In all my years of road testing cars, none other comes close when it comes to people wanting to know more about it.
Not a day passed that I didn’t have people approaching me in shopping centre car parks, even in traffic, wanting to talk about it.
There’s no doubt it’s a handsome machine. Designed by the legendary Ian Callum, the man responsible for cars like the Aston Martin DB9 (and even some HSV’s from the 90’s), the F-Pace is a stunner from any angle.
Even more so in the highest spec version, the 35t S.
The test car came in a rather striking shade of red (Odyssey Red) with big 21 inch wheels and a black pack – it turned heads wherever it went.
The fun was in explaining to all those folks wanting to know more, that the Jaguar F-Pace is more than just a great looking car.
You’d be forgiven for assuming the F-Pace 35t had a 3.5 litre V6 under the bonnet.
It’s a beautiful engine developing 280kW and 450Nm and it’s able to slingshot the mostly aluminum F-Pace to 100km/h in a mere 5.5 seconds.
That’s fast for a full size SUV.
And it sounds great too. It can’t frighten pedestrians the way F-Type sports car with the bi-modal exhaust system can, but it still has a distinctive note that everybody comments on.
The F-Pace gets a brilliant 8-Speed automatic that always knows exactly the right gear to be in, it has a sports mode that hangs on to the gears and blips the throttle on downshifts, or you can take manual control via the steering wheel mounted flappy paddles.
Dynamically, the F-Pace is at the top of the game.
While not a scalpel sharp as the Porsche Macan, it’s close. Throw it into a corner at speed and it hangs on. There’s a very small amount of body roll, but it always remains composed.
It’s happy to change direction quickly, and with an all-wheel drive system that has a notable bias towards the rear wheels, the high riding SUV feels more like a sports car to drive.
There’s acres of legroom in any seat, and the boot is generous and easy to access.
Inside the cabin it’s all Jaguar. The driving position is excellent – you sit low in the cabin cocooned by swathes of beautiful leather and high quality materials.
Quiet and refined, you’re in no doubt you’re in a proper luxury car.
The big 10.2 inch colour screen looks great, and with the fast and intuitive InControl Touch Pro infotainment system it’s a breeze to use.
You can flick through the bluetooth system, sat-nav, audio and climate controls via icons that actually make sense.
I love the picture of an old red London phone booth that appears when you’re on the phone – it’s almost a bit Dr Who!
Jaguar offer an options list that is breathtaking in its size, but it gives you the ability to really personalise your car – as long as you have deep pockets.
As an example, a sliding panoramic sunroof is $4,200, adaptive cruise control $3,200, head-up display $2,510, even a digital radio tuner will cost you $900.
Add those to the base price of $103,136 plus your on road costs and the costs mount up pretty quickly.
Lots of people obviously agree as the F-Pace is essentially a sell out in the US, Europe and the UK – it would seem the biggest problem with Jaguar’s luscious SUV is getting your hands on one.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Jaguar F-Pace 35t S
Engine: 3.0 litre Supercharged V6 developing 280kW and 450Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed Automatic
Warranty: Three years
Safety: Not tested
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: from $103,136