SUV/TRUCK REVIEWS

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Jaguar’s debut SUV -- the F-Pace -- doesn’t disappoint Featured

Dec 01, 2017 Hit: 30 Written by 
The Jaguar F-Pace is a bold entry for the brand into the SUV segment.
The Jaguar F-Pace is a bold entry for the brand into the SUV segment. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

Even as they rose in popularity, SUVs weren’t always something that people thought would make their way to every single automaker -- particularly sports car brands like Jaguar.

But Jaguar couldn’t resist, and it’s even spread from there (Alfa-Romeo, Maserati and Lamborghini now have SUV offerings, and Ferrari is reportedly has one in the pipeline -- who woulda thunk it?).

As much as the sports car purists are made sick by this development (“how dare they tarnish the brand” or something like that is often muttered), there’s no denying the SUV and its practicality are here to stay -- even in the upper echelons of the automotive world.

Having debuted for the 2017 model year (and now already updated for 2018 edition with more engine options and other additional features), the F-Pace made its mark in the luxury SUV class instantly. As the brand continues to grow its offerings in this segment (the compact E-Pace and electric I-Pace are just around the corner), the F-Pace was their opening shot.

I spent some time in an F-Pace 35t R Sport, and here’s my take on how it fits in the scheme of luxury SUVs.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle:: 2017 Jaguar F-Pace
  • Price as tested:: $62,345 (base price: $42,065)
  • Best feature:: One of the most sporty and attractive luxury SUV offerings; strong debut in the segment for Jaguar
  • Rating:: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?:: Luxury SUV shoppers who want both looks and a quality driving experience

LOOKS  

The F-Pace -- with its sleek, long and muscular design -- features one of the most attractive exterior designs in the luxury SUV realm.

Up front you will get a Distinct, mesh-heavy grille that is eye-catching, and elongated (dare I say cat-like) headlights. The British Racing Green color on the exterior of my test vehicle looked sharp, too.

The interior of the F-Pace was high-quality all around. It will seat five passengers very comfortably, with lots of storage room as the cherry on top.

Leather seating with driver memory is offered; and you can also get heated front seats and heated steering wheel; plus a power panoramic roof.

One unique setup in the F-Pace is the shifter comes in the form of a dial in the center console.

HOW’S THE RIDE?

The F-Pace has been built up into an SUV from Jaguar’s sporty background (with DNA from vehicles like the XE and XF), and you can tell from the driving experience, as it’s very responsive and fun to drive and doesn’t usually feel like an SUV or as large as it is. There’s even some basic off-road capability, though most F-Pace owners will never test that.

The overall driving experience is a best-in-class contender, though I would say Audi’s SUVs give it a run for its money. This is an SUV for drivers who love to drive.

The 2017 model I tested featured a 3.0-liter, V6 supercharged engine; and an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Numbers were 340 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque.


2018 models of the F-Pace come standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 247 horsepower, but one sport model goes as high as 380 hp, so you have options.

All-wheel drive is standard on the F-Pace, and JaguarDrive lets you choose between driving modes. The F-Pace also features Intelligent stop/start, and hill-start assist.


TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY  

With a full array of airbags, seat belt pretensioners to help protect in case of a crash; adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams, and anti-theft engine immobilizer and a tire pressure monitoring system, the F-Pace measures up well in the safety arena.


You can also get a rearview camera; and options like Blind Spot Monitor; Navigation and Lane Keep Assist; Standard sound system is 380 watts, but there’s an options to get a whopping 825-watt Meridian surround sound system.

My biggest complaint about the F-Pace was the infotainment system. It was featured on a large 10.2-inch touchscreen, which was nice, but the setup and operation of the system was clunky and overly complicated. I wasn’t a fan of it in comparison to the systems on its luxury competitors, and with this type of tech being an important feature for many buyers that’s a bad area to be deficient.

On the plus side, the 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster offers lots of information to the driver and is easy to manage. WiFi is also offered in the F-Pace.

 

PRICE, BOTTOM LINE
My test vehicle was just over $62,000 after all options; base price for the F-Pace starts about $42K. This is a competitive number in the segment, on par with most competitors, so it really comes down to the styling and performance to determine what brand buyers will gravitate toward. That’s good news for Jaguar, since it excels in both those areas.

Outside of the infotainment setup being a chore, there isn’t much to dislike about the F-Pace, so Jaguar has entered the SUV battlefield with a bang. It’s fast, sporty, looks great and makes an instant mark on the luxury SUV segment. It won’t be everyone’s final choice, but there’s no doubt that everyone who tries one out will remember it.

 

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

Website: www.autotechreviews.com

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