Scoff if you want to at the notion of a Jaguar SUV, but remember that without one, Jaguar might have taken more than just a cat nap. After the F-Pace was released not a moment too soon in May 2016, it finished the year at just north of 10,000 vehicles sold — a third of Jaguar’s entire annual sales last year. Just by adding eight months of the F-Pace in its showrooms, Jaguar more than doubled its sales compared to 2015.
Demand is clearly there, but nevertheless, there are those that wonder how much Jaguar is sacrificing its ethos in the name of survival. For one, Land Rover has been in the SUV game for generations, and it might seem like the F-Pace could step on some toes in Gaydon. To see if the new high-riding Jag has a flavor of its own, not to mention the reliability to withstand 12 months in our fleet, we nabbed one for a Four Seasons test.
The F-Pace’s arrival certainly didn’t shabby up our parking lot. It’s a handsome brute, thanks to Jag’s lead designer Ian Callum, who has worked tirelessly since 2006 to sculpt Jag into a clean, design-forward brand. Clean-sheet models like the F-Type and the F-Pace have shown him to be one of the best in the business. At first we weren’t quite sure if it would be able to separate itself from the Land Rover and Range Rover lineup, but in the metal, the F-Pace is unmistakably Jaguar.
It’s sleek without being rakish, stylistically looking more in step with the GLE Coupe and X6 than Lexus RX. Sometimes a car’s design is only as good as its color palette, and we’re quite pleased with our choice of vibrant Italian Racing Red ($550). We also added the aptly-named Black Package ($350), darkening the exterior trim pieces to lend a more aggressive look, befitting the feline on the front grille.
The F-Pace’s performance backs the go-fast looks. Jaguar initially benchmarked the BMW X4 and Audi Q5, but the engineering team was stunned when the Porsche Macan broke cover for the first time. They scrambled to reset the meter, and as a result, the F-Pace is nearly as agile as the nimble Macan, yet as spacious as a Q5. Carving up some canyon roads with a trunk full of (well-packed) camping gear sounds pretty good to us.
On paper, it’s got the gumption. We picked the range-topping “S” trim, cramming some extra muscle under the front hood. Power is pulled from Jaguar’s trusty 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, the same raucous sixer from our dearly departed Four Seasons 2015 Jaguar F-Type S Coupe. Just like the F-Type S, the sixer puts down a sonorous 380 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, a 40-hp boost over the next most powerful F-Pace trim, the 35t.
Inside, it’s business as usual. We kitted ours out, fitting nearly every package and add-on available. When we aren’t stretching its legs out on a backroad, we’ve still got plenty of gizmos and gadgets to play with, thanks to the Technology Package ($3,200), and Driver Assistance Package ($3,200). The Tech pack includes a suite of features, including upgraded Meridian sound system, navigation, and in-car WiFi. The Driver package adds a dash of sensibility to the mix, with 360-degree cameras, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition.
Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl system hasn’t historically claimed top marks with our testers, but JLR has constantly fiddled and tweaked the system, so we were hoping some of the software gremlins and sluggishness were weeded out. Our unit is the upgraded InControl Touch Pro, which features a 10.2-inch screen and quad-core processor. So far, we’ve had no significant issues adapting to the colorful and responsive interface. As usual the Meridian speaker system is outstanding, but the rear-view camera’s odd angle puts it a few steps behind the Germans.
Thanks to both the Comfort and Convenience pack and the aptly-named Luxury Interior Package, there’s no shortage of high-end features on tap. In the Comfort and Convenience department, the $1,800 group includes climate-controlled front seats and heated, power-reclining rear seats. The pampering continues with the $2,200 Luxury Interior option, adding accouterments like four-way climate control, a lockable and “cooled” glovebox, and configurable interior mood lighting.
Sprinkle on a few optional extras like the heated front windshield ($375), head-up display ($990), and the nifty Activity Key armband ($400), and our F-Pace S carries a hefty $71,760 price tag.
While the interior errs on the crisp, sporty side rather than the side of ornate British luxury, the design flows smoothly, appearing to have coalesced together rather than built of separate components. So far we’ve not shied away from putting the F-Pace to work, whether it’s turning heads at the restaurant valet stand or soaking up sun with a surfboard on the roof.
An SUV with these ambitious is a very necessary step for Jaguar, and so far, it seems like a job well done. How it holds up to the daily grind of 12 months, we’ll find out.
Our 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S
|PRICE||$58,695/$71,360 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||3.0L supercharged DOHC 24-valve V-6/380 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 332 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV|
|STEERING||Electric power assisted|
|TURNING CIRCLE||11.9 ft|
|BRAKES, F/R||Vented discs|
|WHEELS, F/R||20-inch, aluminum|
|TIRES||Goodyear Eagle F1 A/T SUV 4×4, 255/50R20|
|L X W X H||186.3 x 72.6 x 65.6 in|
|TRACK, F/R||64.6/65.1 in|
|HEADROOM, F/R||37.8/37.5 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||40.3/37.2 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||57.7/55.8 in|
|CARGO CAPACITY||34 cu ft|
|WEIGHT DIST F/R||50/50%|
|EPA MILEAGE||18/23/20 mpg (city/hwy/combined)|
|FUEL CAPACITY||16.6 gal|
|EST. FUEL RANGE||332 miles|
|0-60 MPH||5.1 sec|
|TOP SPEED||155 mph|
|380hp 3.0L V6 Supercharged Engine||Anti-Theft Engine Immobilizer|
|8-speed Auto Trans w/ Shift Paddles||Tire Pressure Monitoring System|
|Instinctive All Wheel Drive, EPAS||LATCH Restraint Anchor Points|
|DSC, All Surface Progress Control||14-Way Heated Front S Sport Seats|
|Adaptive Dynamics w/ Configurable Dynamics||Leather Seating Surfaces, Driver Memory|
|Intelligent Stop Start, Torque Vectoring||Fold Rear Seat, Heated Steering Wheel|
|20” Wheels w/ Spare- Red Brake Calipers||Power Panoramic Roof, Keyless Entry|
|Driver/Frt Pass Front & Side Airbags||Rear View Camera, Blind Spot Assist|
|Side Curtain Airbags||Navigation, Lane Keep Assist|
|Seat Belt Pretensioners||380-Watt Meridian Sound System|
|LED Headlights, Adaptive w/ Auto High Beam|
|Italian Racing Red Metallic Paint||$550|
|Comfort and Convenience Package||$1,800|
|Luxury Interior Package||$2,200|
|Driver Assistance Package||$3,200|
|Heated Front Windshield||$375|
|Black Design Package||$350|
The post Four Seasons 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S Introduction appeared first on Automobile Magazine.