Jaguar has fleets firmly in its sights with its latest generation of products. The carmaker is very aware the corporate sector represents a big opportunity for growth.
Jaguar sales haven’t followed the same path as its sister brand Land Rover in recent years, despite improvements to its models.
However, the F-Pace, the brand's first SUV launched in 2016, appears to have provided a breakthrough.
The F-Pace was partly responsible for a 20% increase in global sales for Jaguar in 2017, and SUVs, in general, have experienced strong growth in both retail and fleet sectors.
This car is available to test drive at Company Car in Action 2018
So the company is hoping for continued sales success in 2017 with a smaller SUV – the E-Pace. On sale now and with customer deliveries expected in the next few weeks, it is a rival for the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40.
The range is made up of four-cylinder petrol and diesel models, with lowest CO2 emissions on the entry-level front-wheel drive D150 of 124g/km (on 17-inch wheels).
The more powerful D180 comes only with four-wheel drive, while more powerful diesel and petrol variants come with all-wheel drive and automatic transmission.
Only the high-end D240 and P300 were available to drive on the media launch, but the range is structured so the front-wheel drive D150 has a P11D value starting at just over £28,000.
There are two body designs: the standard E-Pace and the R-Dynamic, the latter with a more aggressive appearance, unique wheel design and some additional interior features.
There are three equipment grades above the entry-level car, S, SE and HSE available on the standard model or the R-Dynamic.
There is also a First Edition available for the first model year, offered on either the D180 or P250 engines.
All entry versions come with push button start, 10-inch Touch Pro dashboard screen, five-inch driver info display, 125W audio system with DAB, Bluetooth and voice control, four 12V power and two USB data and charge and eco driving style assistant.
Safety features include autonomous emergency braking, six interior airbags, passenger airbag, cruise control with speed limiter, driver condition monitor, lane keeping assistance, front and rear parking sensors, rear-view camera and power child locks.
The entry level E-Pace also comes with heated windscreen and washer jets, heated door mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, twin exhaust pipes, tailgate spoiler, automatic LED headlights, LED rear lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, two-zone climate control, cloth seats and leather steering wheel.
Some of our test route took in parts of the Corsica Rally route, notorious for its relentless twisty roads and dramatic mountain scenery.
Even on wet roads, the E-Pace offered surprising composure, with the electronics rarely cutting in to correct the car’s trajectory.
The D240 engine provides effortless acceleration, with maximum torque available from just 1,500rpm, and combined with the eight-speed gearbox, and paddle gearshifters on the steering column, the car always responds rapidly when you need an extra burst of acceleration.
Model tested: Jaguar E-Pace R-dynamic d240 S