Tallying further variations
"Dynamic yet practical."
"Looks agile and lives up to that appearance."
"The turbo-four engine exceeded my expectations in just about every way," said Issam.
While we tested many engine variants from Jaguar’s new SUV, the F-PACE, we decided to drive the cheapest one in terms of pricing. I am talking about the 2.0-liter turbocharged F-PACE, which is the entry variant into the SUV segment within Jaguar. Guess what: it is priced at nearly $70,000 USD on the road in the Lebanese market.
Meet the F-PACE, the British brand’s first off-roader and a car that, not amazingly considering the global appetite for luxury SUVs, is the most popular model followed by the XE. It is highly speculated that the new E-PACE (which we drove a couple of months ago) will also be among the top three sellers of Jaguar’s lineup.
How does it drive?
As for seeing how it drives, the Lebanese roads are quite a good reference because the public roads are the perfect experiment to undergo testing, ironically speaking! The F-PACE is clearly familiar and sits near the top of the class for overall dynamics and performance. Even when fitted with the standard non-adaptive suspension and riding on the smallest 19-inch alloys in the 2.0-liter, the F-PACE’s basic character inclines in the direction of the sportier end of the premium SUV segment with precise, well-weighted steering and sure-footed handling with plenty of amenability that isolates the interior of most bumps from vibrating into the cabin.
Jaguar’s 2.0-liter offers a good combination of performance and fuel economy and brings the F-PACE’s weight down to 1760 kg too. It’s 101 kg less than the V6 petrol version, which counts as almost one passenger in the vehicle.
I’ve already driven the F-PACE many times with the 340 horsepower and 380 horsepower V6. As I drove off from Saad&Trad, official distributor of Jaguar in Lebanon, I noticed how much quieter the engine and exhaust were on this F-PACE. Surprisingly, when I reached my destination, I did some calculations and I was pretty amazed by its fuel consumption. I got 7.9 liters per 100 km on the 112 km trip from the dealership to my destination. Pretty impressive! It is clear that this engine doesn’t have the power of the 380 horsepower version, but it’s not so much down on power that it bothered me during the weekend drive. It was mainly highway and I didn’t push it at all as I was in some pretty good but moving traffic.
I heard many people around me saying that the standard four-cylinder engine is too slow and Jaguar is making a big mistake. But when some of them joined me during the weekend drive they honestly made up their mind by saying it’s a great engine and perfect for the F-PACE. Buyers still have the 380 horsepower V6 to choose from if they want more power. But in our market where the custom taxes are pretty high the F-PACE 2.0T is the one you want to acquire.
Pros: Efficient and agile engine, attractive look, competitive price tag, quiet cabin
Cons: Interior needs some improvements in terms of quality material, smartphone app integration is varying and frequently screws up the order in which your songs are to be played
Rivals: Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Alfa Romeo Stelvio
one word: practicality
4 stars / 5 stars
2.0L turbocharged, 4-cylinders, 250 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 365 Nm @ 1,200-4,500 rpm
AWD, 8-speed ZF automatic
0-100 km/h: 6.8 secs, top speed: 217 km/h, fuel consumption combined: 7.4 L/100 km
Weight: 1,760 kg