Glasgow’s car dealerships are gathering at Hillington including the new Taggarts Jaguar
I was lucky enough to borrow a Jaguar E-Pace from Taggarts Jaguar. The new purpose-built dealership is now at Hillington, where a collection of dealerships is steadily growing.
From the new Jaguar and Volvo dealerships, to Audi which was the first to make its mark there (I did some work around the A5 and Q7 launches a number of years back), to Porsche, Infiniti, Peter Vardy and Arnold Clark. The Glasgow automotive scene is quickly gathering momentum.
Changing sales techniques
You may have read my post about a women’s car buying experience earlier this year. When I went to speak to Taggarts Jaguar about borrowing the E-Pace, I was there for over an hour chatting to its Head of Business, Jason Blane.
I talked about some of the initial research responses and the stereotypical salesman. I was pleased to hear that Taggarts have made progress from the pushy car salesman through to now listening to the customer.
Listening is the sales team’s biggest asset. It’ll save time, build a better rapport and it’ll let the person you’re selling to, know you understand what they are looking for.
I knew I wanted my blog to be different from other car reviews. Something which resonated with the people who follow and read my blogs, not just about throwing a car around a race track or jetting off to exotic locations to test the car.
So we, the dynamic trio, set up a plan to drive to Loch Lomond and use scenery and settings right on our doorstep to not only shoot the car, but to see what it could do on some of the UK’s best drive routes.
It brought back memories of the Lotus Evora first drive I worked on with Lotus when I first started Aura. Sadly on this occasion, we couldn’t visit Cameron House, as the recent fire has seen it close down.
Back to the E-Pace!
(Don’t confuse ‘e’ with electric. This is not the electric model. The newly unveiled I-Pace is the latest innovation from Jaguar and unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last week!)
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the E-Pace, either its size or performance. I test drove the 2 litre diesel model, which was a semi-automatic – the E-Pace R-Dynamic 150 HSE in Caesium Blue.
It had 19 inch mid-grey alloys and was kitted out with full leather, panoramic sunroof, electric boot, LED automatic lights and a cockpit full of gadgets!
This compact SUV is fairly spacious but I noticed the boot was quite a bit smaller than my own, in the Tiguan. You could easily fit a medium sized dog and it’ll be comfortable for a car journey but it’s not the sort of boot for two large dogs. I suppose it is the ‘compact’ SUV, though.
Here’s my short video of the review shoot. For a first attempt I think we’re pleased with it, but I know I could improve the sound quality of narration and I’d like to get my personality across more.
Dynamic driving with more than a purr
One of the things I noticed when driving is the smoothness – this car was smooth! It’s broadly based on the same platform as the hugely popular Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport. When you switch driving modes, at the tip of a button in the cockpit, Dynamic is definitely the most fun!
It’s more responsive, but it also gives you the more dynamic, (funnily enough), handling of the car. You can feel the suspension get a bit stiffer and you can put the foot down around bends and on the straight and you can feel the power.
It’s a heavy car though and so although it’s a two litre, the model I was driving was not rapid. I especially felt the lag when accelerating through roundabouts, I wanted a bit more oomph from it. Apparently, the petrol engine with 298bhp is better but it can drink fuel!
Active Driveline mode also disengages during steady driving to boost fuel efficiency. When you’re driving around town, you’ll hardly need it in Dynamic mode!
The car I had was all wheel drive, (AWD), so it had that extra amount of traction on the bendy roads. I also noticed that you don’t feel that many holes or bumps, and with the state of the roads just now, that was both needed and impressive.
The other thing l really liked about the design was that you felt like you were driving a car. It was a good seating position and you didn’t feel like you needed ladders to get in. The fully electric seats made it easy to find a comfortable position.
The car designer and Jaguar’s head of design (whom I know and admire), Ian Callum, told Top Gear that it had “big paws and big eyes”! The E-Pace is the cub. It’s the little brother of the F-Pace.
The front grille is seriously impressive. I think it makes the car look bigger than it actually is. It’s tall and certainly looks like it’s a Jaguar.
I also like the rear, but it can look quite small at different angles. It boasts a twin exhaust and some of the typical lines you’d expect from a Jaguar, some taken from the sporty F-Type.
The lines on the side of the car are significant. They follow the Jaguar emblem and are a trait of the brand. They are possibly more noticeable in another colour. The blue car I had was a really unusual blue. I loved it. It also got a lot of attention!
A lovely touch was the lights which shone on the ground in the dark, courtesy lights I think they are called. Only, Jaguar went one step further and actually used the Jaguar and cub visual! You can also see the same graphic on the windscreen, but it’s discreet.
Inside the car, there is lots of space for ‘things’. Whether it’s the usual clutter which can build up out of nowhere, or as Ian Calum said “the megabin will hold two wine bottles – and that’s clearly important.” Amen to that!
The seats with chunky side bolsters meant a comfortable ride and with contrast stitching on the perforated leather, looked like real attention had been paid to the styling. The basic model comes with material seats.
I liked the tablet style 10 inch infotainment screen and system in the cockpit. Everything at your finger tips including sat nav, rear view camera, phone, media and a 4G hotspot. Everything was easy to use and once I’d synced my phone, I felt I was ready to go. The steering wheel had all the buttons I need to change the source of music, what I saw on the virtual dashboard and more.
The Meridian sound system was well and truly tested! Most car brands are now partnering with quality sound brands, from B&O to Bose, but I like that a British car brand has partnered with another British brand for the in-car audio system.
With precious cargo on board, it’s important to look at safety, too. In November 2017, Jaguar revealed the following:
- New Jaguar E-PACE delivers five-star Euro NCAP safety
- High scores in the adult and child occupant tests, as well as pedestrian protection
- Jaguar’s first compact SUV features of advanced driver assistance technology including Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist and Driver Condition Monitor
I think the Black Pack is worth a look if you want to make the car a bit more mean looking. Gloss black grille, side vents and window surrounds look brilliant. (Not on the model shown).
Now, the point a lot of you have been making or asking about through my Instagram posts -how much it costs…
Surprisingly, the E-Pace starts from £28,500. I’ve seen the costs escalate for the more luxury models (The E-Pace First Edition is from £47,8000), but I think for a base price, this is a great price-point. The model I had is from £31,800.
I had a play about with the ‘build your own’ section on the website and with all the spec mine had, it was over £44,000 on the road.
The car is aimed at females, mid-twenties to early forties. I’m assuming with buggies, dogs, shopping, car seats etc and as I fit in that demographic, I’d say it’s a car worth adding to your research list.
If you’re after a car which can take all the ‘stuff’, is practical and indeed rather stylish, then this is a car for you to test drive. You can do this by completing this simple online form with Taggarts Jaguar. Yes, this is a sponsored blog post, but I’m speaking from my own experience and would highly recommend you give it a try.
Ian and the Jaguar team have designed a stylish, affordable and solid car. For me, there are a few things I’d change.
- The panoramic sunroof should open. It doesn’t
- I would have thought there would have been heated seats given the spec and the full leather upholstery. I couldn’t find them looking at the cockpit and the sides of the seats but I know it’s an option you can add. That’s a must for me.
- The finish around the gear stick would easily get scratched as it went all the way to the cubby hole where you’d put your phone. Between nails, rings, watches, bracelets and big phones, I’d have been annoyed if I’d have scratched it. I think a slightly more practical finish or design would have been easier to maintain.
More spec info:
Under the bonnet
top speed 124 mph
CO2 EMISSIONS g/km
As low as 124* on Manual
As low as 147 on Automatic
FUEL ECONOMY Combined mpg
Up to 60.1* Manual
Up to 50.4 Automatic
just over 1.6m high,
boot 577 litres vs F-Pace 650 litres
(As a comparison: VW Tiguan 615 litres – Audi Q3 420 litres, Q5 540 litres, X3 550 litres)
Thank you to Taggarts Jaguar for loaning me the car and to Martin Shields and John Young for helping put together some great content.
Thank you also for stopping by and reading my post. Please Follow my blog if you like my content and if you want more video content in the future, sign up to my YouTube channel here.