Jaguar F-Pace 35t Quick Review

By Ryan Lewis, 20 Jul 2016 Car Reviews

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Jaguar F-Pace

The F-Pace series marks an interesting shift in Jaguar’s thinking. Ryan Lewis explains where JLR got their foray into the uber-competitive SUV market right and where they may have gotten things not-so-right.

TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR

Jaguar F-Pace is the British brand’s first SUV, designed to attract a huge number of first time Jaguar owners and carve out its own patch of the booming SUV market. Jaguar is making the most of its sports car history by introducing a family friendly car with wide audience appeal that doesn’t sacrifice focus on the driver. Pricing ranges from $74,340 to $120,415.

Jaguar F-Pace

STRENGTHS

  • Styling. Renowned British designer Ian Callum is the man largely responsible for styling the F-Pace. It’s an accomplished and refined package that incorporates elements of other Jaguars to give it a distinct link to the sports sedan and coupe family.
  • Engines. Three engines are available: a 132kW/430Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder, a 221kW/700Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel, and a top of the range 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6 that produces 250kW/450Nm in Prestige, Portfolio or R-Sport trim and 280kW/460Nm in S and First Edition models.
  • Handling. An F-Pace is great to drive. Steering is the most impressive part of the F-Pace’s dynamic ability. It is direct and quick, and makes the most of all available front-end grip – which is a lot. It manages to stay near flat when cornering and will happily hustle along twisty sections of road without complaint.

Jaguar F-Pace interior

  • Technology. F-Pace has lots of up-to-the-minute tech like a fully digital instrument cluster and 10.2-inch widescreen centre display. There’s also a cool feature called Activity Key, which is a wristband that can be worn while out and about when you can’t carry the normal key. Leave it inside the car, use the wristband to activate the locks and off you go.

  • Practicality. A 508 litre boot in the F-Pace is big enough to accept a generous amount of whatever it is you need to carry. It’s not the biggest in its class, but there’s a proper spare wheel and tyre under the boot floor which is better than the inflation kits found in some rivals.

WEAKNESSES

  • Options. So much of what separates the F-Pace from others in the segment comes at additional cost on top of the initial purchase price. Things like the Activity Key and the digital instrument display mentioned above attract $640 and $4000 premiums respectively. If you want the digital display with a surround sound stereo it’ll cost $7290. A sliding sunroof costs $4200.

Jaguar F-Pace

  • Competition. Describing F-Pace as a driver’s SUV automatically draws comparison with the Porsche Macan, which is a very difficult match-up. F-Pace does a great job of blending sports car dynamics with SUV practicality, but it’s not quite as sharp as the mid-sizer from Stuttgart.
  • Interior. F-Pace is stylish inside. In fact it’s one of the best Jaguar interiors in recent times. Unfortunately it needs quite a few options to give it the premium feel one might expect of it, and it isn’t as polished as some competitors – the Mercedes-Benz GLC in particular.

ARE THERE ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?

F-Pace enters a hotly contended segment against a tough list of competitors. If it’s outright driver involvement and dynamic ability you want, the Porsche Macan is about the only one that can out-drive the F-Pace. Luxury and refinement challengers are the Mercedes-Benz GLC and, to a lesser extent, the ageing Audi Q5 and SQ5. BMW X3 is another good option, or the X4 if a sportier coupe roofline is your thing. The size of F-Pace sits between classes and could also attract buyers of BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.