The SUV – or SAV – is an accepted derivation: not common to all motor manufacturers, but a very sizeable proportion. Thus we have luxury marques launching sports utility vehicles / sports activity vehicles largely because this segment is a proven growth area. Jaguar recently joined the throng with the much awaited F-Pace.

F-Pace is roughly the same size as sister company Land Rover’s Discovery Sport, with which it shares some mechanicals. However, it isn’t simply a rebadged Land Rover; its architecture actually has more in common with Jaguar’s XE and XF saloons. The result is a super-stiff body with abundant aluminium and other lightweight materials to shed weight and improve agility. This is very much a road-focused SUV, with the plus factor being that the AWD options have impressive off-roading technology.

F-Pace is available in 4-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel; V6 3.0-litre diesel and V6 3.0-litre petrol – the V6s have AWD and 8-speed A/T.

The pick of the engine range is the V6 diesel. It allows for a more relaxing driving experience due to considerably more low-end pulling power – it therefore better complements the F-Pace’s sporting credentials. Ride-wise, choose from the standard ‘passive’ suspension to the more sophisticated ‘adaptive’ set-up; the latter is standard on the 3.0d AWD.

The passive set-up is firm around town due to larger-than-standard alloy wheels, but matters improve on the highway. On the plus side, there’s very little of the wallow / lurch body movement associated with old-school 4x4s; and the adaptive set-up is better. Select the most comfortable setting and it’s noticeably more supple than the passive mode, although there’s still a firm edge over uneven tar.

For the full article see Habitat #257 January / February 2017