Jaguar F-Pace Portfolio 2.0.180PS AWD
It was only a matter of time. Reinvigorated with the XF, back in the game with the XE, Jaguar’s next step towards global dominance was to launch a premium SUV. Let’s face it, everyone else has; Porsche Macan, BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes Benz GLC, Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport; Take your pick. Jaguar’s response ? The F-Pace & what a car this is. Runner-up in our 2016 Car of the Year awards, the F-Pace is undoubtedly a major success for JLR, which sees Jaguar designer Ian Callum taking the SUV template, adding stunning looks, shaking these up & creating the beautiful model that is the F-Pace.
Jaguar loaned CCV the 180bhp AWD auto Portfolio model, retailing at £42,260 OTR . There’s more good news. This Jaguar’s 2.0 litre diesel engine is incredibly frugal – I managed to achieve over 40mpg in my week in this handsome devil – and with a claimed combined of 53.3mpg & emissions of 139g/km, it will undoubtedly appear in the crosshairs of many company car driver shopping in this sector
There are four trim models in the F-Pace range. Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio & S. All models come with 18″ alloy wheels, Jaguar’s InControl infotainment/SatNav system, eight-way electrically adjustable leather seats & ubiquitous good looks.
There are three engines to choose from; a 3.0 litre diesel & crazy V6 petrol, plus the 178bhp 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel fitted to our test model which will be the biggest seller & tick’s all the boxes for user-chooser company car drivers. It’s also available with rear or 4WD, a manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, with our test car fitted with AWD & the most likely popular auto-box.
Although Land Rover is arguably the ‘King’ in the premium off-road sector, Jaguar developed its own platform for the F-Pace, sharing some of its architecture with the XE & XF, which was a fantastic decision, as was the amount of light-weight aluminium used in it’s construction, because this large SUV, even powered by just 178 horse power, drives like a saloon car.
When you set your eyes on the F-Pace, from the front, with it’s mesh grille topped off with the Jaguar logo & narrow headlights, from the side & the sweeping low roof line, shallow windows & large wheel arches, or even from the rear featuring sleek light’s & sloping rear window package, it’s hard to find fault. Compared to say the Discovery Sport, Q5 or X3, it’s a real stunner even pushing the Macan for best-in-show looks. The cabin is comfortable & well appointed, with my test model featuring a host of equipment & safety features, including Jaguar Drive Control, featuring Eco, Normal & Sport functions, cruise control with ASL,an electric parking brake, front & rear parking aid, rear view camera, lane departure warning, Jaguar Smart Key System with Keyless Start & Entry & an 8” capacitive Touch-Screen, with DAB radio, i-pod, Bluetooth, SatNav & a 380w Jaguar Sound System. There’s also a panoramic roof, satin chrome roof rails, a gloss black insert with chrome surround radiator grille, all around heat insulation glass & Xenon headlamps with LED signature daytime running lights & a useful powered tailgate.
All of the switchgear is logically located & easy to use with the dials & instrumentation a standout. XE & XF. customers, will be familiar with the F-Pace’s interior, which contains both the thick-rimmed Jaguar steering wheel & the pop-up gear selector. As with the Disco Sport the electric window power buttons are located in the upper part of the drivers door, which fooled me on more than one occasion. I also failed dismally to work out how to get the car’s interior lights to come on when I opened the doors, which with the clocks changing in the week I had the F-Pace, was a bit of a pain.
During my week in the F-Pace, I drove around 350 miles on the motorway, so I decided to select the the Eco mode from the gear box to save fuel. The 2.0-litre diesel may be frugal, but don’t let that put you off, as the F-PAce will do 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds &b will hit 129mph. On the motorway it’s quiet & refined. Around town, I used the Normal setting on the gear box, which improves the F-Pace’s acceleration & also improves engine noise giving a throaty roar as you move off. Fuel economy does drop, but not by much.
Take a spin in the F-Pace on some winding roads & it really comes into it’s own. Light & accurate steering, coupled with excellent grip from the 19″ tyres & balanced suspension, make light of the F-Pace’s bulk & really put’s a smile on your face.
Ask Mrs Walker what she wants in her car of choice & practicality will be high on that list. The F-Pace doesn’t disappoint here either. The cabin is airy & spacious, aided by the panoramic sun-roof. There’s useful storage in the doors, glove box & centre console. Passengers in the front should have no problem getting comfortable, because of the vast adjustment for both the front seats & the steering wheel. Despite being designed with a discernable sloping-roof line, room in the rear is pretty good as well, although the aforementioned full-length panoramic roof will restrict headroom.If boot space is your thing, then there’s 650 litres on offer with the rear seats in place, which increases to 1,740 litres when the seats are folded flat. Regarding practicality, my only criticism of the F-Pace is that the front door access is narrow & you have to duck down a bit to get in & out to avoid hitting your head or bashing your knees on the steering wheel. This though is a small price to pay for what to my mind is the new class leader.
The F-Pace might at first glance look expensive & with the range starting at £35,020, it’s certainly not cheap. However, when you compare the F-Pace to it’s competitors, especially JLR’s own Evoque & Disco Sport, it really isn’t. You get an awful lot of Jaguar for your money.
As I write, the F-Pace 2.0D 180PS R-Sport 5DR AWD is available on a 6 +35 10,000 miles per annum non maintained contract, for £469 per month, making it highly competitive.
As you can probably tell from my review, I really liked the F-Pace. Just like ‘Shallow Hal’ I am always swayed when reviewing a car by how it looks & this new Jaguar in that respect is very, very hard to beat. What makes it really special though are that it is available with reasonable contract hire rates, offers surprisingly good fuel economy, drives & handles superbly & comes with built-in SUV practicality.
The F-Pace really does have it all. An easy peasy 4.5/5.