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The Jaguar F-Pace is the company’s first SUV, where they’ve taken a page out of their cousin’s handbook and integrated some Land Rover genes into the Jaaaaag! So, it isn’t completely surprising that it’s the F-Pace is roughly the size as the Discovery Sport. However, it isn’t an exact copy of the Land Rover. This, of course, was a carefully strategized maneuver. Slapping the leaping cat emblem on any one of the SUVs from the Jaguar Land Rover roster would have resulted in a lukewarm product. On the contrary, its underpinnings have more in common with the Jaguar’s XE and XF saloons. This means it has a rigid, largely aluminum (80%) structure to improve agility.
Concealing all this effort is a body that has been designed by the very best from Jaguar. It is an SUV that has been packaged in a sporty and exclusive manner. Come up to face the F-Pace and you’ll get the chance to admire the stunning beauty of the machine. The Jaguar crest sits in the center of a large honeycombed grille, flanked by bright LED headlights on either side that stare right back at you with a strong confident frown.
Move on to the side and you’ll notice the bulk of the F-Pace. The swooping roofline gives it a sporty appeal. The sleek taillights inspired from the F-Type wrap around to the rear which is where the F-Pace resembles the mean stare of a big cat. Since you’ll have most of the traffic behind you when you’re driving the F-Pace, it is certain they’ll be receiving a pretty decent view. If we dare to gripe about one single thing on this wildcat, it would be the less than enticing tailpipes.
As you’d expect, the interiors are a splendid affair. Leg, knee and shoulder room are adequate for all passengers. Get into the driving seat and you’ll have in front of you a chunky three-spoke steering wheel with a plethora of buttons for telephony and audio controls. The layout is driver-friendly and has a premium feel to it. The SUV gets a digital instrument cluster which different types of displays to suit your needs. The center console gets a large touchscreen, which is very easy to connect and operate.
Additional cool features like the panoramic sliding roof and the circular rotary gear selector that smoothly elevates and reveals itself upon ignition brings a wide grin across your face. You get a good vantage point out of the cockpit with a clear view of what’s going ahead of you. The same can’t be said about the rearward visibility, albeit the large ORVMs do a good job of letting you know what’s going on. A quirky bit of design, which can also be seen on the Land Rover SUVs, is the placement of the window switches, which is on the windowpane instead of the door panel.
It isn’t a sports car by any definition of the word, the corner-carving prowess of the F-type is impossible to replicate on an SUV; it’s just physics. Having said that, it is important here that we emphasize how good the F-Pace really is. The body control is superbly sustained for an SUV this size and it maintains its composure deceptively well in the corners. Much like a predator fixated on its runaway prey, it throws caution to the wind and flings itself into corners with reckless abandon and regains its poise on the exit, still fixated on its target. As difficult as it may be to believe, the Jaguar F-Pace turns into even more of an animal on the straights.
While there is a slight bit of lag in the power delivery, the Jaguar makes up for it by reaching its maximum torque very early. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox, offering smooth shifts but the cogs aren’t swapped at lightning speed when you need it; good thing though is, you can manually take control of things using the steering mounted paddles.
There are several driving modes you can choose from that alter the throttle response, steering weight and gearshifts according to the mode you choose. You get to choose from the eco mode, adaptive service response mode, low friction launch, and (our favorite) the dynamic mode.
Sharply poke the accelerator and the F-Pace responds like an angry caged Jaguar would when you poke it with a stick. It prances into action with a hefty drone of the engine and aggressively gathers speed. And to bring things to a stop, the braking system performs in a topnotch manner.
The Jaguar F-Pace gets safety features like multiple airbags and ABS with EBD along with other techs like autonomous emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Monitor, Blind Spot Monitor, Reverse Traffic Detection, Park Assist, Surround Camera System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist.
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