Boys and girls, say hello to the newest entrant in the wheels long-term garage, the Jaguar F-Pace. This car, as regular readers will doubtless be aware, impressed us so much that we named it our 2017 Luxury Crossover of the Year. It’s not just good for Jaguar’s first attempt at the burgeoning CUV segment, it is good full stop.
Our tester is the top-spec S version, which packs a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 developing 375bhp and 450Nm of torque. Numbers that you’ll notice compare quite favourably with rivals such as the 365bhp BMW X4 M40i, 362bhp Mercedes-AMG GLC 43, the 340bhp Audi SQ5 and the 335bhp Porsche Macan S. So, it is the most powerful in its class.
At Dh325K our tester isn’t exactly cheap though. Especially when you consider the Macan S, with an arguably weightier badge on the nose, starts at Dh254,200. Then again, that’s before you venture into Porsche’s labyrinthine and notoriously expensive options list. So specced like-for-like it will cost about the same as the Jag.
But, here’s the thing. The F-Pace is dynamically such a well-sorted car, and if you’re blessed with the gift of sight, you’ll also notice how good it looks. At 4,731mm it is actually 34mm longer than the Macan and yet it looks much more compact. The sheet metal is tautly draped over the body, giving it a properly muscular yet svelte styling.
That statement, however, comes with a proviso. The F-Pace’s design is heavily colours dependent. It looks much more special in dominant hues like Caesium Blue, British Racing Green and Firenze Red. The only neutral shade that complements the design is Indus Silver. Ergo, it doesn’t look quite so special in our regulation white finish.
The supercharged V6 is not exactly the most refined when it comes to aural characteristics, but it is potent. The benchmark 0-100kph sprint takes 5.5 seconds, which is in the same ballpark as the rest. However, the F-Pace has perhaps the best balance of ride quality and body control and none of its rivals are nearly as good-looking either... More next week.