When Jaguar launched the all new F-PACE late in 2015 they signalled that they were ready to take on the other prestige brands. Including the sister brand Range Rover. Jaguar’s Lightweight Aluminium Architecture is shared with some Range Rover models, Jaguar, as you would expect, launched a stunningly beautiful vehicle that quickly became a segment leader.
Jaguar is a brand that is better known for stunning sports cars like the classic E-Type or long distance tourers like the XJ. When you think of Jaguar, SUVs are definitely not the first thing that comes to mind. However the F-PACE and now the E-PACE have changed that thought. It makes sense given the DNA available from Land Rover.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S External
In a word, beautiful. F-PACE has got the lines and proportions spot on. The F-PACE continues the design flair of the F Type sports car. It has typical flowing lines of a Jaguar. The DNA is obvious as is the purity of the design with F-TYPE-inspired features such as the powerful rear haunches, fender vents and distinctive tail light graphics.
There is a bold front grille and muscular with elements such as slender full-LED headlights, forged 22-inch wheels running 255/50 R20 tyres and short front overhang carry the design vision of the C-X17 concept through to production.
Features such as the vent detail in the rear of the front fenders, the sway along the lower edge of the door sills, the almost coupe lines, all add to the visual appeal. When I was driving the F-PACE I was stopped a number of times for people just to have a look. It has definite popular appeal.
The taut surfaces and clean lines of the bodysides – formed from a single sheet of aluminium – reflect Jaguar’s world-leading expertise in designing, engineering and manufacturing vehicles using this lightweight material.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S Internal
My first impression sitting inside is that the driver has absolute focus from the vehicle. That doesn’t mean the other occupants are left behind, but you immediately feel part of the vehicle as the driver. The air conditioned leather front sports seats are amazing, with multiple electronic adjustments for comfort. Four way lumbar adjustment support is spot on and there is plenty of seat slide for taller drivers as well as head room.
Everything is sleek with an understated elegance. From the semi wrap around door sills that flow into the dash to the completely smooth centre console, courtesy of the theatrical pop up transmission controls.
A thick leather steering wheel perfectly frames the three dial instrument binnacle. The large centre dial is the speedo, the right the temperature gauges and the left is the MFD which is customisable and menu driven. White on black dials are crisp and the clarity excellent.
There is an Optional 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display with four visual themes and full-screen navigation display, supplemented by optional laser head-up display.
The steering wheel has conveniently placed thumb swells, that allow either thumbs out driving in the ten to ten past style or you can hook them in in the quarter to and past style. I also like the fact that the indicator and lighting stalks sit proud of the wheel spokes for better visibility, while the transmission paddles are hidden.
The main black theme with white trim and highlights and mood lighting add to the overall appeal of the interior. The leather seats are soft, supple and feel as though they would only become more comfortable with time and use. Throughout the dash, door trims and more the same leather enhances the luxury feel.
Although the door sills feel a little high, the centre console arm rest is perfectly positioned. Trimmed in white leather might not be the best if you have errant kids though. The sleek theme continues with digital controls sitting behind the circular transmission controls and up the centre stack.
While I appreciate the majesty and beauty of the pop up transmission control, it does use a lot of space that could be better used for storage. Form vs function. The stack also houses the Touch Pro: advanced infotainment system with 10-inch touchscreen which, once you get used to it, is intuitive to use and probably has more functions than most drivers will use.
Rear occupants are also treated well. There are two individually sculptured seats that are very comfortable. The back will manually recline (automatic adjustment is an option) but the seat squab is a touch short for taller passengers.
Likewise, taller passengers may feel the curved ‘C’ pillar is intrusive when getting in and out. There is good head, shoulder and derriere room with adequate knee and leg room. Passengers also have a suite of controls for the rear air conditioner, seat ventilation and connectivity. Door storage is a little restricted.
The seats fold in a 40/20/40 configuration for maximum flexibility and add to the impressive boot capacity of 500 plus litres. Boot capacity changes depending on whether the spare is a full size or space saver repair.
The boot area has tie down points, retractable hooks and a low load height and excellent shape at a little over 1.2m wide, as well as the automatic boot lid opening high enough for my 190cm frame to stand under comfortably. The floor itself is reversible: one side is carpeted, the other rubberised – making it ideal for sports equipment or pets.
Overall storage is good, with decent cup holders for front occupants, medium size centre console and glove box and fold down arm rest for rear passengers with cup holders. There is also a little spot in front of the transmission lever for phones.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S Features
Whether you want to start the engine using a smartphone app, have a navigation system that can tell your contacts when you’ll arrive for your meeting, connect up to eight devices using the Wi-Fi hotspot, or just stream your favourite playlists – the F-PACE delivers.
The amount of computing ability in some vehicles today is amazing. Touch Pro is designed and developed in-house around technologies including a quad-core processor and ultra-fast Ethernet network.
The system features a 10-inch Touchscreen and, like a tablet, there are no buttons: in their place are soft keys integrated into the bottom section of the Touchscreen, making interaction smooth and seamless and customisation convenient.
Touch Pro offers a choice of two digital audio systems developed with renowned British experts Meridian, including a 17-speaker, 825W Surround Sound System which delivers ideal sound reproduction with benchmark low levels of distortion.
Drivers can use their iOS and Android smartphones and the Remote app to connect with the F-PACE from anywhere in the world. Remote Essentials functionality can show if the vehicle is locked or not and if any of the doors or windows are open. It can also show how much fuel is in the tank, where the vehicle was last parked, and warnings such as low windscreen washer fluid levels.
Remote Premium goes much further, enabling the driver to use their phone to lock or unlock the car, receive an alert if the alarm goes off, and reset the alarm. The beep and flash feature can help drivers to find the car – ideal for large multi-story carparks.
In addition to this technology, there is a long list of standard features, matched by an equally long list of options. Unfortunately things like heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, electronically adjustable steering column, activity key, head up display and others luxury items are part of the options list.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S Engine and Drivetrain
The F-PACE 35t S is powered an all-aluminium 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine which is shared with the F-TYPE sports car. This produces power of 280 kW @ 6500 rpm and torque of 450 Nm @ 1500-4500rpm.
The engine is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission and torque on demand all-wheel drive. The 280kW (380PS) engine is exclusive to the F-PACE S model and can launch it from 0-100km/h in only 5.5 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
Performance is characterised by the immediate throttle response throughout the rev range, linear power delivery and unique intake and exhaust sound. Under normal driving conditions, all of the engine’s torque is sent to the rear axle, maintaining a rear-wheel drive character.
Whenever greater traction is needed, Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) ensures that precisely the right amount of torque is transferred to the front axle. From a standstill it can make the transition from 100 per cent rear-bias to a 50:50 torque split in 165 milliseconds or just 100 milliseconds when the car is moving and is virtually transparent to the driver. IDD is also networked to JaguarDrive Control and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system so that torque distribution can be even further optimised.
The AWD system in the F-PACE is made more effective still by Jaguar’s Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR) technology. AdSR (which requires the fitment of Adaptive Dynamics) adapts the maps of the throttle, transmission and DSC system according to the type of surface.
When fitted, AdSR replaces Rain, Ice, and Snow mode in the JaguarDrive Control system. AdSR debuted in the XF with two modes – one for low-friction surfaces such as snow and ice, and one for medium-friction surfaces such as wet tarmac or gravel.
In the F-PACE, a third mode has been developed for high-drag conditions such as deep snow and deep gravel to further exploit the vehicle’s inherent capability.
Our F-PACE had monotube dampers that contribute to a reduction in unsprung mass but they are also more responsive than conventional twin-tube dampers, and therefore offer superior ride control. Adaptive Dynamics, takes this to the next level.
By monitoring body movement 100 times a second and wheel movement 500 times a second, the system provides continuously variable damping to suit the conditions, delivering an even more comfortable ride at lower speeds and even better handling at higher speeds.
Configurable Dynamics, first developed for the F-TYPE, enables the driver to tailor the vehicle’s character by individually selecting dynamic or normal modes for the throttle mapping, transmission shift strategy, steering feel and, where fitted, the Adaptive Dynamics system, all using the central touchscreen.
With the Touch Pro premium InControl infotainment system, the Dynamic-i feature is available. Dynamic-i displays a stopwatch, g-meter read-out and a map of accelerator pedal position for the ultimate driver engagement.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S Driving Experience
It is interesting jumping in a SUV from a manufacturer that has a long history of making sports cars. Can they transfer that driving dynamics to their SUVs? The day I picked up the F-PACE it was hectic, we were ding 4 or five cars that day swapping them and I wasn’t really focused on the Jaguar.
On approach my initial thoughts were the Blue looks pretty good and I have always liked the design. I jumped in, impressed by the interior colour scheme and then pulled out onto Parramatta rd.
There was a bit of traffic behind, so I gave the accelerator a quick burst and then thought to myself. I have something special here. It just surged under the right foot. There was no delay or hesitation, just a complete linear surge of power. Awesome!
That first sense of delight only left me when I had to unfortunately return the F-PACE to the dealership. The word ‘Jaguaresque” or comes to mind. I know it’s not a real word, but it should be. In every aspect the F-PACE displayed the complete Jaguar DNA.
The chassis dynamics handled everything asked of it without fuss, the balance between steering input and throttle input allowed me to have complete control at all times and revel in that direct responsiveness. The engine blip provided an aural delight and the ride, even on uneven surfaces and mid corner bumps was so smooth, it just soaked it all up.
In tight twisty undulating roads, there was minimal weight shift through corners, it just sat flat and you had to push extremely hard to engender minimal understeer. It might sound a bit kitschy, but as a driver you felt as one with the vehicle. It is an engaging drive that stirs all the senses.
We took the F-PACE on one of our Christmas light expeditions with four adults and everyone was totally relaxed. It’s fair to say that I REALLY liked driving the Jag. Hated giving it back.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S Dimensions
The Jaguar F-PACE dimensions are: 4731mm long, 1936mm wide, 1667mm high and a wheelbase of 2874mm. This places it around the middle of the segment in size. As the most dirt the F-PACE is likely to see is the gravel driveway to the weekend abode, it really isn’t appropriate to discuss clearance, wading depths etc.
However towing at 2400 kg and a tow ball weight of 240 kg means that it is more than useful for the jet skis or small boat or lightweight camper etc. It does promote an active lifestyle.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S Safety
The F-PACE offers all of the technologies needed to make journeys easier and safer, from traction systems to get you moving on low friction surfaces to Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist to reduce driver fatigue. The collection of safety technologies have resulted in the F-PACE being awarded the full five-star safety rating from testing body ANCAP.
Some key features include; All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), Low Friction Launch (LFL), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Forward Traffic Detection, Forward Vehicle Guidance is fitted as part of the optional 360º Surround Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Reverse Traffic Detection, Park Assist
Standard safety items include: dynamic stability control (DSC), roll stability control (RSC), electronic traction control (ETC), trailer stability assist (TSA), hill start assist (HSA), anti-lock braking system (ABS), emergency brake lights (EBL), emergency brake assist (EBA) , corner brake control (CBC), forward traffic monitor, 360 degree park assist, adaptive driving beam, six airbags: driver and passenger, thorax, and side curtain airbags. Front and rear seat occupants are also protected by seatbelt pre-tensioners, while two ISOFIX points are fitted to the outer rear seats for the protection of small children.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S Fit for Purpose
Jaguar F-PACE is all about the driving experience for the family. It will comfortably fit four with luggage and transport them in luxury, comfort and style. It will do all this while providing the driver with a thoroughly engaging driving experience. It is also exceptionally fast point to point. In short it fits the brief of a prestige AWD SUV perfectly.
Jaguar F-PACE 35t S Summary
If you have read this article, or if you are just cutting to the summary, let me state that I REALLY loved driving the F-PACE. It brings all the Jaguar DNA into an SUV body that is popular with families. The performance, ride, handling and sheer enjoyment that the F-PACE 35t S provides is stunning.
It is definitely not for heading any further that an occasional dirt road or sand excursions. My belief is that it won’t even see that. However I would grab one tomorrow to head to the snow, or to drive to Noosa, rather than fly as the journey would be just as enjoyable as the holiday.
I am reflecting on how I can best describe the F-PACE. Some words come to mind. Stylish, elegant, engaging and symbiotic come to mind. There are a few cars that I become attached to and very reluctantly give back. The Jaguar F-PACE 35t S is one of them.
Also look at:
- Smooth performance
- Stylish looks
- Dynamic ride/handling
- No Apple CarPlay®/Android® Auto
- Limited off road capability
- Pricey options
Model Jaguar F-Pace 35T S
- Model Price $107,823 MLP*
- Engine 0 L V6 Supercharged
- Drivetrain AWD 8 speed Auto
- Power 280 kW @ 6500 rpm
- Torque 450 Nm @ 4500 rpm
- Safety 5 Star ANCAP
- CO2 Emissions 209 g/km
- Economy ADR 9 L/100km
- Tow Capacity 2400 kg
- Tow Ball Rating 200 kg
- Servicing TBC
- Warranty 3 Yr./ 100,000 km with 3 Yr. roadside assist
Overall Rating: 87/100
- Behind the Wheel 9
- Comfort 10
- Equipment 9
- Performance 10
- Ride & Handling 9
- Practicality 9
- Fit for Purpose 9
- Towing Ability 7
- Adventure Ability 6
- Value for Money 9