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2018 Jaguar F-Pace First Drive Review

What is it?

Why would I buy it?

Strong road presence, Cheaper and better equipped than ever before.

Why would I avoid it?

In-car technology not as refined as the competition.  '

‘Surprisingly good value’ is probably the best way to describe the 2018 Jaguar F-Pace, which is now locally assembled in India. We say surprisingly good value because this new version not only costs Rs 19 lakhs less than before, it also comes standard with more equipment despite being put together locally. That’s a win-win for everyone. 

You may have seen our previous reviews involving the high-end 3-litre R-Sport and the Prestige 20d, but for this test we have gone for the fully-loaded Prestige – the only trim the 2018 F-Pace is offered in. Featuring one of the curviest profiles in the business, this style-focused crossover attracts eyeballs wherever it goes. Despite missing the R-Sport’s belligerent front-end and fancier wheel design, the 2018 version remains distinctive to look at. Some of its defining features come in the form of the F-Type like slim taillights and the pronounced rear haunches. We aren’t fans of the plain look of the 19-inch alloys you see here, but as for the rest, the locally assembled F-Pace looks just as striking and posh as the fully imported version, especially with its bright adaptive LED headlights which are now standard on the car. 

How is it on the inside?

Inside, there’s a bunch of new goodies that have been added as standard. The F-Pace, in fact, gets a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, a fairly high end sound system and four-zone climate control as standard. It even gets configurable ambient lighting and electric recline function for the rear seats. The considerably less expensive 2018 model, then, is great value considering that all of the above features were part of the options list on the imported Prestige trim. Having said that, the F-Pace still doesn’t get lumbar support, electrically assisted tailgate or a 360 degree camera – features that are available in every other high-end crossover. 

As for the design and quality, there aren’t any changes or improvements over the earlier car. Much of the horizontally layered dashboard comes from other Jaguar models, especially the large centre console (housing the climate control and multimedia controls) and the steering wheel. Quality, meanwhile, is great overall but the fit and finish of some of the components, namely the steering mounted controls and the window switches, is lacking next to the rivals. Similarly, the 10.2-inch main display and the digital instrument cluster are nowhere as sharp or engaging as the ones found on the new Audi Q5. 

The seats upfront are large and accommodating but the lack of lumbar support means they aren’t as fully supportive as they can be. That said, the cushioning is just right and there’s more than enough thigh support thanks to the large base. Similarly, the rear seat is wide and supportive with a great deal of contouring for that ‘seated in rather than on it’ feeling. As for the boot, it’s huge even with the rear seats in their place and the loading height is set fairly low, too. Weekend outings won’t be an issue for F-Pace owners.

 

How does it drive?

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. 

Should I buy one?

The Jaguar F-Pace has always been a rather unique offering in the luxury crossover segment, thanks to its performance oriented nature and sports car like details. What’s more, it has also been the priciest among all its rivals except for the Porsche Macan. But thanks to the local assembly, Jaguar is now able to price it much lower and offer something that all high-end car buyers can appreciate i.e. a good looking, feature-rich vehicle that’s actually great value. 

Where does it fit in?

The locally assembled F-Pace is priced at Rs 60.02 lakhs (ex-showroom). In comparison, Volvo’s all-new XC60 costs Rs 55.91 lakhs and the recently launched Audi Q5 comes in at Rs 53.25 lakhs. The oldest offering in this segment, the BMW X3 is the cheapest at Rs 49.10 lakhs. 

 

Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

Click here for our first drive of the 2018 Jaguar XF

Click here for our first drive of the new Audi Q5

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Jaguar F-Pace Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Mumbai₹ 76.98 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 80.72 Lakhs onwards
New Delhi₹ 74.3 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 76.88 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 78.68 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 73.41 Lakhs onwards
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