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The world, on the whole, has slowly started moving from sedans and MPVs to SUVs over the past few years. With their ability to go through most terrain while offering more space for both passengers and luggage, people have flocked to SUVs in droves.
At the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, British luxury carmaker Jaguar announced that it would enter the world of SUVs after 80 years of building sports cars and luxury sedans. While there was outrage from fans of 'traditional' Jags, the F-Pace has proven to be a success story for the iconic British brand.
The Jaguar F-Pace combines brilliant exterior design with a classy interior and is built on the same platform as the XE and XF sedans. The F-Pace uses an aluminium-intensive construction which makes it much lighter than its rivals.
Launched on Indian shores in late 2016, The F-Pace for India is only available with a diesel engine.
We got a chance to take the F-Pace Prestige 20d for a couple of days and took it out for a spin on city roads and on the open highways to see and experience the first Jaguar SUV. Here are our thoughts about Jaguar'sfirst venture into the world of SUVs.
Jaguar F-Pace 20d Design, Features & Safety
At the very first glance, the F-Pace like the rest of the Jaguar lineup looks ratherdashing.
From the front, the SUV seems like any other Jaguar but, bigger. The F-Pace gets the same LED headlamps with the J-shaped DRLs and cornering lights and the grill has the signature chrome mesh too.
The large horseshoe grille is flanked by the sleek headlight assembly and the bonnet features a large bulge in the centre that adds to the muscular appeal of the F-Pace.
Viewed from the sides, the low, sloping roofline of the F-Pace give it a sportyvibe. The high shoulder line flows nicely from above the headlights up front to the back.
The F-pace also features pumped-up wheel arches, which in the Prestige variant that we drove, play host to five spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, which really add to the F-Pace's appeal.
At the rear, the F-pace borrows the tail-lamps from the F-Type sports car which adds to the sporty look of the SUV. Accentuating the sporty looks of the F-Pace at the rear are the steeply sloping rear windscreen and spoiler.
Interiors And Features
Step into the car and you will be welcomed by seats covered in white leather that provide a sharp contrast to the black theme of the rest of the cabin.
The interiors of the F-Pace are really well-crafted and is similar to the ones found on the XE and XF sedans. The F-Pace also gets a distinct cowl around the dashboard.
The rotary gear knob which comes up from the centre as you put the ignition on is still cool no matter how many times you see it do that party trick.
The F-Pace also gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel and dual climate control system both of which are carried over from the XF.
Jaguar'sF-Pace SUV also gets electrically adjustable front seats which are comfortable but lack under-thigh and lumbar support. The F-Pace also features a massive panoramic sunroof.
The second row is relatively comfortable and the rear AC vents do a good job of keeping passengers sitting behind cool. The car also offers you a boot capacity of 650-litres which can be expanded by folding the rear seats leaving you with 1,740-litres of luggage space.
The F-Pace features a large touchscreen display which responds really well to touch inputs. The infotainment display is connected to a mesmerizing 12-speaker Meridian sound system.
In terms of practicality, all the door pockets get bottle holders while the glove box, armrest, and centre console storage are quite deep and offer loads of storage.There are also three 12-volt sockets to keep your devices charged up during long trips.
On the safety front, the F-Pace gets six airbags, emergency brake assist, ABS, traction control and electronic stability control as standard. Other safety features include a tyre pressure monitoring system, ISOFIX child seat mounts, and cruise control with a speed limiter.
Jaguar F-Pace Engine & Performance
The F-Pace the very first vehicle from the JLR portfolio to be powered by the new and aluminium-intensive Ingenium family of engines.
The Jaguar F-Pace uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine producing 177bhp @ 4,000rpm and 430Nm of torque between 1,750 - 2,500rpm. The engine is mated to an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic box which sends power to all four wheels.
Despite being a diesel engine, the F-Pace's 2.0-litre powerplant keeps vibrations and noise at an absolute minimum, even at startup.
The engine has a good low and mid-range with peak torque kick in at just 1,750rpm. However, go past the 4,000rpm mark and the engine does seem to struggle.
The ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox is quite easy and moves through the gears with ease. Moreover, the F-Pace features paddle shifters which allow drivers to take manual control of gearshifts and are quite responsive inputs.
There are four driving modes on offer with the new F-Pace - Eco, Rain/Ice/Snow, Sport and Dynamic. In Eco Mode, the Jaguar up-shifts earlier to improve efficiency.
Rain/Ice/Snow Mode softens the throttle response in low grip conditions which helps to enhance the vehicle's stability which prevents skidding and helps improve progress in adverse, low grip conditions.
Dynamic mode sharpens throttle response and gearshifts are faster to help enhance the driving experience while Sports mode turns the wick up even further. The throttle response becomes really crisp and and the traction control system allows you to have more fun and does not cut in as aggressively as in the other modes on offer.
Take some tight corners and you will notice that the F-Pace darts in without any hesitance, thanks to the quick steering which Jaguar has fitted to the F-Pace. Despite the usual body roll that comes with taking a vehicle of this size around a corner, Jaguar's first SUV is a fun-to-drive car thanks to a well-damped suspension setup.
Surprisingly, despite the slightly stiff suspension setup, the F-Pace does not feel uncomfortable on the road. The SUV glided over most bumps with ease and we barely noticed them.
Last but not the least, the F-Pace is quite frugal and a mileage of 11kpl in the city and 16kpl on the highway, which is not bad at all considering the size of the F-Pace.
Promeet Ghosh Thinks!
When you look at the overall picture, the F-Pace seems to be a car in which you don't need to sacrifice driving excitement when choosing a family-friendly SUV.
But, on the flip side, all of this comes with a price tag of Rs 60.02 lakh ex-showroom (Delhi), it is quite an expensive option.
Despite the price, the Jaguar F-Pace is an SUV which brings together sporty handling and dramatic beauty along with everyday practicality and efficiency in a package which on the whole is really hard to ignore.