Show the F-PACE a good back road and it should put a smile on your face ...
The F-Pace is Jaguar's first entry into the crowded SUV market, and although it shares a lot with the Land Rover Discovery Sport it has more in common the XE/XF model - and questions the need for the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
It is not designed for off-road use – if that is what you are looking for then the Discovery Sport is a better choice. It really guns after the likes of the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan models.
What We Tested
We tested the Jaguar F-Pace – Portfolio 2.0d 180PS AWD which is powered by a 2.0-litre 180ps diesel engine coupled to an 8-speed automatic gearbox which at the time of testing was priced at £42,860 plus extras (£45,985), finished in Dark Sapphire Blue - with Light Oyster Interior.
What is it Like to Drive
At the time of testing the Jaguar F-PACE is available with the option of 2.0-litre engines (163PS, 180PS & 240PS diesel / 250PS &300PS petrol) plus V6 3.0-litre units, (300PS diesel / 380PS petrol).
Our test car was fitted with the diesel 2.0 Litre (180ps) 4 Cylinder Turbocharged unit mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with AWD (all-wheel-drive). The 2.0-litre 180PS engine is capable of 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds and will go on where permitted to a top speed of 129 mph.
Out on the road, the Jaguar F-PACE makes good progress but on occasion, it can feel lacking, especially out on the open road and you may wish that you had opted for the 3.0-litre albeit more expensive and thirsty. At tick over you will notice that it is a diesel, will you care, probably not.
Jaguar quotes official NEDC fuel consumption figures on the urban cycle: 45.6 mpg, extra urban: 60.1 mpg and 53.3 mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 139 g/km. Like every other manufacturer, these fuel figures are optimistic as testing is done in a laboratory they will not match real world consumption which is subject to driving style, the environment and load. On our mixed 750-mile test route, we were achieving approximately 32 mpg which increased to around the 46-48 mpg on the motorway, with a fully laden car.
One thing that we found annoying was the intrusive auto stop/start technology – which despite switching it off – always at some point during the day came back on – what we did not like about it is that it is trigger happy and if you hesitate for a second at let's say a road junction, off the engine, goes – especially as you are just about to pull out into traffic – and even when moving between drive and reverse when parking. Of course for longer stops in queuing traffic or at rest at the lights then perhaps we can see the benefits.
The Jaguar F-PACE handles well, with body roll kept well under control, we doubt many will complain. It rides on the soft side sitting on 20” wheels – there is some noticeable cabin intrusion over poor road surfaces. Show the F-PACE a good back road and it should put a smile on your face with accurate steering, not far behind Porsche’s Macan.
The all-wheel-drive system offers plenty of traction biasing towards rear-wheel-drive unless the front loses grip when it can re-focus up to 50% of the power to the front axle.
We liked the ability to use the cruise control to control the pull off speed of the car on poor road surfaces, ideal in the snow or on ice when you want fine control.
In summary, there is nothing really to dislike but it is not as quick as it looks – but it is rather good to drive.