Cuddle cool: cute, but not a bitch car

I don’t care if this turns out to be a thoroughly sexist review. It’s Jaguar’s fault that built an SUV for girls. Girls? Are women sure? Truly! But for their husbands (50), those women (48, or 30) are indeed girls. In a year-club context they demonize the opposite sex to ‘the girls’ or to ‘our girls’. Tipsy man, at a garden party: “Where are our girls?” There, by the pond, ash blonde and gossiping. Thus one lives and orders in another, parallel reality; the one where the roles are fixed and one earns Jaguars with T-shirts, clocks, cars and real estate, or law. Tax law.

Now that the conceptual framework of the Jag world has been delineated, I can explain how the SUV for Jag girls came into existence. The man already had a Jaguar SUV, the F-Pace – for a ton on the balance, and thundering that it’s a delight. It was too big for madam, and why would they ride the same? Because Jaguar had nothing smaller in that genre and she immediately found a BMW X1 Zwitserleven, she took a Range Rover Evoque. She can now exchange it for the private label, because the Evoque now also makes the Evoque group member Jaguar in a different packaging under the name E-Pace. Same car, same platform, same engines. But then a Jaguar. It’s a market and there’s a demand for it, that’s why. Baby SUV.


How disparaging does that sound. No baby SUV; big in small. The sizes reflect his ambiguity. It’s as wide as a large one, almost six feet, and as long as a small one, shorter than Kia’s or Hyundai’s midsize SUVs. Just under four meters forty is quite mini and it also looks a bit like that. It’s like they shortened it with a vice. From the side, you might mistake it for a comically squeezed Korean midsize SUV. Front and back exclude any misunderstanding. The rectangular grille with rounded corners and, at the rear, the narrow light bars with the LED tear sacs are unequivocally Jaguar. The excessive wheel size, 21 inches, enhances the toy-likeness of the sight. And in those consciously sought out disproportions you will find the hard indications for the ambiguous emancipation agenda behind the E-Pace.

It is clear that Jaguar did not want to put down a bitch car. It is made for the self-confident, extroverted types. The lady does run a thriving catering company and that is a good thing. Nose and wheels speak manly language. On the other hand, it is precisely those aspects that have been magnified in order to provoke a stereotypically feminine endearment. The rims are so big, says designer Ian Callum, because with puppies everything is out of proportion. The E-Pace must be that young dog with clumsy fat legs. Here we go. He’s cuddly tough, cub tough, he wants to hit the weak spots where the men think they are – and which they have themselves, but have to deny in the role play. This tough wants to be cute, a pseudo parody of husbands machismo.

In this paradox lies the psychological dilemma for the brand. A Jaguar can’t be cute, it has to run the fastest times with refinement invincible. In doing so, he is somewhat hindered by his unheard of mass. Even in this obese sector, an empty weight of 1,804 kilos is out of proportion. The tested E-Pace with 180 hp diesel engine is even heavier than the much larger F-Pace. But it has the lightweight aluminum body that the little brother couldn’t get off. The E-Pace absorbs the blows with an eight-speed automatic transmission that maintains the strong pulling power while shifting smoothly; you would estimate it lighter by feel. You pay the bill for that clean appearance at the pump, because 1 in 12.5 is not worth an Oscar for an SUV of this size.

He drives well. Not like a Jaguar, the steering is too light, poor in feeling and synthetic for that; Here too you will find all the prejudices about parking talent and driving style of the catering ladies. Other than that, it’s not a bad car. On the other hand: what can you buy with this house for 82,000 euros? Real Jaguars. A compact, super-fast XE-S with 340 hp and all the trimmings. I would know. So I’m not a huggable caterer of 30 or 48. I’m an old man who sees through the nefarious ruse of Jaguar’s trim model with the guilty intuition of his emancipatory defects.