- New Car Test Drive
As noted, the F-Pace looks like an athlete (by SUV standards), and its responses vindicate its appearance, i.e., they’re athletic. Body motions are well controlled; steering is surgically precise, and particularly tactile on center; and tire grip, augmented by all-wheel drive and torque vectoring, sending power to the wheel with traction, inspires a high level of confidence.
Speaking of high: our half-day with the F-Pace took place in high country around Aspen, Colorado, at altitudes ranging from 8000 to over 12,000 feet. Altitude saps horsepower, but even so Jaguar’s supercharged V6 engines delivered impressive punch in tight passing situations.
Punch up the optional Dynamic Mode, and the Jaguar’s computer enhances throttle response, raises transmission shift points, reduces shift time, adds weight to the steering effort, and adds red to the instrument lighting, so you know you’re ready to rock.
Jaguar predicts 0-to-60 mph in 5.1 seconds with the 380-horsepower V6, 5.5 seconds with the 340 hp version, at sea level. Altitude erodes horsepower, but based on our Rocky Mountain high experiences, we have no reason to doubt the claims.
In addition to brisk acceleration and agile dynamics, the F-Pace is also quiet at most speeds on most pavement, and delivers surprisingly supple ride quality.
Another surprise: the F-Pace has moderate off-road capability, with a nifty new feature that allows the driver to negotiate steep uphills and precipitous downhills by setting a specific (low) speed, 3 mph, 5 mph, whatever seems appropriate. Jaguar calls it All Surface Progress Control. Think of it as a low speed cruise control.
One performance element that wasn’t on display in Colorado was the 2.0-liter turbodiesel, 180 horsepower, 318 pound-feet of torque, that will become available this fall. However, the same engine is available in the new XE sedan, which was also part of the Colorado program, and while the F-Pace is substantially heavier, we anticipate respectable performance based on our experience in the diesel-powered XE.