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The Jaguar F-Pace was by far the most polarizing contender at our 2017 SUV of the Year program. Here is a sampling of our judges notebook:

“Intended to look hot, drive hot, and convey a bad boy image (and double Jag sales). Nailing it!”

“On the 22-inch wheels the ride is chattery, but the road noise is borderline intolerable … tire slap dominates the entire experience while putting through town.”

 “The styling sets a new benchmark for the SUV segment, too: Improbable as it sounds, this is an SUV that looks a sexy as a Jaguar should. It’s a remarkable piece of design.” 

“But that ride quality … a sports car I can forgive. A luxury SUV, even a Jag, I’m having more trouble with.” 

“Boy, when the styling makes one’s knees go this wiggly and the driving dynamics put this big a smile on one’s face, one is prepared to forgive a lot of flaws—such as brittle ride quality on the 22s and interior cheapness …”

“I couldn’t recommend this SUV to a friend without the warning: ‘This Jaguar rides like a Conestoga wagon.’”

We clearly had to know more, so we put an order in for a nicely spec’d F-Pace 35t. Jaguar launched its first SUV in the U.S. with three engines: a 2.0-liter 180-hp four-cylinder turbodiesel (named 20d) and two supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 gas engines, making 340 hp and 380 hp and branded 35t and S, respectively. We took the middle path with a F-Pace 35t, not only because we figured it to be the volume seller but also because of the poor ride and handling attributes of the S-model, which we attributed to the 22-inch wheels and low-profile tires. Jaguar ended up sending a nicely loaded R-Sport version, which is middle of the pack that include a unnamed base version, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport, S, and First Edition. For 2018, Jaguar eliminated the 35t and its 340-hp V-6 in favor of two additional 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engines, so our long-term evaluation will be of an orphaned yearling. Oh well.

Our 35t R-Sport arrived with optional Dark Sapphire (dark blue) paint and gloss black roof rails that added a total of $900 ($550/$350) to the tab. Having already sampled their ride, we avoided 22-inch “wagon-wheels”; our standard 20-inch wheels were upgraded to a “Blade Alloy” design that cost an additional $500.

Two packages round out the rest of the optional gear; the Comfort and Convenience package adds heated/cooled front seats and heated rear seats, which also recline, and two levers in the cargo area to drop the second seats. That feature and the gesture control tailgate (which allows the holder of the smart key to open and close the tailgate by making a kick motion at either corner of the bumper) are great if the intent is to load cargo while ones hands are full of surf gear, let’s say.

The Technology Package adds a 10.2-inch touchscreen loaded up with the InControl Touch Pro system, which we have a found a big step up from JLR’s previous infotainment offering. We’ll see what it is like living with it. The other trick tech is under the hood of the instrument cluster, where a 12.3-inch screen replaces traditional gauges.

Rounding out the options are a set of rubber floor mats (front and rear), matching rubber liner for the cargo area, and a cargo net, all for $407. Wheel locks and license plate frame add an additional $191, and a car care kit (we somehow misplaced) is another $50. Seems a bit nickel and dime-y? We found plenty of folks who concur on a couple of F-Pace forums.

Our F-Pace 35t R-Sport totaled $63,343.00. That’s a fair bit of scratch for a sexy new cat—or Conestoga wagon. We’ll tell you which one the F-Pace more closely resembles over the next few months. 

2017 Jaguar F-Pace 35t R Sport
BASE PRICE $57,295
PRICE AS TESTED $64,343
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 3.0L/340-hp/332-lb-ft supercharged DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,416 lb (51/49%)
WHEELBASE 113.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 186.3 x 76.2 x 65.0 in
0-60 MPH 5.2 sec
QUARTER MILE 13.8 sec @ 101.0 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 116 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.83 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.8 sec @ 0.67 g (avg)
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 16.2/25.4/19.3 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 18/23/20 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 187/147 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.97 lb/mile
TOTAL MILEAGE 0,000 mi
AVERAGE FUEL ECONOMY 00.0 mpg
UNRESOLVED PROBLEMS List or None

Erika Pizano

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Erika Pizano

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