BMW’s smallest SUV, the X1, doesn’t have many premium competitors. There’s the Mercedes-Benz GLA Class, but that’s more of a wagon than an SUV. The Audi Q3 is more of a competitor for the X1 but it’s getting quite long in the tooth, now. So if you’re looking for a premium crossover in that segment, the X1 is currently the best option. I don’t know about you folk, but I see tons of them in my area. It’s becoming quite popular because it’s the best car in the segment. But now, there’s a new competitor from Britain, the Jaguar E-Pace.
Following in the footsteps of its older and larger F-Pace sibling, the Jaguar E-Pace is quite the looker. While its styling isn’t as pretty as the F-Pace, it has a charm and flare that seems absent in its German rivals.
The BMW X1 is no ugly duckling, though. When I first saw the X1 on its press launch in Mexico, I was shocked at how good it looked in person. It’s a genuinely handsome little thing, even if it looks front-driven. So how do these two compare? Well, let’s break it down.
From the front, I think the Jaguar E-Pace is the prettier car of the two. Its headlights are prettier and its grille is classic Jaguar cool. Not that the X1 is ugly, it’s just sort of there. Plus, it’s a bit oddly proportioned, with massive headlights and not so massive Kidney Grilles. It looks better in M Sport trim, but the Jag looks better in its sportier-guise as well.
From the side, picking one of these two really depends on what you’re after. If you want something a bit more SUV-like and something a bit more active-looking, than the X1 is probably for you. The E-Pace, is a bit sleeker, a bit sportier and a bit more expensive looking. The X1’s high belt-line, pronounced shoulder line and more squarish wheel arches make it seem tougher and more utilitarian. While the Jag’s smoother body, muscular rear haunches and sleek greenhouse make it seem sportier and prettier.
Out back, the Jag wins again, at least to these eyes. The slim, sleek taillights look sharp and the way its rear haunches flare out make it seem very muscular. The X1’s rump isn’t bad, but its taillights are a bit funky and can grow tiresome and it just seems kind of “meh”.
On the inside, it’s a bit of a tossup. The BMW X1 looks a bit more premium, especially with the wood trim in these photos, and it seems to be more smartly laid out. The Jag is very chic and modern and looks quite good. But it’s a bit plain and rather simple. I think the BMW X1 wins the interior battle, here, but it’s close. We’re not going to comment on interior quality, as we haven’t been inside of the Jag yet, so we’re just basing this on styling.
Overall, if it were my money, I think the Jaguar E-Pace is the nicer looking car. It’s prettier, more dynamic looking and also more premium looking. However, I can completely understand why anyone would choose the X1 instead. It’s more rugged looking, has more of an active look and has the nicer cabin.