JLR or Jaguar LandRover, as they are called in totality are designed in such a way that when it comes to SUV’s no one can build a better SUV than a LandRover and when it comes to sedans, no one can better them then Jaguar’s within the group.
Hold on, if that is the ethos, where if customer comes for an SUV show him the LandRover and if he comes for a Sedan, show him a Jaguar, then why make something like a F-Pace?
Well, yes Landrover has some legendary names to its credit and their SUV’s venture to places, where most of the contemporary SUV’s won’t dare togo. But then over time the management of JLR realized that not all of their customers want to go off-roading with their SUV’s. And time and again, LandRover products got associated with- If you want to go off-roading, then and only then should you buy a LandRover product, at all other times though, you can do away with either a BMW, or Mercedes-Benz or an Audi for that instance, to satisfy your SUV pangs.
That is where, the team at JLR decided to toy with an idea of an SUV under Jaguar brand name, which though would look like an SUV, but go like a wild cat. Just like any other Wild Cats out there from the house of Jaguars.
But I at Motorise, still aren’t able to figure out, for whom really is the Jaguar F-Pace, while I agree, it competes in the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC,Volvo XC60, JLR’s own Discovery Sport, Porsche Macan, Lexus NX and the Audi Q5 Segment. At one end of this, we have the simply stunning and phenomenal Volvo XC60, a more complete package in the name of BMW X3, a LandRover Discovery Sport, which literally goes anywhere, a recently updated Mercedes-Benz GLC, which now is the product it should always have been, a Porsche Macan & Lexus NX, which scream individuality and exclusivity like no one else and lastly trying to please everyone type is the Audi Q5, but where does the Jaguar F-Pace really sit. Let me see, if I can answer that at the end of the review. For now, lets look at the brief history, before we look at the car in person.
Jaguar had unveiled the C-X17 prototype at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was also showcased at 2014 Auto Expo and the concept did garner attention. This gave Jaguar the confidence of going ahead with the prototype which later materialized into the F-Pace. The F-Pace chassis is the third model to be built on Jaguar Land Rover's iQ-Al (D7a) modular platform, which is used for the XE, the second generation XF, the next-generation XJ and the Range Rover Velar.
The F-Pace was designed by Ian Callum. Ian Callum has been the man behind the timeless designs of the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish and DB9. He wanted the Jaguars to be perceived as cool. True to his vision, people perceive the wild cats not only as cool but also aggressive and understated. The Jaguar XE is one such car that you simply can't stop drooling at it. It’s quite interesting to note that most of the body parts of this Jaguar are made from Aluminum, keeping the weight of the car down.
Design Language - Exteriors
The F-Pace is aimed to fill the gap between the Jaguar luxury sedans and sports cars, and the full-fledged SUVs from Land Rover. As mentioned earlier, Jaguar has set its eyes firmly on the premium mid-sized crossover space that consists of the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60 and the Lexus NX. The F-Pace is meant to be the practical Jaguar that isn't afraid to get its paws dirty once in a while, but still offers driver involvement. Earlier, existing XF, XE, XJ or even F-Type owners would have had to look at either sister brand Land Rover for an SUV option or at other brands outside the JLR stable. Now, the F-Pace gives existing customers the option to stay within the Jaguar brand.
The front of this jaguar is flank by large trapezoidal grill, with cat-eyes like Adaptive LED headlights and J-Shaped day time running lights completing the front look. The LED Lights do a good job of illuminating the roads in no-light/low-light conditions. The bumpers have integrated air dams which give an aggressive stance to the car. The power lines on the bonnet carry a beefy look and overall enhance the visual appeal of the car.
F-Pace seeks its inspiration from the F-Type and it is indeed obvious in the way it is styled. The side profile shows off the long hood and steeply raked C-pillar. The side profile is pretty straight forward and nothing’s overdone. My only wish, however, will be for the need for a better looking alloy wheels. The current 19-inch 5-spoke alloys look a touch too bland. Considering there’s only one variant on offer and these alloys are a standard fitment with no options whatsoever to choose from, it a bit of a downer.
The rear looks more like a raised hatch more than an SUV. But then, it still manages to look good. The tail-lights seek inspiration from the F-Type. The windshield is a bit small in size. The Jaguar badge finds it place right at the centre of the boot door. There’s a diffuser lower down which houses an exhaust pipe on the either side which helps in providing a balanced look.
F-Pace has a boot capacity of 508-liters. The space is made even more versatile by the rear seats' 40:20:40 configurations. They can be folded completely, or folded individually, in a variety of combinations, to accommodate both passengers and awkward items such as skis. The parcel shelf, so often a difficult object to store, can be stowed under the loadspace floor. The loadspace floor is reversible and can be switched, in an instant, from a carpet to a rubberized surface – perfect for damp or muddy equipment (helps in keeping the carpet clean). Transferring items into and out of F-Pace is made easier by the low loading height and wide boot opening.
Design Language- Interiors
Step inside the F-Pace and you are greeted by a very familiar cabin. The first thing that you notice is, you sit high in the car. The dashboard design is very similar to its smaller sedan sibling, the XE. Compared to the exteriors that wow you, the interiors are more function over form. The quality of materials plus fit and finish are top-notch as expected. I particularly loved the wrap around hood around the dash, it’s called the river hood and it seeks its inspiration from the Italian speed boats (which is now a common sight in the Jaguars of today).
There’s also a Configurable Ambient Interior Lighting with ten different colors to choose from. F-Pace can create an ambience to match your mood. Slender roof pillars and a large windscreen mean all-round visibility is excellent. The Cabin Air Ionization with Nano technology improves the air quality within the vehicle cabin, and reduces allergens, viruses, airborne bacteria and associated odors. It does so by ionizing particles in the air, making them attract to surfaces and thus helping to cleanse the air.
The front seats are extremely comfortable and finding your perfect driving position is a cinch with the plethora of seat and steering adjustments available. The steering wheel is absolutely chunky to hold and has lovely thumb recesses, to give it a sportier feel.In the back, there's space for three adults to sit comfortably side by side. Rear leg and knee room are 944 mm and 65 mm respectively. Throughout the car you'll find neatly placed, versatile storage. There are useful pockets for smartphones and other small items either side of the centre console, as well as below the Touchscreen.
Design Language: In-Car Entertainment (ICE)
The F-Pace comes equipped with a 10-inch touchscreen head-unit which is also responsible for powering the 16-speaker 380W Meridian System. This system also packs in a subwoofer and an amplifier which does help in giving this audio setup the right mix of audio output.
The car has usual connectivity modules, like Bluetooth and USB, but misses out on Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The audio is crystal clear with the sorted highs, mids and lows. The vocals are very clear and every lyric can be heard clearly. There is enough bass on offer for those bass lovers while those who appreciate mid and treble aren’t disappointed either.
Performance: Engine and Gearbox
The F-Pace currently has two engines to choose from. There’s a 2.0L turbocharged Diesel and then there’s the Ingenium 2.0L 4-cylinder 184 kW Turbocharged Petrol engine. Our prime focus in this review would be the latter.
In a nutshell, this new engine is far better suited to this car than the lazy 2.0-litre diesel ever was. Right from the quicker responses off the line, to the strong mid-range, to a greater willingness to rev; it’s far more enjoyable in just about every situation. It’s also noticeably quicker – 0-100kph comes up in claimed 7-seconds which is a full2-second quicker than the diesel. And it feels that way too, pulling strongly right from the word go and making light of this car’s big mass.
What’s not-so-good about this engine are the Noise levels. There’s this growl present inside the cabin at all times and the engine only gets growlier as the revs build up. Vibrations and Harshness levels on the other hand are well contained.
What also helps in this 7-seconds timing is the generous usage of Aluminum. 80% of the body structure comprises of Aluminum. Aluminum is light but at the same time, rigid. This rigidity also helps in keeping the structural integrity safe while reducing the kerb weight.
There is a small issue of the 8-speed auto gearbox that can sometimes fumble and be a bit jerky at low speeds. It happens when you tap the throttle suddenly from a standstill, or at lower speeds, and it turns what might’ve been slightly lazy progress into a noticeable hiccup. Otherwise, the gearbox is a charm and it does help in whipping out all the power that’s at your disposal.
Brakes on the other hand felt a bit spongy. The brakes lacked that bite and there were a couple of instances where I had to brake hard when I had overestimated the braking distance between me and the car ahead of me.
Performance: Ride and Handling
The F-Pace uses an electronic power steering, which is very sharp in response but lacks feel. It weighs up well, but it partially tells you what’s happening with the wheels. However good part is, it has very little play and is extremely quick to respond. It actually took me a while to get used to the steering as it was responding to even smallest of inputs. The F-Pace is also a wide car with large haunches meant that I had to make a conscious effort to point the F-Pace where I wanted. Between Dynamic and Normal mode, I couldn’t really feel a big difference in the steering weighing up or in the response. Normal mode has a bit of laziness and less urgency vs the Dynamic mode.
Being a Jaguar, the dynamics are focused towards the sportier side - more for on-road than for off-road. That’s not to say the F-Pace is not a capable vehicle off-road. The F-Pace features an all-aluminum double wishbone suspension at the front and Jaguar’s integral link suspension at the back. It handles just like any other Jaguar and this does make a conscious effort of not to remind you that you’re pushing an SUV real hard around the corners. It sticks to its line without any fuss and I like it.
The ride quality at lower speeds isn’t compromised either. The ride quality is utterly supple at lower speeds which do a very good job of soaking up the crater-like bumps and potholes on the roads of Mumbai. This is a perfect combination of ride and handling where nothing is compromised for achieving excellence in either of the departments.
Almost all the SUV’s that we reviewed in our garage, had one thing in common- a body roll at high speeds, the degree of body roll of course varied to the pedigree to the setup.
This is where, the F-Pace, literally shines. But then should you choose this SUV only because it handles the line well? No right. So then why should you buy the F-Pace.
Couple of reasons, for starters, it a Jaguar, and like any other Jaguar, its meaner, head turner and sexier. It gets Jaguar’s legendary DNA that make cars sucker for handling, a trait that’s widely seen in this F-Pace too.To help you do that, Jaguar has given perfectly tuned petrol and Diesel engines, to allow you to cruise down the highways at triple digit speeds with ease.
So if you are out there in the market, who’s looking to buy a sophisticated SUV, and does not want to go the traditional way of picking up something from the 3 Germans as usual, the Jaguar F-Pace then, is the one for you, as it stands out from the crowd, and is definitely a crowd puller at the same time.
However, if you still want to know how the other SUV’s from this segment stack up against the F-Pace, you can read more on them in the related articles below.