2017 Jaguar F-PACE Review
Edmunds expert review
Beauty and practicality are so often mutually exclusive. And yet, every so often something comes along that manages to be both fun and sensible, capable of pulling at the heart strings while also satisfying that part of your brain where all your mother's good advice resides. The 2017 Jaguar F-Pace is a fun-to-drive SUV that also happens to be one of the most spacious, efficient and competitively priced competitors in the compact luxury segment.
Jaguar's primary goal when setting out to produce its first SUV was for it to be pretty. Mission accomplished, yet as a bit of length, wheelbase and ground clearance were added to achieve eye-pleasing proportions, the resulting vehicle ended up with more backseat legroom, cargo space and off-road-friendly ground clearance than most of its competitors.
The 2017 Jaguar F-Pace: prettier and more practical than most.
A secondary goal was for it to drive with the same verve as Jaguar's sedans and sports cars. Using the same mechanical bones as the XE and XF sport sedans as well as some F-Type inspiration, the F-Pace is indeed one of the most engaging SUVs in the class to drive. The sharp steering, ultra-rigid structure, impeccably composed suspension and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system are all worthy of praise. The ride may be a bit firm for some, however.
Backing those dynamic talents up are a pair of appealing engines. A supercharged V6 engine produces 340 horsepower (or 380 in the S model) at a price point where most competitors have turbocharged four-cylinders and 100 fewer horses. Acceleration is not surprisingly superior to most, as well, and comes attached to an F-Type-inspired boisterous exhaust note. For those with a desire to keep their fuel bills low, the 20d model features an efficient turbocharged diesel engine that joins the BMW X3 as the only other SUV in the segment to offer such an engine (the Audi Q5 TDI is discontinued due to the VW emissions scandal).
Inside, the cabin is tastefully designed, nicely adorned in quality materials and fitted with comfortable seats. New to Jaguar is an all-new InTouch Pro touchscreen interface with impressively quick responses, big virtual buttons and customizable menus. More testing is needed to render a full verdict compared to rival systems (the same goes for the lesser, standard InControl Touch interface), but our initial experiences were at least positive.
And indeed, that's how we feel in general about the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace. While additional experiences are certainly needed, we're confident in the accuracy of our early returns: It's one of the class leaders. The F-Pace effectively challenges the sort of dynamic driving experience offered by the Porsche Macan, the elegance of the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and the well-rounded nature of the BMW X3. And although it can't match the Acura RDX's value, it does tend to be cheaper when similarly priced than those aforementioned other rivals. Turns out beauty and practicality can actually co-exist.
Love all the F-Pace's virtues but care more about fuel economy than rapid acceleration? Get the 20d diesel. However, the supercharged V6 certainly represents the F-Pace at its best. With either engine, though, we would recommend the Prestige model, as it packs a healthy amount of equipment at a price that manages to better most competitors.
The Caesium Blue paint is special to the F-Pace First Edition, although it will be available on other trims as a special order.
Every 2017 F-Pace comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A rearview camera and parking sensors are optional on the base model and standard on all others. Automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist are standard on the R-Sport and S. A blind-spot and reverse traffic warning system is also standard on those trims and optional on the Premium and Prestige.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Jaguar F-Pace is a compact luxury SUV that seats five passengers. There are five trim levels: base, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport and S. All but the S are available with a choice of engine (specified 20d or 35t). There is also a loaded version of the S known as the First Edition, only 275 of which are bound for the United States.
The base F-Pace comes standard with all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, cruise control, an automatic speed limiter, rear privacy glass, LED running lights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition and entry, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, LuxTec simulated leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, InControl Protect emergency communication services, the InControl Touch 8-inch touchscreen electronics interface, Bluetooth phone and audio, and an 11-speaker Meridian sound system with a USB port, a media player interface, an auxiliary audio jack and a CD player. A rearview camera and satellite radio can be added separately.
The Premium adds 19-inch wheels, the rearview camera, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors and driver memory functions. The Vision package adds automatic bi-xenon headlamps with auto-leveling and washers, front and rear parking sensors, and a blind-spot warning system. Both the base and Premium F-Pace models can be bolstered with a Cold package that adds heated front and rear seats, a heated windshield and a heated steering wheel that features upgraded leather. They can also be equipped with a navigation system integrated into the InControl Touch system.
The F-Pace Prestige adds most of the above optional equipment plus front and rear parking sensors, the Cold package equipment, leather upholstery, four-way front seat power lumbar, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a folding rear armrest, voice controls and smartphone apps. It does not include the blind-spot warning system, which is instead included in the Prestige Vision package, which also includes adaptive LED headlamps.
The R-Sport adds 20-inch wheels, special styling elements, the Prestige's optional equipment, foglamps, lane-keeping assist, an automatic emergency braking system, automatic high beams, more aggressively bolstered front seats with power-adjustable thigh support, and a simulated leather-trimmed instrument panel.
The F-Pace S is similarly equipped but comes with 40 extra horsepower, an adaptive suspension (optional on the Prestige and R-Sport) and different styling elements.
The cabin is classy and well-constructed. The gauge cluster pictured is actually a display screen.
The Prestige, R-Sport and S can be equipped with the Comfort & Convenience package, which adds ventilated front seats, power-reclining rear seats, a remote release for the folding rear seats and a hands-free gesture-activated power liftgate. The Technology package adds a full LCD screen instrument cluster, 3G onboard WiFi, a 17-speaker Meridian surround-sound audio system, and a different, upgraded InControl Pro 10-inch touchscreen interface with configurable menu screens and improved functionality. They can also be equipped with a head-up display, roof rails and an "Activity Key" waterproof bracelet that allows you to unlock the car with the key still inside.
The R-Sport and S can be equipped with the Luxury Interior Upgrade package that includes four-zone automatic climate control, additional rear seat air vents, upgraded carpets and headliner, 10-color interior ambient lighting and a cooled glove compartment. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, speed limit notification, three additional parking cameras and an automatic parking system (parallel, perpendicular and exit). They can also be equipped with 22-inch wheels.
The First Edition includes every option possible plus special paint selections, houndstooth interior trim and upgraded leather upholstery with a special houndstooth embossment.
Every 2017 Jaguar F-Pace comes standard with all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission, paddle shifters, hill-start assist and an automatic stop-start system. There are two engine choices.
The 35t AWD models have a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that produces 340 hp and 332 pound-feet of torque in all trims except the S and First Edition, where it produces 380 hp. Torque is unchanged. Jaguar estimates that the base tune will result in a 0-60-mph time of 5.4 seconds, or 5.1 seconds with the S. Both would be among the quickest in the segment. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg combined (18 city/23 highway). This is much lower than competitors that feature far less powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engines. It's about the same as the Macan S.
The 20d AWD models have a 2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-4 that produces 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque. This is typical for such an engine. Jaguar estimates that it will go from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which is slow but similar to the diesel-powered BMW X3. No EPA estimates were available at the time of this writing, but Jaguar estimates that it will be in the upper 20 mpg combined range.
The Jaguar F-Pace is surprisingly capable off the beaten path.
The 2017 F-Pace feels more like a sport sedan from behind the wheel than an SUV -- even when compared to the relatively sporty models with which it competes. It corners impressively flat, and nasty midcorner bumps are greeted with a resolutely rigid body structure and a suspension that remains perfectly composed. The all-wheel-drive system sends almost all of the power rearward under most conditions, creating the advantageous capability and feel of a rear-drive vehicle when cornering. And then there's the standout steering: light and consistent in its effort, high in feedback and sharp in its responses.
Under the hood, the 35t's supercharged V6 delivers a pleasing punch no matter the driving situation, along with a rather boisterous engine note that admittedly may get a bit tiresomely droney during normal driving. The 20d's diesel should feel strong enough around town or when in need of a sudden burst of highway passing power, but you'll notice its lack of power on an on-ramp.
With either engine, the standard all-wheel-drive system that so benefits handling, also proves its worth off the beaten path, sending power to the wheels that need it. In conjunction with that generous ground clearance and off-road tech borrowed from corporate cousin Land Rover, the F-Pace is able to tackle steep, slippery inclines, low-traction surfaces and rock-strewn trails to an extent that belies its sporty, on-road demeanor.
The one area of question is the ride. Our initial test occurred on roads that were either glass-smooth or Moon-rough, making it difficult to evaluate its comfort. We suspect, however, that some may find it uncomfortably firm -- especially with the 20- or 22-inch wheels.
The F-Pace cabin may not be as visually appealing as the exterior, but it's nevertheless tasteful and constructed of suitably quality materials. The climate controls are large, and the new InControl Pro touchscreen system (optional) features large virtual buttons, quick responses and crisp graphics. We need more time than was possible during our initial drive, however, and we also didn't experience the base InControl Touch system.
Up front, the F-Pace manages to blend the elevated view out expected of an SUV, with more of a low, carlike seating position. The seats themselves offer more than enough adjustability and resulting space even for taller drivers. The backseat, meanwhile, affords more legroom than most competitors do, even when one of those taller drivers is up front. Headroom isn't exactly copious, but our heads weren't grazing the roof either (even with the panoramic sunroof).
Cargo space is excellent for the segment, measuring 33.5 cubic feet with the seats raised (best in class) and a maximum capacity of 63.5 cubic feet (second only to Volvo XC60). This is mostly the result of its longer-than-usual depth. And for those who'll be using the cargo area or the roof to transport a surfboard, kayak or outdoor adventure items, you might be interested in the F-Pace's optional Activity Key: a waterproof Fitbit-like bracelet that when placed over the liftgate's Jaguar script unlocks the car, allowing you to leave the key locked in the car.
Cargo space with the seats raised is best in class. When lowered, only the Volvo XC60 is better.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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