Saturday, October 15, 2016


I am driving one of my favourite local roads; I’m sitting up high in a Jaguar F-Pace surveying the road ahead, and quite frankly, feeling pretty good. The 3.0 V6 diesel is pushing out 221kW (296hp) thanks to turbocharging, but more impressive is 700Nm of torque – the combination of which produces not only instant high speed response, but relaxed driving at any speed.

The twisty sections of the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road, through the picturesque Numinbah Valley flash by delivering an ear-to-ear grin of pure enjoyment.

Jaguar may be arriving late for the prestige SUV party; but in this party dress, it’s the belle of the ball.

I am not generally a lover of SUVs; preferring to sit down low in the seat, sporty-style, and in that context the Jaguar XE sedan is much more my cup of English Breakfast tea – but the F-Pace almost dissolves the reality of sitting up high, and pushing along a diet-bred kerb weight of just 1838kg.

Think about it – 1838kg, for an SUV! Thanks to superb crafting of aluminium through all of the body and platform. This is what makes F-Pace stand out among its peers. It is a lighter vehicle, and when driving it, you really notice its athletic response and easy control.

As the F-Pace offers all the usual SUV features – plenty of space, long suspension travel, ability to competently cover rough terrain and good all-round vision, I won’t dwell on it.

However, a second turn behind the wheel of Jaguar’s latest addition to the model range reinforces what I felt the first time.

The F-Pace truly does achieve a sporty driving sensation, much more akin to a sports sedan than pure SUV.

The wheel/tyre combination on the test car features the optional 22-inch alloy wheels, and Pirelli P-Zero tyres.

Given the superb high-speed performance of the Pirellis, the grip provided in the R-Sport suspension package would be my choice, when ticking the options boxes.

In addition to normal standard ride, there’s the opportunity to select more dynamic settings, but really, the F-Pace in standard R-Sport trim is very impressive.

One unexpected surprise and delight is the sports wristband that comes standard on F-Pace. When you head for a surf, leave the keys in the car, strap on the 'Activity Band', and you don’t need to find some fairly obvious hiding place with your ‘stuff’ on the beach. Return to the car, walk to the rear and the tailgate unlocks; then you can access the whole car. Nice touch, and a very thoughtful accessory if you’re someone who likes to get away from it all.

In total, Jaguar’s F-Pace is a well-resolved, complete package. Jaguar image, Jaguar driving dynamics, Jaguar quality, and a pretty impressive SUV as well.
In fact, well done, Jaguar!

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