Jaguar’s latest and smallest SUV, the E-Pace, was launched at the 2018 Bangkok Motor Show. Revealed globally in July 2017, the scaled down version of the F-Pace – Jaguar’s first ever SUV – is available in Thailand with the D150 AWD Auto powertrain, and in the base S trim level. It’s going for 3.6 million baht (RM445,435), but there’s a 100,000 baht (RM12,376) discount for purchases made at the show.

The Ingenium 2.0 litre diesel engine makes 150 PS and 380 Nm of torque at 1,750 rpm, and is geared towards efficiency. Front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox is available for this base engine elsewhere, but the Thai-spec E-Pace gets a nine-speed ZF automatic transmission and AWD. Such equipped, 0-100 km/h is done in 10.5 seconds and top speed is 193 km/h.

Standard kit includes LED headlamps, 18-inch alloys, perforated leather seats, 10-way electric seat with memory, keyless entry with push start (not the Activity Key wristband), hands-free tailgate and a 10.1 inch Touch Pro head unit, among other things. Note that the red car you see here is a fully-loaded R-Dynamic “First Edition” with all the bells and whistles – the brown car in the gallery below is a better representation of the E-Pace that Thai customers can buy.

Said to be inspired by the F-Type sports car in design, the E-Pace is claimed to have “exceptional interior space” for a vehicle in this class. At 4,395 mm, it’s 44 mm shorter than the BMW X1, but the Jag’s 2,681 mm wheelbase is 11 mm longer. Rear legroom is 892 mm while luggage capacity is a decent 480 litres, 25 litres down on the BMW. Folding the rear seats creates 1,234 litres of space.

Inside, the cabin focal point is a wraparound cockpit with the passenger grab handle forming the boundary of the driver console – once again, a style from the F-Type. The elevated ‘Sports Command’ driving position offers excellent visibility while retaining a cockpit-like feel, Jaguar says.

It doesn’t sound very Jaguar to include good stowage solutions, but the 8.42 litre centre console compartment can house four large water bottles as well as configurable cupholders and trays. There’s a 10.07 litre glovebox, while 10.56 litre front and 8.26 litre rear door bins are bigger than most. There are four 12-volt charging points and five USB connections as well as a 4G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices.

The platform is the one used by the Land Rover Discovery Sport, and the chassis is based on the Integral Link rear suspension concept developed for the F-Pace. The architecture separates lateral and longitudinal forces, providing the combination of responsive steering/handling with comfort and refinement, it is claimed.

Besides the engine for Thailand, the E-Pace can be had with a 180 PS/430 Nm AWD diesel, a 240 PS/500 Nm AWD diesel, a 249 PS/365 Nm AWD petrol and a 300 PS/400 Nm petrol in other markets. The latter is the fastest E-Pace with a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds and top speed of 243 km/h. The SUV is contract manufactured by Magna Steyr in Austria as JLR’s Halewood plant is running at full capacity.

Without the generous proportions of its bigger sibling, the E-Pace looks a little odd from certain angles to these eyes. What do you think of Jag’s little lifestyle crossover? Is the BMW X2 more hip?