At last the Jaguar F-Pace is here. It has been long awaited. Whilst most manufacturers are releasing their sixth or seventh 4×4 / SUV in their range, this is Jaguar’s first. Maybe it hasn’t wanted to step on the toes of sister companies Land Rover & Range Rover.
The F-Pace has been very well received by customers and motoring journalists. Jaguar’s dynamics team have had one particular rival in mind, the Porsche Macan. The F-Pace is meant to be on par or better than its Porsche counterpart.
The F-Pace’s chassis is 80% aluminium, its architecture shared with the XE and XF. Along with this the F-Pace has double-wishbone front and integral-link rear suspension, just like the XE and XF. But the wheelbase and tracks are unique to this car as is the height, obviously and the body structure has received more bespoke work than some rival makers.
The 20% that isn’t aluminium, for example, is in places magnesium, lighter even than aluminium for a given strength , so it’s helpful to use it in high places, or at the front of the car, to get the centre of gravity low and even weight distribution Jaguar’s dynamics team so badly wanted.
The weight distribution is nigh on 50:50. Which is extremely good for a vehicle of this size.
There’s nothing downsized about the car itself, mind. Jaguar’s body engineers are most proud of the fact that the F-Pace has a 650-litre boot, and easily seats three adults in the back.
Engines are of conventional capacities and power outputs. You can have a 2.0-litre diesel making 178bhp, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel making a sprightly 296bhp or, a 3.0-litre, 375bhp, supercharged V6 petrol from the F-type sports car.
The 4wd system is the same type it uses on the F-Type, which means its rear-driven most of the time, and occasionally puts around 20% of power to the front. It can put 50% to the front if it really needs to, if you’re pulling a horse box from standstill on wet grass, for example.
The towing limit is 2400kg braked, more than most large trailers. You can even specify a waterproof fob to wear around your wrist (‘while surfing or kayaking’) which lets you disable and lock the ‘proper’ key inside the car.
The interior is as you would expect from a Jaguar, the upper surfaces of the cabin are soft and feel well assembled, and there are ambient lights on the upper doors. The dials are all digital, with good design and resolution, while the touchscreen is, wide and pleasingly designed.
The 3.0-litre engine fires to an idle that’s quieter, than you’ll find in an F-Type, the sort of car that wakes the neighbours. But the character is still there it’s a rich noise which gives a smooth delivery on light throttle openings.
The 3.0-litre takes 5.1sec to get to 60mph. The gearshift is, as expected, almost seamless, with paddle shift to take control if you felt in the mood.
The steering is very slick with body control equally good thanks to its adaptive dampers. When you switch from standard to dynamic mode you’ll realise that engineers, not marketing people, have been in charge of the damper settings.
This is a car that is easy and rewarding to drive at any speed. It’s easy to develop a flow with it, Jaguars get a lot of development work in Wales and it shows, on bending roads their steering response is pure and slick. But here too there’s strong straight line stability and many mile comfort.
In short, it feels like a Jaguar, which is precisely as it should be. There’s clear air between this and a Discovery Sport or Range Rover Evoque. But it will definitely be taking some sales from the Porsche Macan.
For any enquiries on the F Pace speak with our experienced sales team: