Not low slung to the extent that it becomes impractical, the F-Pace sits somewhere between a conventional station wagon and a 4WD in its shape. We love it.
Jaguar is far from alone in this hardest fought of all upmarket automotive market segments; Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, and Porsche are already there and making nice profits, thank you.
The large grille with the roaring red Jaguar in its centre is flanked by slim headlight housings, each with twin circular lights framed by styled surrounds. There’s a plethora of grilles below the main grille, we counted five in all, each with its own dramatic lines.
The bonnet is long and has a large power bulge that could be traced back to the legendary Jaguar E-Type without having to use too much imagination.
Jaguar F-Pace’s profile is dramatic, with the rising window lines and falling roof lines meeting neatly at the rear. A large spoiler at the top of the tailgate completes the package. The slim taillights remind us of the F-Pace’s sporting cousin – the F-Type.
Inside, F-Pace is very 21st century Jaguar as the harking back to the olde traditions that used to be taken too far at times has ceased. In a sporting fashion there is a trio of round gauges in a single binnacle that can be set up in different displays. A separate central binnacle carries easy to use infotainment controls and screen.
A powered tailgate is standard. Cargo space is a 650 litres and the area is easy to load. With the all three rear seat backs folded the F-Pace can cope with up to 1740 litres.
The parcel shelf can be stored under the luggage area floor when you need extra boot height. It’s reversible, with either carpet or a rubberised surface.
Our test car had Jaguar’s inControl Touch system with an 8.0-inch screen. Higher level models get the company’s inControl Touch Pro operating through a 10.2-inch screen. Bluetooth connectivity is provided and the audio system includes DAB+ digital radio with quality sound where it’s available.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSION
There’s a big range of petrol and diesel engines, and four or V6 layouts. Our road test Jag was the 20D with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 132 kilowatts of power and 430 Newton metres of toque, the latter comes in from 1750 rpm and remains at that level till 2500 revs.
All F-Pace models have an eight-speed automatic transmission that adapts to driving conditions via the vehicles’ all-wheel drive system.
Jaguar’s suite of active safety systems include adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, park assist and surround cameras. ANCAP has given the F-Pace a five-star rating.
The adaptive LED headlamps work extremely well and almost give the feeling you’re driving in sunlight. One day all cars will have lights like these, in the meantime only those in the upmarket arena get them. That’s life.
The large front seats immediately feel comfortable in a very British Jaguar fashion. They do provide good support but if you want to corner in a sporting fashion you might like a bit more sideways assistance. However, the endless comfort-handling compromises are probably sorted out nicely for the typical buyer.
Rear seat space is good thought very tall people may find the roof lower than they like. Legroom and footroom back there is good, but the hard plastic in the lower edges backs of the front seats can be hard on the shins.
JaguarDrive lets you chose between four modes; Dynamic, Normal, Eco and Rain Ice Snow. The differences in engine and transmission performance is noticeable and make the big Jag a pleasure to pilot.
Steering wheel-mounted shift paddles let you choose to make your own decisions. It would be nice if they paddles were a little larger, though.
There’s plenty of road grip and the balance offered by near 50/50 overall weight distribution certainly shows in a semi-sporty feel. Steering is nicely weighted and this big SUV certainly doesn’t feel as though it’s ever going to struggle in normal to fast driving.
Looks can be deceiving; the low sporting appearance of the F-Pace makes it seem smaller than it really is. I’m embarrassed to say I miscalculated the first time I went for a tight parking space. Didn’t hit anything, but had to reverse a couple of times…
Jaguar tells us the combined fuel consumption can be as low as 5.3 litres per hundred kilometres with the 2.0-litre diesel engine. We found it using five to six litres per hundred kilometres on easy paced motorways and in level country. It seldom consumed more than nine litres per hundred around town. That’s impressive when you consider the
A really clever feature lets you lock the keys inside the car, just the thing if you want to go swimming. A wearable waterproof band is used to lock and unlock, all you have to do is touch the band on the letter ‘J’ in Jaguar on the tailgate. Love it.
Jaguar’s new F-Pace is very much a Jaguar. A statement that may sound slightly strange to those who aren’t into cars, or Jaguars; but the feeling of comfort and luxury inside this stylish British SUV is something that should be trialled if you’re shopping in the market area.
Prestige 20d i4 turbo-diesel AWD 132kW 8Sp Automatic $74,340
Prestige 30d V6 turbo-diesel AWD 221kW 8Sp Automatic $84,544
Prestige 35t V6 supercharged petrol AWD 250kW 8Sp Automatic $83,745
R-Sport 20d i4 turbo-diesel AWD 132kW 8Sp Automatic $80,044
R-Sport 30d V6 turbo-diesel AWD 221kW 8Sp Automatic $90,304
R-Sport 35t V6 supercharged petrol AWD 250kW 8Sp Automatic $88,505
Portfolio 30d V6 turbo-diesel AWD 221kW 8Sp Automatic $91,304
Portfolio 35t V6 supercharged petrol AWD 250kW 8Sp Automatic $90,515
S 30d V6 turbo-diesel AWD 221kW 8Sp Automatic $99,894
S 35t V6 supercharged petrol AWD 280kW 8Sp Automatic $103,135
First Edition S 30d V6 turbo-diesel AWD 221kW 8Sp Automatic $117,164
First Edition S 35t V6 supercharged petrol AWD 280kW 8Sp Automatic $120,415
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Jaguar dealer for drive-away prices.