It's been six months since our long-term 2018 Jaguar F-Pace S arrived to warm our hands and hearts. Jaguar's most popular model with consumers was equally popular with the Autoblog staff. We drove it 13,000 miles and would continue to rack up more if Jaguar would just let us keep the keys. It was a great follow-up to our fuel-efficient but slightly gutless 2017 Jaguar XE diesel.
Our Caesium Blue bomber is loaded with nearly every option. That includes heated seats front and rear, a black package that swaps out chrome for black trim, and a full-size spare (that takes up a lot space). The S model's supercharged 3.0-liter V6 sends 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. All in, our F-Pace S will set you back $74,640.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I spent a lot of time in the F-Pace this year. It's powerful, sporty, looks sharp (love the lively blue-purple paint) and has a solid interior.
The styling resonated with me. I think Jaguar design boss Ian Callum and team nailed the proportions and curves. A crossover was sure to be controversial with Jag loyalists, but it's beautiful, and the reasoning for joining the SUV fray is ironclad. Everybody from Ferrari to Porsche is there.
I appreciated the driving dynamics. The steering has decent feedback, the engine sounds good and has energy, and you ride just high enough to feel in command. The Jaguar DNA comes through.
I took it to a tailgate, where I was boxed in and had to be the guy in the Jaguar who asks people to move so he can leave early. Cutting through rows of tailgaters in a purple Jag with black wheels isn't exactly subtle. But the car was versatile. I put tons of groceries in the back. My dog enjoyed the second row. It was good in snow. All the things you want in a crossover.
The F-Pace was one of the more memorable long-termers we've had at Autoblog. It was fun to drive and stayed in high demand, even after we'd had it for months. It's not perfect. The interior was a little plain, and I don't love the infotainment, but in its first attempt at a crossover — Jaguar nailed it.
Senior Editor, Green John Beltz Snyder: While I found it comfortable for long highway drives Up North, this thing is absolutely ferocious in Dynamic Mode with the gear selector set to S. The paddles amp up the fun. It really changed the character of this cat, and I was always surprised by the transformation.
I got a lot of looks in the F-Pace. A dude in a Porsche Boxster shadowed me for about 5 miles before pulling alongside, giving me a thumbs-up and speeding away. I liked the looks as well — the silhouette, the stance, the color and the blacked-out wheels were all emotionally appealing.
The F-Pace S sounds a lot different, depending on if you're inside or outside. To those standing nearby or driving behind, it sounds aggressive (enough to scare my kid). But to occupants, the engine sounds like a grumpy kitty, which is cute.
A lot of people griped about the weird, bulging spare-tire cover in the cargo area. I found it useful, though, as it left narrow spaces on either side of the bulge to stow small items and keep them from rolling around. Still, not an ideal use of space.
Bluetooth streaming from my iPhone sucked. The sound would drop off for seconds at a time, while my podcast kept going, forcing me to back up when the connection returned. This happened every single time I drove it, usually several times during my hour-long commute. It has happened in other Jaguars, too. It's maddening.
Associate Editor Reese Counts: I've spent a lot of time in this car. I've taken it through eight states on road trips, racking up thousands of miles and spilling an embarrassing number of french fries between the seats (don't worry, I vacuumed up every one). I'm handing back the keys with mixed emotions. I like it a lot. I like the styling, the driving dynamics and that sweet supercharged V6. The problem comes in the shape of a German temptress. The Porsche Macan is just better.
The F-Pace looks phenomenal, but the interior design is generic, and many materials feel cheap. The infotainment occasionally goes on the fritz (a video producer spent a day without the backup camera), and the rotary shifter provides no benefits over a traditional unit. It's not as sharp or responsive as the Macan. I'm sad to see it go, but I won't miss it as much as some of our previous long-term cars.
Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: Our XE was great, with the exception of the diesel engine, so when we got the F-Pace, I feared its ride and handling would be overly compromised by the height and added weight. But this crossover delivers on most everything I loved about the XE. The steering is among the best in precision and weight, the chassis is communicative, and the ride pleasant even in Sport mode.
And oh how I love that supercharged V6. I won't go into detail, since I already did in a previous post, but it's so responsive, linear and torquey. The F-Pace does feel heavier and more roly-poly than Jaguar's cars, but not enough to keep me from smiling behind the wheel. If I were in the market for a fun luxury vehicle but needed the extra ground clearance and interior space, I wouldn't hesitate in picking one up.
Maybe that didn't always come across in some of our griping posts, but keep in mind how nitpicky those issues were. If that's all we had to complain about, things went well with this car.
Video Production Manager Eddie Sabatini: I'm gonna miss the F-Pace, but I think it's overrated. Yes, it looks great, maybe the best-looking SUV on the market, but I had issues. First, the blue was too purple for my taste. The F-Pace looks better in red, green, or black, but the blackout package was a nice touch. It's quick for such a big vehicle. But I never found a comfortable seating position, something that plagues me in most crossovers.
I don't think the engine sounded good, I found it annoying, like a feral kitten calling out for mommy. I'd listen to music to drown out the annoying whine, except the Bluetooth connection was spotty. Annoying.
The whole infotainment system had issues. Like, what's up with the "button" for the heated/cooled seats? It's right there on the dash with an icon of a seat on it, and you press it thinking, "Ahhhh ... soon my butt will be toasty." Nope! It's just there to take you to a menu on the infotainment screen. What? How about a real button that does what it says — not a button that actually doesn't.
How to sum up the F-Pace? SUV that turns heads but falls short of truly spectacular? It was quick, good-looking, and loaded with creature comforts, but living with it made the problems stand out.
Senior Producer Christopher McGraw: Personally, I love it. I love the engine to death. The all-wheel-drive system works extremely well, and it preserves the rear-drive feel. In Dynamic mode with the transmission set to Sport, this thing is fierce. The suspension is firm without being harsh and does a decent job of managing body roll. The steering, though, while firm and quick, lacks a bit in feedback.
Others come close — Volvo comes to mind — but no crossover can top this look. And the black package is worth every penny. But the exterior isn't where I'm spending my time driving, and the interior is less than stellar.
The problems begin before we even get inside. The keyless entry works flawlessly, but keyless locking rarely works at all. Once inside, we are met with materials you'd expect in a Buick, not a $75,000 luxury SUV with a $2,350 "luxury interior" add-on.
If you can get over the interior issues, and technological hiccups don't drive you insane, the F-Pace is an incredible, comfortable performance SUV. A price tag of $75,000 is hard to swallow, but if you leave off some creature comforts, you can get this engine and performance, not to mention head-turning looks, in the low $60,000s. Either way, these past six months have been a blast.
2018 Jaguar F-Pace S Long-Term Review | Wrapping up our six-month test originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Mar 2018 13:01:00 EST.