2017 Jaguar F-Pace S Review

Is the new Jaguar SUV a family mover, or a leisure lifestyle fun machine?

By Shahzad Sheikh

Click below now to watch our Jaguar F-Pace S review video right now.

We first saw the all new Jaguar SUV as the CX17 concept back in 2013. It finally got launched last year, and now we’ve had our first drive in it. So what do we reckon?

Well the first thing to do is dispel a misconception – this is not a Land Rover dressed up as a Jaguar, which would obviously be a logical conclusion because they are one and the same company and LR has a legendary heritage in off-roading and building SUVs.

Jaguar F-Pace review

However here’s something a bit weird – this is actually a Jaguar chassis – previously seen on the new XE saloon, then later the second generation XF, and rumoured to get stretched for the next XJ too. But whilst Jaguar resisted the temptation to pinch a Land Rover platform – Land Rover has in fact appropriated this chassis for its Range Rover Velar – a new SUV from the luxury off-road brand that slots above the Evoque but below the RR Sport.

So that’s that cleared up then. More stuff you need to know – the F-Pace is 80% aluminium-bodied and in terms of size sort of fits between the Porsche Cayenne and Macan. It’s smaller than Maserati Levante too.

Jaguar F-Pace review

Nothing undersized about the price though – it starts at AED232,000 ($63k) with a 3.0 V6 engine supercharged to put out 340bhp, giving it a 0-100kph time of 5.8 secs and a top speed of 250kph. The Jaguar F-Pace tested is even more superchargey putting out 380bhp and 340lb ft giving a 0-100kph of 5.5 seconds.

Price for that though is AED317,200 ($86,500). This particularly car you see in this video though weighs in at AED349,000 ($95k) with all the options and the massive 22-inch wheels.

Jaguar F-Pace review

One of those options include a leisure key – which is essentially a waterproof wrist band that you can use to lock and unlock the car at a particular point so that you can lock your valuables and the actual Jaguar key in the car, should you be heading out to play in the water.

The 22-inch spare wheel, cannibalises part of the boot space though, which would otherwise be reasonably practical. As is the rear passenger compartment – though why no rear USB ports?

Jaguar F-Pace review

Up front it’s reasonably comfortable, though one has to question window controls being placed at the top of the driver’s door ledge, where they are a) too damn high and b) exposed to the sun – how long are they going to continue working if this thing is always parked in the sun?

And then like the XE and new XF before it, the left vent seems intent to freeze your knuckles rather than cool your face, although it’s a little more adjustable in this installation.

Jaguar F-Pace review

Driving it around town, it’s surprisingly smooth and comfortable on the large wheels, though the ride would benefit from more sensible rims. Overall it’s an easy and intuitive car to drive.

Performance is good, and handling and grip is decent. Though the steering could do with a little more feedback to enable the driver to exploit what we already know (from the XE) to be an excellent sporty chassis. Additionally the brakes could be a little more bitey.

Jaguar F-Pace review

Verdict

It’s a great-looking new SUV that stands out from the crowd and brings some Jaguar charm into this fiercely contested segment. It seems to rival the Maserati Levante because it appeals more to style, image and quality-conscious buyers, than practicality and family-friendliness.

Unsurprisingly then, the cost is a little more than you might expect – particularly if you load it up with extra kit. And again like the Levante, it’s a competent and decent drive, if not quite on the sporting level of a Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Range Rover Sport or even the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.

But if you’re looking for a slightly off-beat SUV then you should certainly put this on your shortlist, along with the Levante – and the forthcoming Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

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