With the popularity of SUVs and crossovers, it’s no surprise that Jaguar has unveiled its first crossover, the F-Pace. Midsize luxury crossovers are one of the fastest growing segments in the car biz, and the F-Pace is becoming a serious challenger to the offerings from Acura, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes. In fact, the F-Pace has been one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. this spring.
Jaguar is owned by Tata Motors of India, which also makes the very capable and luxurious Land Rover and Range Rover. So one may wonder why Jaguar also decided to add a crossover to its line-up. Jaguar had only been producing sedans and coupes, which are shrinking segments in the lucrative U.S. market. So it made sense for Jag to branch out.
The five-passenger F-Pace is available in five trims: base, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport and S. Starting prices range from $41,990 to $70,700.
Two powertrains are available: a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine that makes 180 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque. Or for $1,400 extra, you can choose a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that makes 340 hp and 332 lb.-ft. The S comes with a 380-horsepower supercharged V6. All engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The F-Pace employs some of Jaguar’s trademark theatrics. Push the start button and the round gearshift knob in the center console rises. It goes back down again when you shut down the engine.
The driving mode selector lets you choose between normal, eco, dynamic and off road/snow settings. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel let you shift manually if desired.
If you like driving a Jagaur, you’ll like driving the F-Pace. It’s sporty and nimble and offers good grip on slick and wet pavement. When conditions are good, the F-Pace is rear-wheel-drive which helps give it that sports car feel. Encounter challenging driving conditions and the all-wheel-drive system sends power as needed to the front and rear.
It’s too easy to find yourself going faster than you think in the F-Pace. So it’s good that there’s a system that scans traffic signs and can automatically adjust your speed.
The F-Pace doesn’t have the off-roading chops of its Land Rover Range Rover cousins, but it can do some moderate trails. Range Rover drivers may recognize the available Adaptive Surface Response and All Surface Progress Control that adjust engine and brake settings for the terrain.
Fuel efficiency for the gas-powered engines is below average for the class. EPA mileage estimates for my tester are 18 mph city and 23 mpg highway with a combined rating of 20 mpg. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior is nice but not as opulent as what you’ll find in some competitors. All trims come with a sliding panoramic roof. That and the roomy cabin provide an airy feel. Adults in both rows of seating will be comfortable with good leg- and headroom.
Jag’s clumsy old infotainment system has been replaced by the InControl Touch, which comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen that you can swipe and drag, while higher trims get the InControlPro with a 10.2-inch touchscreen. My tester has the optional InControl Wi-Fi which can host up to eight devices.
The base F-Pace does not come standard with any driver safety systems, but they can be added as options and many do come with the higher trims including blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go traffic assist.
The F-Pace has more cargo room that most competitors with 33.5 cubic feet with all seats in place and 63.5 cubes with the second row folded. A power liftgate is standard.
It’s a Jag so it’s a beautiful vehicle
Starting price is less than many rivals
Excellent performance—drives like a sports car
Great traction in challenging conditions
Capable of moderate off-roading
Not as many bells and whistles as some competitors
Interior not as opulent as some competitors
Fuel efficiency is low for the class
Infotainment system has been updated but still lags behind rivals
My tester starts at $51,100. The Glacier White metallic paint is $550. Gloss black roof rails are $350. The Vision Package is $2,100 and adds LED adaptive headlights, intelligent high beam assist, blind spot monitor, and reverse traffic detection. The Comfort and Convenience Package is $1,800 and adds climate front seats, heated rear seats, gesture tailgate, rear seats electric recline, and rear seats remote release. SiriusXM satellite radio is $350. InControl Wi-Fi is $300. Heated front windshield is $375. Destination fee is $995 bringing the grand total to $57,920.
The F-Pace is everything most buyers want in a midsize luxury crossover. It’s functional and practical as a crossover should be with lots of room for cargo and passengers, but also beautiful to look at and exciting to drive. And it’s available at a more affordable price than many competitors. Frankly, the F-Pace is at or near the top of this group when it comes to sporty performance, spacious interior and good looks.