It’s never a surprise when a premium carmaker wants to make an SUV. Indeed, no premium carmaker can really afford to be without one these days.
But it was a riskier move for Jaguar than any of its rivals. Since a substantial reboot in 2007, the marque has made a name for itself with cutting-edge sedans and sports cars. The lower and more sleek the better.
How could it possibly translate its brand values into a perched family wagon?
Brilliantly, as it turns out. Jaguar has successfully translated its signature sedan styling cues into an SUV format with F-Pace, without making one a pastiche of the other.
You’d never mistake the F-Pace for anything other a Jaguar, but it also has a visual identity of its own quite apart from the rest of the range.
Dynamically the F-Pace errs on the sporty side: it’ll rocket from A-to-B over a winding road, it’s strong thanks to aluminium-intensive construction and the ride is pretty firm for a large SUV, which won’t be to all tastes.
But then, Jaguars are supposed to be sporty and that goes as much for SUVs as any other model.
That’s not to say practicality has been forgotten.
Jaguar realised that the F-Pace would introduce the brand to many new buyers, so the SUV does indeed have family-sized rear-seat space (long a criticism of Jaguar sedans) and a versatile luggage area.
The F-Pace is a great Jaguar and a great sporting-SUV. At the same time.
AT A GLANCE
Price range: $95,000 (20d Prestige) to $130,000 (S).
Powertrains: 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four with 132kW/430Nm, 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 with 221kW/700Nm, 3.0-litre supercharged-petrol V6 with 250kW/450Nm or 280kW/450Nm, 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive.
Fuel economy: 5.3-8.9 l/100km.