Francois Lottering Johannesburg-Jaguar just added a new “Cub” to their family with the introduction of the Jaguar E-Pace in South Africa. Though smaller than Big Brother - the F-PACE, the E-PACE did not stand back at all for any car in her class during the test drive. By mid-March, the E-Pace will find it’s home in the show room in Independence avenue Windhoek. The E-Pace just saw the light in South African as part of the Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) launch, and Namibia will see this nifty cub mid-March on her soil. Unlike the E-Pace’s bigger family members like the Jaguar XE that is more a sports sedan for the family or the F-Type with its stylish racing looks, the E-Pace will find its niche in the smaller family car segment without losing any Jaguar DNA. Any Jaguar fan’s first question will be what is under the bonnet that will make me buy this car. The answer is simple as a whole lot of ingredients were put together to make the E-PACE a force to be reckoned with. Between her physical appearance - both in and outside, her technology, safety features and a choice of either petrol or diesel, it will not be difficult to choose your E-PACE. The compact SUV’s driver-focussed cockpit is the heart of this family-focussed vehicle. The meticulously interior design, combined with the practicality of the dash board and consoles, makes this car a joy to drive. The 3-spoke leather steering wheel incorporates key controls like speed and audio controls. It can also be adjusted for driver’s comfort. The 2.0L Ingenium 4 cylinder diesel and petrol engines are all turbo charged. The E-PACE D150 AWD deliver 110kW while the D240 Twin Turbocharged deliver 177kW with a top speed of 224 km/h. While the E-Pace P300 Turbocharged delivers 221kW with a top speed of 243 km/h. The transmission system proved to be sufficient for the cars as the 9-speed automatic transmission always ensure you are in the optimum gear. This was evident during New Era’s test drive in Johannesburg and surroundings. The route for the test drive was specifically designed to experience and connect with the E-Pace on all sorts of driving conditions. Jaguar even planned in their route a short visit to Soccer City in Soweto. This was the only time that the specially invited journalist from various African countries forgot about the Jaguars, though only for a few minutes as we were all called back to the cars for the second part of our E-PACE journey. Taking a new car for a test drive always holds in some expectations. Be it performance, the looks of the car, does the lines fit in with the brand, drivers and passenger comfort and safety, what is under the bonnet and since it is a family vehicle, is the storage space adequate for the purpose it was designed and built for. The answers are all right in front of your eyes when doing the induction course on the Jaguar. The E-Pace was designed to carry you and your cargo effortlessly and in style. New Era was fortunate to get first-hand experience in mountainous and curvy routes, alongside boulevards in the posh upper Johannesburg suburbs, through a private game reserve and back to the OR Tambo Airport on the free ways. The verdict? The E-PACE - just like her big brother the F-PACE did not disappoint at all. The only disappointment was to hand the keys back at the end of the journey. To assist the driver the E-PACE is equipped with a sci-fi like Head-Up Display, projecting the basic information like speed, gear position and navigation directions without taking your eyes of the road. This feature takes away a lot of stress from the driver as the key vehicle data is reflecting on your windscreen. The connectivity of the car remains one of the car’s best attractions - specially for the younger generation, as the Jaguar comes standard with pinpoint touch control, personalised homepage, interactive side panel, multimedia, enhanced phone interface and voice recognition system to mention only a few. The driver’s assistance makes driving even easier as the car comes with Lane Keep Assistance (LKA), Driver Condition Monitor (DCM), Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Front and Rear Parking Aids and Rear Camera to highlight a few. The LKA ensured several times that the New Era test driver did not land in front of any other traffic sharing the busy highways. The car boast with a “place fo everything.” This is very handy for any owner of an E-PACE. The deep stowage in the centre console can hold up to four 750 ml bottles, which can be stored flat. A 12V socket (for charging that electronic devices and gadgets), while the rear of the centre console has three optional USB sockets for passengers. Even the cubby box has place to retain a tablet during charging. Jaguar’s E-Pace even thought deep into the feature, and just like you can personalise your Number plate, so can the E-PACE be stylised to fit your needs, specifications and even your budget. From the engine, interior, wheels - I forgot to draw the attention to the younger generation here, is that you can fit up to a 21” mag rim, all complete with the face of the Jaguar on it. While taking a test drive in the E-PACE you or your bank manager have not much to stress about, as the cars are well priced and affordable, to such an extent that your bank manager cannot wait to approve your finance as he is just as eager to be seen in the E-PACE.
2018-03-15 09:32:47 6 months ago