Jaguar’s F-Pace makes a terrific removal van. The first crossover SUV ever to bear the Jaguar name might have been intended to live up to the timeless aspirations of the company’s founder, Sir William Lyons, that his cars should embody “grace, space and pace.”
Neil Lyndon makes a fine job of using the Jaguar’s F-Pace – R-Sport 2.0d 180PS AWD
During its week’s loan, I found it was exceptionally effective at shifting stuff. I had to move my grass-cutting machines to the guy who services them during the winter. A 24” Webb cylinder mower that weighs as much as the village cricket club’s roller, a rotary mower for rough stuff and a heavyweight, commercial strimmer all had to be loaded through the F-Pace’s rear hatch.
The space at the back is class-leading. The rear seats fold flat without any need to remove the head restraints and open a load space that amounts to 1740 litres. All those cumbersome machines slotted in with room to spare and were transported to their winter quarters in unaccustomed style. Audi’s Q5 might have done the job with equal ease, but not many other premium crossover SUVs would swallow such a load with such aplomb. Porsche’s Macan would go week at the knees.
Beyond being impressed by that performance, however, I would have to say that I was underwhelmed by this F-Pace. For looks, performance and driving dynamics, it doesn’t cut a sufficiently striking figure to stand out in a field that is mobbed with classy products.
Ian Callum, Jaguar’s chief designer, has been an outstanding asset to the company and many of his works deserve to be compared with the greats in Jaguar’s history but, for my money, his front ends are always more convincing, more assured than the back. So it is with the F-Pace, whose rear end sticks out like an unrefined lump, obstructing the driver’s rearward vision through the slim windows.
The interior is fully up to the standards of the XF and XE saloons whose aluminium underpinnings the F-Pace largely shares; but the 180 PS two-litre turbo diesel in our test car wasn’t equal to shifting its 1665kg of weight with sufficient brio to convince you that you were at the wheel of a Jaguar. Despite an eight-speed semi-automatic gearbox, acceleration from 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 129 mph is roughly what you would have got from a Rover SD1 35 years ago.
The combination of torque vectoring technology and firm suspension ought to provide agile cornering, but the F-Pace’s all-wheel drive system and 1.65m height count against it under pressure, adding up to a somewhat leaden absence of exuberance in the driving experience.
Perfectly fine for cruising, with exceptionally low wind noise, but is that what you want when you pay £45000 for a Jaguar. That’s money in the range of BMW’s X3 and Mercedes-Benz’s GLC, both of which are more engaging to drive
Perhaps these reservations might apply less to the more powerful V6 engines in the F-pace range, I would like to hope so.
Car reviewed: F-Pace – R-Sport 2.0d 180PS AWD – On the road £40,360, price as tested £44,770 0-62mph 8.7 secs Top speed 129mph Fuel Economy combined 53.3mpg CO2 emissions 139g/km Engine 1999cc 4-cylinder DOHC Turbo Diesel Max Power 180PS Torque 430Nm Transmission 8-speed Automatic
Exceptional Load Lugger
Low wind noise
Roomy and Comfortable
Lack of driving engagement
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