By on 2016-08-21 -
Jaguar F-PACE 2.0d
EARNING a name for fast, stylish, prestige cars is no guarantee that your first venture onto the SUV scene will prove a successful one.
Especially when performance brands, let alone the more mainstream car companies, have got there first.
Jaguar needed to produce something different, something out of the ordinary, something sensational when its own SUV hit the streets just a couple of months ago.
That's just what happened with the F-PACE, a vehicle that looks lean and mean yet covers the practical bases of economy, space and comfort.
With a price tag starting at £34,170 and offering a choice of petrol or diesel engines plus five trim grades, the car has been designed by the big cat's style guru Ian Callum and inspired by the F-TYPE coupe.
It looks the part too with its muscular bonnet, powerful rear haunches and distinctive tail light graphics. Go for a black paint job with matching forged alloy wheels and there's some real menace there.
And with menace should come performance.
To that end F-PACE buyers have a choice of a 300ps 3.0-litre V6 diesel automatic with all-wheel drive and the 380ps supercharged 3.0 petrol V6 auto with AWD that's used in the F-TYPE.
The engine proving the most popular though is not surprisingly the new 180ps 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel, up for grabs in either rear or all-wheel drive.
This unit is efficient, smooth and capable of returning 53.3 miles per gallon, though more realistically 45mpg.
It's also strong, with admirable pulling power in the mid range - in fact a bit more kick and it would be brilliant.
Nonetheless the F-PACE is wonderfully agile and balanced, while supple over bumps and broken surfaces. In short it's a real driver's car.
A Jaguar priority was to build a five-door SUV that would cosset five passengers in upmarket comfort and the brand claims class-leading rear knee-room plus a cavernous luggage compartment - 650 litres to be precise, and 1,740 with the rear seats folded.
There's certainly plenty of room to stretch your legs out in the back - provided you're not piggy in the middle - ample space up front and a commanding driving position.
The tested version was beautifully appointed too with large two-tone black and ivory perforated leather seats.
Techno treats include the likes of an easy-to-navigate InControl Touch Pro infotainment system and 12.3-inch HD virtual instrument cluster.
There's also All-Surface Progress Control to enable smooth driveaway on low friction surfaces along with a full suite of the latest occupant and pedestrian safety systems.
So there's plenty going for the F-PACE, a car that solves the dilemma of dads craving the image, style and performance of the coolest sports cars and mum needing the space, economy, comfort and raised driving position of what we know as the crossover.
Jaguar F-PACE 2.0d R-Sport AWD
Mechanical: 180ps, 1,999cc, 4-cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 129mph
0-62mph: 8.7 seconds
Combined MPG: 53.3
Insurance Group: 29
C02 emissions: 139g/km
Bik rating: 24%
Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles
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