Trying to pry a long-termer’s key from Amit’s grasp is like trying to empty the ocean with a bucket. It’s not just hard work, it is an impossible goal to achieve. Except, of course, when the car in question needs to be washed. So last week’s sudden display of generosity by the boss clearly meant that the F-Pace was in a dire need of a good scrub up. And most likely running on fumes too. It was. So off I went to the petrol station.
Once I’d completed these two glittering tasks, and the F-Pace’s design details emerged from underneath the grimy layers of dust, I noticed what a beautiful-looking vehicle it is. Despite the boring white finish — and I genuinely hate white on any car — I doubt there is any SUV or crossover that matches the F-Pace’s styling elegance.
The show is also matched by adequate go — it is a properly sporty crossover and the dynamism is the most dominant characteristic of the car. The 3.5-litre supercharged V6 develops 375 horsepower and 450Nm of torque and even in Eco mode — I had to resort to this setting to reach the petrol station earlier — it feels responsive and peppy enough.
Admittedly, Eco was the way to go on my drive from Dubai to Sharjah later in the day as well. What’s required on this inter-emirate slog is not pointy throttle response but pliant ride quality. And the F-Pace fares well on this front. It’s not the most comfortable car in its class, but its ride is more forgiving than, say, a Porsche Macan’s. Clearly handling was the first priority for Jag boffins. Personally, I would have preferred it if it sacrificed some of its sportiness for a bit more comfort.
The cabin is spacious enough to accommodate five adults, although the person in the middle of the back seat will not be too happy because of the raised transmission tunnel. It is a luxurious and relatively comfortable environment nonetheless.
My final gripe is that the cabin is pretty much black on black, which is a bit dull. I would have preferred a little flourish of colour here or there. It still looks great though. Now that it’s clean.
The F-Pace’s Activity Key may seem like a frivolous idea, but it works rather well. It’s easy to use and negates the need to carry the key fob everywhere.
Highs: Activity Key is a clever idea
Lows: Fuel economy isn’t the best
The first sign of an electronic glitch appears in the F-Pace. The camera system suddenly decides not to work — however, it fixes itself once the system is rebooted and the car’s restarted. Otherwise, it is a well-built car.
Highs: Well-built interior, great to drive
Lows: The camera system temporarily gives up the ghost