What Do We Face?
When you think of Jaguar F-Pace, you may ask two different questions reflecting two different points of view:
a. Why did Jaguar wait so long to offer an SUV?
All luxury brands are in the surging SUV business: From Mercedes to Porsche, from BMW to Lexus and even Maserati. Who would think until a few years ago that even an ultra-luxury and conservative brand like Bentley would produce an SUV. Aren’t you late to the game?
b. Why did Jaguar an SUV?
Jaguar is part of the Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) Group. And the guys at the LR side are known to build some of the best SUV’s in the world. Someone would probably not resist the idea that Land Rover and Range Rover brand presents the ultimate luxury and off-road capabilities globally.
Well, the truth must be somewhere in between.
Although the JLR Group is an important global player in the SUV market, each brand within the group needs to develop its own identity and create its own success story. And the numbers show that Jaguar, the significantly smaller division within JLR has done a very good job with this product.
Since its introduction mid 2015, the F-Pace has become Jaguar’s top-selling vehicle worldwide. In the first nine months of 2016, total sales exceed 103,300 units reaching an increase of 72 per cent over the last year. The last time, the 100K was mark exceeded was in 2002 when Ford owned the company. You bet that without the F-Pace, this would probably be not possible. Well, this SUV represents nearly 40 per cent of total Jaguar sales worldwide. In the US, sales reached 20K marking an increase of 81 per cent over the same period of the last year.
Scale of economics matters also for Jaguar. Even as a luxury brand Jaguar needs to sell significantly more and fill other segments of the market. As it is the case with the XE sedan, with the F-Pace, Jaguar moves downward in the luxury segment and wants to eventually become a volume player. In comparison with Mercedes and BMW, for instance, who sell nearly two million vehicles each per year, Jaguar still has a tall-order to fulfill.
We tested the 3.0L, V6 version (with supercharger) that delivers 340 horsepower.
With All-wheel drive and R Sport package, the base price for this version is $59,900. Ticking all the options, the sticker price of our test vehicle exceeds 69 grand.
When it comes to driving dynamics, this vehicle is not a disappointment. It drives like a Jaguar, handles like a car and pleases its owner. The exterior design is probably the best feature. Ian Callum and his team did a great job.
With one exception: I found the A-pillar too much angled. Being an average tall person, I found it a bit difficult to get in and out without leaning my head. Am I subjective? Let the others comment on that.
It is a slightly different story inside.
The interior is well-finished and up to the luxury-class standards. However, if you compare it with the sophisticated and fine crafted interior of the flagship XJ, you will be somewhat disappointed. In fact this is an illusion. You need some “down-tuning” when offering a product in compact category even within the luxury class.The XJ costs roughly double the price of F-Pace and you have expect some difference.
The acceleration and handling is superb and the feeling of driving a sports car remains with you. The brakes are very dependable. Even on a wet surface in a panic-braking test, the Cat never disappointed.
The average consumption remained under 12 liters (premium fuel) in a mixed mode of highway-city and urban traffic. This is reasonable for an SUV with a six-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. The lightweight-aluminum construction, a well-known and admired Jaguar feature, helps to keep the consumption low. The combined, theoretical consumption of 8.9 liters (Tested as required by the Government of Canada) should be used more for comparison purposes.
Some imperfections set aside, Jaguar delivered a product that the market demands and the sales figures demonstrate a clear success. On the way to become an exclusive yet volume seller the iconic British brand has to expand and diversify its product portfolio. And without responding to a rising SUV market, this is simply not possible.
As the SUV market grows and diversifies even more, you can expect a bigger 7-seater larger J-Pace for 2019.
Optional Features: Comfort & Convenience Package ($1,900), Driver Assist Package (3,100), Metallic Paint ($600), Navigation SD Card ($800), 20 Blade, 5 Spoke Grey Wheels ($500), Destination & Delivery: ($1,375)
MSRP For The Test Vehicle: $69,325 (including other options not included above)
- Engine:3.0-litre V-6, supercharged
- Drive:all-wheel drive
- Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 8.9 combined, using premium fuel.
- Alternatives:Lexus NX, BMW X3 & X4, Mercedes GLC, Porsche Macan, Audi Q5
Article: Varol McKars
Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars,
Test vehicle was provided by JLR Canada via BHG Media
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