Vehicle Type:Sport Utilities
2017 Jaguar F-Pace 35t Premium AWD SUV Guaranteed Clean Title
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Jaguar is roughly a decade late to the compact-luxury SUV segment, so it’s no wonder company officials sound a bit reluctant about this whole crossover movement. They want to keep steering the discussion of the company’s first SUV, the F-Pace, back to its sporting credentials and its somewhat tenuous visual and mechanical—and nomenclatural!—connections to the F-type sports car.
It certainly looks athletic, as if the front and rear of a more traditional SUV form have been pinched and yanked into the F-Pace’s taut, muscular shape and classic rear-drive proportions. Jaguar designers should be celebrated for their curation of the F-Pace’s details, which buck the current trend toward overdesign—have you seen the new Lexus RX? They really knew when to lift their pens. But all this sporty talk almost makes it sound as if Jaguar was looking to build a dramatic crossover, even at the cost of severely compromised rear-seat and cargo space. Sure, the enthusiast media would have fawned, and then the vehicle would’ve been salesproof to actual customers.
But that’s not the case; the thing we find so compelling about the F-Pace is that its dynamic excellence is augmented with serious practicality. For instance, its back seat easily accommodates occupants more than six feet tall, with excellent rear legroom, ample foot space under the front seats, and, considering the standard panoramic sunroof, surprisingly reasonable headroom. However, a center rear occupant will have to straddle the hump in the floor that’s there to accommodate the driveshaft, and we wish the seatback cushions were less firm. The F-Pace’s generous cargo hold is nearly twice as spacious as that of the Porsche Macan.
The F-Pace is no dynamic slouch; it offers exceptionally sharp on-center steering precision and great turn-in response. Steering effort is on the light side, but that likely helps impart the feel of frisky eagerness. (Selecting Dynamic mode adds additional heft.) Also helping is a claimed 50/50 weight distribution and an all-wheel-drive system that stays rear-drive until torque is needed at the front axle. Body control is excellent, and the structure and steering column feel extraordinarily rigid. Even the ride comfort on the upsized 22-inch wheels is better than expected. Helping the ride cause is Jaguar’s stubborn refusal to employ run-flat tires, which we salute, and this means—hooray!—the inclusion of a compact spare tire, an increasingly rare feature. Sure, turn off the stability control and hurl it into a corner like, say, an F-type, and the jig will be up, as it starts to spin the inside tires due to the lack of limited-slip differentials and single-wheel brake applications. But let’s not get too crazy; the F-Pace is a crossover, after all.
Most F-Pace variants will be available in four trim levels: base, Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport. All the vehicles we drove had the $1000 Adaptive Dynamics package, available on the Prestige and R-Sport, which includes electronically adaptive Bilstein shocks. This package usefully lets you customize the F-Pace’s Dynamic mode according to driver preference from a menu of separate engine, transmission, steering, and suspension settings. The ride is seriously tied down in Dynamic mode, so the Normal setting is the way to go when traveling over any kind of cratered surface, as it allows the suspension to move through more of its travel.
We did have a couple of complaints. Brake response is soft and unsatisfying, giving a disconcerting sense that the brake pedal is sinking closer to the floor than expected. And throttle response in Dynamic mode is far too jumpy at high rpm; toeing back into the throttle midcorner often caused such a strong surge that it hurled the F-Pace headlong into an intervention from the stability control. There’s a reason the Chevrolet Corvette makes the throttle significantly less responsive in its Track mode.
The F-Pace is based on similar rear-drive architecture to that of the XE and XF sedans, including a body structure that’s 80 percent aluminum. But once the SUV attributes were accommodated—higher ground clearance, additional suspension travel, and more mass—fully 81 percent of the F-Pace’s components are new. Its 113.1-inch wheelbase gives a clue to its spaciousness; the F-Pace splits the difference between BMW’s compact X3 and mid-size X5 in that dimension.
It’s surprising that the F-Pace doesn’t get Jag’s 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, considering that 2.0Ts anchor most competitors’ lineups. Instead, the volume engine is the familiar 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 found in the F-Pace 35t and shared with various Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, available in either 340- or 380-hp states of tune. (Getting the high-output version requires stepping all the way up to the $57,695 S model, which does not offer any trim variations.) Although fuel-economy ratings aren’t stellar, we can’t say we mind, because the V-6 emits an invigorating edgy rasp as it snarls toward redline; it’s worthy of a windows-down blast through a tunnel, yet it doesn’t drone when cruising. The ubiquitous ZF-engineered eight-speed automatic is the only transmission, and, as in every application, it delivers nothing but smooth shifts. Responses to requests from the shift paddles are reasonably prompt, and downshifts could only be made better by a more dramatic throttle blip.
Endeavoring to right Jaguar's late infotainment sins is the organization's new InControl Touch Pro framework, part of a $3200 Technology bundle choice (once more, accessible just with Prestige trim). It includes a 17-speaker Meridian stereo and also a 10.2-inch focus screen and a 12.3-inch unit as a virtual gage bunch. Puma has been building up this greatly responsive touchscreen infotainment framework for a long time, and it's new from the Intel quad-center processor out. It highlights a 3G information association for satellite pictures, and, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, permits a cell phone to run certain applications through the inside screen. Be that as it may, genuine Apple and Android usefulness won't be included until later. The Jaguar framework has a couple of peculiarities, for example, the powerlessness to pick the north-up perspective for the guide (we're told this will be included in no time), yet the framework generally demonstrates that Jaguar at last is in the infotainment chase. It's significant that the base 8.0-inch infotainment framework, called InControl Touch, is on a very basic level diverse and not taking into account the new equipment.
With athletic good looks and dynamic driving character, excellent rear-seat and cargo space, pricing that puts it in the heart of its segment, and a new five-year/60,000-mile warranty with service included, all indicators look positive for the F-Pace. It should—along with the compact-lux XE sedan—significantly grow the Jaguar brand in the U.S. well beyond its paltry sales of fewer than 15,000 units across the lineup last year. Considering that Lexus regularly sells more than 100,000 RX crossovers annually, no matter how many F-Paces are sold, it will deserve more customers. It’s that compelling.
- 8" capacitive touch-screen display
- adaptive front lighting (the swivel beam angle is 15 degrees outboard and 8 degrees inboard)
- bi-function HID xenon headlamps w/autoleveling and auto on/off
- Blind Spot Monitor w/Closing Vehicle Sensing
- Bluetooth wireless technology and JaguarVoice
- climate control and Bluetooth telephone connectivity and navigation (when fitted)
- COLD PACKAGE
- controls for audio
- cornering lamps
- Cruise Control
- Front & Rear Parking Aids
- Heated Front & Rear Seats
- Heated Front Windscreen w/Timer
- Heated Softgrain Leather Steering Wheel
- heated windscreen jets
- InControl Apps Enables use of 3rd party smartphone apps installed on a phone through the vehicle's touch screen
- InControl Touch
- intelligent high beam
- Jaguar sequential shift and remote controls for audio
- NAVIGATION PACKAGE
- Navigation System w/SD Card-Based Mapping
- Reverse Traffic Detection
- signature daytime running lights and headlight powerwash
- SIRIUSXM SATELLITE RADIO
- Softgrain Leather Steering Wheel
- touch-screen visual indicators
- VISION PACKAGE
- Drive: AWD
- Transmission: Automatic