THERE are no doubt some who still view Jaguar's entry into the SUV sector with suspicion - mind you they are probably the same people who didn't like the idea of Jaguar making an estate car.
Jaguar is no longer just about sports cars and sports saloons and with its expanding range of SUVs starting to dominate when it comes to sales you can be sure that they're here to stay.
While another Jaguar SUV (the all-electric I-PACE) is seen as hugely important because it's spearheading Jaguar Land Rover move's towards electrification, the E-PACE is arguably going to prove more significant.
It's shaping-up to become the breakthrough car for the brand that the XE saloon was intended to be.
The XE represented a huge investment by Jaguar and was described by some as the most important car it had ever made.
However its launch coincided with shifting sands in automotive fashions and the seemingly unstoppable rise of SUVs and crossovers was something Jaguar could not afford to ignore.
There's an argument that if you have two brands like Jaguar and Land Rover only Land Rover should be producing SUVs but to do so would be foolish when you consider everyone is now churning them out - even the likes of Lamborghini and Rolls Royce.
The E-PACE is Jaguar's most affordable SUV and with prices starting at a shade under Â£30,000 it's easy to see a lot of people coming to the Jaguar brand.
It looks nice enough, with a profile that hints enough at Jaguar's current design language, though falling short of saying ‘look at me I'm a Big Cat'.
To be fair it's hard to design an SUV that looks sleek and sultry but I'd say Jaguar's team have done a decent job.
The marketing blurb will tell you it's inspired by the F-Type and to be fair there are elements which echo Jaguar's much lauded sports car, particularly its haunches and quarter-lights.
On the inside the ergonomics are impressive, something that was enhanced in this very high-spec R-Dynamic HSE model.
It featured a super snazzy red and black interior (Mars Red and Ebony to give it its official title) that was hard not to like and most passengers who came on board commented favourably on it.
If you fancy motoring around in almost Austin Powers-esque style you'll be paying for the privilege though - this particularly sporty petrol-powered model would set you back almost Â£50,000.
Choice is plentiful as far as the range goes, with five trim levels to choose from.
An entry-level model costs Â£28,930 - and for that you'll get a 150ps 2.0-litre diesel engine under the bonnet with a manual gearbox and front-wheel rather than four-wheel drive.
It still comes generously equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, six speaker sound system, DAB radio, reversing camera and parking sensors.
All E-PACEs also come with Jaguar Land Rover's latest Touch Pro infotainment system with voice control, a 10-inch touchscreen interface and a customisable home screen.
The 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine is available in three different power variants - 150, 180 and 240ps.
Petrol power comes courtesy of two 2.0-litre petrol units delivering 240 and 300ps.
The more powerful unit fitted to this car proved to be a sweet and smooth performer.
It powers the E-PACE along surprisingly quickly with a choice of driving modes depending on what you're doing.
All models come with the Drive Control system which offers Normal, Dynamic, ECO and Rain, Ice and Snow modes.
The E-PACE is at its most sporty in Dynamic mode but feels sufficiently sprightly in Normal mode. A 0-62mph sprint speed of 6.5 seconds is impressive to say the least.
However, it does come at a price in terms of fuel economy.
A combined economy figure of 31.7mpg might be a bit off-putting, though using the ECO mode does make a difference.
For an SUV, albeit a small-ish one, the E-PACE feels nicely flat and sure footed.