The Goodwood Test: Jaguar F-Pace S

13th February 2017
erin_baker_headshot.jpg Erin Baker

Each week our team of experienced senior road testers pick out a new model from the world of innovative, premium and performance badges, and put it through its paces.



It comes as no surprise that the cupboard is rather bare in this department. Jaguar has a fine automotive history: racing heritage, two-seater sportscar heritage? Plenty of both. SUV heritage? A very recent one which can be dated back to, er, last year. Jaguar is to be commended for not taking a platform from sister company Land Rover, but instead collating architecture from the XE and XF. The next iteration of Paced crossover-sized SUVs has already been shown: the electric I-Pace. But until it goes on sale this year, the F-Pace is Jaguar’s sole foray into SUV-topia.

We tested the S version, with it’s 3.0-litre, V6, 296bhp group engine, auto eight-speed gearbox and AWD system. The F-Pace has a raft of competent competitors, from the Mercedes GLC to the Porsche Macan, via the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, to name but a few.



Ian Callum has once again done a fine job with the exterior styling. The F-Pace has chunky proportions, sporty headlights and a svelte rear end. In profile, the sloping coupe roofline gives a sleek addition to the line-up, despite the jacked up ride height and girth of the car.

Inside, the materials, graphics and layout will be familiar to anyone who has owned a Jag, or indeed a Land Rover in the past couple of years – the rising rotary gear knob is still there, and the infotainment touchscreen, although not the most sophisticated the group has to offer (our XJ a few weeks ago had an updated version with pinch-to-zoom graphics, and wait until you see what emerges from Land Rover at the Geneva show in March), is still smart and easy to navigate.

Our F-Pace was painted Italian Racing Red (£675), with 22in double helix silver wheels (£1,600) and privacy glass (£375). The result was one of the best looking crossovers on the market today.



You can’t fault the lack of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness), and although we’ve heard reports that the 2.0-litre Ingenium engine is noisy, the V6 purred like a Coventry Cat should, laying down its 516ib-ft of torque through all four wheels. But the ride felt oddly, well, wobbly would be the technical term. Maybe those wheels are just too big for it; something felt a little out of kilter. Again, we seem to be the odd ones out here – everyone else loves the F-Pace, and the powertrain is as seamless as ever, with imperceptible, lightning quick gearshifts from the familiar ZF box. The steering makes light work of the weight and size of the vehicle – you could just as easily be in the small XE saloon.



See Goodwood Tests passim for the passion part of SUV reviews: it’s not quite the right term for a five-seat vehicle majoring on the practicality factor. But the design and engineering teams at Jaguar have once again managed to inject some of that peculiar British luxury DNA into an SUV. The F-Pace certainly feels like a different proposition to one of the big German Three and, more credible still, it also doesn’t feel like a small Land Rover, which it so easily could have done, had Jaguar been minded to take the cynical marketing option of simply rebadging a different car. Credit to them for that.

Price as tested: £59,665

  • Jaguar

  • the goodwood test

  • F-Pace

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