By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – As Jaguar has scaled its way back into viability in the luxury market, it seems that a main part of its characteristic has been overlooked.
Yes, the British brand is a luxury marque. But it is also and has always been a luxury performance brand.
We had the 2021 E-Pace 300 Sport for four days. It was a small crossover that is the entry level into the Jaguar lineup.
Recently refurbished, it had a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood that made 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This was more than enough oomph to move the vehicle with ease and with a lot of speed.
The aerodynamically optimized bumper revised lower apertures and state-of-the-art LED headlights were combined with a new grille design. The rear window was raked and there was an air deflector at top of the liftgate.
The interior included upgraded features like fast and intuitive infotainment controls. There was smooth black leather with white stitching and all the controls save the volume button and climate control dials were digital.
We did think the audio controls were a little involved. It seemed to be a two and sometimes three-click process to change the radio station, but we believe the familiarity of ownership will help streamline that process.
We climbed in the back and founded heated seats. There were also three USB-C jacks.
There was plenty of headroom. The legroom was acceptable and three people could get into the rear seats.
Still, that’s when we noticed there were no hand grabs over the doors. For a performance crossover, we thought this a gross oversight.
However, we did find the velour-like headliner better than average. And the paint job, Caldera Red with matching calipers, grabbed a lot of attention, and spawned a lot of questions about what kind of crossover our tester was.
The base price of our 2021 Jaguar E-Pace 300 Sport was $49,995. Add the freight charge and the optional equipment and the total came to $59,805.