Jaguar F-PACE 2.0d R

Sport

Jaguar F-Pace, front
Jaguar F-Pace, front
Jaguar F-Pace, front
Jaguar F-Pace, side
Jaguar F-Pace, rear
Jaguar F-Pace, rear
Jaguar F-Pace, interior

BIG, bold and aggressive was obviously the brief given to the Jaguar designers asked to pen the company's first SUV.

Viewed head on for the first time the tall stance and dramatic oversized grille of the new F-PACE certainly make you stop in your tracks.

But it's obviously a look that is proving popular as the order books are full and there is a waiting list.

Breaking away from its traditional saloons and sports cars for the first time Jaguar had to create a car which made a bold statement and the F-PACE certainly does that.

But there is more to this crossover that first meets the eye as the car - which is built at the Land Rover works at Solihull - is made from aluminium, giving it the edge over its competitors when it comes to weight and the knock on effect on performance.

Which is why, despite its size, the F-PACE still offers such impressive performance even with the smallest engine available, the 2.0-litre, 180ps turbo diesel.

Make no mistake this a big car. I parked the car alongside a Porsche Cayenne to get some perspective and the F-PACE looked the larger of the two which makes it all the more surprising just how well it performs with the small - Wolverhampton-built - engine under the bonnet.

Under hard acceleration this engine can be slightly noisy but delivers the pace when you need it and as soon as you lift off the accelerator slightly the cabin becomes beautifully silent again, proving that you don't necessarily have to opt for one of the larger engines available for this car.

On a long journey the marque's qualities shine through offering a superbly comfortable ride so you get out as fresh as when you got in.

And over 400-plus miles I averaged 48 miles per gallon, showing that even big, four-wheel-drive cars can be economical.

A generous portion of the distance was covered on fast, twisting B-roads and demonstrated just how agile this car is at speed making it rewarding and enjoyable to drive.

In the cabin you get all the quality you would expect from Jaguar with superb leather upholstery, electrically operated and heated front seats and, in the case of my test car, a vast panoramic glass sun roof.

Just like the big Jaguar saloons and sports cars the rotary gear shift rises automatically as you start the car and the 8-speed auto box can be used in Drive, Sport or Manual mode.

I liked the way at the end of your journey when you touch the push start/stop button the gear shift automatically moves to park and the parking brake is applied. A simple but nice time-saving feature.

Passenger space is vast and rear travellers can stretch their legs out fully. Boot room too is enormous with 650 litres available. This rises to 1,200 litres with the rear seatbacks down but even when packed for a holiday we found no need for the larger capacity.

The high back of the car means reverse parking can be a little awkward and even though my car had parking sensors buyers would be best to opt for a rear view camera as well.

FAST FACTS

Jaguar F-PACE 2.0d R Sport

Price: £40,360

Mechanical: 1,999cc, 180ps four cylinder diesel engine driving all wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Max Speed: 129 mph

0-62mph: 8.2 secs

Combined MPG: 53.3

Insurance Group: 139 g/km

C02 emissions: 29

Bik rating:24%

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