F-PACE-ing It

The Jaguar F-PACE is a luxury, sporty SUV that will carry your whole family in style and comfort. The model range features diesel and petrol engine variants plus the soon to be available F-PACE SVR, which will have Jaguar’s 5.0 litre supercharged V8 engine.

I spent a week with the F-PACE R-Sport 30t, which comes with the 4-cylinder 2.0 litre turbocharged Ingenium petrol engine. It has 221kW @ 5,500rpm of power and maximum torque of 400Nm between 1,500-4,500rpm. The plucky two-litre engine takes the F-PACE from 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds and has official fuel economy of 7.7L/100km and as tested I achieved 12.0L/100km. The engine always provided enough power when I asked it for some and there was no turbo lag that I could notice.

This is the fourth model in the Jaguar line-up that I have driven with the 2.0 litre Ingenium petrol engine (the others being the F-TYPE, E-PACE and XE) and I think the engine’s performance is a great testament to the development work that Jaguar have put into it.

There are four drive modes to choose from in the F-PACE being Sport, Normal, Eco and Slippery Conditions. My F-PACE had the optional Adaptive Dynamic Pack ($3,070) this meant I could also configure the dynamics of the engine, steering, gear shift of the 8-speed automatic gearbox, and suspension between Dynamic and Normal mode for a softer ride and sporty acceleration for example.

From a size perspective compared to the E-PACE, the F-PACE offers more rear leg room and a larger boot space. Three adults could comfortably travel in the rear seats of the F-PACE. The boot is large enough (508 litres) for a pram and the weekly shop and has four hooks for hanging shopping bags on so they don’t fall over; plus there’s a 12V power outlet. You can lower the centre section between the two rear seats to stow longer items in the boot without the need to fold down all of the seats or fold all seats down when you have to carry large items. Under the boot floor there’s a space saver spare tyre so no messing around with foam if you get a puncture.

There are three rear tether /two ISOFIX child restraint points in the F-PACE and it’s easy to fit the child restraints. For rear passengers at the base of the centre console there are two 12V power outlets plus four way climate control, with air vents in the centre console and B-Pillar. The four way climate control (optional extra costing $1,850) had the potential to be a fantastic feature that I would normally rave about and although it was good, there was only one air speed control for the whole climate control system. Meaning when my delightful children turned their air speed to MAX it also did the same in the front cabin and I’m the kind of person who likes the air speed to be on a low setting because a high setting drives me crazy!

So my children knew they had a way to annoy me in the car because there was no control that I could find that allowed me to ‘lock’ the system so they couldn’t put the fan speed on high. So my top tip for Jaguar and any other car company, if you have multi-zone climate control also have an option for a) it to be controlled from the front and b) that you can lock children from messing around with it, thank you.

The other feature I didn’t like about the rear climate control was the controls for it protruded out into the rear passenger area and in the rough and tumble of everyday family life I could see this being kicked and potentially damaged.

Overall the interior finish of the F-PACE felt luxurious with its two-tone red and black leather, which was very soft to the touch. The front seats had 18-way electric adjustment with 4-way lumbar adjust and driver memory ($820 option). Both the front and rear seats were heated ($1,650 option) not something I tested out considering we are heading into summer, but a feature I do love in the winter.

Driving the F-PACE was a nice experience thanks to the smooth, but firm ride and nicely weighted steering. The steering wheel itself was lovely to hold with its soft leather covering and easy adjustment thanks to the electric steering column adjustment ($880 option). Like the F-TYPE the F-PACE has the Jaguar All Wheel Drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics. Under normal driving conditions 90% of the power is delivered to the rear wheels, but when system detects that more torque is needed at the front wheels, it transfers exactly what is required to maintain traction.

My F-PACE featured the 10.2” Touch Pro Navigation infotainment system with 12.3” HD virtual instrument display that enabled you to configure the instrument panel in a variety of ways including full-map which is great for keeping your eyes on the road. Both these and the 380W Meridian Sound System are a $2,3630 option, but provide a great system that enables you to customise many features to your personal taste. Also included on the car I drove was the Head-up display system ($2,590 option), which is not as good as other cars I have driven due its dated graphics.

You can connect your smart phone to the F-PACE via Bluetooth or USB and to access live traffic and other features you can put a SIM card directly into the car. To keep your phone charged there are two USB ports plus one HDMI outlet and one 12V for other media devices under the arm rest in the centre console. The F-PACE has a nice storage slot for your phone in the side of the centre console near your leg that has grippy plastic lining so that your phone does not slide around.

You can option your F-PACE with configurable mood lighting ($970 option) that allows you to choose from ten colours that lit up along LED strips on the doors and around the centre console. Or for enjoying daytime driving the F-PACE had a sliding panoramic sunroof ($4,330 option), which really does give the cabin an airy spacious feel.

My F-PACE was also fully blacked out with the Black Pack R-Sport pack ($1,400) that included gloss black side vents with R-Sport badge and gloss black grille. Plus privacy glass to complete the look ($930) and 22” 9 Spoke grey and diamond rims ($4,430), which replace the standard 19” alloys. All together it makes for one nice looking package in my opinion.

Standard safety features on the 5-star ANCAP safety rated F-PACE include airbags, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and rear view camera with front and rear parking aids. My car was also fitted with the optional 360o parking aid ($1,250) and blind spot monitoring and reverse traffic detection ($1,150). Two features that the F-PACE didn’t have and that I think it should have included were adaptive cruise control and a 360o view camera.

The F-PACE scores good points for its other practicality features though including the lockable cooled glovebox, power gestured tailgate (that I couldn’t get to work so clearly I was using the wrong gesture) and keyless entry and push button start. These are all part of the Practicality Pack a $3,770 option on the F-PACE. It also came with an Activity Key, which looks a bit like a fitness tracking bracelet and once activated allows you to lock your car with bracelet while leaving your car key safely in the car in a ‘deactivated’ mode  ($660 option).

As I was finishing up this review my son came in and said to me “Mum I really liked the F-PACE” and when I asked why he said “It was a good looking car and the colours work well together”. If a nine year old can see this then I think Jaguar has done really well with the design of the F-PACE.

The Jaguar F-PACE R-Sport 30t starts at $81,695 plus on road costs and as tested it was $118,283 plus on road costs. It offers a stylish and luxurious option if you are looking for a larger sized five-seat SUV. Contact your preferred Jaguar Dealer for a test drive and let us know what you think of it?

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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