The controls and buttons on the Jaguar E-Pace’s dashboard are all easy to use but its design lacks flair and there are too many cheap-feeling plastics
Top-of-the-range Jaguar E-Pace interiors are thickly padded with leather that makes them look and feel posh, but to get any flair you’ll need to make sure you specify one of the brighter leathers, which help add a bit of colour.
It’s much needed too, because the Jaguar E-Pace’s interior can seem quite dark, and it doesn’t have the large swathes of contrasting trim pieces that you’d find in an Audi Q2, BMW X1 or Mercedes GLA. On the upside, you get large knobs to control the ventilation system and the stereo, so it’s easy to make adjustments as you drive along.
What isn’t so good is the interior quality. The plastics in the centre of the dashboard, around the gearstick and near the steering wheel have a hollow feeling to them that you wouldn’t get in the hewn-from-granite Audi Q2 or the plush BMW X1. There are even rough edges to be found if you feel beneath the steering wheel.
It’s a shame because the rest of the dash is covered in leather and the plastics used on the tops of the doors (in the front and the back) are soft to the touch.
Top-spec E-Paces have more leather than a cattle yard, but unfortunately some of the plastics feel like they should be used to bottle milk at the dairy
Every Jaguar E-Pace come with Jaguar’s top-of-the-range Incontrol Touch Pro infotainment system with a 10-inch touchscreen that’s bright and colourful. The system recognises ‘pinch’ and ‘swipe’ hand gestures and its quick reaction times mean it’s slick to operate.
There are downsides though, and one of them is that the Jaguar’s system is touchscreen-operated – you don’t get a fixed scroll wheel to help input a postcode as you drive along. Instead, you have to type in each letter in individually, which can be a little awkward as you bump down the road.
Unfortunately, the Jaguar E-Pace also does without technology available on cars such as the Q2, so you can’t connect your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and the sat-nav system doesn’t have Google Earth’s beautifully detailed maps.
That said, specify Jaguar’s £615 Dual View system and you’ll win some serious brownie points with your front-seat passenger, because it allows them to watch TV as you follow the sat-nav’s directions on the same screen.
The Jaguar E-Pace is also available with a 12.3-inch multi-function display that replaces the conventional dials in the instrument binnacle. It’s standard on HSE cars and a £510 option on the rest of the range, but can’t display the big maps like the system you get in an Audi Q2.
You don’t have to spend any extra money for a decent stereo though, because the E-Pace’s125W standard system is punchy enough. That said, if listening tastes stray past LBC talk radio you can upgrade to a £615 625W Meridian sound system (standard on SE and HSE models) or go the full hog and get the company’s thumping £1,635, 825W surround-sound system.