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Motoring: Jaguar makes a splash in the CUV market


Jaguar, known solely for their sports car, decides to take a chance and make a CUV. Though this idea was received with skepticism, the CUV blew all critics away.

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | September 26th, 2016

It is the CUV with the most uncreative name, and it boasts a first for its maker, I’m referring to the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace.

For years, there was no need for Jaguar to delve into the SUV or CUV market, because its sister company, Land Rover, did nothing but SUVs. So, if you wanted a sports car or sports sedan for the road, you’d buy a Jaguar; or if you wanted a sports utility vehicle to tackle rough terrain, you’d buy a Land Rover or a Range Rover. The idea of Jaguar doing an SUV/CUV was as absurd as Land Rover developing a two-seat sports car that can do more than 300 kilometres per hour.

But, the unthinkable has happened; Jaguar has built a CUV, and in the process has also given it an annoying name. But why did they enter a category they had never been in before?

The simple answer is, dealers asked for it. There are some retailers, who only sell Jaguar products, and not Land Rover, so they needed a vehicle to offer their clients. Plus, with luxury sports car makers such as Porsche, Bentley and Maserati getting into this category, Jaguar certainly didn’t want to be left behind.

So, now we have the first ever Jaguar CUV, but is it any good?

From a styling point of view, it sure is. While I wasn’t bowled over by its looks when I saw it on the web, or when I saw it at the auto show; it really got my attention when I saw these out on the road. The shape is quite attractive, and everyone takes notice too.

Above all, the look is unmistakably Jaguar, which is a good thing.

Open the door to step inside, and you’ll find that the interior is spacious, comfortable, attractive to look at and also has a reasonable amount of tech. The layout is what impresses most people; the F-Pace has a beautifully styled interior that also has all the buttons and switches exactly where you’d want them to be. Some, in the media, complained about quality. I personally found no such issues; however, I do have an issue with its infotainment system. While the system has improved over older Jaguar units, it is still a touchscreen unit, and I am not a fan of those.

What I have been a fan of for a long time is the way Jaguars drive. So does the F-Pace CUV retain the driving dynamics of a Jaguar? Simple answer is yes. The F-Pace has the familiar feel of any other Jaguar model, which means it remains planted at speed, has lots of cornering grip, minimal body roll and feels exciting in your hands. This is a good vehicle for out of town trips, especially when you have its adaptive cruise control on.

Powering you down the road is a choice of two engines. The base model has a 2.0-litre I4 turbo-diesel motor that develops 180 horsepower and 318 pounds per foot of torque. My tester had the upgraded motor, which is a 3.0-litres V6 supercharged motor that develops 340 horsepower and 332 pounds per foot of torque. Power is sent to all wheels, in all models, via a ZF sourced eight-speed automatic.

Not only are the shifts smooth, they are quick too. With 340 horsepower, the F-Pace can sprint from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in 5.8 seconds, and will top out at an electronically limited top speed of 250 kilometres per hour. This is a fast vehicle.

However, while the F-Pace is great to drive, it isn’t exactly frugal; I averaged 12.6 litres per 100 kilometres in my test week, which is not great.

And the issues don’t stop there; while it is suppose to be a ‘go anywhere’ CUV and is equipped with 22-inch wheels wearing Pirelli P-Zero tires, I don’t think it’ll be very good in the rough stuff.

All in all, I was really impressed with the F-Pace. It ticks all the right boxes for a luxury CUV, and I think it’ll sell really well, especially when you take into consideration that the base price is just $50,900. My loaded tester, however, was an eye watering $79,325, but the vehicle was worth it.

So, if you’re looking for a new luxury CUV, you need to give the F-Pace a closer look.
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