The Jaguar E-Pace crossover recently underwent a design and feature overhaul, and received new engine options.
The range now starts at just under R900,000 – which puts the E-Pace in competition against the Mercedes-Benz GLB.
Despite the “entry-level” status of these vehicles, they have extensive standard equipment lists – including leather seats, large screens, automatic features, and driver aids.
The seats in the GLB are dressed up in manmade Artico leather and black fabric, whereas the E-Pace sports a full-grained leather upholstery.
Both come standard with automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, electric wing mirrors, cruise control, and climate control – with the Jaguar adding two-zone climate control and rear vents.
In the GLB, connectivity is handled by the latest iteration of the MBUX infotainment system, and two 7-inch displays mounted on the dash.
This provides a configurable instrument cluster for the driver, as well as a central infotainment display that supports a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The E-Pace only has one infotainment display, in the form of the 11.4-inch Pivi Pro system, alongside an analogue instrument cluster with a multi-information screen.
However, the central screen is much larger than the one in the Mercedes – and integrated into the front fascia in a more stylish fashion.
This system mirrors the GLB’s abilities, but adds several power sockets around the cabin while removing the Wi-Fi hotspot.
Pivi Pro also comes with an ECO driving assistant, which will show you the most fuel-efficient way to drive via an “efficient driveline”.
Mercedes-Benz’s diesel GLB competes with this by offering the off-road engineering package as standard.
This brings along additional drive modes for snow, slush, and loose terrains; an off-road light function that illuminates the fog lights up to 50km/h; and downhill speed regulation.
A benefit of owning these vehicles is their exemplary safety measures.
The Jaguar E-Pace achieves a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating and includes ABS with emergency brake assist, dynamic stability control, torque vectoring, driver condition monitor, lane keep assist, a 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, and multiple airbags.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB boasts the same 5-star rating, and offers ABS with brake assist, dynamic stability control, front, side, and curtain airbags, and the Mercedes-Benz emergency call function.
Features such as lane assist and cameras for the Mercedes are then available at an additional cost.
Under the hood of the E-Pace lies a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel motor that produces 146kW and 430Nm – paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Drive is sent to all four wheels and off-road capabilities are improved thanks to a low-friction launch programme, all-surface progress control, adaptive surface response, and passive suspension.
This sees an 8.4 second 0-100km/h acceleration time for the Jaguar, a combined fuel consumption of 5.3l/100km, and a maximum braked towing capacity of 2,000kg.
On the GLB’s side you will also find a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel motor. This unit delivers 140kW and 400Nm of torque, and connects to an eight-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.
Off-road prowess is assured by the standard engineering package, and comfort suspension makes the ride softer.
Acceleration to 100km/h is achieved in 7.6 seconds, a braked towing capacity of 2,000kg is available, and combined fuel consumption is rated at 5.5l/100km.
Both crossovers can carry a good amount of cargo inside the cabins, too, as the Mercedes supports 565 litres with all the seats up – while the Jaguar allows 577 litres.
The Jaguar E-Pace D200 AWD R-Dynamic S has a South African starting price of R874,210.
This includes a 5-year/100,000km Jaguar Care Plan.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB220d 4Matic is the cheapest new diesel GLB on the market, at a South African starting price of R846,880.
Along with this you get a 2-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, and a 5-year/100,000km PremiumDrive maintenance plan.