If success is largely about first impressions, Jaguar has aced the initial meeting with its 2017 F-Pace that arrives as the brand's initial utility model — a stylish high-torque compact SUV with capability to spare. And this job candidate isn't just an interview star; it delivers the goods after nabbing the job.
The F-Pace, which is accurately described in the marketing campaign as a "performance SUV," leans toward performance with its supercharged 3.0L V-6 — a 380-hp powerplant that's tuned to deliver torque at highway speeds. This vehicle will appeal to executive drivers who like to drive.
The F-Pace's V-6 comes in two power ratings, including a 340-hp model. Jaguar is also offering a four-cylinder diesel model that makes 180 hp.
Jaguar Land Rover is offering the F-Pace in five trim grades, including the base model, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport, and S. The 20d designates a diesel F-Pace, while the 35t notes a gasoline V-6. All-wheel drive is standard across the lineup.
Part of the reason why the F-Pace is so light on its feet comes from the extensive use of aluminum body panels. The body is 80% aluminum and 20% high-strength steel, which includes one-third recycled aluminum. The doors are made of steel to improve weight distribution.
We tested the 2017 F-Pace S on the winding roads of the Sequoia National Park on the western slope of the High Sierras. There were no switchbacks the vehicle couldn't master, and the all-wheel drive capability was well suited for sporadic rainfall that made the drive more challenging. The vehicle offers several traction-control modes for various driving surfaces.
The F-Pace comes with automatic stop-start that helps increase operating efficiency. It has been rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to achieve 23 mpg on the highway, 18 mpg in the city, and 20 mpg in combined driving.
In the cabin, the F-Pace adds Jaguar Land Rover's next-generation InControl Touch Pro that provides a quantum leap in processing power and a 10.2-inch touchscreen. The system will also be rolled out with the 2017 Land Rover Discovery.