Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: March 9, 2017
Click here for the Chinese (中文) review.
I was skeptical at first. A Jaguar SUV? What has the world come to? But one look at the sales chart will tell you the whole story. The world loves jacked up crossovers, and it seems producing an SUV is the only way for automakers (especially smaller ones) to stay afloat. Just look at Bentley with its Bentayga and Rolls-Royce with its upcoming Cullinan.
Bean counters seem to be calling the shots these days and as much as we despised its inevitability, Jaguar’s new F-Pace is one of the sexiest and best handling SUVs on the market today.
Ian Callum took a box and somehow created something magical out of it; a feat most designers have trouble with. Most people think the Bentley Bentayga and Alfa Romeo Stelvio to be wagon-on-stilt eyesores but the F-Pace attracts a different kind of reaction, a more positive one.
With tidy dimensions and sharp seductive lines, the F-Pace looks even better in the flesh than in pictures. There’s just something about their heightened proportions that a two-dimensional photograph can’t seem to capture, and it holds true to most SUVs.
Buyers have three choices of powertrains; a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, which is the same one we tested recently in the Jaguar XE, and two variants of a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 with 340-hp and 380-hp outputs. The one we tested was the 340-hp variant of the V6, which runs from 0-100 km/h in a speedy 5.8 seconds, only 0.3 seconds slower than the 380-hp V6, and 2.9 seconds quicker than the diesel. All available engines are mated to the same 8-speed ZF transmission in the XE.
The V6 is tame at low speeds – it’s quiet and collected, just the thing you want in a luxury crossover. But give it some gas and the blown V6 really begins to howl at the higher RPMs. To add to the drama, the exhaust sings a raspy note, just like the seductive F-Type but without the pops and bangs. Forward propulsion is near instant and it certainly doesn’t feel 40-hp slower than the S model we tested a few months back.
The F-Pace’s structure is 80% aluminum and it rides on the same platform that underpins the XE and XF sedans. It doesn’t ride like an SUV either, more like a sedan with well composed body movements and a low center of gravity. It carves corners without feeling floaty and cumbersome – in fact it rides pretty much like the XE sedan just with a bit more ground clearance.
The front end bites hard and the rear follows almost instantly, swinging out when desired. That’s due in part to its all-wheel drive system, which was mirrored after the F-Type. It keeps 100% of power in the rear wheels by default, and sends up to 50% to the front if needed. As a result, the F-Pace has an athletic persona and likes to shows off its lithe movements when changing direction. There is loads of grip and steering feedback is excellent as well.
The F-Pace has quite a firm suspension setup and ends up feeling more like a performance crossover than a luxury one. It’s not as supple as the GLC 300 or as collected as a Macan, but it’s just about par with the BMW X4. Selecting Dynamic Mode will firm up the springs even more, reducing body roll and switching the F-Pace into an engaging dance partner.
The interior keeps its English charm with signature Jaguar design cues like the rising rotary gear dial and swooping dashboard. The steering wheel, though too concave for my liking, feels nice to grasp and all the buttons and dials are within ergonomic reach.
Our specific tester did not come equipped with the Technology Pack ($3,100) so we were left with the last generation infotainment system that keeps menu buttons on the side flanks and a smaller screen in the middle. It’s still usable but after much exposure to the new InControl Touch Pro unit in the Evoque and Discovery Sport, its quicker response times, higher definition, and cleaner menus spoiled our appetites.
Headroom and legroom on the other hand is commendable. The small door portals made us think otherwise. Rear seat room is sufficient as well, and I could sit behind my six-foot self without feeling cramped. Cargo room is also impressive, boasting slightly more volume than the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 and Porsche Macan. There is no 7-seat option like the Land Rover Discovery Sport, however.
In all, the Jaguar F-Pace is subjectively the best looking and arguably the best handling SUV on the market. If Jaguar’s reliability record keeps you from pulling the trigger, you’d be happy to hear that all Jags now come with a 4-year / 80,000 km bumper-to-bumper warranty straight out of the box. The first scheduled maintenance is also complimentary.
The F-Pace has pleased the bean counters but better yet, it has pleased the masses with an alluring SUV that brings life and arousal back into the segment. To them, an SUV is not a compromise, and one look at the F-Pace will make you believe it.
型号 Model: 2017 Jaguar F-PACE R-Sport
顏色 Paint Type: Glacier White
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $64,900
試車售價 Price as Tested: $74,151
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,874
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,731 / 1,936 / 1,652
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,821
引擎 Engine: 3.0-litre supercharged V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 340 hp @ 6,500 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 332 lb-ft @ 3,500 - 5,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 13.3 / 10.0 / 11.8
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 12.5