With Land Rover as a corporate sibling, the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace is targeted primarily at on-road performance driving, though all-wheel drive is standard and plenty of off-road electronics are shared between brands (for example, Rover’s Terrain Response twist-knob appears here as Adaptive Surface Response buttons). Engine options include a 2.0-liter turbodiesel good for 180 hp and 318 lb-ft, and a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 available in two states of tune: 340 hp and 380 hp (torque peaks at 332 lb-ft on both). All are rated to tow 5,000 pounds. Jaguar offers the F-Pace in base, Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport trim specifications, with the F-Pace S as the range topper (at least after the 2,000 worldwide “First Edition” versions are gone). Each is unmistakably Jaguar in its style, stance, and road presence.
EXTERIOR AND DESIGN ;
One thing is for sure, the F-Pace screams out Jaguar from all the angles. The large grille on the fascia is the most obvious resemblance. The slim but aggressive LED headlamps are the other traditional Jaguar bits. There’s a slight bulge on the hood which makes this vehicle look aggressive. When viewed from the side, the rearward sloping roofline, the flared wheel arches, big doors and the plastic cladding at the lower section remind you that this is a big SUV. The rear end of the F-Pace is simply beautiful. The clean design approach, F-Type inspired tail lamps and rear windscreen transform the F-Pace from a gleaming metal body into a truly beautiful machine to look at. In short, the F-Pace is easily one of the most stunning creations in the world of SUVs.
INTERIOR AND CABIN ;
The interiors of the Jaguar F-Pace are pleasant and the dashboard has neatly stacked controls. The layout is driver-friendly and has a premium feel to it. The SUV gets a digital instrument cluster which different types of displays to suit your needs. The steering feels great to hold and is just the perfect size. The centre console gets a large touchscreen with the uConnect system. You also get a rotary gear knob that pops out when you turn on the ignition. You also get ambient lighting with a variety of colour options that can be toggled from the touchscreen. Just like Land Rover SUVs, even the F-Pace comes with power window switches on the window panes unlike the door pads on other cars.
The seating position is high up and the driving position is excellent. Frontal visibility is good but rearward view is a bit limited. The large ORVMs really help matters though. The front seats are a bit stiff but feel comfortable nonetheless. Space at the rear is also good with decent amount of knee room and good shoulder and head space. The panoramic sunroof also adds to the airy feel in the cabin. The AC does its job well but what really impressed us is the way the cabin cocoons you from the outside world with the splendid insulation.
The boot is well-shaped and can carry a decently good amount of luggage. However, the cover for the spare well is really thick and eats into space. In terms of features, the F-Pace comes with a Meridian audio system which is aural bliss, though the speakers did seem to create a distorted noise at higher volumes. You also get a 360-degree view from the various cameras installed around the car and that helps matters while parking in tight spaces since the F-Pace is quite wide. I also liked the valet option on the infotainment system which limits the functions of the car when you’re giving it to your chauffeur or a hotel valet. The headlamps are powerful and light up the road like daylight.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
Driving around in city traffic, this SUV does the job without throwing a tantrum. With a light foot, the engine upshifts early and there’s ample torque lower down the rev range to potter around. It will build speeds in a relaxed manner while the passengers are cocooned from the outside world, inside the F-Pace’s cabin. Demand for aggressive acceleration in Sport and there’s a lusty gush of torque that makes it lunge forward riding a wave of boost. Once past 2,000rpm power delivery is smooth yet punchy all the way till 4,500rpm, after which progress is slow. The meat of the engine is its mid-range performance. Due to the 700Nm of torque available from 2,000rpm, overtaking fast-moving vehicles out on the open road is simply effortless and the engine doesn’t warrant a downshift too often either. For most scenarios the eight-speed gearbox does the job really well without the need for a manual intervention. However, use the paddles and the shifts aren’t as quick as the double clutch units or even the BMW’s ZF transmission. But in manual mode, you can hold on to a gear.
There are four driving modes to choose from – Dynamic, Normal, Eco and Rain Ice Snow which change the throttle response, steering weight and gearshift pattern to suit different conditions. In versions equipped with adaptive dampers (First Edition), their stiffness is electrically controlled too. To extract the best out of the engine and gearbox, engage the Dynamic driving mode and the gearbox in Sport mode and watch the performance liven up even more with the speedo needle going past high speeds with a blink of an eye.
Another outstanding feature is this SUV’s ride and handling. It’s a performance SUV but there’s no hint of underlying stiffness to the suspension and it irons out the rough stuff in a very mature manner and the faster you go, it gets better. This is also the ideal SUV in which you’d attack a good set of corners and you are assured of a wide grin at the end of it. Out on a twisty section of road is where this SUV shines. Grip levels are great thanks to the stiff springs, all-wheel drive system and the fat 255 section tyres, which encourage the driver to drive fast around corners. The car is capable of carrying incredibly high speeds through bends. If the speed of the vehicle is too high while tackling curves, the torque vectoring system will independently apply the brakes to either or both the inside wheels to reduce understeer and hold the line better. There is some body roll but for an SUV this tall, but it’s actually very well controlled and the sharp and precise steering only adds to the brilliant driving dynamics of this car.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
Jaguar will tell you all day long that the F-Pace is a ‘performance crossover’ infused with technology and ability borrowed from the F-Type. That’s a load of cobblers. Yes it has the same suspension layout as the F-Type, and a similar name, but this is a large SUV that size-wise sits somewhere between the Porsche Macan and Cayenne (although at 1,861kg it’s 80kg less than the equivalent Macan, thanks to its snazzy all-aluminium platform).
Body control is tighter than any Land Rover model, but let’s not pretend it changes direction like an F-Type – that’s physics. Dial back your binary inputs and drive briskly, not manically, and it responds with slick, balanced movements. Ultimately, its safe zone is fast, open roads where it gobbles up big mileages in supreme comfort. Naturally, the big V6 diesel and petrol are appealing, but this is also the best home yet for the 2.0-litre Ingenium engine.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
The Jaguar F-Pace hasn’t yet been put through Euro NCAP’s stringent safety tests, so we can’t tell you how it might protect you and your family in an accident compared with other large SUVs.
However, automatic emergency braking is on hand to help your avoid a shunt in the first place, as is a lane-departure warning system. On the options list you’ll find blind-spot monitoring and reverse traffic detection. The latter alerts you about moving vehicles when backing out of a parking space or your driveway.
Lane keep assist, which can actively apply steering inputs to keep you in your lane on the motorway, and a driver tiredness monitor, are available as an option.
The F-Pace’s best attributes have to be the purity of its design and its sporty handling. Yeah, it looks too much like the other Jags, but that is desirable, and it is still a tough task for a designer to come up with a design that stays true to its lineage. Starting from ₹68.4 lakh, Jaguar has chosen not go with an aggressive pricing strategy, making the F-Pace more expensive than some of the German competitors in the same size class The top-end First Edition variant is priced at ₹1.12 crore.
Jaguar is a late comer to the SUV/ crossover party, and there are probably a few Jag fans shaking their heads disapprovingly about the F-Pace. But who expected Porsche’s SUVs to be doing so well when the German sports carmaker launched its first such vehicle in the Cayenne.