PistonHeads.com Forum

RE: Jaguar F-Pace: Review

Sunday 10th April 2016

Jaguar F-Pace: Review

The most important new car Jaguar has ever made? Discuss...



Whatever your views on SUVs, crossovers and the like the mainstream appetite for such vehicles appears insatiable. Indeed, by Jaguar's own estimates the market is due to grow by another 50 per cent over the next four years. Anybody still clinging on to a romantic notion of Jaguar simply as the British brand for sports saloons and coupes - or indeed for actually resurrecting the past -has to accept that an off-roader will soon be Jaguar's biggest seller.

The importance of the F-Pace to Jaguar explains how it looks too. For markets familiar with the XF and F-Type, its styling is clearly related. But where they are niche vehicles, the F-Pace will be the mainstream and established Jaguar design; XFs will look like F-Paces to them and not the other way around. Hence a front end that resembles an XF and the strong F-Type influence at the rear.

There's time allotted on the launch event for Ian Callum to talk us around the F-Pace, and he has some interesting points to make. See how far forward the front wheels sit, how far back the cabin is relative to those and how the window line tapers away and narrows towards the rear. It's appears a very well proportioned and beautifully detailed car, arguably more stylish than the first rivals that come to mind. Even if the First Edition Caesium Blue paint and 22-inch wheels do flatter the car somewhat.

Familiar styling cues sit well. Sunshine helps
Familiar styling cues sit well. Sunshine helps
Roll hoops
Ah yes, those 22-inch wheels. There are a variety of designs available on the options list, and the 'Double Helix' rims are standard on the First Edition. And do you know what? The F-Pace really works on them, still riding with the fluency and composure you would expect of a Jaguar. Naturally the ride is improved by opting for the smaller wheels, but not by as much as you might expect. They even look quite difficult to kerb, what with a reasonable 40-profile tyre. Keep an eye out on your local high street for inconsolable owners if it does happen though...

Our first miles on these wheels are in the petrol-powered First Edition that won't be sold in the UK; if you want this signature spec it's diesel only with the 380hp petrol V6 available as a regular S model. Either way, as you would hope from a £65K Jaguar SUV with nearly 400hp, it feels really rather lovely on smooth - and quite featureless - Montenegrin roads; terrifically fast, fabulously luxurious and supremely refined. But not especially relevant. And it's a brave owner who will ever drink a coffee in a car with leather this white.

Far more applicable to the UK is the 300hp V6 diesel, available to test in Portfolio spec. Got it? Whatever the trim combination, the 300hp diesel feels like the pick of the F-Pace range immediately.

V6 petrol predictably pleasant on the road
V6 petrol predictably pleasant on the road
Pressing on
In the petrol V6 there's a nagging sense it should be driven as the engine wants - namely, quite quickly indeed. It makes a great noise and likes to rev, egging the driver on to push just a little bit more. And, well, when the roads become really testing and indeed interesting, the F-Pace can get a little ruffled. It takes a while to settle through direction changes or after a mid-corner bump, with the brakes too not feeling especially reassuring after a few downhill stops. Granted, these were driving scenarios that will rarely be encountered in the UK, or indeed by typical F-Pace owners, but that doesn't prevent the suspicion that a - whisper it - Porsche Macan may have dealt with the road more confidently. And that's 600 words before the Porsche is mentioned.

Anyway, the F-Pace's generally more relaxed gait better suits the torquey and effortless diesel. As the roads open out so the Jaguar shines, steering spot on for an electric system, gearbox shifting smoothly and the ride very well judged. Frustrating though it is for a cynical journalist to agree with the PR spiel, the F-Pace does drive in a manner entirely familiar from other Jaguar models. Funnily enough it's much like the XF 3.0d in fact, which is certainly a good thing. Just a bit higher up.

There's a key area where the SUV improves on the saloon though: infotainment. Yes, Jaguar finally has a system to take on the best, the new InControl Touch Pro system significantly improved on the touchscreens in the XE and XF. It responds more swiftly, looks more attractive and functions more intelligently. Some may bemoan the lack of buttons but, such is the intuitiveness of the touchscreen, they will surely soon be convinced. It isn't quite perfect - the navigation occasionally getting its waypoints confused - but it's a big step in the right direction. The materials inside feel expensive too, the overriding impression of quality from the build and that new screen enough to distract from some rather ordinary switchgear lower down the dash.

Can do this, and more off-roading too if required
Can do this, and more off-roading too if required
The you in SUV
While we're on the less interesting everyday stuff, it's worth noting that the F-Pace is a genuinely practical SUV too. Largely this is down to the size, sitting as it does in terms of length between cars like the Macan and Q5 but beneath the X5. The boot is large and flat, six-footers can sit behind each other and there's plentiful headroom. Heck, even the Activity Key works easily if you're one of those people cool enough to do actual lifestyle stuff at the weekend. It is a wide car however, measuring 38mm broader than the Audi; on narrow roads it feels every one of those 1,936mm.

Interestingly the drive of the four-cylinder diesel F-Pace takes place after those with 300hp or more. A foolish move? No, actually. Reception appears to have been mixed on the new Ingenium engine in the XE and Discovery Sport, too much diesel clatter being the main issue. But rather like the infotainment system, it feels like this engine has been further refined for use in the F-Pace.

Certainly those familiar with the Ingenium diesel from previous experience noticed a reduction in noise and vibration. It's a perfectly acceptable diesel, working at its best from just before 2,000rpm to around 3,500rpm and delivering decent performance when allied to the eight-speed auto. Of course it's not quite the event the six-cylinder engines are, but the 180hp diesel comfortably fulfils all realistic expectations both on and off road - it doesn't feel like the lesser derivative the spec sheet may lead you to believe.

It's good alright - expect plenty on the roads soon!
It's good alright - expect plenty on the roads soon!
Kick in the but
However. You knew this was coming, right? The F-Pace's report card cannot be blemish-free, unfortunately. Closer inspection of that spec sheet will reveal a few numbers that don't show off the Jaguar too well. Firstly, the much hyped 129g/km diesel model is only possible with two driven wheels and a manual gearbox. Having experienced how capable it actually is off road with AWD and how well integrated the automatic gearbox is, it seems unlikely any F-Paces will be specified without them. An automatic, AWD four-cylinder diesel actually emits 139g/km. Not a huge gain, but it will make a difference on company car tax. As will the fact adding an auto and AWD adds £3,690 to the price... A Mercedes GLC 220d, for example, can offer the same performance and efficiency figures with standard all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox.

The F-Pace is not a cheap car either, most probably as a result of its slightly awkward positioning. As an example, the V6 diesel that proved so likeable is £51,450 in S spec. An Audi SQ5 is more powerful, faster and £5,975 cheaper. A Macan diesel is £45,942. A four-cylinder diesel F-Pace is £42,800 in range-topping Portfolio spec without any options. But if you've tried the V6 diesel, that's the engine you'll want.

Jaguar would counteract all this number crunching with a stat of its own though: on pre-orders this is the most popular Jaguar Land Rover product ever, with more F-Paces ordered up until a month before the launch date than even the Range Rover Sport back in 2013. It would appear the current desirability of the Jaguar brand, the styling and indeed the price were enough to tempt a great many customers to the F-Pace before it had been driven. On this experience it's easy to see how plenty more will now be drawn to Jaguar's first SUV as well - it's fantastic.


JAGUAR F-PACE 2.0D
Engine:
1,999cc, four-cyl diesel
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive (all-wheel drive optional)
Power (hp): 180@4,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 317@1,750rpm
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds (8.7 for both AWD and AWD auto)
Top speed: 130mph (130mph for AWD, 129mph for AWD auto)
Weight: from 1,665kg (1,767kg for AWD, 1,775kg for AWD auto)
MPG: 57.6 (NEDC combined, 54.3 for AWD and 53.3 for AWD auto)
CO2: 129g/km (134g/km for AWD, 139g/km for AWD auto)
Price: £34,170 (for Prestige, add £2,500 for R-Sport or £5,000 for Portfolio)

JAGUAR F-PACE 3.0D AWD S
Engine:
2,993cc, V6 diesel
Transmission: 8-speed ZF automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 300@4,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 516@2,000rpm
0-62mph: 6.2sec
Top speed: 150mph
Weight: from 1,884kg
MPG: 47.1 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 159g/km
Price: £51,450

JAGUAR F-PACE 3.0 V6 S
Engine:
2,995cc, supercharged V6
Transmission: 8-speed ZF automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 380@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 332@4,500rpm
0-62mph: 5.5sec
Top speed: 155mph
Weight: from 1,861kg
MPG: 31.7 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 209g/km
Price: £51,450

Watch the promo video here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

EnglishTony

Original Poster:

2,552 posts

24 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
Which Land Rover is this based on? Assuming it is and we are allowed know.

AH33

2,066 posts

60 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
Its handsome for a fatty

Lgfst

301 posts

34 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
£34k for the entry level diesel, not bad I suppose. No doubt the most popular engine of the range.

Looks pretty nice too, didn't think I was going to like it.

Salgar

3,282 posts

109 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
EnglishTony said:
Which Land Rover is this based on? Assuming it is and we are allowed know.
None, it's all completely new

QuattroDave

486 posts

53 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
Never been an SUV fan but I think this F-Pace looks absolutely great. But for me there's something about the interior that I just don't gel with and I can't put my finger on it.

Given the equipment offered on the higher spec models I don't think it's massively overpriced versus Audi & Porsche equivalents as those manufacturers options list is as expensive as it is large, to a lesser extent the same applies to the BMW.

I would be interested to see the price comparisons when the german marques are specced up to what the Jag has as standard - anyone willing... of course ignoring at the moment the discounts that can be had.
Advertisement

Hitch78

5,277 posts

119 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
I'm amazed it has taken JLR so long to do this. Nice looking motor.

Blackpuddin

7,401 posts

130 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
What is this Activity Key?

QuattroDave

486 posts

53 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
Blackpuddin said:
What is this Activity Key?
I presume it's the 'wave your foot under the rear bumper to open the boot whilst you've got a surfboard under one arm and a bikini model under the other' thingy!

OwenK

2,510 posts

120 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
EnglishTony said:
Which Land Rover is this based on? Assuming it is and we are allowed know.
I believe it's a blood brother of an as-yet-unrevealed LR product. So it's not compromised by having to adapt an old platform or anything.

mattwilko

70 posts

47 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
OwenK said:
EnglishTony said:
Which Land Rover is this based on? Assuming it is and we are allowed know.
I believe it's a blood brother of an as-yet-unrevealed LR product. So it's not compromised by having to adapt an old platform or anything.
I thought it was on some variation of the XE platform?

Slurms

1,230 posts

129 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
Price wise it's actually comparable to the Porsche and the Audi, because the Jag standard spec is so high.

By the time you've ticked the same boxes on a Macan diesel to bring it upto the F-Pace V6 Diesel then you're looking at very similar costs, if anything the Jag is cheaper.

EnglishTony

Original Poster:

2,552 posts

24 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
Salgar said:
EnglishTony said:
Which Land Rover is this based on? Assuming it is and we are allowed know.
None, it's all completely new
Thanks.

I was wondering if it wasn't perhaps the new Discovery Sport Road Shägger Edition

smilo996

1,347 posts

95 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
If people insist on buying one car made with the effort and material for two then this looks pretty good. Unlikely to drag Porschar fans from their Audi Macca's but an interesting proposition sitting where it does.

Given this is Jag's first attempt and has been done independent from outside help, it sounds like they have done a great job. Not perfect but that takes time.


Blackpuddin

7,401 posts

130 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
QuattroDave said:
Blackpuddin said:
What is this Activity Key?
I presume it's the 'wave your foot under the rear bumper to open the boot whilst you've got a surfboard under one arm and a bikini model under the other' thingy!
ah OK thanks smile

tankplanker

1,997 posts

204 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
I've the petrol one on order with delivery late September.

Big part of the reason I chose this over the Macan or the Q5 was the size of the boot, the F-Pace is meant to be 650l, while the Macan is 500l and the Q5 is 540l. While it isn't that much (if at all) bigger in the cabin it is a significant step up in luggage space, the X5 is around 690l. For what is a family car (otherwise I'd have brought the F-Type for the same cash) I need that extra boot space for holidays and days out, the car's primary purpose.

It also helps that it is a good bit cheaper than the Macan GTS, my spec on both had the GTS about £5k more.


Hangcheck

169 posts

47 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
Blackpuddin said:
What is this Activity Key?
My understanding is it's a dumb key worn on a wristband that you can get wet etc and leave your fancy electronic key locked in the car. I used to use this all the time on an Audi I had which had the plastic key in the glovebox. Chuck it in your wetsuit and not have to hide/bury your key while in the water.

Gecko1978

1,650 posts

82 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
I susoect this will be a strong seller but at the expense of othe rJLR products like the Disco Sport etc. For me it is in the Q5, Maccan size range and as I have a grand Cherokee its a tad small (I suspect alot better built lol). However I assume it will be followed by an XJ pace and per happes later an XE pace etc. SUV's are very popular because they are nice to drive an feel robust. If you want thrilling jaguar can do that with other cars if you want cheap well they have a whole back catologue of X types etc this is really filling the gap they had not exploited like Porsche an Audi have already. I wonder if we will see a jag hatch back one day both BMW and Merc offer them as so Audi, porsche have stated a cheap porsche is a used one so I suspect no hatchback from them but Jag is not a Porsche rival more the other german brands so I think a smaller car like the 2 series or A3 could well happen one day

oldtimer2

601 posts

58 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
Jaguar has been very slow to get into this market - remember the Ian Callum video asking for "permission" to make an SUV? He is also on the record that it is difficult to design a good looking SUV, which any glance at its competitors will confirm. That said this design is a cut above the average. We looked very closely at the range at one of the Jaguar preview events as a potential replacement for my wife's Sportbrake. I liked it a lot but she prefers to stick with the Sportbrake.

Re the b-i-w architecture it is shared with the new XE, XF and a yet to be announced Range Rover (slotted between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport?).I believe it also shares the suspension design of the XE and XF.

DonkeyApple

28,065 posts

94 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
tankplanker said:
I've the petrol one on order with delivery late September.

Big part of the reason I chose this over the Macan or the Q5 was the size of the boot, the F-Pace is meant to be 650l, while the Macan is 500l and the Q5 is 540l. While it isn't that much (if at all) bigger in the cabin it is a significant step up in luggage space, the X5 is around 690l. For what is a family car (otherwise I'd have brought the F-Type for the same cash) I need that extra boot space for holidays and days out, the car's primary purpose.

It also helps that it is a good bit cheaper than the Macan GTS, my spec on both had the GTS about £5k more.
I've seen the V6 petrol one around the A44 a few times recently. Firstly, it is bigger than I expected, certainly larger than the Macan and to me looked far more comparable to the Cayenne in that regards. Secondly, it looks good. Given the recent spate of oddly proportioned SUVs hitting the market this car looks very nice indeed. Thirdly, it sounds fking awesome when given the boot. It's not V8 good but very impressive for a minicab engine wink.

All in, I think it is a cracking car and if they can fit the V8 in and do so then it really could be an absolute belter.

As others have said, given Jag's history from the 70s as a premium GT and saloon car builder, it is surprising that it has taken so very long for them to deliver one of the most obvious additions to their range.

Blackbird425

306 posts

30 months

Wednesday 6th April 2016
quotequote all
[quote=QuattroDave]Never been an SUV fan but I think this F-Pace looks absolutely great. But for me there's something about the interior that I just don't gel with and I can't put my finger on it.


Completely agree. Looks great on the outside, less great on the inside (not unlike the F-Type). The steering wheel is awful and those electric window buttons don't look too easy to get to.