Jaguar has made the leap from crafting beautiful sedans and coupes to the popular world of SUV/Crossovers with the 2017 F-Pace. We spent a week behind the wheel of this beautiful, well-tuned machine and here are our six takeaways.
1. Jaguar’s first foray into the hotly contested luxury SUV market
With nearly everyone in the luxury world having an SUV/Crossover option, Jaugar played the “better late than never card” and to echo the words of Gord Downie, “it’s well worth the wait.”
The F-Pace first showed itself to the world at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show under the moniker C-X17. Two years later at the North American International Auto Show, Jaguar announced that it would officially be called the “F-Pace.” It definitely shares DNA with its Land Rover sibling, but this car is best utilized for luxurious on-roading. We’ll get into what it’s like on the road a bit further down.
Interestingly, the name F-Pace may seem odd to some folks but it’s steeped in Jaguar history. The slogan “Grace, Space and Pace” was used since back in the 1950s and this name pays homage to their roots.
2. Powered by a choice of three engines
My tester, the R Sport, was equipped with a 3.0 L Supercharged V6 motor which produces 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission. And it’s very agile for an SUV, but then again, it is a Jaguar.
Estimated fuel efficiency for L/100 km clocks in at 13.3 city and 10.0 highway.
During my week of nearly 600 km of mixed driving, I averaged 12.5 L/100 km, which is respectable for a luxury SUV.
The top end “S” model seems all the same as above but there’s an extra 40 horsepower jammed beneath the hood. Jaguar says this iteration can do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in an impressive 5.5 seconds.
The final offering comes via 2.0 L four cylinder turbo diesel motor with a much lower 180 horsepower but a whopping 318 lb-ft. of torque. It comes as part of Jaguar’s new Ingenium engine lineup.
Given the recent dishonesty of Audi’s “15 degree steering wheel turn” emissions testing, the diesel world, Jaguar included, will face even further scrutiny.
Estimated fuel ratings come in at 8.9 city and 7.2 highway, with a bit of fluctuation for real world driving.
3. Smartly priced and should be Jaguar’s best-selling vehicle
The trim ladder for the 2017 F-Pace starts at $50,900 for the diesel option ($1,800 less than the entry level Porsche Macan). The gasoline version rings the register at $54,900. And you’re still getting their advance All Wheel Drive system, the 340 horsepower engine, sliding panoramic roof, 19” wheels, a 380 watt Meridian sound system with 11 speakers and plenty more.
From there, you move up to the Prestige, R Sport, and the top of the ladder sees the S trim, fully decked out and landing in the high $60K mark.
Keep in mind, there’s an option sheet that can escalate the price, depending on what you fancy.
This competitive price point will allow many more to enter the luxury market and have the distinction of driving a Jaguar earlier in life, whereas before, it was the elite that would have the British “leaper” on their steering wheel.
Already a hit with other journalists and customers, Jaguar’s timing is spot on and I expect to see many of these on the road in the coming months.
4. It looks absolutely beautiful
Most SUVs, luxury or not, have a bland shape to them with a function over fashion approach. Yes, some luxury offerings please the eye over others. In the case of the F-Pace, it’s a beautiful vehicle with modern design lines and just enough athleticism to help it stand out from the crowd.
Jaguar sums it up nicely by saying this: “Its powerful, agile looks and sporting character give F-PACE a unique road presence. Visually inspired by Jaguar F-TYPE, F-PACE is the performance SUV with the DNA of a sports car.”
With advanced aerodynamics built into the exterior, those gorgeous “J Blade” LED day runners, wheels that range from 19” to 22” and the elegant slope of the rear door, Jaguar has done a terrific job in making its non-car debut. As I have strong, loving feelings toward station wagons, this is exactly what a modern SUV/Crossover should look like…all the right curves in all the right places.
They’ve managed to make it practical on the inside through offering 33.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up (that split 40-20-40) and a respectable and useful 63.5 cubic feet when folded.
5. It’s a joy to drive
Jaguar’s reputation (for the most part, spare a few off years and models through the decades) is that of a machine that’s fun to drive, and is the choice of those who prefer the finer things in life. With such a rich driving history, the F-Pace is the recipient of those values and the result is an SUV that’s sturdy, agile and most importantly, exciting.
Jaguar says that their Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) software "...is specially tuned for extraordinary feedback and control. The F-PACE all-wheel-drive system uses the F-TYPE derived, unique Intelligent Driveline Dynamics software for agile handling and to minimize understeer. The F-PACE always drives, feels and handles like a Jaguar.”
What does that mean? That your driving experience is going to be far from boring, every single time.
Acceleration is brisk for its class and the handling and responsiveness scores high marks.
There are different drive selectors: Standard, Eco, Dynamic, or Rain/Ice/Snow mode, each altering the steering and throttle for optimal responsiveness. All Wheel Drive is standard as is the Torque Vectoring by Braking, which heightens agility through corners. Materials used in construction include a fair amount of lightweight aluminum, increasing the power to weight ratio and resulting in a stiffer body for heightened drive quality. The start/stop technology helps you save a few drops of gas instead of idly burning them.
6. The interior follows the modern Jaguar formula
From the collapsing gearshift dial to the large, optional digital dashboard and many points in between, Jaguar has played it safe with the interior. There’s plenty of “newness” with the F-Pace - no need to mess with a good thing. There are still plenty of premium materials used and there’s an elegant look and feel with enough configuration options to warrant an old school paper and pen list of what you really want.
The standard eight-inch touch screen infotainment system is easy to navigate and the optional 10.2 inch screen gives you a bit more real estate to get your fingerprints on. The larger screen boosts your instrument panel display from five inches to a monstrous 12.3 inches.
Seating is extremely comfortable with 14 way sport front seats in my tester (10 way comes standard). Safety-wise, there’s plenty out there from lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and many more.
Enjoy the full gallery below: