No one has been waiting longer for this car than Jaguar themselves. With major rivals like BMW, Audi and Mercedes coveting the premium crossover limelight for so long, Jaguar had to come up with something special, and the new Jaguar F-Pace appears to be it.
The timing for Jaguar could not be better. In 2015, they experienced the strongest growth for a decade selling almost 500,000 vehicles globally. As the European economy continues to improve and car sales continue to rise, entry into the performance crossover and lucrative ‘Lifestyle’ market was only a matter of time.
The new F-Pace is the third new product to be launched by Jaguar in the last 12 months including the all new XE and XF models, but today we got our first opportunity to experience the all new Jaguar F-Pace and bring it for its first drive on Irish roads. From the outside, it is a very attractive looking SUV giving the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC a serious run for their money, with Jaguar naming their core competitors as the BMW X4 and Porsche Macan. Most manufacturers claim a ‘sporty appearance’ and ‘coupe styling’ but the F-Pace does live up to it ‘performance SUV’ title, in appearance anyway. The front gets Jaguar’s defining signature grille as seen on the new XE and XF saloons, complete with swooping headlights that lead up to a long sculpted bonnet. In profile, it differs very little from the original CX-17 concept we first witnessed two years ago, demonstrating a slick slingback styled shape with a compact rear end that boasts defining F-Type sports car style lamps.
Inside, it gets a very similar dashboard design and layout to the XE and XF albeit with some additional 4×4 style chunky grab rails down the centre console around the gear selector. The use of materials and finish is to the usual high Jaguar standards and really is a very nice place to be. Room in the back is good too while there is more than enough headroom, even with full length panoramic sunroof option. There is decent storage too with a good size glovebox and underneath the centre armrest, but door pockets are a little on the small side. Although Jaguar claim that storage within the cabin is designed around smartphones so there is plenty of grip in these areas to put them down. It gets a massive 650 litre boot that opens up into 1740 litres with the rear seats folded. It has both function and form.
The F-Pace is fitted with a brand new front suspension and rear link system setup. This combined with its more rigid lightweight aluminium construction are said to make it feel more agile. What I can say from today’s drive, having not put it through its paces to a great extent, is that it was both comfortable and very refined. All test models were fitted with the 2.0 diesel Ingenium engine with 180PS. It suits the Jaguar SUV very well and never felt like it lacked in pace or torque. Off-road capabilities have also been instilled in the Jag too. Coming from the Land Rover family means the F-Pace is has been injected with genuine off-road abilities showcasing a brand new ‘All Surface Progress Control’. From launch there is also a choice of a 300PS V6 diesel or the top of the range 3.0 Supercharged petrol V6 with 380PS. All models are available in SE, Prestige, R-Sport and Portfolio trim lines.
The F-Pace is likely to be a massive success for the brand with the premium SUV crossover market growing by a massive 69% in 2015 alone. It is one carefully crafted machine that has been specifically created with driver appeal and lifestyle aspirations in mind and while it may have off-road abilities, it is not likely to steal sales from the Land Rover family.
With a starting price of €44,100 for the 2.0d 6-speed manual in SE guise, it’s set to shake up the premium crossover market quite quickly.
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