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2017 Jaguar F-PACE 20d - This Cat Can Haul; Review By Larry Nutson

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2017 Jaguar F-PACE 20d
This Cat Can Haul

-- 5 Star Rating by The Auto Channel

Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

I’ve never owned a Jaguar. However, I’ve driven a number of them. Probably the most memorable was my first ever drive in a Jag. I was young then and behind the wheel of the ’63 Jag XK-E owned by the brother of a close friend.

That was long ago. Since that time I’ve been fortunate to drive many more XKs and F-types as well as Jaguar sedans.

That first drive was back in the last century. Here we are now in the second decade of the twenty-first century and SUVs are all the rage. The iconic luxury performance car maker Jaguar has joined the fray with its F-PACE. Keeping to its heritage of sporty performance and good looks, Jaguar added lots of practicality to the brand.

Jaguar’s decision to enter the SUV market was met with consternation by some. My Netherlands-based colleague Henny Hemmes wrote back in April 2016, “When Jaguar announced its plans to develop an SUV, not every fan of the brand was excited, nor was I. But that mood changed somewhat when seeing the concept and later the production model. Now, after the first test drives with the Jaguar F-Pace in the hills of Montenegro, I revised my view.”

A lot of people have been waiting for Jag to come up with such a popular model. The F-PACE is Jaguar’s first performance SUV and has contributed to record sales growth. In doing so it is attracting new customers to the brand. The F-PACE has garnered lots of attention with its namesake brand heritage, attractive design, luxury features and dynamic performance ability.

Notably so, in April, the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE was named the winner of the 2017 World Car of the Year as well as World Car Design of the Year Awards at the New York International Auto Show. My colleague Henny Hemmes, who I mentioned previously, is one of the World Car jurors.

I was looking forward to my time in the new F-PACE. My two adult daughters would be visiting and along with my wife I certainly would be hearing their opinions. Adding interest to my week of test-driving was that the F-PACE would be diesel powered.

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Specifically, I drove a 2017 F-PACE 20d Prestige model with an MSRP of $49,700. The F-PACE model-walk is base, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport and S, priced starting at $40,990. Engine choices are the 180-HP 4-cylinder Ingenium diesel or a supercharged 340-HP 3.0-L V6 that can be boosted to 380-HP in the S model. There’s an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive equipped on all models.

The standard all-wheel drive sends all power to the rear wheels. When wheel slip is detected power is also sent to the front wheels. Following Jaguar’s approach with its other models, the F-Pace makes use of aluminum construction to reduce weight for lower fuel consumption as well as improved driving dynamics.

There’s a long list of driver assistance safety features on the F-PACE including autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure mitigation, traffic-sign recognition, reverse traffic detection, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitor. A new feature from Jaguar is Activity Key, a wristband that can lock and unlock the vehicle. It allows the key to be left securely inside the vehicle while the driver is active in water sports and outdoor recreation.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

In the cockpit, up front there’s good outward visibility, as you would expect of an SUV. Seating is a bit more carlike with a lower position. The backseat offers more legroom than most competitors. Front seats are cooled while both front and rear are heated. There’s a power recline on the rear seats too.

EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings for the 20d diesel model I drove are 29 mpg combined, with 26 city mpg and 33 highway mpg. Most all of my driving was around Chicago’s city streets and I averaged 25 mpg. The 340-HP V6 is rated at 18 city and 23 highway, a noticeable difference.

You might think that 180-HP is not enough for this vehicle. But it is. With the high torque output of the diesel there was no disappointment in acceleration under any conditions. I haven’t driven the two V6 models but it would take a lot of convincing for me to buy other than the diesel. Oh, and the engine is pretty quiet too.

The 5-seat F-Pace has a 40/20/40 split-fold rear seat that can open up the already roomy 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space to provide 63.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo room. A power liftgate is standard with optional hands-free operation.


More specs and details on the F-Pace can be found at Worthy of note is Jaguar’s warranty of 5-year, 60,000 mile that includes all scheduled maintenance.

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For 2018 model year there’s a new entry level four-cylinder gas powertrain and a limited edition Portfolio trim level that’s slotted between the Prestige and R-Sport V-6 trims. There’s new standalone options and a revised color palette.

The new 247HP 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder Ingenium engine in the Jaguar F-PACE has a single twin-scroll turbo and produces 269 ft.-lb. of torque from only 1,200rpm. Jaguar says it powers the F-PACE from 0-60mph in 6.4 seconds.

The F-PACE has won many other awards such as the Daily News Auto Award for Luxury SUV, Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Award for Crossover of the Year, and Autotrader Must Test Drive award. The Jaguar brand also received the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Award for Best Car Styling – Luxury Brand.

All-in-all I really liked the diesel-powered F-PACE and would recommend it to many. On the flip side, I would really like to drive an XK-E again.

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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