JAGUAR’S F-Pace is everything the E-Type wasn’t, yet the company’s first SUV will be the most popular model the company has ever built.
The F-Pace, which goes on sale in Australia in July priced from $74,340, is high, wide and roomy. And it’s Jaguar’s first shot at claiming a slice of the SUV-boom action.
The exterior incorporates design elements borrowed from the F-Type sports car – the shape of the tail-lights is the obvious example – as well as the more recent XE and XF sedans.
Much of the driving technology in the F-Pace is also used in other Jaguars.
The list includes the SUV’s four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, auto transmission, all-wheel-drive setup and some suspension parts.
Nothing wrong with this; Jaguar’s freshest models are mostly delightful to drive.
The body is made mainly from aluminium. Jaguar has made itself one of the leaders in this field, for instance pioneering the development of special alloys using recycled aluminium.
But despite the widespread use of a metal renowned for being lighter than steel, the various models aren’t especially light.
Handling and ride comfort – at least in the high-end six-cylinder models Jaguar – are clearly a cut above class average.
The F-Pace has superb steering and strong brakes. Its suspension deals very well with bumps and bends alike.
Engine options are a 2.0-litre turbo diesel four (132kW), 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 (221kW) and high-tuned versions of the company’s supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 (250kW and 280kW).
All are teamed with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive (there will be rear-drive F-Paces in some other markets). Most Australian buyers will choose the diesel.
We sampled the V6 turbo diesel and the high-power supercharged petrol V6.
Both are powerful, smooth and satisfying to drive.
The interior is spacious, with a roomier rear seat than its competitors.