the car’s ride and its somewhat gruff-sounding powertrain. Hopefully some work has been done to the engine sound, and we hope the revised chassis brings more compliance than before. A secondary gripe of ours, however, was the quality of the interior, and thankfully, Jaguar has made changes there as well.
Like the F-Pace and XF, the E-Pace will get Jaguar’s new infotainment system for 2021. They’re calling it Pivi Pro, and it lives in a much larger 11.4-inch curved glass display. The new infotainment unit is standard on P250 SE and 300 Sport models and promises to be snappier and more intuitive than the outgoing system. There’s no word on if it will be an option on the non-SE P250, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all E-Pace models.
In addition to the revamped infotainment, Jaguar has also added an optional 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display. Similar to Mercedes and Audi’s class leading digital cockpits, Jaguar’s new fully digital instrument cluster is customizable and can show maps, media, or a regular set of dials. That, and the addition of soft touch materials around the instrument cluster, and a new, sculpted knee pad should help with driver comfort. The interior will be available in five different colors: Ebony, Light Oyster, Deep Garnet, Caraway and Cloud.
In addition to all of that, Jaguar is now offering a massive 5-year/60,000-mile warranty on the new E-Pace. All of these changes, whether small or large, should help make the E-Pace a more serious contender in its segment and hopefully make up for the loss of the much loved XE, at least somewhat.
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