Malaysian drivers can be creatures of habit whose purchasing habits are often tied to age-old brand associations and perceptions. It is why Japanese cars continue to outsell their Korean rivals in spite of the changing landscape in other parts of the world. The German makes continue to dominate higher up the food chain. But Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia (JLRM) seems to believe it can shake things up with the 2020 Jaguar E-Pace.
Launched in Malaysia as a fully-imported product, the F-Pace's baby brother is priced at RM403,217 after factoring in the 50 percent sales tax waiver for CBUs. This rules out any realistic form of competition with locally-assembled SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC or BMW X3. But it places the high-riding Jag right in the ballpark of the recently-updated Porsche Macan.
Like the exceedingly popular Porsche, the E-Pace draws power from a two-litre four-pot turbo. The engine in question is JLR's signature Ingenium mill with a twin-scroll turbocharger,continuously variable valve lift and variable cam timing. It's good for 200PS and 320Nm of twist that's mated to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission, giving the E-Pace a relatively modest century sprint of 8.2 seconds by luxury car standards.
Things look more convincing in the rest of the spec sheet, with some of the standout items being a 10-inch "Touch Pro" infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, an accompanying 380W Meridian sound system, leather seats with 14-way electric adjustment up front and 20-inch "Style 6014" alloys to name a few. Safety features include six airbags, a driver condition monitor and lane keep assist among others.
The 2020 Jaguar E-Pace is on sale in Malaysia in two colours - Yulong White and Firenze Red - and comes with JLRM's "Jaguar Care" programme which is essentially a five-year warranty and free service package with three years of roadside assistance.