Jaguar pounces on the growing segment of SUV and crossovers with the introduction of their all-new F-PACE high-performance, premium crossover. More than just a pretty face, the big cat is also great to drive, surprisingly practical, and inherently capable of venturing off-road. Arriving late to the game, can Jaguar’s new premium and performance-oriented SUV compete in the same realm as the BMW X4, Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Audi SQ5?
“We develop every Jaguar vehicle to offer an unrivaled combination of agility and responsiveness with exceptional ride and refinement – and the all-new F-PACE is no exception,” said, Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar. “Applying all of the learning from F-TYPE, the steering reacts immediately, giving a truly connected feel. The double wishbone and Integral Link suspension offer the ideal balance of precise handling and body control, making the all-new F-PACE as rewarding to drive as it is comfortable to be driven in.”
Recent models coming from the JLR Design and Engineering Centre in Gaydon have been fabulous and downright striking. Built on the same platform as the new XE and redesigned XF sedans, the F-PACE is constructed mostly of aluminum and its contours carry influences from the beautiful F-TYPE sports car. The wide stance lends to its aggressive look and performance is worthy of being in the same ring as the established competition put forth by BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz.
Slip into the cabin and you are surrounded by a warm and upscale looking passenger zone with lots of high-tech features. There is no question that the interior looks expensive and feels expensive. Seating position is close to car-like and ultra-comfortable. Everything is conveniently close at hand and the cabin has a luxurious feel to it – if you ignore some of the hard plastic panels. Essentially, you can have your fun with it but on any day of the week, this is a classy Jag that is stately, comfortable, and serene when you want it to be a proper coach.
Ignite the engine and you are greeted with a robust roar followed by a warm burble. At wide open throttle, the F-PACE really comes alive – the sound is fantastic! Soundtrack from the engine is very close to an F-TYPE.
In lackadaisical drive mode, Jaguar’s crossover behaves like a perfunctory luxury car that is comfortable, quiet, and carries itself with class. Switch to sport mode, storm your favorite ribbon of asphalt, and everything comes alive. The exhaust sound is intoxicating. The handling is sublime. And the power delivery will make you make you giddy as a school kid.
With a boatload of torque and generous amounts of horsepower, the supercharged V6 will rocket the F-PACE from zero to sixty in 5.1 seconds. In the twisties, it is hard to believe a tall crossover/SUV drives as good as the F-PACE. Nevertheless, it’s simply astounding. Admittedly, the dimensions require some extra care when maneuvering in tight places but Jaguar has done an excellent job transferring its sports car finesse to the F-PACE. Steering response is highly responsive. Body lean in the turns is kept to a minimum, and the all-wheel drive will boost the confidence level of the driver to new levels.
Even though the Macan and X3 are also all-wheel drive, the F-PACE feels different because of its rear-wheel bias. With the F-PACE, 90 percent of the power is coming from the rear tires and that makes a world of difference. Turn it loose on the back roads and the day’s stress just washes away. The buzzy exhaust note will put a smile on your face and the F-PACE becomes your perfect dance partner as the miles unwind underneath you. Without a doubt, Jaguar’s sporty crossover is a blast to drive.
Need a little more convincing? Pragmatists will like the Jaguar for its 5-year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that includes free maintenance and roadside assistance.
Other cars to consider: Acura RDX, Audi SQ5, BMW X3, BMW X4, Mercedes GLC-Class, Porsche Macan, Lexus NX, Cadillac CTS, Lincoln MKC, Volvo XC60, Land Rover Discovery Sport
|2017 JAGUAR F-PACE|
|F-PACE 20d||F-PACE 35t Premium||F-PACE S|
|Price as Tested||N/A||N/A||$57,695|
|Engine||2.0L Ingenium Diesel||3.0L supercharged V6||3.0L supercharged V6|
|Power (hp)||180 @ 4000 rpm||340 @ 6500 rpm||380 @ 6500 rpm|
|Torque (lb-ft)||318 @ 1750 – 2500 rpm||332 @ 4500 rpm||332 @ 4500 rpm|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||8-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Drivetrain Layout||front engine / all-wheel-drive||front engine / all-wheel-drive||front engine / all-wheel-drive|
|Curb Weight||3,913 lbs||4,015 lbs||4,015 lbs (51/49%)|
|EPA-estimated fuel economy||26/33/29 mpg (city/hwy/combined)||18/23/20 mpg (city/hwy/combined)||18/23/20 mpg (city/hwy/combined)|
|Fuel tank capacity||15.85 gal||16.6 gal||16.6 gal.|
|Wheelbase||113.2 inches||113.1 inches||113.1 inches|
|Cargo Volume||33.5 ft3||33.5 ft3||33.5 ft3|
|Max. Cargo Volume||63.5 ft3||63.5 ft3||63.5 ft3|
|Ground clearance||8.4 inches||8.4 inches||8.4 inches|
|Acceleration 0-60 mph||8.2 sec||5.4 sec||5.1 sec|
|Top Speed||129 mph||155 mph||155 mph|
|Tow Rating||5,290 lbs||5,290 lbs||5,290 lbs|
|Warranty (basic, drivetrain, free maintenance, roadside assist, rust)||5 years / 60,000 miles||5 years / 60,000 miles||5 years / 60,000 miles|