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Quick review: Focused flagship F-Pace still a winner for Jaguar

2018-11-09 10:40

Sean Parker

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Image: Motorpress

The Jaguar F-Pace has been on sale for a little over two and a half years in South Africa. Since then it has been the Tata-owned automaker’s best-selling vehicle bar the introduction of a smaller SUV called the E-Pace earlier in 2018. 

But the F-Pace remains the flagship SUV of the brand and offers more space, more power and dare I say it, more presence than its younger sibling. 

Recently I got a refresh of the burly SUV when the 25d model arrived for testing. 

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Image: MotorPress

Power? 

It might be badged '25' but under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine producing 177kW. The engine was introduced to the market at the beginning of 2017. 

Power is fed to all four wheels and Jag claims a 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds. It’ll run out of puff at 217km/h and has a claimed fuel consumption of 6.6-litre/100km. 

The availability of low-down torque translated into the SUV moving swiftly off the line whenever I prodded the throttle. Yes, it suffers from turbolag as most forced induction-powered cars do, but it’s not too bad. 

I was impressed with the fuel consumption figure of 8.8-litres/100km after a week of driving, considering that I might have mashed the accelerator a few times to pass taxis moving at a glacial pace.  

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Image: Motorpress

Has it aged well? 

The way people react to the styling of a car is always subjective. 

I first saw the F-Pace at its SA-debut in Knysna two years ago and I was immediately drawn to the front end with that massive, gaping grille. I liked it, it looked different. Unlike every other large SUV on the market. 

And now, close to two and a half years on, the F-Pace still possesses the same macho demeanour it had when it first arrived locally. 

In traffic, the xenon headlights and led daytime driving lights cut an imposing figure. It’s over two metres wide, over four and half metres in length and that translates into an almost bully-like mould when hatchbacks cross its path. 

It has lovely detailed creases on the bonnet that make their way down the shoulders of the car to give it a burly appearance. I think it still looks great, even if the rear doesn’t have the same intensity as the front (but cars never do it seems).

The rear is finished off with yummy oval tailpipes, one on each side. 

The interior does what it needs to do, but it’s not overly luxurious or technically advanced. Nevertheless, comfort features like electric seats, large touchscreen for the infotainment system and, four zone climate control and cruise control make sure you’ll always comfortable. 

Friends of mine were still mesmerised by the rising gear lever, a gimmick, but one that works. 

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Image: Motorpress

Conclusion 

For the past three months, Jaguar has sold 72 F-Paces in Mzansi. And while I was scooting around Cape Town in the 25d I saw quite a handful on the road. 

And that got me thinking. Those people could’ve bought a German SUV that they’d use almost exclusively in an urban area instead they purchased the Jag, which is quite a bold move. 

For me then, it’s no surprise the F-Pace has become such a popular car in automaker’s arsenal. It combines prestige, an expressive exterior design, good perceived build quality and most importantly they bought it for exclusivity. 

What makes my argument even stronger is that Jag’s smaller SUV, the E-Pace is now outselling its bigger brother. For me it’s a no-brainer, if you have the cash (R970 300), and factor in the extra space and 650 litre boot, the F-Pace is brilliant alternative to the Germans. 

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