Jaguar F-PACE SUV

blasts to the top

Jaguar F-PACE, front, action
Jaguar F-PACE, front
Jaguar F-PACE, front, static
Jaguar F-PACE, side, action
Jaguar F-PACE, rear, action
Jaguar F-PACE, off road
Jaguar F-PACE, side, static
Jaguar F-PACE, boot
Jaguar F-PACE, boot floor
Jaguar F-PACE, boot, maximum
Jaguar F-PACE, drive mode controls
Jaguar F-PACE, rear seats
Jaguar F-PACE, rear, static
Jaguar F-PACE, interior
Jaguar F-PACE, Ingenium engine

THE new F-PACE is destined to be Jaguar's fastest-selling car ever.

The company's order book is already bulging with advance orders from all over the world and the SUV is going to continue the transformation of the brand's image.

For a start the newcomer is proving a hit with women customers with one in three orders coming from females.

And the brand's age profile is also being reduced as orders arrive from customers an average of ten years younger than current Jaguar owners.

Jaguar may be late in joining the crossover craze but it will be bringing something new to the party and the biggest problem will be meeting the demand.

The F-PACE is being built at the Land Rover plant in Solihull alongside the new XE saloon and like its sibling it is made from aluminium making it lighter than its main rivals.

As such it beats the rest on performance and economy and Jaguar design chief Ian Callum and his team have made sure that it also looks the business.

Prices for the 12 model range start at £34,170 and go up to £65,275 for the limited First Edition models which have already sold out.

Three engines are available - the 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol from the F-Type sports car, the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel and the 3.0-litre V6 diesel.

They will all feature the excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox, although an entry-level model will be available with a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive.

My favourite is the V6 diesel which also powers the sports saloons and it really delivers. It takes just 5.8 seconds to reach 60mph and provides masses of torque and according to Jaguar is good for 47.1mpg.

The supercharged petrol model sounds fantastic and takes only 5.1 seconds to reach 60mph but its emissions are much higher at 209g/km and it is considerably thirstier with Jaguar claiming 31.7mpg.

Surprisingly the 2-0-litre Ingenium diesel is fit enough to take the AWD F-PACE to 60mph in just 8.5 seconds and it is good for over 53mpg with emissions of 139g/km.

The interior is roomier than any of its rivals and offers the quality you would expect from a Jaguar. The newcomer also offers more carrying capacity than the opposition with a 650-litre boot rising to 1,200-litres with the rear seats collapsed.

To make things easy to access all the space, the tailgate is power operated and can be opened by flicking your foot under the bumper.

For a large SUV the five-seater is surprisingly agile and the ride quality is good. It certainly looks great on 22-inch alloys but it feels more comfortable on the standard 20-inch rims.

The F-PACE is not lacking when it comes to finish or technology. Leather upholstery and an excellent driving position are backed-up by a virtual instrument panel which can be configured in numerous ways. A head up display and Jaguar's latest InControl Touch Pro sat nav and communication system offers the lot - including an excellent sound system.

The cabin offers numerous connecting points for all your media devices and you can choose a panoramic sun roof and the colour of your ambient lighting.

It may not have been designed to compete with Land Rover products when it comes to tackling the real tough stuff - but make no mistake the F-PACE is very capable off road.

Four wheel drive is automatic and the F-PACE comes with Land Rover's All Terrain Progress Control system which makes sure you have bags of grip over poor surfaces. It also helped me steer it down a very steep man-made obstacle bolted to the side of a dam.

Other driver aids include a surround-view camera system and the Jag can also wade through 20-inches of water. It coped well with a variety of challenging roads and surfaces on some very long drives and proved to be extremely versatile.

The F-PACE may be the first vehicle to truly deserve the Sports Utility Vehicle tag and it offers a great combination of space, pace, and luxury with ability and practicality.

It will sell as fast as Jaguar can make them and the good news is that there is more of its kind on the way.

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