As Jaguar’s first entry into the hugely popular compact sport-utility segment, the E-Pace commands a starring role for the British brand here at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

With a starting price of $39,595, the E-Pace is smaller in size and several thousand dollars cheaper than the F-Pace. Since going on sale in 2016, the F-Pace has streaked to the top of Jaguar’s U.S. sales charts. But until now, it has been the sole SUV in the company’s lineup. 

Compared with luxury rivals such as Acura, Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar remains a newcomer to the world of SUVs—so long as you don’t count the brand’s long affiliation with Land Rover.

With today’s red-hot market for luxury compact SUVs, adding the smaller and cheaper E-Pace to its range could provide another serious sales boost to the automaker. 

See the complete coverage of the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The smaller and less expensive E-Pace will face a formidable list of competitors when it goes on sale next year, including well-established rivals including the Acura RDX, Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The E-Pace offers a choice of two turbocharged engines: a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 246 hp and a 296-hp four-cylinder in the R-Dynamic variant. Each model will be offered in three select trim levels.

No matter which engine or trim you choose, all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission come standard. To help save fuel, the transmission can disengage the rear axle to reduce mechanical friction in the drivetrain. By operating in front-wheel drive, the E-Pace doesn’t have the thirst for fuel of an SUV that’s continually operating in AWD mode. 

When the E-Pace’s onboard sensors detect that additional traction is needed, the all-wheel-drive hardware automatically sends power to the rear wheels in 0.3 second, according to Jaguar.  

2018 Jaguar E-Pace interior

The E-Pace interior features a 10-inch touch-screen display for the infotainment system, large rotary controls to adjust temperature settings and fan speed, and multiple USB ports and available 4G WiFi that can support up to eight devices. Also optional is a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and full-color, head-up display screen that displays navigation commands, radio settings, vehicle speed, and warnings related to blind-spot monitoring and active cruise control.

All versions of the E-Pace come equipped with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, a driver monitoring system to detect if the driver is distracted or drowsy, and front and rear parking aids to assist in parallel and perpendicular parking.  

2018 Jaguar E-Pace rear