We fell in love with the sporty style and sharp handling of Jaguar’s F-Pace at our 2017 SUV of the Year competition, but a starchy ride and polarizing interior torpedoed it from the top spot. Still, we had to know what a yearlong jag with this all-new Jag would be like. Could we deal with the stiff suspenders? And what of the whispers of questionable reliability? Thirteen months of “loanership” later, we have plenty of miles and, oddly, some feelz (as the kids say).
As I live only 3 miles from work and travel regularly, I cannot take credit for all 22,431 miles we racked up. It took an army of commuting colleagues and long-distance haulers to spin the odometer, from social media editor Carol Ngo, to photographers Jade Nelson and Robin Trajano, to online pros Colin Woodard and Erika Pizano.
Everyone raved at the F-Pace’s curb appeal. “Beautiful design and everyday usability,” Instagrammer-in-chief Ngo noted.
I too liked how it looked from the beginning all the way to the day we handed the keys back. This is pretty rare, as I normally go blind to my long-termer after a two- to three-month honeymoon. But even to my jaundiced eyes, the F-Pace looks as fresh as ever. Taut, muscular, well-proportioned, and perfectly sized for my ’hood and lifestyle.
As Carol notes, the flexibility of this two-row, midsize SUV is compelling. Surfing is my regular thing, and fitting 6-foot boards in bags with either the 60- or the 40-side seat folded down was never an issue. The optional heavy-duty rubber mats in the cargo area and footwells were also a godsend for containing sand and moisture.
Our F-Pace even does a pretty good job as an impromptu shelter, associate online editor Woodard noted: “When we forgot our tent on a camping trip with features editor Scott Evans and his wife, my wife and I spent the weekend sleeping in the F-Pace. It wasn’t the Four Seasons, but we actually slept pretty well. We even had a good view of the stars thanks to the panoramic moonroof.”
For me, the drive was like a broken-in pair of jeans by the end of our loan, but only in “light load” mode, with 9 pounds of air pressure removed from each tire. At factory specs, the F-Pace’s ride crashes over the line of acceptably stiff. If you’re going to live with this vehicle in an area with especially bad pavement (hello, Detroit), consider avoiding it entirely—or swapping to a tire and wheel combination that gives you more bump-soaking sidewall.
The 340-horsepower V-6 took a second to spin up, but once underway it was always ready to punch holes in traffic, with a satisfyingly hollow growl. I spent the first 5,000 miles driving around in Normal mode and most of the rest of the time in ECO, which limbers up throttle response and aims for the most efficient gearing. Mother Earth–loving chill-out modes like this usually come at the expense of immediacy, but Jaguar’s ECO mode is one of the best. It didn’t turn the F-Pace into a penalty box in exchange for fair fuel economy. The 35t powertrain struck quite a nice balance, so it’s a shame the engine is an orphan, launched in year one as a stopgap ahead of the turbo four-cylinder gas and diesel options (a 380-hp version of the engine remains available, however).
All 2016 and newer Jaguar vehicles come with “EliteCare,” which is a limited warranty covering five years or 60,000 miles, complimentary scheduled maintenance, roadside assistance, and updates to the infotainment system (which are regular). Jaguar claims EliteCare is best in class, and a quick check of the competition reveals that to be true, sorta. Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz offer fewer years and/or miles on their warranties. The only one that matches Jaguar (and betters, with an additional 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty) is Genesis—but it does not currently have a CUV that rivals F-Pace.
The only mechanical issue we had with our vehicle was the combined ignition and auto stop/start gremlin, which was covered for free under EliteCare. While in for that service, we requested a four-wheel alignment that cost $99.00.
At the very tail end of our loan, our F-Pace did start to creak a bit coming in and out of driveways and over speedbumps, similar to the way our long-term BMW M3 did. I didn’t get a chance to have the dealer check out the problem to see if it was pieces and parts of the interior rubbing or the dust-in-the-door-seals issue we discovered in our BMW. That will unfortunately remain a question, but for the record, our F-Pace never left us stranded or completely failed to start, and none of the major systems threw error codes or warning lights. For at least one of the aforementioned road warriors, this wasn’t enough.
“I’m torn on the F-Pace,” Woodard said. “It sounded great, the V-6 made plenty of power, and it ended up being surprisingly fun to drive. It was also a practical daily driver, offering plenty of room for four adults, a week’s worth of groceries, and with the rear seats down, two bicycles. On the other hand, it had way too many electrical issues for a new car. From the infotainment system regularly glitching to the rearview camera occasionally not coming on when I put the car in reverse and all the surprise shutdowns, there was just too much that kept going wrong. Jaguar has some work to do before I’d feel comfortable recommending the F-Pace to a friend or family member.”
I can recommend an F-Pace, new or off-lease, provided interested parties are fully informed of the issues we had. Part of this is because of a new wrinkle to my loanership experience this time around: I discovered the extremely helpful world of online forums. After publication of our F-Pace intro, Greg Craig, an owner of the more powerful F-Pace S, reached out with the helpful suggestion to reduce my tire pressures and to consult the community at fpaceforum.com if I ever needed assistance. And so I did, about random topics including the stop/start issue, updates to the ICTP system, and creaks at 22,000 miles. The ability to compare notes and seek advice from a community was helpful and reassuring.
As my time with the orphan F-Pace 35t drew to a close, I found myself oddly sad about its departure. I’m normally an “on-to-the-next” kinda guy, but this Jaguar had character rare in modern cars, beauty and athleticism I never tired of, and flaws that weren’t deal breakers.
Read more about our long-term 2017 Jaguar F-Pace:
- Update 1: Baseline Testing
- Update 2: How to Improve Ride Quality
- Update 3: Coconut Juice Eco Mode
- Update 4: Ride Quality and Key Fob Foibles
- Update 5: Auto Stop/Start/Restart Part 1
- Update 6: Auto Stop/Start/Restart Part 2
|SERVICE LIFE||10 mo / 15,592 mi|
|OPTIONS||Technology pkg ($3,200: touch-screen infotainment, navigation, 60GB hard drive, CD/DVD player, 3G WiFi w/3 mo free data, TFT/LCD instrument panel, Meridian 825W audio w/17 speakers); Comfort and Convenience pkg ($1,800: ventilated front seats, heated rear seats w/pwr recline, remote 2nd row release, gesture tailgate release); metallic paint ($550); 20″ Blade wheels ($500); Rubber mats/cargo nets ($407), Activity key ($400), Gloss black roof rails ($350); Wheel locks ($191); Car care kit ($50)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$64,743|
|AVG ECON/CO2||20.6 mpg / 0.94 lb/mi|
|PROBLEM AREAS||Auto stop/start|
|MAINTENANCE COST||$99 alignment|
|3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE*||$52,500 (81%)|
|*IntelliChoice data; assumes 42,000 miles at the end of 3-years|
|2017 Jaguar F-Pace 35t R Sport|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Supercharged 90-deg V-6, alum block/heads|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||182.8 cu in/2,995 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||340 hp @ 6,500 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||332 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||13.0 lb/hp|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||13.8-in vented disc; 12.8-in vented disc, ABS|
|WHEELS||8.5 x 20-in cast aluminum|
|TIRES||255/50R20 109W (M+S) Goodyear Eagle F1 AT SUV 4×4|
|TRACK, F/R||64.6/65.1 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||186.3 x 76.2 x 65.0 in|
|GROUND CLEARANCE||8.4 in|
|APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE||25.5/25.7 deg|
|TURNING CIRCLE||38.9 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||4,416 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||51/49%|
|TOWING CAPACITY||5,290 lb|
|HEADROOM, F/R||37.8/37.5 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||40.3/37.2 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||57.7/55.8 in|
|CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R||63.5/33.5 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||2.6|
|QUARTER MILE||13.8 sec @ 101.0 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||116 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.83 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||26.8 sec @ 0.67 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,700 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$64,743|
|AIRBAGS||6: Dual front, front side, f/r head|
|BASIC WARRANTY||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||16.6 gal|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||16.2/25.4/19.3 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||18/23/20 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||187/147 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.97 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|
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