If you’ve always admired the feline-esque beauty of the F-type sports car, we don’t blame you. However, it’s hard to justify the two-door, two-seater when you’ve got family and bulky cargo in tow.
For that growing segment, Jaguar has something pretty special up its sleeve, and it comes in the form of a five-seater SUV called the F-Pace. There is, after all, a reason why it’s become the fastest-selling model in the company’s history ever since it sped into the hearts of gearheads and families worldwide in 2016.
Five years on, the new F-Pace continues to impress, this time combining its signature athleticism with an enhanced exterior design, all-new interiors, and advanced connectivity, and like the F-Type is eager to please with its driver-centric details. So much so that it’s become one of the most enjoyable cars we’ve had the pleasure of taking out for a spin this year.
Read on to find out how this SUV fared.
The Jaguar F-Pace never leaves you wanting more in terms of agility and control. Like a true Jaguar, the two-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium turbocharged engine in this R Dynamic S variant is dynamically more involved than its stablemates. Riding on the optional 22-inch wheels means you’re likely to never take the SUV off-road, but these babies do add a cat-like stance to the vehicle for maximum wow factor.
The all-wheel drive system and eight-speed automatic transmissions work wonders in all sorts of driving conditions. However, with Jaguar’s athletic DNA flowing through and through, the F-Pace can be a tad firm for those who expect this to be a soft, luxury 4×4. Thankfully, the Pivi Pro infotainment — first seen on the Defender — makes switching between different driving modes an effortless, swear-free affair. If you want to tailor the ride even further, simply toggle between each of the customisable features.
We softened the suspension and lightened the steering while leaving the rest of the vehicle in its performance settings. This provided the best throttle response while keeping the ride relaxed, which proved ideal for driving on city roads like Singapore’s. Fancy a show of performance, however, and the Dynamic mode is always on hand to deliver a more responsive driving experience.
The eco-friendliness of the F-Pace might not be obvious at first glance with its sporty demeanour and dynamic capabilities, but the car is plenty green. Its compact electric motor is powered by a 17.1kWh lithium-ion battery that’s located under the boot floor, and depending on the driving modes can provide varying levels of efficiency. In the EV mode, the SUV runs purely on electric power in the battery for a quiet, relaxing journey through city streets.
Hybrid mode, on the other hand optimises the comfort and efficiency of the hybrid system to provide a comfortable, engaging ride. If you’re one to take both seriously, the Predictive Energy Optimisation function in the car can integrate route and GPS location data to ensure you maximise them throughout your journey.
Inside, the new Jaguar F-Pace is a nod to the carmaker’s heritage. Contemporary British design can be seen throughout here — from the Drive Selctor and its ‘cricket-ball’ stitching to finishes like open-pore wood veneers and aluminium. Want to get flashy? The new Mars Red is a good interior colour way to start with, and accentuates the sporty nature of the car with its SVR-inspired Windsor Leather seats and Jaguar heritage logo-inspired monogram pattern perforation.
Expect an all-new steering wheel too. Inspired by the all-electric I-Pace, it features sleek hidden-until-lit switches, zinc alloy gearshift paddles, and is swathed with a perforated leather rim for utmost luxury.
Yet the star of the show is easily the infotainment system, and we dare say it has the best user experience in the market today. Designed such that you won’t require more than three touches to accomplish 90 percent of common tasks, the latest Pivi Pro infotainment technology — first seen on the new Defender — is showcased via a 11.4-unch curved glass HD touchscreen. Besides being bigger than the previous 10-inch screen, this new system also boasts more clarity and brightness for more enjoyable rides for both you and your passenger.
The car is a millennial’s haven, so expect a 14-speaker Meridian sound system to provide immense depth and clarity whatever your song choices are. There’s a wireless charging dock for your smartphones, but we found the connection for this to be slightly iffy on our test vehicle, which resulted in the phone going on and off the charge.
An Activity Key can be had with the Jaguar F-Pace too. This essentially looks like a smart watch and provides the functionality of car keys, so you can leave your bulky keys at home and take this waterproof device with you instead on your next adventure. It was easy to use, and we found ourselves wearing and using it regularly throughout our time with the vehicle.
The F-Pace can comfortably fit four adults (or possibly five, depending on your size) and a significant amount of cargo in the boot. There’s an ample 793 litres with the rear seats up, but lower them and you get a generous 1,842 litres — enough for everything you’ll need for long road trips and beyond.
The F-Pace is a handsome car, but that’s hardly surprising coming from Jaguar. The real surprise is how much the SUV has grown into the stellar all-rounder it is now, especially if you’re looking for an efficient alternative to the brand’s dynamic lineup of cars. Inside, the car’s plenty intelligent and user-friendly, with touches of luxury at every turn that’ll remind you that you’re in a car with heritage.
Find out more here.