We finally got an SUV out of Jaguar, and I have wondered if it was going to be worth the wait. Although it was slow to the market, Jaguar took much of the very best work they do, like the Jaguar F-Type, and put it into an SUV.
The 2017 F-Pace competes in the Performance SUV segment, which is the hottest piece of the SUV craze that is going on.
Six trims, three engine choices.
There are six different levels of trims starting with the base F-Pace, going all the way up to the F-Pace First Edition. My review vehicle is the S, which is one notch down from the top-of-the-line.
Engine choices are a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbo diesel or two gasoline 3-liter supercharged V6s, one putting out 340-horses and one with 380-horses, like the one I’ve been in all week. All F-Pace models come with all-wheel drive, and an 8-speed automatic transmission that you can shift from steering wheel paddles.
It’s a looker, inside and out.
I had a lot of comments from folks this week talking about the sharp-looking exterior, a couple of people remarked it favored the Porsche Cayenne but from every angle you see clues of other Jags.
The 20” wheels look great as do the dual exhaust, rear spoiler, the raised hood, and classic Jaguar grill. The F-Pace has an 80% aluminum body.
Moving to the inside, it is clean and elegant with very nice stitching and a beautiful headliner. Seats are comfortable and soft and the gauges are colorful and easy to read.
A large speedometer and tachometer are easy to see, and there is a configurable driver info and settings system to the left of those. There are steering wheel controls for just about everything that allows you to keep your eyes on the road, and just above the dash is a heads-up display that gives your speed, the speed limit, and navigation system directions.
Jaguar’s new InControl system is faster, but complex.
In the middle of the center stack is a vivid 10.2” color touchscreen that operates everything but the climate control. This is a new system for Jag after years of complaints about the old system being slow. The new system is called InControl, and recognizes touch and swipe gestures for quick and easy operation of vehicle functions. It’s where you operate the navigation, music, phone, seat temperature, Bluetooth, and driver assistance systems.
To further reduce distraction, InControl features voice recognition for hands-free control. While the system is for sure faster, it’s fairly complex initially, and you’ll need to go through multiple screens to do some pretty simple things.
Also from there are live apps, Wi-Fi connectivity, you can surf the Internet, you can check lap times and G-forces. You can even sync InControl to your Apple watch. InControl is an improvement for sure and offers a lot of features, but is still slow to react at times.
Moving down from the touchscreen, there is a nice center console with the signature Jag pop-up transmission dial. Just below that are your settings for the Drive Control, which allow you to change from Standard, Eco, Dynamic, or Rain/Ice/Snow modes. Dynamic mode sharpens the throttle response, transmission shift patterns, stiffens the suspension, and really changes the way the F-Pace drives, rides and handles.
The interior doesn’t lack for luxurious features.
Back seat room is good, as is headroom. The back seat can be electronically tilted for comfort, and back seat passengers have full climate controls including a heated and cooled rear seat.
Cargo area is very ample, and you can fold the second row seat down by pulling a lever in the rear. When done, the rear liftgate is power and works off the remote as well.
Since my tester is almost the top-of-the-line, it is loaded with standard features like power seats, heated steering wheel, keyless entry & start, power panoramic moonroof that runs almost the entire length of the roof, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and rear camera.
My review vehicle is loaded with options.
My review vehicle has over $13,000 in options including the heads-up display and an extra charge for the metallic paint.
Some of the features I mentioned above are in the Comfort and Convenience package. This one has the luxury interior upgrade which gives you a cooled center console, the suede headliner, and mood lighting.
It also has the Technology package, which is all your InControl features and the larger color touch screen, and it comes with an Activity Key. You can lock the keys inside your vehicle, and carry a waterproof device that looks like a watch to get back in the F-Pace. It will not start, even with the key, until you enter the vehicle by touching your wrist device to the Jag emblem on the tailgate. James Bond would be proud.
The driving dynamics are A-MAZ-ING.
I love the way the F-Pace rides, and the handling is superb with the all-wheel drive system. In normal driving, 90 percent of the power goes to the rear wheels. In slippery conditions, it will reverse itself and send 90% of the power to the front wheels as needed. Although it would be great in snowy climates, it gives the F-Pace very solid driving dynamics.
Acceleration with the 3-liter is pretty amazing. It handles great in tight turns with no lean at all, and it has terrific brakes. Ride quality, other than in Dynamic mode, is firm but comfortable.
Fuel economy is 18 City and 23 highway for a combined average of 20, which is not bad for an SUV with close to 400-horses.
Be warned, the price climbs quickly…
If you watch TV commercials you will see the base MSRP of the F-Pace is $40,990, but as you add options and horsepower, the price goes up very quickly. My S Model review vehicle has a sticker price of just over $71,000, and that is well in line with other Performance SUVs loaded like this one.
Also consider the F-Pace has a 5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and during that time, Jaguar pays for all scheduled maintenance.
…And there’s a wait.
Unlike some SUVS in this class, this is what I’d call a unisex vehicle, meaning it will be attractive to both women and men. It is the first part of September 2016, and if you want to buy or lease one of these, you’ll have about a five month wait.
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