I’ve always thought the Jaguar E-Pace was a handsome vehicle. It’s compact for urban environments yet comfortable enough for longer road trips. It has a decent amount of technology and sporty driving dynamics, checking a couple of my must-have boxes.
And, frankly, I didn’t think it could get much better than it was. But for the 2021 model year, Jaguar gives its petite SUV a significant refresh with a new grille design, crisper lines and all-LED headlights and taillights, which tightens up the design language and gives a more modern appearance. The interior gets a similar overhaul with elegant details and bright graphics on the infotainment system.
Outside of the obvious design changes, here are some of the big changes you need to know about.
Infotainment gets a huge upgrade
It appears Jaguar might be giving up on its Touch Pro system in favor of the new Pivi Pro. This system, also appearing on the all-new Land Rover Defender, is smart, fast and beautifully crafted inside of an 11.4-inch screen. It will have its own power source, so there isn’t a boot-up lag time, and it incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – hallelujah!
Pivi Pro connectivity comes via dual-sim technology with two LTE modems, which will enable the system to carry out multiple functions simultaneously and provide over-the-air updates.
While the Pivi Pro is standard, there will be an available 12.3-inch completely digital driver display that will have multiple configurations – including a full-screen map a la Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.
Power doesn’t change
The E-Pace will still have the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine options, and there isn’t any kind of a power boost. The base engine delivers 246 horsepower, and the up-level engine will deliver 296 horsepower. Both are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
All-wheel drive is standard on all models.
There are 3 trims
Jaguar simplifies the trim structure for 2021, and pares down to the P250, P250 SE and P300 Sport. It’s unclear if this means Jaguar is doing away with the “specification packs” (which basically doubled as trims) seen on current P250 and P300 models. Since there is no mention of “R-Dynamic” or “HSE,” we are assuming that means they are.
So, relating the trims back to the engines, the P250 trims will be equipped with the 246-horsepower engine, and the P300 trim will come with the 296-horsepower engine.
In addition to the upgraded engine and more standard features, the P300 Sport will also get the Active Driveline AWD system, which can distribute torque not only front to rear but also across the rear wheels.
Price increases, kind of
Base to base, there is definitely an increase, with the new P250 starting at $40,995. That’s $1,045 more than the outgoing E-Pace. But again, assuming the specification packs are out of the equation, the new top-tier price for the P300 Sport is $49,995. Previously, the R-Dynamic HSE (with the P300 engine) topped out at $52,950.
We’ll be curious to see how this breaks down when the configurator goes live.
The E-Pace is now the entry to Jaguar
Jaguar announced earlier this month the XE sedan has been discontinued for 2021. For 2020, the XE is priced at $50 less than the E-Pace. With the XE exiting stage left, the E-Pace, even at $41k, is now the entry-level vehicle for the brand.
To compensate for losing its baby sedan, the XF will get a huge price cut, but even so, it’ll still be about $5k more than the E-Pace.
The bottom line on the Jaguar E-Pace
Jaguar as a brand is struggling, which is unfortunate since it makes a damn fine vehicle.
The F-Pace was Jaguar’s first great foray into the SUV world, and it currently holds the best-selling title for the brand. When E-Pace barrel rolled onto the scene in 2018, it had strong good looks and a couple of clever design Easter eggs we hope carry through to 2021.
But it didn’t make as much of a sales splash as its big brother, only selling about a third as many vehicles in any given year.
With the deletion of the XE, E-Pace will likely pick up those sales, and with the addition of some nice tech, modern styling and simplified pricing, maybe it’ll gain some conquests from the likes of Audi Q3 and BMW X1.