The 2018 Jaguar E-Tempo is a playful cub and a implausible little performer. Whether or not on twisty again roads or throughout interstate blasts, the corporate’s most compact mannequin is enjoyable to drive, delivering a perky powertrain and powerful showings within the chassis and dealing with departments.

Plus, it pulls off the fragile steadiness of wanting cute and approachable, but nonetheless sporty, with simply the correct amount of aggression. It is so charming, actually, that by the tip of a brief take a look at drive, I would anticipate most drivers to return away pondering, “it is so good.”

In reality, I had the identical response. However after making such a powerful preliminary impression, the remainder of my time with this specific E-Tempo First Version was riddled with minor annoyances — from fit-and-finish points to tech hiccups and seemingly outright damaged options. It is attainable that these foibles affected simply my take a look at car, however even nonetheless, my expertise makes this mannequin laborious for me to suggest.

A wonderful first impression

The E-Tempo is probably the most compact mannequin in Jaguar’s lineup when it comes to wheelbase (105.6 inches) and total size (173 inches), coming in only a skosh shorter than the 183.9-inch XE sedan. Nevertheless, its SUV proportions be sure that cargo area stays pretty beneficiant, with 24.2 cubic toes of storage behind the second row and 52.7 cubic toes with the seats folded flat.

This subcompact SUV wears its proportions properly — I would even go so far as to say it seems higher than its already-handsome F-Tempo huge brother. I used to be drawn first to the E-Tempo’s F-Kind sports activities automotive inspiration present in its headlamps, shoulder line and steeply sloped dashboard, solely to be charmed by smaller “Easter Egg” particulars — the cub windshield graphic, the leopard-print detailing throughout the heart console and non-obligatory cub graphic puddle lights.

This cub has claws

The engine room is dwelling to Jaguar’s 2.Zero-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Most E-Tempo fashions make a wholesome 246 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, however fashions outfitted with the R-Dynamic efficiency trim improve output to 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

Both method, the SUV sends that energy to the usual all-wheel drive system by way of a nine-speed automated transmission. Even with “simply” 246 horsepower, I used to be happy by the acceleration and responsiveness that this powertrain brings to the occasion. Zero to 60 miles per hour occurs in simply 6.6 seconds (6.1 seconds for R-Dynamic fashions) which is loads zippy for a crossover of this dimension. In the meantime, round city efficiency is clean.

Dealing with from the well-sorted chassis and stuck sport suspension was additionally on level. R-Dynamic fashions characteristic an adaptive suspension, which might most likely develop the E-Tempo’s comfort-dynamic envelope a bit, however I had virtually no complaints about my instance’s fastened, sport-tuned setup, which provided tight, responsive steering.

A lot of my testing consisted of freeway miles, with just a few runs alongside twistier roads to stretch the E-Tempo’s efficiency legs. I ended up averaging about 25 mpg for the week. That is in step with the EPA’s official mpg estimates of 21 metropolis, 28 freeway and 24 mixed. Numbers like which might be pretty middle-of-the-road in a crowded class that features the Volvo XC40 (26 mpg mixed), Audi Q3 (23 mpg mixed) and BMW X1 (25 mpg mixed).

The First Version mannequin I examined had “R-Dynamic” badges regardless of not having the stronger powertrain or suspension upgrades, which was greater than a bit complicated.

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Jaguar Exercise Key

Beneath the pores and skin, my E-Tempo tester arrived laden with options I loved, together with an influence tailgate with an non-obligatory kick-to-open, hands-free perform, a rail mount/divider system built-in into the rear storage space, and non-obligatory puddle lights that illuminate the bottom upon method at evening.

Jaguar Land Rover’s distinctive Exercise Key additionally seems within the listing of obtainable choices. This $400 rubber wristband seems like a health tracker, however is definitely a water-proof, dirt- and dust-proof — almost everything-proof — RF good key that can be utilized to securely lock and unlock the E-Tempo whereas partaking in actions that may injury the usual digital key fob. So, you may log on, kayaking or river tubing whereas leaving the delicate customary fob locked protected and dry within the SUV.

I’ve beforehand detailed on how the Exercise Key works in my full assessment of the 2017 Land Rover Discovery, so you may dig into it there.

Security and driver help tech

The Jag additionally checks most of the proper bins in terms of security and driver help options.

Our First Version E-Tempo arrived with adaptive cruise management that labored in stop-and-go site visitors, ahead collision warning and lane-keep help. With just a few faucets by way of a menu within the instrument cluster, the latter might be toggled between delicate steering help when in site visitors or a passive “rumble strip” mode that vibrates the steering wheel when the car strays off line. I appreciated having the selection between help throughout a commute and a quiet warning throughout extra spirited drives.

Talking of the instrument cluster, the E-Tempo will be had with a 12-inch digital gauge package deal. My First Version mannequin was not so outfitted and obtained alongside fantastic with its conventional analog gauges and full-color head-up show (the latter is projected onto the windshield). The all-digital setup is a little bit of tech bling that could be price a search for techier drivers, however contemplating among the tech annoyances I will talk about momentarily, I would be tempted to maintain issues so simple as attainable right here.

InControl Contact Professional dashboard tech

I like the appear and feel of Jaguar’s dashboard know-how. The 10-inch InControl Contact Professional system customary on my First Version tester was — for probably the most half — moderately well-organized and appears fairly good with colourful graphics and icons.

I notably loved how the house display will be personalized to 1’s liking by merely dragging and dropping from a choice of options and capabilities. This allowed me to simply monitor the weather that I cared most about, saving a ton of digging by way of menus whereas driving.

I additionally dug the predictive options constructed into Contact Professional. For instance, firstly of a drive, the navigation system will provide predictive locations primarily based on earlier driving habits — corresponding to “Work” within the morning or “Residence” within the afternoon. The speculation is that the system will get smarter the extra you employ it, constructing a cloud-connected profile of your habits and favourite haunts.

I additionally discovered Contact Professional’s site visitors information to be very correct, however sadly, how the system used that accuracy is the place a laundry listing of annoyances started for me.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

So many small annoyances

Correct site visitors information is all the time an excellent factor, however I discovered that the E-Tempo’s navigation is usually too aggressive with its re-routing algorithms. Sometimes, the system would recommend a very good detour round smaller site visitors jams, however as a rule, it might make dumb ideas, together with sending me scrambling to exit the freeway solely to instantly instruct me to get again on on the high of the off-ramp. Congratulations, that transfer would’ve saved perhaps one minute?

On one longer journey, I observed that each couple of minutes, the navigation would get caught looping the identical audible instruction — saying one thing like, “In 14 miles, hold straight.” It will say this again and again each couple of minutes. Later, I found the software program had detected a site visitors jam close to my vacation spot (almost an hour away) and was consistently recalculating the route repeatedly as circumstances modified (once more, almost an hour away). This prompted it to repeat the final unchanged instruction every time. Contact Professional must be smarter about when and the way it handles diverting round site visitors.

And that is simply the navigation annoyances. When you get previous the high-level, mostly accessed menus, the Contact Professional menu system will be complicated and sluggish when searching for secondary or much less generally accessed settings and capabilities. Moreover, Contact Professional does not assist Android Auto or Apple CarPlay connectivity, leaving drivers with no options for maps or audio streaming apps ought to they not need to use Jaguar’s software program.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Reliability issues

Extra worryingly, there have been occasions throughout my testing when among the E-Tempo’s tech options did not work in any respect. On a half-dozen events throughout my week of testing, the rear digicam did not activate once I shifted the transmission into Reverse. Coming out to Park and again to Reverse usually fastened the error, however that is unacceptable glitching.

Worse, the ultrasonic parking proximity sensors, customary outfitted on our First Version, additionally did not work. Contact Professional confirmed them as “inactive” when beginning the automotive, leaving me with a greyed-out icon in its interface. That additionally meant that I could not use the usual parking steering help in any respect, because the know-how makes use of the identical sensors. (A Google search revealed that I am not the one JLR driver to expertise points with the corporate’s sonar sensors.) This does not bode properly contemplating this British automaker’s unhealthy status for unreliable automobiles.

Past hinky electronics, I used to be additionally dissatisfied by the inconsistency of the E-Tempo’s cabin match and end. For probably the most half, I used to be impressed by the inside design, however my tester developed an annoying squeak coming from the second row that got here and went over the week — making an attempt to find the supply almost drove me mad.

Whereas I am on a rant, I’ve to level out a budget and hollow-feeling paddle shifters: They arrive throughout just like the type of items you’d discover on an inexpensive third-party Ps 2 racing wheel, not these of a sporty luxurious journey. In different phrases, they really feel misplaced within the E-Tempo’s cabin. I’ve complained about Jaguar’s chintzy paddle shifters earlier than, and it is annoying to see so little consideration paid to such a significant contact level in a car this costly.

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How I would spec it

The 2018 Jaguar E-Tempo begins at $39,595 (together with a $995 vacation spot cost) for base mannequin, however my First Version rolled up very well-equipped, with a preselected suite of what Jaguar believes would be the mostly optioned options and improve, priced at $54,545. Nevertheless, this is not how I would spec an E-Tempo.

Since driving efficiency is admittedly the principle factor this SUV does properly, I would begin by wanting on the stronger R-Dynamic trim stage with extra energy and dynamic chops, as a result of chances are you’ll as properly play to this cub’s robust go well with. For my cash, the R-Dynamic SE is the perfect steadiness of efficiency, facilities and driver help options at $49,995. That, I feel is the E-Tempo’s candy spot, however stepping as much as R-Dynamic HSE — which will get you adaptive cruise, nicer leather-based and 20-inch wheels for $53,845 — may additionally be temping whereas nonetheless being cheaper than the First Version.

I could not blame you for taking a second (or perhaps a third) lengthy take a look at this littlest Jag given its sharp seems and sharper efficiency. However given the laundry listing of small points I skilled, the E-Tempo is hard for me to suggest, particularly in a category that features favorites just like the Audi Q3 and Volvo’s new XC40. Acura’s new 2019 RDX is one other strong alternative at this value level, additionally a barely bigger SUV, if you happen to’re into that kind of factor.

In case you’re nonetheless bought on the 2019 Jaguar E-Tempo (perhaps you may get a super-great deal on a lease or simply do not care about dependable tech?), enable me to suggest pondering actually laborious about investing in a single different necessary choice: an prolonged guarantee.

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