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Looking to enter the luxury market with something small, fun, and still somewhat affordable? Meet the 2021 Jaguar E-PACE. After it was first introduced in 2019, the E-PACE gained momentum, becoming known for its stylish physique, powerful turbocharged 4-cylinder engine options, and ample list of standard features. The E-PACE looks and feels nice inside, although equipping it with larger, sportier wheels takes the ride quality down a few notches on the comfort scale. It's really best to stick with the smaller wheels since comfort is key to enjoying a ride inside of the E-PACE.
This year brings a few much-needed changes for the E-PACE. First and foremost, you get brand-new signature double-bladed LED daytime running lights on the front fascia. The interior looks even more revitalized with a new infotainment system with a bigger, curved touchscreen design.
You still get to pick between two turbocharged 2.0-L 4-cylinder engines on the E-PACE. While the P250 and the P250 SE models come with the engine that produces 246 hp, the power output on the 300 Sport gets amped up to 296 hp due to the inclusion of a mild hybrid powertrain system. No matter which powertrain you pick, you get all-wheel drive and a standard 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth flows of power to every wheel.
Technology is where the E-PACE continues to struggle. In the past, they have been really slow to respond and would crash a lot. This year, Jag has opted to use a new system called the Pivi Pro, which comes standard. This system has a faster start-up time, and navigating the virtual layout is a lot easier than it was on the old system. The 11.4-inch curved touchscreen is certainly a marvel of modern technology, and we like how it looks from the outside.
The Jaguar E-PACE is a more expensive option than some of its rivals in the subcompact luxury SUV segment. However, having all-wheel-drive come standard makes the premium price tag a bit more worth it. Fuel economy is just ever-so-slightly behind its top rivals too, but you do get a lot of power from the turbo 4-cylinder engines. They just need a bit more balancing-out if they are going to compete in terms of fuel economies.
That being said, you get three really different trim levels to choose from on the 2021 Jaguar E-PACE line-up. The base E-PACE gives you all the essentials and then some while the SE packs in more luxury features. If it is sport you want, then the line-topping, aptly-named 300 Sport trim level will give that to you.
Let's take a closer look at what makes these three trim levels stand apart from one another. Could one of these be your next purchase? Hang around until the end to see which one we pick as having the best overall deal for the luxury-lovin' buyer.
Compare the 2021 Jaguar E-PACE vs E-PACE SE - What is the Difference?
Up first are the base E-PACE and the mid-tier trim level known as the SE. Both are powered by a standard 2.0-L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine known as the P250, which is rated for 246 hp. This powertrain helps the vehicle get from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds flat. The base E-PACE rides atop 18-inch Style 5048 5-spoke wheels with a Gloss Silver finish while the SE gets upgraded to a 19-inch set done in a similar style.
On the outside, the E-PACE base trim comes equipped with LED headlights that have signature daytime running lights built in. It also has a keyless entry system and power folding, electronic, heated side door mirrors that have approach lights and - exclusively on the driver's side - an auto-dimming feature. To that, the SE trim level adds premium LED lights with signature daytime running lights, a power tailgate, and automatic high beam assist.
On the inside, you will also find quite a few differences between the base E-PACE and the mid-tier SE trim level. The base E-PACE starts you off with a satin chrome gear shift knob along with a split leather steering wheel. There is also a Jaguar inscription on the metal tread plates. The SE adds to that 12-way power-adjustable front seats with a memory setting on the driver's seat, 4-way power lumbar support, and 2-way manually adjustable head rests. The SE's seats are adorned with chic Ebony interior trim and matching Ebony perforated grained leather seats.
As we already discussed above, the 2021 Jaguar E-PACE comes equipped with the brand-new 11.4-inch curved infotainment touchscreen. On the base E-PACE trim level, you can use it to tinker around with the standard Pivo infotainment system. Upgrading to the SE trim level, however, will get you the Pivi Pro Connected system. Jaguar has been putting these in the Land Rover to some success, and now they are gracing the E-PACE, which was in dire need. The Pivi Pro Connected allows users to download Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) while also letting you connect with your favorite apps and stream your beloved tunes. It is always on and always connected, and its rapid responses are helping it earn prestigious motor and technology awards this model year. With this system, you can connect two smartphones at the same time, making it so that you and your front seat passenger can both connect without having to swap out.
Other standard infotainment features inside of the base E-PACE include smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Meridian sound system, and a wireless device charging system. The SE retains all of that but also adds the Interactive Driver Display, which comes with a 12.3-inch digital display for viewing necessary vehicle information, as well as the online pack with a data plan.
Now, you are probably wondering just how many safety features and standard driver aids are available in these two trim levels. Let's face it, we all want the utmost in safety and security when we are buying a new vehicle. Power, comfort, and entertainment are all well and good, but if you do not feel safe, then what is the use of driving the thing? The good news is that Jaguar packs the E-PACE full of helpful driver aids. The base E-PACE trim level is equipped with a 3D surround-view camera system, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and parking assists for the front and rear of the vehicle. The SE adds to that list of features traffic sign recognition with an adaptive speed limiting function, a blind spot assist, and a rear cross traffic alert. Overall, it is a fairly well-rounded bundling of features.
But is that enough to suit your needs? Or are you looking for something a bit sportier?
Compare the 2021 Jaguar E-PACE SE vs 300 SPORT Trim. - What is the Difference?
If you are in the market for a sportier luxury crossover SUV, then the E-PACE's 300 Sport trim level might be more exciting to you. What does it offer that the E-PACE and E-PACE SE do not? Well, let us start with what is under the hood. This model is powered by the 2.0-L turbo 4-cylinder engine that has the mild hybrid powertrain equipped, which gets it 296 hp. It also has a quicker 0 to 60 mph time, getting there in just 6.6 seconds. Additionally, its top speed increases to 150 mph (from the 142 on the lower trim levels).
Recall the R-Design from previous iterations? Well, you will find aspects of it on this trim level. On the outside of the 300 Sport, you will find some of the familiar old R-Design stylings. The front and rear bumper are done in the R-Design style, and you get front fog lights added don for extra visibility. There is also a black exterior package that comes on the 300 Sport trim level. The wheels get bumped up to 20-inch 5 split-spoke Satin Dark Grey versions with gorgeous contrast Diamond Turned finish on them.
The interior has even more luxurious features packed into it. The 300 Sport comes with contrast stitching on the seats, and the Ebony interior trim is paired with Ebony grained leather sport seats. There is a metal loadspace scuffplate, Jaguar script on the illuminated metal tread plates, and a steering wheel done in split-rim soft grain leather.
In terms of infotainment features, the only addition you get is the head-up display. This projects important driver info onto the windshield in front of you so that your eyes are trained on the road. Driver aids include adaptive dynamics, configurable dynamics, and active driveline.
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Which Trim to Choose?
As you can tell by now, the 2021 Jaguar E-PACE packs a pretty big punch. Even though the E-PACE is only a few years into its first generation, it has made its mark on the luxury crossover SUV segment. Jaguar is still working to iron out some of its imperfections, but the 2021 line-up shows that they are committed to doing so. The new Pivo infotainment system is a huge upgrade from the previous system, and we think drivers will appreciate how user-oriented this new system is. And the Pivo Pro Connected plays a huge role in why we think buyers should cut past the base trim and go right for the SE.
The SE trim level has everything a luxury buyer could possibly want - and a little bit more. For the price, it makes for a superb deal. The P250 engine is sporty enough, but the base trim level just doesn't quite have enough to make it feel like a genuine luxury vehicle made by Jaguar. And, as far as the super sporty line-topping 300 Sport trim level goes, it does deliver more power, but not in a dramatically different way. It is a lot more expensive and does not tack on as many extra infotainment features and advanced driver aids as we would like to see in a line-topping luxury trim.
That's why we pick the SE trim. It provides just the right balance between luxury and affordability. Not only do you get a ton of standard features, you also get a bounty of options to choose from that let you customize the E-PACE in your own unique way. Just keep your budget in mind as you do so since those options can get pricey. But we think that most buyers will find that the SE trim will quench their thirst for power and provide them with plenty of comfort on top of that.
And, quite honestly, we think the technology inside of the SE trim level is superior to everything we have seen in the E-PACE in the past. The Pivo Pro Conncted is the perfect upgrade for anyone who wants to share connectivity with a front seat passenger, and the system works infinitely better than the outgoing one. Jaguar gets a thumbs-up from us on this one.
• Compare the 2020 Jaguar E-PACE Trim Levels