Unlike the imported F-Pace which could be had with a solid 300bhp V6 diesel, this new 2018 version packs a not-so-substantial 2-litre, four-cylinder motor with 179bhp of power and 430Nm of torque. Thumb the pulsing starter button and you are greeted by a muffled clatter, followed by a rhythmic idle. Although the power and torque figure may not seem stratospheric, but the way this Ingenium motor generates and delivers power is such, you would be hard pressed to think of it as a 2-litre motor. Post 2,000rpm, the pull is particularly strong as you are greeted by a wave of torque which thanks to the 8-speed gearbox is well spread out over the rev range. What this means is that you can use up to fourth-gear in heavy traffic while out on the highway you can cruise at 130kmph at just 1,500rpm.
The F-Pace has four driving modes and shifting to Sport makes the steering heavier and the throttle response more immediate. The gearbox, too, holds onto gears for longer and shifts down to keep the revs in the meat of the torque band. As per our data logger, the F-Pace managed the 0-100kmph sprint in 10.33 seconds which is decent for this class.
The F-Pace is a performance oriented crossover and it’s quite obvious with the way it handles. Apart from a certain amount of roll that comes with a heavy vehicle riding this high, it is actually good fun in the corners. The steering is light around town and weighs up decently over long corners. The front-end grip is strong too, with the nose darting into bend just the way you would want it to. Also, the brakes work well to pull this beast of a crossover up from speed as you approach tight corners. As for the all-important ride quality, the F-Pace will handle bad roads without breaking a sweat, but because it is stiffly spring, you will always end up hearing the suspension working, especially at slow speeds. That said, the suspension flattens all the road undulations as you up the pace, keeping the car thoroughly stable.