Posted on December 7, 2017
Date of Release: January 2016
Number of Reviews 2
The SUV market is one of the most crowded and competitive segments in the motoring industry. Every automotive company is getting in on the SUV hype and, although it was a bit of a late arrival to the market, the Jaguar F-PACE has proven to be one of the finest SUVs around. It is Jaguar’s first foray into the segment, and it is excellent.
It’s a Jag, so you already know that it is tremendously good looking. Its design is inspired by the F-TYPE, and it captures Jaguar’s “The Art Of Performance” slogan perfectly, with every part of the seductive styling comparable to fine art. A powerful, agile, and clean look give the F-PACE an unforgettable and head-turning road presence.
The F-PACE is described as a performance SUV that has the DNA of a sports car. The F-PACE’s superb capabilities are delivered in a smooth, quiet and refined ride. Thanks to its advanced chassis and suspension system, the F-PACE handles like a sports car, while the smart all-wheel drive system keeps the drive consistent, in all conditions.
The Jaguar F-PACE makes use of a host of innovative safety features to keep you safe on the roads. A 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating is bolstered by impressive features which include: Dynamic Stability Control, Engine Drag Torque Control, Head-Up Display, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist.
Touchdown – we land at a wet Cape Town International Airport as the skies are starting to open up from one of the worst storms to hit the Cape in over two decades! After collecting our 2.0l turbo-diesel R-Sport, we set off up the West Coast in this, a luxury Sports Utility Vehicle that, combined with the optional extras fitted to the vehicle, costs just over 1 million Rand. Not a bad day at the office!
The Jaguar F-PACE launched in South Africa back in April 2016, giving it one immediate advantage – entering the segment late meant that the Jag team was able to study their rivals’ products. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses meant they were able to craft a balanced vehicle to take them on. And take them on it did! 72 International motoring journalists from 24 different countries think that this is both the best car and the best looking car, wait for it, put on your best Jeremy Clarkson accent… in the world!
Buying and driving a Jag is just that - another world. One is able to customise their car to the n’th degree. Broad Jag spec and trim categories go as follows:
A brand new R-Sport costs R895 100, but our model included the following optional extras:
If you are lucky enough to pay for and own a Jag, then you are “at home” with having to pay an additional R120k plus for the options listed above.
Moving on, we arrive in the beautiful coastal town of Paternoster. The clouds have almost all but disappeared. We begin preparing for our shoot, with bodies running frantically around to make the most of this passing moment. As the sun starts to set, the lines and curves started to reveal themselves on the F-PACE in a way the team has never truly appreciated until now.
Exterior wise, the F-Pace features:
The body comes together in a way that is sporty and confident, yet still has that somewhat reserved English class about it. Dapper, might be the best way to describe the F-PACE.
Interior wise, it is a sensory wonderland:
As the shoot continued in what was quite literally perfect weather, it dawned on us that less than 24 hours ago, this very same spot couldn’t have been more different – gale-force winds, rough seas and torrential rain were prominent. Was it over or were we in some weird void in the middle of the storm? We wondered as we settled in for the night.
Over the next two days, we were able to test the F-PACE in a myriad of driving conditions. As always, we did pick-up some small niggles:
So what is it like to drive? Fantastic. This car has it all. Without getting too technical and talking about its advanced torque vectoring and traction control systems, what you need to know is that this car feels planted at all times – seriously planted, considering it is an SUV. The 8-speed auto box helps that 2.0l get a move on. Highway driving is a bliss and there are no nasty surprises thanks to the blind spot indicators concealed nicely in the side mirrors. Parking in and out of tight spaces is aided by 360° park distance sensors as well as a reverse camera. The 132kW/430Nm 2.0l turbo-diesel engine is a smart choice in both overall vehicle cost as well as fuel efficiency. Jag claims a combined cycle of a low 5.3l/100km; however, we feel you need to remind yourself that you are driving around in a car that costs more than R1M. So when you put your foot down, you want to feel a million Rands’ worth of performance. For us, the 2.0l gets close but just lacks that extra something. The 3.0l twin-turbo diesel would be our ideal choice.
A lot of cars are available with different driving modes. Usually, one can barely feel/notice the difference. Thankfully, this is not the case with the Jag. There is a noticeable difference between the Normal and Dynamic driving modes. Besides the ambience changing, the drivetrain becomes more responsive and aggressive, while the Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) stiffens up, providing excellent feedback.
Multiple international car judges were clearly impressed by this car, but how does it rack up against our SUV lifestyle ratings that we apply to all SUV’s?
Fortunately, the F-PACE has both! The dual-zone climate control is perfectly satisfactory.
Ultimately, the F-PACE has all the bits and pieces you would want in a luxury vehicle. Yes, a lot of them are optional extras, and yes, some of those really should come as standard. At this price point, the F-PACE also has serious competition. So much competition that the luxury SUV market is becoming a bit of a storm in itself. So what is extra special about the F-Pace then? For us, it’s the way the car, a machine comprised of thousands of moving parts, comes together in perfect harmony. It creates a calm, beautiful space, where the driver feels completely relaxed and in control. Much like the eye of the storm.
- Breathtakingly good looking, but not in an eccentrically bold way – a look that could well prove to be a classic throughout the ages
- Love the cabin and dashboard, especially at night. Hopefully, the build quality proves to be as good as looks and no squeaks and rattles kick in as the odometer climbs in mileage
- The ride: inspired by the F-TYPE, the F-PACE produces a sublime ride in a wide array of driving conditions
- It’s great that you can individually customise your car with a long list of optional extras, but we feel some of them really should come standard. The price on certain extras seems abnormally high too
- 2.0l turbo-diesel lacks a little bit and we didn’t like that vibration that comes through at quite a commonly used rev range
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