Driven: Jaguar F-Pace S 200D

I reflect on my week with a fully loaded, R1.4mil Jaguar SUV.

What is it?
The Jaguar F-Pace is still a relatively new sight on our roads. First produced in 2016, just four years ago but after a long gestation on the internet so the shape is super familiar by now. But quite lovely, it managed to win its first international design accolade just a year after rolling off the production line. It is, despite having much of its initial shock and awe diluted over the last half-decade, still a beautiful shape with the stylings of the F-Type in its DNA, albeit at twice the scale.

How does it look?
Expensive. That’s how it looks. Especially our test car, resplendent in Yulong white and brimming with circa R200k of options. Most notably, gloss black 22-inch fifteen-spoke alloy hoops in each cavernous arch, to give this kitty some bite. Ours also has the optional panoramic roof, LED headlamps with J-Blade running lights, and an electrically deployable tow bar. The cabin gets a snazzy (optional) headlining and ambient lighting, mood lighting, 4-zone climate control, 4-way lumbar adjustment, and heated front seats. And there’s more, but to list all the extras would diminish what is already a great luxury whip in standard spec. Standard guise still being a R1.2mil SUV. Thankfully, one does feel like a million bucks plus oneself, in a Jag.

What about living with it?
The cabin space of our F-Pace S 200D is a tactile and luxurious masterclass. Jaguar has gone for the spectacle of luxury rather than the more practical approach of the Germans. So, gear levers that rise, illumination that dazzles, and sumptuous leather that pulls you into its seats. Ironically, it no longer feels as special as it once did, and that’s only because the cabin feels derivative of the rest of the range. The XJ, XF, and XE saloons led the way, the F-Type fortified the experience and the F-Pace and E-Pace did well to carry the torch. But at this point, the i-Pace has the most innovative cabin – and that’s ok. Because the F-Pace has a different brief, obligation that it needs to meet. Clearly, transporting up to five adults (or younglings) in supreme comfort (even on these massive rims), safely and with plenty of multimedia and connectivity options, and a premium sound system to boot. Top. Marks.

How does it go?
The F-Pace is a bus that wafts, a comfortable cruiser with 177kW and 500Nm on tap, distilled from a two-litre 4-cylinder turbo miĺl. All of this glorious shunt and grunt makes its way to all four wheels courtesy of an 8-speed automatic box and the overall result is a buttery smooth 7-second sprint to 100kph. Whilst turning over just 5.8l/100km of diesel on your least spirited driving. Impressive for a 1.8 ton (unladen) SUV.

Should you buy one?
Well now, look. Jaguar knows how to cobble together a charming, sporty luxury vehicle and the F-Pace S is no exception. But I would be remiss not to mention that for R1.4mil the world is your oyster. And there are very compelling rivals from the Germans and hell, even from Porsche and Alfa Romeo. If you’re a fan of the big cat, you can buy this with confidence knowing that is a great premium SUV. Albeit in a world full of great premium SUVs.

Quick Stats: Car Name
Price: R1,174,900 (our test car R1,388,604)
Powertrain: 2.0l 4-cyl turbodiesel awd, 177kW, 500Nm, 8-speed auto
Performance: 0-100kph in 7.2 seconds, 217kph top speed, 5.8l/100km fuel consumption

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