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On the pace

PUBLISHED: 10:45 12 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:45 12 July 2016

The 2L diesel gives an average of 57.7mpg combined

The 2L diesel gives an average of 57.7mpg combined

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The F-Pace marks Jaguar’s debut in the luxury sport utility vehicle market.

It is easy to feel at home at the wheel of the Jaguar F-PaceIt is easy to feel at home at the wheel of the Jaguar F-Pace

Following the new XE and XF saloons and all-wheel drive F-Type Coupe is the F-Pace – Jaguar’s first sport utility crossover and its fastest selling new model. Billed as the ultimate practical sports cars, the F-Pace is a performance crossover.

Looks and image

The F-Pace looks imposing – a medium-sized SUV that also competes with larger SUVs when it comes to space and ability. Jaguar has benchmarked the F-Pace against the Porsche Macan for handling, BMW X4 for price and Audi Q5 for practicality. The F-Pace may take Jaguar in a new direction but it’s unmistakably a Big Cat, drawing on styling and design cues from the F-Type sports car.

Does it drive like a Jaguar?

Absolutely. This is an SUV that thinks it’s a sports car, with chassis technology and suspension and steering know-how from the F-Type. The result is finely-honed handling and precise, well-weighted steering so the F-Pace can be hustled along twisty country roads, with very little body roll, in a way that belies its size and weight – 1,665kg to 1,884kg thanks to extensive use of aluminium in the structure and bodywork. The downside is that the ride is firm.

While not a serious off-roader, all-wheel drive models offer clever technologies such as adaptive surface response to adapt throttle, transmission and stability control to maximise available traction and all-surface progress control which looks after the selected speed while the driver just steers.

Under the bonnet

The F-Pace also shares its all-wheel drive system with the F-Type and 340 and 380PS 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engines – able to reach 62mph in a tad over five seconds but thirsty on fuel.

Most owners will go for the turbo diesels - the new 180PS Ingenium 2.0-litre - which is available with a six-speed manual gearbox in rear-wheel drive versions but all-wheel drive models, with the excellent eight-speed auto, will be most popular, and the 300PS 3.0-litre V6.

The smaller unit is gutsy enough to make decent progress, and refined unless worked hard, returning 42mpg overall. The bigger V6 is decidedly brisk and more relaxing to drive, surging forward with the merest prod of the throttle with a whopping 700 Newton metres of torque, but returned 33mpg.

Space and comfort

The F-Pace has abundant space front and back for six-footers to stretch their legs, but the optional panoramic glass roof eats into the otherwise plentiful rear headroom. There’s a 650lt boot and all models get a powered tailgate as standard. Rear seat backs split 40/20/40 and fold flat to create a long, 1,740-litre load bay. The reversible boot floor is carpet on one side and rubber on the other.

At the wheel

It’s easy to feel at home in the driving seat with a good range of manual seat and wheel adjustment on Prestige and R-Sport models and even more with Portfolio and S models’ electric seats and wheel.

All models get Jaguar’s intuitive InControl Touch infotainment system with eight-inch touch screen as standard while the upgraded ultra quick InControl Touch Pro, with a 10.2in screen, is Jaguar’s most advanced infotainment system ever.

Jaguar F-Pace 2.0 diesel

Engine: 1,999cc, 180PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel

Performance: 0-60mph 8.5 seconds; top speed 130mph (AWD auto 8.2 seconds, 129mph)

MPG: 57.7 combined (AWD auto 53.3)

CO2 emissions: 129g/km (AWD auto 139g/km)

Jaguar F-Pace 3.0 Diesel AWD

Engine: 2,993cc, 300PS, V6 turbo diesel

Performance: 0-60mph 5.8 seconds; top speed 150mph

MPG: 47.1 combined

CO2 emissions: 159g/km

Price: £34,170 to £51,450

Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

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