What is it?
Like all motor manufactures these days, Jaguar realised that if they want to make more money and keep up with Porsche, BMW and Audi, then they'd better create an SUV. So they did, and a rather good one at that.
To make life easy for themselves, you'd think that Jaguar would borrow the F-Pace's underpinnings from Land Rover, which would make perfect sense. However, take a peek at the F-Pace’s nether regions and you’ll find that it's based on the same structure as the XE and XF, which is no bad thing.
As you’ll read later, the F-Pace has 3 engine options, the 2ltr diesel, 3ltr diesel and 3ltr V6 petrol, and I reckon I had the best of the bunch, the 3ltr diesel.
With just under 300bhp, this oil-burner will get you to 150mph and reach 60mph in less that 6 seconds, which is all very well and good, but it was the mid range oomph during the laborious motorway journeys that made me smile. Just prod the accelerator, even in normal driving mode, and you'll find yourself effortlessly placed where you want to be.
Driving the F-Pace around North Wales was an utter joy as it handled the twists and turns brilliantly, though Muddy Madam, who was in the passenger seat, was constantly reminding me that maybe I was a little over-zealous?
With torque vectoring, 22” wheels, torque on-demand All-Wheel Drive system and Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, which incidentally was developed for the AWD F-Type, it somehow manages to feel like a rear-wheel drive car. Yet, when the need arises, it can seamlessly transfer up to 50% torque to the front wheels, thus giving you the ability to drive quicker that you ought to, and risk extra points on your licence.
"So you see Mi Lord, it wasn’t all my fault after all, honest!"
After a long day driving as many of my favourite Welsh roads as we could, including a beach, we made our way to Muddy Madam senior's house, where, over a mug of coffee I was able to reflect on the days peregrination (look it up, I did).
Its next task was to take us home via the A499 and A487 from Pwllheli to the A55, then on towards Bolton. Not in any rush we wafted along effortlessly for the next 2-1/2 hours at around 60mph with an indicated mpg in the high 40's, which I didn't think was too bad.
The rest of the week was spent commuting, again something which the F-Pace felt comfortable doing, though I wish that the press car had ‘normal’ wheels fitted instead of the 22” Double Helix 15 Spoke Silver Wheels, which incidentally are a £1,600 option. Don’t get me wrong, they look great, but they were a bit thumpy over the potholes.
The F-Pace isn’t a 4x4 in the traditional sense, not many new AWD’s are these days, but that didn’t stop me from trying to flummox it off the beaten track. That said, apart from the usual balancing act, I didn't go daft, though we did encounter sheet ice, soft sand, rocks and mud, over which the F-Pace always kept traction and control.
Although the F-Pace doesn’t have a low-box or difflocks, it does have Adaptive Surface Response (ASR) which is developed from Land Rover’s own Terrain Response technology. And if you ready for another acronym, how about ASPC? This stands for 'All Surface Progress Control' which automatically controls the throttle and brakes enabling the F-Pace to pull away smoothly up to 19mph. This was actually quite useful when I found myself quite literally in deep sand on Black Rock Sands, Porthmadog!
Although the AWD F-Pace is not an out-and-out off-roader, it can provide more 4x4 ability than any owner will realistically ever nee
It's a Jag, when have you not known a Jaguar to be classy, opulent and stylish? Maybe now actually. Scrub that, the F-Pace has a classy and upmarket interior, it’s just me, I was hoping for more. Obviously I’m not suggesting that it’s naff, of course it isn’t, that would silly, but I wanted the F-Pace's interior to be spectacular, like a Range Rover, but it isn’t, it’s just… nice.
Jumping into the F-Pace and you automatically expect the sit up and beg arrangement you find with other SUV’s, but you don’t. The seats sit quite low and you’re surrounded with their signature sweeping dash layout. The doors are quite tall too, so you get the sense that you’ve stepped into a saloon, albeit a tall one.
As an owner you’ll never complain about storage as there’s plenty of space for all of your gubbins. Rear passengers are really spoilt too with loads of leg room and comfortable seats. Speaking of rear seats, they fold 40/20/40 for maximum flexibility, and you get a storage bay that’s wide and deep with a reversible wipe-clean, non-slip floor on the one side, and space under the floor to stow the load bay cover when you need to take it out. Add to that 650ltrs of boot space with the rear seats in place and 1,740ltrs when flat, you have a very practical vehicle.
You have four trim levels to choose from that include Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport and S editions. The entry-level trim comes with leather seats, 8in infotainment complete with sat nav, a powered tailgate and in-car wi-fi. This, the range-topping S trim has a sportier bodykit, xenon headlights, 20in alloys, leather sport seats and a reversing camera.
With a standard specification list that reads like a novel, even after my moaning earlier, it’s still lovely place to be. All the switchgear feels solid, and all but the electric window switches that are located high up on the door panel are within easy reach and easy to use.
Engine 'n' transmissions
2WD with 6-speed manual
180ps - 130mph - 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds - 57.7 Combined mpg - 129 g/km
4WD with 6-speed manual
180ps - 129mph - 0-60mph in 8.2 seconds - 53.3 Combined mpg - 139 g/km
4WD with 8-speed automatic
180ps - 130mph - 0-60mph in 8.2 seconds - 54.3 Combined mpg - 134 g/km
3.0 V6 Diesel
AWD 8-speed automatic
296bhp - 150mph - 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds - 47.1 Combined mpg - 159g/km
3.0 V6 Petrol supercharged
AWD 8-speed automatic
378bhp - 155mph - 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds - 31.7 Combined mpg - 209g/km
It's obvious that Jaguar have an instant hit on their hands, the F-Pace is selling like hotcakes, in fact at the time of writing this I believe there’s a 6-12 month waiting list. It has been mentioned in other reviews, but it's a shame that the bigger engines are only available in higher spec models, this 3.0ltr V6 diesel for instance is only available on the top-spec S model and will set you back nearly £55k. The 2.0ltr diesel on the other hand starts at £34,170, which is a bit more reasonable.
Overall I loved the F-Pace, and apart from a few personal niggles, I wouldn't change a thing, it was pure Jaguar - grace with pace. Would I buy one? Hmm, if JLR’s PR dept gave me one on long term test, I would be filled with immense joy and jubilation and we'd share many miles of on and off-road happiness together. But that wasn’t the question, was it? My answer would be no, I wouldn’t buy one, but that’s only because I want more 4x4 and less crossover, that’s all.