My Behind the Wheel colleague Peter Hitchener recently tried out the more powerful Jaguar F-PACE 30d, after reading that review I was really looking forward to experiencing the new Jaguar offering myself.
I have also watched and reported on the birth of Jaguar’s first SUV model from concept to production, so it was great to finally get a taste.
Does the Jaguar F-PACE live up to expectations? Generally speaking, yes it does.
Firstly, I have to say that the engineers have done a great job with the chassis and F-PACE body. Sometimes these sporty SUV models can feel a little underdone.
Not so with the new Jaguar, even with relatively firm suspension underneath, the F-PACE body feels really solid and well-engineered and that is a big plus in an all-new model like this.
There wasn’t a creak or rattle anywhere to be heard inside the cabin.
Handling and ride are also really well sorted and deliver a nice blend of sporty and comfortable.
The 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine in the 2016 Jaguar F-PACE 20d does a reasonable job of moving the Jaguar SUV around, though it probably doesn’t live up to the overall sporty feel of the vehicle.
It is the entry-level engine and while fuel economy is very good (I averaged 8.8L/100km), the 132kW on tap just leaves the Jaguar F-PACE feeling a bit underdone.
It’s a good cruiser though with an adequate 430Nm available.
Compared to the 30d’s 221kW/700Nm, well it does look a bit dull doesn’t it? The good news is the 30d isn’t that much more expensive, and I reckon it could be the one to go for.
When you’re at your Jaguar dealership make sure you also drive the 250kW/450Nm supercharged V6 petrol version as well.
The interior of the Jaguar F-PACE is a familiar place, it is really not that different from the Jaguar XE/XF in look, feel and controls.
That is certainly no bad thing, it’s not sub-par in any way on the inside.
Boot space is also surprisingly good, not tall, but long and wide. Rear seat legroom is also surprisingly good.
It also has the timed recirculation system that means that you can only have the climate settings on recirculate for a short period of time before it switches back over to fresh air.
One really good feature that the test car I had was fitted with was the optional ‘Activity Key’. This $640 option provides you with a watch type device that you can use to access the F-PACE instead of using your keys.
This is a great addition for people who like to jog, swim or go cycling – you can do all those activities without having the Jag’s key in your pocket.
Check out more details in this video…
Summing it up: I am normally cautious with all-new models, however from what I sampled with the Jaguar F-PACE it looks like it is starting life on the right foot.
The head-turning looks, sporty and comfortable cabin and general feel is very pleasing.
Of the diesel-powered variants, the twin-turbo V6 30d is probably the one that will put a bigger smile on your face.
The good news is that opting for either of the V6 engine options won’t cost you a great deal of extra cash.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Jaguar F-PACE 20d
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 132kW/430Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: from $74,340