After spending a good long weekend with the Jaguar F Pace, here are my 2 cents on it:
+ Brilliant styling. Period. Absolutely no way that you won’t look back at it after parking it. This was a crowd magnet at every pit-stop of ours. I bet, you won’t get this Bollywood-star-like attention in a Q5. I can stare at this for 24hrs continuously and still not get bored
+ Undoubtedly, one of the best steering setup in this era of boring Joy-stick like EPS. I loooooved the way this car hugged the road in cornering the Malshej ghat. The steering weighs up so damn well with speed. Kudos to JLR on this.
+ We drove on some of the worst roads of Maharashtra, if it was some other car, probably we would have a couple of broken bones. The ride quality in this is brilliant. Feels like a bed of roses after driving the XUV for 70k kms.
+ While the V6 mill is missed, the turbocharged petrol V4 does the job really well churning out 247 bhp & 365 nm. Not a moment where I felt the car needs more numbers on tap.
+ The 380 watt Meridian sound system deserves a special mention. Boy-o-boy! What a treat to the ears! Apart from Hector, I barely remember any other OEM system coming close to this. Also the instrument cluster redefines elegance. Wish MG had seen this once.
– The F-pace is unfortunately rich in Vitamin T in the fully automatic mode. T for Turbo lag. That ~1 second of gap from the time you tap the accelerator to the car sprinting is a turn-off, esp. when you pay 80 big ones. 1 second = 1000 milli seconds. Thankfully, this is not the case when you use paddle-shifters. .
– This car is screaming for a facelift. She feels outdated with time. Some key features like wireless charging, ventilated seats, electric boot, passive keyless entry, Heads-up-display are sorely missed which are found in cars priced 1/3rd. Read KIA Seltos.
– Why such blunt alloys for a super hot SUV? The first thing I would do if I bought the F-Pace is I would replace them with a diamond cut design, of course with the Red callipers
– The interiors feel plain vanilla in this year of 2019. Especially the hard plastics on the dash at least deserve a soft touch. The volume control knob feels old-school.
– Some tiny bits like windows take their own sweet time to roll up can’t be ignored. Also, considering the petrol’s phenomenal performance, the 60 litres fuel tank capacity means you would need frequent re-fuelling. Not the right car if you want to know ‘kitna deti hai’?
How does it Drive
Space and Practicality
Should You buy One?
Before you even get into the mechanics of infusing the Land Rover DNA in the Jaguar F-Pace, steer clear from doing so because this looks way too modernistic and futuristic than the ladder-on-frame SUV’s of the classical Era. The stance is just adequate to tick the boxes of calling it an SUV. Had it been a tad shorter, this would have definitely slipped into the crossover market. Had it been any taller, this would have suffered from higher COG and this would inevitably scream Body roll. This is the most handsome SUV I have ever driven. More than the Cult Evoque? You Bet! That’s because the Evoque feels way too claustrophobic in the rear to call it a daily drive.
The front is as-expected dominated by the typical signature Jaguar grille, with the logo housed proudly in centre. It’s one of those very rare cars on this planet that look aggressive and extremely stylish at the same time. Jaguar has got the design just spot-on! But there is something that I really hated in this car. That’s the surprisingly inconsistent panel gaps on the bonnet which isn’t visible on the cars costing one-fourth of it.
Once you move to the side its quite evident that the coupe-like styling is bound to leave you impressed. You will love the chrome bits surrounding the windows. Another small yet significant addition. But I really really wish Jaguar replaces these boring and blunt alloys with a diamond-cut design.
The rear is where the party starts! Boy-o-Boy! I can stare at these tail lamps all day and night and the next day too. Although they seem to have been lifted off the F-type they go very well with this beast yet being extremely elegant. The rear glass may however make things a little claustrophobic, but Jaguar could not afford to increase the glasshouse further as this would certainly not be proportionate with its overall design. You also get the chrome-tipped dual exhausts, which aren’t luckily just a dummy.
It’s very easy to get into the F-pace before you sprint to the quarter-mile. Unlike the Land Rover’s its a much more easy affair for the driver and other 3 occupants to grab their cappuccino once they are seated. Why 4? If you squeeze in a 5th person, you have .a new enemy for life. The massive transmission tunnel spoils the party for you.
Let’s get to the point, the interiors of the F-pace seem half a decade old. The quality is brilliant, in no way it feels lifted from that of a XE or other Jags, its just that with the other cars pacing up so well in terms of the equipment list, the F-Pace screams for a facelift. Apart from the design language, it would have been great had JLR opted for soft touch plastics. The cabin however feels very upmarket and stylish.
The dashboard is dominated by a rather-large 10.2 inch infotainment system that gives out all the information that you would ever need. The GPS too feels amazing unlike the MMI of M&M. Lest not forget the sweet surrounding Meridian sound system which is a treat to the ears. You also get the 360 degree parking sensors in case you want to have all round visibility of the car while parking it in squeezing parking spots.
You get configurable ambient mood lighting, a 10-way electric adjust for the front seats, cooled glovebox, auto-dimming rearview mirror and a four-zone climate control system.
The front seats are really comfortable and offer a variety of adjustments. We also love some details up front that adds to the cabin’s sense of occasion. The cowl at the very end of the dash that extends from the passenger’s door to the driver’s gives the cabin a snug feel. The gear lever that rises up as you press the start/stop button is also a clever touch. This is off-late found in most of the modern cars. We’ve seen this in many Jaguar cars and it is a little old but it still feels damn premium. There is enough headroom for a 6 ft tall driver/co-passenger. The panoramic sunroof adds to the airiness of the cabin.
How does it Drive?
This is where the F-Type scores full marks. Thankfully we got our hands on the 25t (Petrol) which is a brilliant engine to drive, assuming you don’t mind thirsty cars. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t compare it to the 530d but slotting it against the German rivals, there is absolutely no way you would be disappointed by its performance. The best part is this 2 litre turbocharged, ingenium powerhouse generously thrust a whooping 247 bhp pf raw power with a decent-on-paper 365nm of Torque.
The motor does rev freely and there are 4 driving modes on offer – Normal, Dynamic (changes the cluster’s backlit and centre console light to red), Eco (changes the cluster’s backlit and centre console light to red) and Rain/Ice/Snow; these parameters tweak the engine, AC and steering but not the gearbox as the transmission
We notices some slight turbo-lag in the automatic mode when cruising on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. To overcome this, I slotted it to the Manual mode a.k.a paddle-shifters and this proved to be a great deal of difference. This is undoubtedly the best car I have driven on paddle shifters. The car feels much sportier, not only from the vocal note but also by the way it waits to sprint. Oh, did I tell you? you could rev this all the way till 7000 rpm. Just like your favourite Beemer.
The Jaguar F-Pace 25T returns a mileage between 7-9 km/l, depending on the driving style and condition. It has a 60-litre fuel tank which seems adequately small. You would not want to keep hunting for a petrol pump every 400 km, would you?
I really loved the F-Pace for the way it handled the curves of Malshej Ghat. The car feels much lighter that it is, thanks to the AWD system which is an icing on the cake. The steering is thankfully on a slightly heavier side unlike feather-light electrics of most of the modern Germans. The best part was the minimalistic body roll for a car of this size and weight. I really hope Toyota could inculcate half of this tech into their T-Fort which screams body roll from the word, Go.
The ride quality is on the stiffer side although pretty compliant as we traversed through some of the worst roads of Maharashtra and did not have a single broken bone. Yet I wouldn’t want to compare it to the pinacle of Ride quality, the Renault duster which probably costs less than the quarter of this. To sum it up, the F-pace still remains my default choice if I had to do a K2K from the cars of the cat family.
Before we get into the numbers war with airbags its quite essential to appreciate the sturdy build quality of this iconic Brit. The doors are heavily weighed and the quality feels supreme. The bonnet and tail gate which surprisingly isn’t electric weighs pretty heavy too. The F-Pace scores a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Jaguar offers all the bells and whistles like ESP, Traction Control, pre-tensioner seat belts and 6 airbags. A safe car is a good car.
Should You buy one?
If you are looking for a luxury SUV that can feels solidly built, rides decent, handles very well and is a crowd magnet, look no further than the f-pace. If you belong to one of the often-flood-prone places of the country, the F-pace with its relatively higher GC gives you a good reason to pick this over other luxury sedans at this price. However, there are some shortcomings like the car is quite thirsty especially when you compare it to the German rivals. Also, interiors aren’t something to write about. But, all that is dusted off your mind when you shut the doors of your swanky blue F-pace and rev it all the way till 7000 rpm in the dusky tunnels of Khandala. In a nutshell, this is undoubtedly the most sensible Jag your Money could buy.