The Jag wagon
aluminium. But despite the widespread use of a metal renowned for being lighter than steel, the various models aren’t especially light.
For the F-Pace’s introduction to international media, Jaguar chose Montenegro. This small Balkan country, part of what used to be Yugoslavia, has spectacular traverses by roads that range from awesome to awful. Some are so poorly maintained they make an Australian feel right at home.
Handling and ride comfort — at least in the high-end sixcylinder models Jaguar brought to Montenegro — are clearly a cut above class average.
The F-Pace has superb steering and strong brakes. Its suspension deals very well with bumps and bends alike.
Engine options are a 2.0litre turbo diesel four (132kW), 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 (221kW) and high-tuned versions of the company’s supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 (250kW and 280kW).
All are teamed with an eight-speed automatic and allwheel-drive (there will be reardrive F-Paces in some other markets). Most Australian buyers will choose the diesel.
Carsguide sampled the V6 turbo diesel and the high-power supercharged petrol V6.
Both are powerful, smooth and satisfying to drive. Both made overtaking slow-moving Montenegrins — which is most of them — very easy.
The interior is spacious, with a roomier rear seat than its competitors. The large 650L cargo compartment is also class-leading, Jaguar claims. Upfront, the F-Pace’s high and wide centre console helps create a snug, car-like ambience, perhaps too snug for those with long legs.
The F-Pace’s premium infotainment system features a wide 10.2-inch touchscreen, thoughtnot all of its tricks — such as Google Earth route display when using satnav and the mobile Wi-Fi hotspot — will work in Australia at the time of launch.
The instrument panel uses the same basic tiered layout as seen in Jaguar’s sedans. If the F-Pace has a weakness relative to the competition, it’s that design and quality in this area aren’t a match for the Germans.
But there’s nothing important missing from the F-Pace’s list of standard safety equipment. It’s the first Jaguar to include pedestrian detection in its autonomous emergency braking tech. The F-Pace will slam on its brakes for people as well as parked cars when there’s the danger of a collision.
Pricing is fairly competitive. The cheapest F-Pace will be the $74,340 four-cylinder turbo diesel 20d in basic Prestige equipment grade. Prices rise from this point through the more powerful engine options and the more highly equipped R-Sport, Portfolio and S grades, topping out with the $103,420 S, packing the 280kW supercharged V6.
Temporarily, however, the most expensive F-Pace models will be the First Edition versions. Jaguar will produce only 2000 examples, fitted with every option in the book, plus special 22-inch wheels and in a choice of two custom paint colours (including the Caesium Blue seen in the photographs).
They will sell on a firstcome, first-served basis. Australian prices will be $117,210 for a First Edition with the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel and $120,700 with the supercharged V6.