All hail the Jaguars first CUV, all hail the F-Pace.
Jaguar has entered one of the most grueling markets currently out there, a full 10 years later than the competition the brand has launched the first model that can actually go where the big cats live, off-road. But is an altered version of their platform used in the XE and XF enough? I tried to figure that out.
81 is more than a number
First things first, although the F-Pace shares the same platform as the XE and XF, a full 81 percent of its components are new. Weight has been kept competitively low at only 1.775 kilograms, downright impressive considering its size. It fits in between a Porsche Macan and a BMW X5, with its wheelbase of 2.87 meters, a weird size? Nope, that’s the benefit of a new segment for Jaguar, the proverbial ‘carte blanche’ gives them the flexibility rather than the fear of conflicting models. Something unique, just like Jaguar used to be before Ford came and went.
Elegance in simplicity, the designers over at Jaguar seem to excell in this. With the current market saturated with models that are bound to give you an epileptic seizure if you stare at it too long, the F-Pace its lines are clean and mesmerising. The looks do vary strongly with the choice of base, Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport packages.
Its looks do however reveal some of the cars hidden potential. The overhang front and back are short and we all know that translates into; agility.
Inside the car you’ll be able to find most of the rembelence with its fellow felines. The quality is where you want it to be in this segment, although it doesn’t stand out in any way like the exterior does. Worst thing about the interior is the placement of the window buttons, I must have miss-grabbed them every single time. Biggest surprise was the infotainment system, it almost makes me forget how bad the previous version used by Jaguar were. Almost.
Purring quietly in the cars belly is a 180 PS and 430 Nm strong engine linked to the ZF 8-speed that has received more praise than your average overhyped soccer player. It isn’t unjustified though, it’s a beautiful pair that pushes the car to a hundred in an adequate 8.7 seconds. The only moment you’ll be wishing for more souplesse is during a hard launch but I can’t think of any CUV with a diesel power train that does love being launched. The 2-liter diesel and AWD-system make me wonder if you need more power, they’re that good of a pair.
Off-roading wasn’t an option for me sadly but there were plenty of kilometers of tarmac for me to put the car through its paces. You’ll forget you’re driving a CUV with the way the F-Pace corners, it’s really that nimble to drive. Various drive-modes offers a different drive in the F-Pace with gas response etcetera following along but the only thing I didn’t like was the nervous gas response in the sport mode. It was way too responsive, that much that I got to know the cars stability algorithms better than I’d like to. The rest was simply on point.
So is the F-Pace strong enough to fight the competition? Hell, it claws them into submission. It’s downright impressive what Jaguar has put down with the F-Pace. From the keys to the drive, from the booth space to the heated seats, the F-Pace is bound to be a sales-succes.