Jaguar E-Pace vs F-Pace – which SUV is best?

Jaguar has pulled the covers from the E-Pace compact SUV – it’s a little more affordable than the F-Pace and smaller, too. If you’re trying to decide whether you prefer the E-Pace’s style or the F-Pace’s space, our guide should help you make your mind up.

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Price

Considering you’re comparing two cars from separate classes, it’s unsurprising that there’s a noticeable price difference between the two. The entry-level E-Pace costs from £28,500 and comes with a 150hp diesel engine, a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive only. The entry-level F-Pace costs from £34,730 with a 163hp diesel engine, a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive.

Comparable mid-range and top-spec models will have a rough price difference of between £5,000 and £7,000. That extra cash would buy a lot of upgrades for the E-Pace including more powerful engines, four-wheel drive and sportier styling packs – it’s worth considering whether you’d prefer the extra tech and equipment or a larger but less well equipped F-Pace.

Styling

At a glance, you might dismiss the E-Pace as a smaller F-Pace but, if you look closer, more obvious differences start to emerge. Most noticeably, the E-Pace’s headlights are much larger and sweep up the bonnet – this look more closely mirrors the lights fitted to the F-Type sports car than the F-Pace’s narrow units. Jaguar’s rounded rectangular grille is now wider on the E-Pace and it retains the power bulge on the bonnet. Both have similar blade-like brakelights, although the E-Pace’s have more strongly stylised LED elements in them.

Down the sides, the E-Pace benefits from more exaggerated styling lines running beneath the windows than the F-Pace. The flowing line from the headlights rides under the haunch line that goes over the rear wheel – another nod to the F-Type – while the F-Pace makes do with more subdued sculpted flanks. The F-Pace’s roofline is much longer, too, to accommodate a larger cabin, where the E-Pace’s roof is much more curved. The E-Pace also gets a lower styling line running along the bottom edge of the doors to break up the bodywork.

Jaguar E-Pace on the left, F-Pace on the right

Interior

The cabins are more distinct than the bodies. The E-Pace’s cockpit is heavily influenced by the F-Type with a wraparound dashboard starting from the passenger grab handle on the centre console running over the dials and meeting the driver’s door. Jaguar’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system comes as standard on the E-Pace and uses a 10-inch touchscreen sat in the centre console. Below the screen sit three physical knobs controlling the climate control – said to be inspired by classic camera lenses. You also get the option of a configurable 12.3-inch screen in place of the traditional gauge cluster.

The F-Pace’s interior is more similar to those seen on the XE and XF saloons. Its centre console is more separate from the driver’s cockpit than the E-Pace’s and features a slightly older and smaller version of the firm’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system with shortcut buttons on either side. Another noticeable departure is the rotary automatic gear selector used in the F-Pace rather than the pistol-grip style lever fitted to the E-Pace and F-Type. As the bigger car, the F-Pace offers more interior room than the E-Pace, plus its 650-litre boot outstrips the smaller car’s 577-litre bay.

Driving

Jaguar is known for building sporty cars so has worked hard to make sure the E-Pace lives up to this reputation. Many body components and parts of the suspension are made from aluminium, which is lighter than steel and allows the structure to be more stiff. Models equipped with four-wheel drive have computers to shift the engine’s power forward and backwards to make the most of available grip, while top-end versions can distribute power between the rear wheels to make the car feel keener to turn into corners.

The F-Pace is larger and heavier than the E-Pace but still offers a suitably sporty driving experience. It’s based on a larger platform borrowed from the XE and XF so is rear-wheel drive when not fitted with the optional all-wheel-drive system, compared to the E-Pace’s native front-wheel drive layout. This means basic F-Paces will have a more rear-biased handling style while E-Paces will feel smaller and more hatchback like. Both cars can be fitted with All-Terrain Surface Control that functions as a low-speed cruise control when driving off road or in slippery conditions.

Jaguar E-Pace on the left, F-Pace on the right

Engines

The smaller E-Pace currently only uses four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. Entry-level models getting a 150hp diesel mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive for an average of 60.1mpg. This engine is also offered in 180 and 240hp outputs with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Petrol versions have either 250 or 300hp and are all auto and four-wheel drive exclusively – the fastest can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds.

Entry-level F-Pace models use a 163hp 2.0-litre diesel with a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive and can return 58mpg. The same 180 and 240hp diesels as the E-Pace also feature but have a monstrous 3.0-litre V6 diesel sat above them – this makes 300hp and vast reserves of torque for effortless acceleration. Again, the same 2.0-litre petrols with either 250 or 300hp feature but you can also get your F-Pace with a range-topping 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol from the F-Type with an impressive 380hp.

Verdict

The Jaguar SUV you ultimately go for will probably have as much to do with your budget as it does with your tastes. If your budget doesn’t stretch much beyond £30,000, the E-Pace is a great choice with an engaging driving experience, handsome good looks and decent practicality. You could even consider spending closer to an F-Pace’s price and get a highly specced E-Pace with a powerful engine and lots of goodies.

Of course, if you regularly carry rear passengers, they’ll always appreciate the extra space afforded them in the back of the F-Pace. Plus, the extra space in the boot will come in handy if you often carry bulky items. Your budget will determine which model makes the most sense but neither feels like a significantly poorer choice. For more in-depth info on the smaller of Jaguar’s SUVs, read our full Jaguar E-Pace news story.

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