2021 Jaguar E-PACE upgrades style and tech - adds mild-hybrid

Jaguar has revamped its smallest crossover, with the 2021 E-PACE getting a redesign, a mild-hybrid, and more technology. Still serving as the entry point to Jaguar's SUV line-up – and, indeed, the automaker's most affordable model in the US, with the demise of the XE sedan – the E-PACE is also getting a little more expensive for the new model year.

Launched back in 2018, the E-PACE caused a little confusion with its name – despite what the "E" might imply, it's not electric; that's the Jaguar I-PACE – but borrowed plenty from its bigger F-PACE sibling. Although purists might have scoffed, it proved to be a sensible move, with Jaguar saying that its SUVs now account for the majority of sales in the US.

For the 2021 E-PACE, the exterior is getting some tweaks. The big grille remains, but now has a mesh design with chrome detailing, along with Noble Chrome grille tips. There's a reworked lower aperture, with new blades, and all-LED headlamps with Jaguar's "Double J-Blade" daytime running lights.

At the rear, there's now a new mesh insert in the lower bumper, and all-LED taillamps to match the front. Jaguar will have a Black Exterior Pack, too, which swaps out much of the chromework for Narvik Black: on the grille surround and tips, the lower bumper mesh inserts, the side vents, the window surrounds, and the rear badging too. There's now a new Jaguar Leaper logo on the side vents as well, and new wheels up to 20-inches in size.

The cabin gets a refresh too, now with a curved 11.4-inch HD touchscreen for the Pivi Pro infotainment system which is standard on the P250 SE and 300 Sport. Jaguar says it's not only treated to remove glare, but also to make wiping off fingerprints and smudges easier. The system itself should be swifter to start up, and has Google and Outlook calendar integration, along with embedded dual LTE modems. The P250 gets the regular Pivi system, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Wireless phone charging is now easier to access, in the storage area behind the shift-by-wire selector. Cricket-ball contrast stitching has been added, and there's more metal and soft-touch plastics. The rotary dials and steering wheel have been revamped, with metal and hidden controls, and there are now metal paddle shifters rather than plastic.

There'll be five color options – Ebony, Light Oyster, Deep Garnet, Caraway, and Cloud – while other options will include a new cabin air ionization system with PM2.5 particulate filtration. A 12.3-inch digital driver display is available too, along with a color head-up display, and the rear view mirror can be swapped for a digital version beaming a camera view from the rear of the SUV. Adaptive cruise control is available too.

Under the hood there'll be a choice of two engines. The entry-level 2021 E-PACE P250 and mid-tier P250 SE get a 2.0-liter inline-four turbocharged Ingenium engine, with a 9-speed automatic. It's tuned for 246 horsepower. The 300 Sport kicks that up to 296 horsepower, courtesy of a mild-hybrid upgrade.

All-wheel drive is standard, with an electromechanically controlled clutch pack that shifts torque between the front and rear axles. During cruising, it can also disconnect the rear axle for more efficiency. The 300 Sport throws in the Active Driveline AWD, with two electronically controlled wet-plate clutches on the rear axle delivering torque vectoring by shifting power between the rear left and right wheels.

Jaguar has made other drivetrain tweaks, too. New engine mounts help with throttle response, and the front suspension attachment points are stiffer; that, the automaker says, helps both with agility and comfort, as well as cutting vibrations and cabin noise.

The Dynamic Handling Pack – standard on the 300 Sport, and an option on the P250 SE – adds Adaptive Dynamics to adjust the dampers based on how the E-PACE is being driven. All E-PACE get switchable drive modes – Comfort, Eco, Dynamic, and Adaptive Surface Response – with the Dynamic Handling Pack cars adding a driver-customizable mode.

The 2021 E-PACE kicks off at $40,995 (plus $1,050 destination) for the P250 AWD, an increase of just over $1k versus the MY20 crossover. The P250 SE starts at $46,095, while the 300 Sport will be $49,995.