How would you react if told that your favourite set of wheels has suddenly become cheaper by more than 20 lakh rupees? We’ll you won’t really like it if you’ve already bought it but if you haven’t it does sound really exciting. Well this is exactly what has happened with the Jaguar F-pace which is now priced at Rs. 60 lakh (ex-showroom). And if you’re wondering why this has happened it’s because the SUV is now locally manufactured. The new price alone makes the F-pace a lot more desirable considering it is up against some tough competition including from within the Jaguar L and Rover family. It is now sixth model from the Jaguar Land Rover family to be locally manufactured in India.
It was a first ever attempt at a production SUV from the iconic British car maker and the fact that it won the prestigious World car of the year speaks volumes of the kind of product the F-pace is. A major reason was design as the company can boast of some of the best designers in the Auto world. Some standout attributes are Adaptive LED headlamps and 19 inch alloy wheels both of which are now standard on the car. In addition to this the horse show grille, the bulging bonnet and the low sloping roofline add to the sporty character. The rear with the sleek tail lamps and twin exhausts is likeable as well. Its dimensions look just perfect as it neither looks bulky nor very compact. And yet Jaguar has successfully managed to make it look apart from the all the Land Rovers of the world.
An all black cabin welcomes you inside the F-pace. The good thing is that even inside a lot of features that were options earlier now become standard. These include a 12 inch virtual display information cluster, a 10 inch touch screen system, ambient lighting and a 380 watt meridian sound system that comes with a reverse parking camera. Leather wrapped steering wheel is good to hold and the layout of buttons is very practical. However one would’ve liked lumbar support and massage functions on the front seats considering the segment the car comes in. There’s a lot of storage space all around the car which ensures good ergonomics. Second row is a good place to be in as there’s good space and the seats can be reclined at the press of a button. Plus the SUV gets 4-zone climate control and yes the huge panoramic sunroof is there as well. Boot capacity stands at 650 liters and this can be expanded by folding the rear seats. That leaves huge 1,740-litres at your disposal. However it is a bit disappointing that tail gate cannot be operated electronically.
A big change on the Jaguar F-pace now is that its heart is more practical and economical now. Earlier, the car used to run on a 6-cylinder 3.0 liter diesel engine which was a hoot to drive. The new 4-cylinder 2 liter diesel engine still gives good performance and those 179 horses are able to carry that weight with aplomb. At 430Nm there’s a lot of torque of offer and it kicks in starting from 1,750 rpm makes this a very responsive mill. It is mated to an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic box which sends power to all four wheels. And yes there are paddle shifts as well. Excessive use of aluminum on this ingenium diesel engine also contributes to a sporty drive. NVH levels are also kept in check as this one is a pretty refined engine.
Ride & Handling
This is a very impressive part about the F-pace. It’s not very tall and is very aerodynamic. The dimensions ensure that the body roll is kept in check and the car is stable at high speeds or when it is taking corners. The ride does feel on the stiffer side at times but once you spend enough time with it you realize the SUV is more than capable of taking on the bumps, potholes and bad roads thrown at it. There are four driving modes on the SUV namely Eco, Rain/Ice/Snow, Sport and dynamic settings change in terms of engine response, throttle and gearshifts among other things.
Even if you keep the updated price aside, the new locally manufactured F-pace is a car that appeals in the way it drives or the kind of features it offers. Yes looking at the competition there are some features still missing like a 360 degree parking camera but that doesn’t take away a lot of positives the car comes with. Safety features include six airbags, ABS, traction control and electronic stability control tyre pressure monitoring system and ISOFIX child seat mounts. So if you love SUVs and ever wanted to own a piece of this iconic brand, there will not be a better time.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars