Jags are meant to be sleek, slender and sexy – the antithesis of an SUV! But, with the F-Pace, has Jaguar managed to do the impossible and blend sexy with SUV?
We often talk about the popularity that SUVs have gained in the Indian market. But the truth is that it’s a global phenomenon. Today, carmakers that you would never have imagined making utility vehicles are doing just that – even the likes of Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati have jumped into this coveted space. And, of course, Jaguar – as you can see here with the F-Pace. Sure, it’s been a long time coming – but has it been worth the wait?
Since it’s the first SUV from Jaguar, deviating from sedans to a larger body type while keeping the brand’s design philosophy intact would have been a great challenge for Ian Callum and his team. It’s a good thing that he’s the kind of person who would relish the challenge, because the end result is very nice indeed. The F-Pace looks typically Jaguar, and, at the same time, it’s perfected the SUV stance. The cat-like headlights, with the J-shaped Daytime Running Lamps, the large front grille, and the contours of the bonnet, all have Jaguar written all over them. From the rear, the F-Pace is somewhat reminiscent of the F-Type – especially the long, sleek tail lamps. But, in profile is where the SUV stance comes to the fore. The F-Pace is tall, has a high shoulder line, and sports 19-inch wheels that make it look aggressive. It may appear to be a mix of Jag’s sedans and the F-Type, but all the design elements come together very well indeed. Kudos to Ian Callum and team for pulling it off!
If you’ve been in the XE, the F-Pace will look like familiar territory – since a lot of components appear to be shared. The dashboard is washed in black, with contrasting red stitching to go with the upholstery. Certain parts of the dashboard have hard plastics though, which brings down the overall wow factor of the interior. But there are other elements, such as the ambient lighting, which lift the ambience of the cabin.
Moreover, thanks to the large glasshouse, the F-Pace feels airy and spacious. The front seats are comfortable and quite supportive. Rear passengers can recline their seats, and there’s plenty of leg and knee-room. The F-Pace is a big car, which means it should have plenty of boot space – but the majority of that is robbed by the full-sized spare tyre.
Of course, the F-Pace is brimming with features. From LED headlamps and tail lamps, cornering lights to electrically adjustable seats, a panoramic sunroof, and an electrically adjustable steering wheel, the F-Pace gets it all. While it comes equipped with parking sensors and a camera at the back, it also gets a front camera for better visibility during off-roading and to help with parking. And then there’s also the Park Assist feature for those who are parkingly-challenged (is that a phrase?). At the heart of the centre console is a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system that responds well to your inputs and is smartly angled to avoid reflections. This unit comes clubbed with a 6-speaker Meridian system with superb sound quality.
The Jaguar F-Pace comes with two engine options – a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel. If you want a petrol, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The one that we drove was the R-Sport variant with the meaty 3.0-litre unit, which produces 296bhp & 700Nm, and comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
If you’re wondering how these specs translate in real world conditions, the answer is very well indeed. The most impressive aspect, undoubtedly, is the well distributed torque curve. 700Nm kicks in as low as 2,000rpm, and stays all through the rev range before it gradually fades as the needle approaches the redline. This strong mid-range performance ensures absolute ease in overtaking, even at high speeds. The F-Pace impresses even in terms of outright performance. Go hard on the pedal and the car pushes you back into the seat as it races forward. The acceleration is brisk, especially for a car that tips the scales at 1,884kgs. Jaguar claims a 0-100km/h time of just 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 241km/h.
The F-Pace comes with four driving modes, with which you can change the dynamics of the car. The Dynamic mode is the one for enthusiasts with better throttle response, a heavier steering and quicker shifts. Eco mode, meanwhile, aims for maximum efficiency. There’s also off-road mode, or as Jaguar calls it All Surface Progress Control (ASPC).
Most SUVs, due to their high centre of gravity, don’t quite feel at home around the twisties. But the F-Pace really springs a surprise in this department. To keep understeer in check, the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) limits engine torque and applies the brakes to certain wheels to ensure the F-Pace always follows the intended direction of travel. Of course, there is a bit of body roll – but not enough to dent your confidence, even if you’re driving aggressively. In fact, when pushing it around corners, the F-Pace doesn’t feel like an SUV at all – which is a credit to Jaguar’s chassis engineers. And the ride quality isn’t compromised either, as it evens out rough road surfaces and undulations comfortably. It’s only when you go fast over coffin-sized potholes that it tends to feel unsettled.
All told, the F-Pace provides SUV appeal with great looks, a punchy motor, and fun driving dynamics. And did I forget to mention that it’s very comfortable too? But, since it comes in via the CBU route, it demands an extremely steep Rs 1.02 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi) for this R-Sport variant. At that price it’s considerably higher than its rivals. In fact, it’s almost on par with prodigious offerings like the Porsche Cayenne, and even the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class – which makes it a hard car to recommend objectively. Subjectively, however, it gets our vote!
- Jaguar F-Pace
Power: 296bhp @ 4,000rpm
Torque: 700Nm @ 2,500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Price: Rs 1.02 crore (Ex-showroom, Delhi)