- Enormous boot space
- Stylish good looks
- Good running costs
- Ride is really harsh
The hotly anticipated SUV from Jaguar has finally arrived in the stunning form of the F-Pace that's designed by the Jaguar Director of Design, Ian Callum. It’s a model that was missing from their lineup, so does the SUV that also bags a lot of performance have what it takes to dominate the segment?
On the Road
Not surprisingly, the F-Pace has been inspired by the sporty F-Type, not only in looks, so if you’re looking for lots of performance you’ll get it with the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine which produces 300PS with a whopping 700Nm of torque. Expect plenty of power as soon as you touch the throttle and although it’s not a sports car, it canters on with a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds.
There is also a 3.0-litre V6 Supercharged petrol engine with 380PS which features in the F-Type too and a new 2.0-litre 4 cylinder 180PS turbocharged diesel that comes from the Jaguar Land Rover Ingenium range, both being very fuel efficient yet powerful engines.
A real disappointment is the ride; it is so firm and unforgiving. The short off-road course we tested on had us practically out of our seats on every slight bump and even on normal roads it just has no give... For tackling rough surfaces the F-Pace features their All Surface Progress Control which works as a low speed cruise control and aids with handling. One plus if you were to take it off-roading is that it has a good wading depth of 525mm and 213mm ground clearance, but that's not really going to happen is it...?
Handling is good, it feels really solid, yet it’s been built out of lightweight aluminium so is much lighter than its rivals and the all-wheel drive gives plenty of traction so the Jaguar can be really pushed into corners with just some slight body roll. Who says driving an SUV isn’t fun?
Jaguar engineer cars that are very refined and the F-Pace continues this trend as the cabin is quiet but there is some wind noise off the large mirrors and the 3.0-litre diesel quite rightly roars into action, but it all makes for a nice drive.
Seats are really comfortable, well-made and rather snug fitting while the pop-up gear selector is pure class in a well thought out interior.
In the car
Jaguar have kept the interior very simple, it looks sleek, modern and won’t date too quickly like some can do nowadays.
The Jaguar emblem leaps across the centre of the steering wheel and Jaguar is embossed rather neatly on the air vents and along the glovebox, it’s a detail that just sets it apart.
The centre console hides some useful cubby holes that are ideal for storing your phone while the centre stack features the Jaguar InControl technology system as standard which is an 8-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB and Aux connections and for the driver, a 5-inch display between the dials.
InControl Touch Pro is their option that has a larger 10.2-inch screen and the rather cool looking instrument cluster which unlike the dials you usually see, is a customisable 12.3-inch colour TFT screen which looks the business and even displays maps in 3D.
The F-Pace fits in adults easily, the spacious cabin is brightened by the optional panoramic roof making it light and airy but with some buyers likely to use their car for adventure and attach a bike to the roof, rather than heading for the weekly shop, it’s extremely practical with a huge 650-litres of space making it the best in class. Jaguar have really thought about how to get the edge over the competition and with 40:20:40 split rear-folding seats, the F-Pace tops the practicality and space stakes.
If you’re throwing muddy equipment into the boot then the floor can be flipped over from carpet to a rubber mat. They seem to have thought of everything but for those sporty, all-action owners Jaguar have also devised a wristband that offers an alternative to carrying a key fob which locks everything in the car including the fob. Great idea.
The Jaguar F-Pace is well priced from £34,170, rivals like the BMW X4 and Porsche Macan are more, the Macan significantly so at just under £10,000 more.
In a very competitive SUV segment will it tempt away the Range Rover Evoque buyers from it’s sister brand?
Anything manufactured by Jaguar has done well recently, the F-Type has turned around their fortunes and dare we say it, made them look cool again and the F-Pace is likely to be as successful. Their First Edition F-Pace sold out and with it being so affordable then they might wish they’d launched an SUV earlier.
Running costs will be good too as the 2.0-litre diesel will emit just 129g/km of CO2 with a combined 57.7mpg so it’ll be just £110 per year in road tax while the 3.0-litre diesel will cost £185 as it emits 159g/km of CO2.
Production quality is high, with leather throughout, perforated leather on the seats and dashes of chrome plastics and piano black gloss surfaces it feels built to last.
Jaguar have improved a lot over recent years with reliability and owners have been satisfied with their models, they took the top spot in the What Car? survey a few years ago and more recently they’ve been collecting the accolades with the XE winning Business Car of the Year for 2016 and the XF taking the Best Executive Car title at the 2016 UK Car of the Year awards. It won’t be long before the F-Pace is adding to their trophy cabinet.
As yet the Jaguar F-Pace hasn’t been tested in the Euro NCAP ratings but we would imagine it’ll get the full five stars as it comes loaded with airbags and driver assistance systems including lane departure, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring and a helpful aid when reversing is traffic detection which will alert the driver of any moving vehicles. Another parking aid is park assist which will steer the F-Pace into tight spaces, all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake. Easy.
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