Jaguar F-Pace SUV (2016)
Our Rating 4.5 / 5
Jaguar F-Pace (2016) Test Drive -Carzone
Watch as Carzone takes on the all-new 2016 Jaguar F-Pace . A truly sporty performance crossover with four-wheel drive, perfect for any situation. The 3.0 litre diesel, eight-speed automatic with 296bhp gives you an astonishing 0-62mph in only 5.9secs.
You join us in a disused Welsh quarry where we come to drive a prototype version of the Jaguar F-Place. A new SUV to rival the likes of the BMW X3 and the Porsche Macan. However, it being January in South Wales, then obviously it is hammering down with rain and blowing an absolute hooley. Its freezing cold and the mud is pretty much done for my nice expensive shoes, so without further ado, let's cut to some voiceover. Walters arena near Neath is just one of the many locations around the world where Jaguar ’s engineers have been testing and developing the F-Pace .
We've been invited down to drive the prototype so we can see how it copes with a range of off-road scenarios and get a feel for how it drives in general. According to Jaguar the F-Pace isn't an SUV in its conventional sense, the company calls it a performance crossover which has been designed to give the agile sporty handling that Jaguar s products are famous for but with some of the ruggedness and all-terrain ability of an SUV thrown in. So that end, it has a four-wheel-drive system that sends all the torque to the back axle under normal conditions for that classic Jaguar feel but once wheel slip is detected it can send up to fifty percent of the drive up to the front wheels.
It also has clever traction systems derived from those found in land rover products along with variable driving characteristics that can be individually configured by the driver and like all modern Jaguar s much of the car is made from aluminium to make it as light and as rigid as possible. Now we're not allowed to drive the car on tarmac or anything approximating an actual Road only on these muddy tracks but even here you can really tell that the car has the essential character that Jaguar always set out to achieve. With all the off-road systems dialled up to maximum this car feels are really assured this surface were on now is a mixture of gravel and mud and even at this speed about 45 miles per hour it feels stable and secure and assured.
Throughout today we've also done quite a bit of other hard-core off road stuff and ok, it's not a Land Rover Discovery but you might be quite surprised about what the F-Pace can achieve in the mud. But more importantly for a Jaguar though you can really feel that rear-drive bias when you stick the car in dynamic mode. On the surface this slippery all you need is a boot full of throttle to get yourself going sideways in pretty spectacular fashion, but importantly it's really controlled and adjustable. Steering is partly responsible for that because it really fills you with confidence. It's a little bit like our ground here but it's progressive is direct and it is absolutely packed with feels so you always know where your front wheels are. This car also has the optional adaptive dampers that change their behaviour along with pretty much everything else when you play around with the driving modes but they keep the body really well tied down whatever mode you happen to be in and that will add to the feeling of sharpness and agility.
Now obviously it's tough to make any really useful assessment of the cars ride comfort on a surface like this, but for what it's worth as far as we can tell it feels reasonably forgiving and supple and what with everything that's going on rain smashing against the wind screen and gravel hitting the underside of the car, the exterior noises sound really well isolated, so it should be a very refined car as well.
The engine in this car is an absolute peach, it's the 3-litre v6 diesel with 296 brake horsepower and 517 pounds of torque. It's creamy smooth and it works really nicely with this automatic gearbox.
For the time being it's tough to say exactly where the F-Pace slots in to the SUV market in an ideal world it be sports here in the Macan and comfier than x3 but we won't know whether it is or not until we've driven it on a proper Road what we can say for sure however is that the initial signs look very encouraging indeed.