Jaguar has not always been known for practicality when it comes to its cars. Classiness, precision and beauty: these words have all nearly become trademarks for some of Jaguar’s classic automobiles. But few of these have been serious contenders for workhorse cars — that is, until the arrival of the F-Pace in 2016.
The F-Pace is Jaguar’s first ever SUV and, like the other high-end family-sized cars on the market, such as BMW’s X3 and Audi’s Q5, it is a well-designed car that combines sophistication with reliability.
It has been said the F-Pace has been designed with women in mind. While it is certainly less muscular than its predecessors and more adaptable to the school run, it is in no way dainty or wrapped in cotton wool.
The power Jaguar is known for has here been engineered into a 4X4 with a 178 horsepower 2.0 litre diesel engine, and 18-inch alloy wheels on its basic economic model, called the R-Sport trim. The F-Pace comes with the option of upgrading to a supercharged V6 engine with an eight-speed automatic, known as its Portfolio trim.
Even though the R-Sport model can be a noisy engine before it gets going, when it does it provides a smooth ride and is fun to drive, both in the city and out on the motorway. Where it truly excels is in its exceptional handling. Thanks to its lightweight design, you are able to manoeuvre tight corners and bends as though you were driving a classic Jaguar F-type.
All-wheel drive is available for those who want to go beyond the city, where it can hold its own with plenty of grip and grit.
The insides and its gadgets
On first look, the interior of the five-seater car is not revolutionary; it is clearly going for a look that is simple and tasteful, possibly even timeless, like the Jaguar XE or XF. It comes with a leather-finished dashboard and ample storage space in the boot and door-bins.
The big talking point for many is the driving seat; it’s a classic sports car seat that is adjustable for all body sizes and can come with lumbar support and up to a 10-way electrical adjustment setting.
The car’s infotainment system carries all the features you’d expect. It works as a Wi-Fi hotspot, has a comprehensive navigation system with live traffic updates, options for up to 10 GB of music storage, and booming surround sound. There is even a keyless smart locking system available.
If you want to take things further, you can add to the good visibility found in the front and back windows with cruise control, parking sensors, and even self-parking. These are all good options to help balance out the F-Pace’s large turning circle.
Your buying options
If you want to get in on the F-Pace, it comes in four trims. The starter Prestige and R-Sport trims offer excellent value, with lower fuel consumption potential on the 2.0 litre engine. This is a less powerful engine, but if you opt for the adaptive suspension, you’re still very much buying a car that drives like a Jaguar, for prices starting at GBP 37,000.
If you want to take your SUV to the next level, you may want to look into the F-Pace S. The price starts at GBP 52,000, but for this you get the 3.0 litre supercharged V6 engine, all the luxurious fittings and add-ons, and impressive 20” alloy wheels.