|The new F-Pace has been universally praised for its eye-grabbing styling. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Jaguar’s new 20d turbodiesel four-cylinder isn’t about to get Rona Ambrose high-fiving Trudeau or Hillary warming up to Trump, but it should be good news to disenfranchised Audi Q5 TDI, BMW X3 28d, and Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTec owners still wishing and hoping they could trade up to “clean” diesel performance. We all know the Dieselgate story that saw VW group’s oil burners leave most global markets in shame, and by know many will also know BMW and Mercedes no longer sell diesels in North America, so it came as a pleasant surprise to see Jaguar, of all brands, show up with a diesel of its own this year.
Unlike its four-cylinder gasoline engines that are sourced directly from previous parent company Ford Motor, as well as Jaguar’s V8 that was co-developed with blue-oval
|The F-Pace offers as much excitement from the back as it does from the front. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel was first introduced in the new 2017 XE and redesigned 2017 XF, and now is part of the all-new 2017 F-Pace lineup. Jaguar says the 20d is the brand’s most fuel-efficient engine ever, capable of achieving up to 75 Imperial-mpg (3.7 L/100km) combined city/highway in the XF, although our more conservative Transport Canada five-cycle rating system pegs both that car and the smaller XE at 6.9 L/100km combined, and the F-Pace at 8.1. I’m
|Upgraded LED headlights with signature J-shaped LED driving lights offer added visual drama while enhancing nighttime visibility. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
On that note, I’m not sure why fuel-economy isn’t more of an issue these days, especially in some markets like Vancouver on one side of the country and St. John’s on the other, where gas prices aren’t much better now at $53 per barrel of crude
|Even low- and mid-range F-Pace trims get superb lower fascia detailing. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
|Optional gloss black alloys give the already sporty F-Pace a menacing look. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
I think Jaguar is wise to risk a new diesel in a market that’s still reeling from Dieselgate, as our economy doesn’t seem ready for full recovery and the U.S. appears as if it’s nearing the end of the biggest economic bubble in history. In other words, they need a trump card (excuse the expression) that differentiates them from the rest of the luxury market and plays into our need to save money. Most people will no longer buy into the environmental benefits of diesel despite Jaguar’s marketing touting the new turbodiesel as “Environmentally friendly. Lowering harmful gas emissions including CO2 and nitrogen oxides,” which is likely founded in the
|The F-Pace SUV gets a version of the F-Type sports car’s LED taillight design to superb effect. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
If you’ve never experienced a modern turbodiesel powerplant you really must, as they’re nothing like the smoky tractor engines of yore. Quiet, smooth, and capable, Jaguar’s 20d delivers 180 horsepower and 318 lb-ft of V6-like torque from a small and economical displacement, so you can get off the line quickly while carrying a heavy payload of passengers and cargo, whether its just the cargo hold filled with up to 685 kilos (1,510 lbs) of active lifestyle gear or a 2,400-kg (5,290-lb) trailer in tow as well. In comparison the lone hybrid in this class can’t even tow as much weight as the F-Pace
|An upgraded cream and brown leather interior makes for a stylishly luxurious ride. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The ability to go wherever the road or trail takes you is a diesel trait, not that this was the primary objective of the F-Pace. That’s Land Rover territory after all, but Jaguar didn’t only provide their first SUV with legs for pavement. It boasts 213 mm (8.4 inches) of ground clearance, which is the same as the Discovery Sport, while Jag’s SUV also includes a version of that Land Rover’s off-road tweaked hill-descent control, as well as a “crawl” setting that maintains a constant low speed by adding throttle and even braking without the need of feet on pedals, leaving you to solely concentrate on steering over and around obstacles.
|A rich stitched leather-topped dash is marred by a cheap plastic primary instrument hood. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
My tester was upgraded with $1,000 worth of gloss black 19-inch alloys on 255/55 Continental Cross Contact LX Sport all-seasons in place of the 255/50R20 Goodyear Eagles underpinning my previous 3.5t R-Sport loaner, but take note that
|The F-Pace cockpit feels more sports car than SUV. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
On that note, the F-Pace 20d can be had in Premium, Prestige, or R-Sport trims, my tester riding the middle line in Prestige duds this time. That means it gets HID headlights, chrome side window surrounds, interior ambient lighting, a powered steering column, leather upholstery, four-way powered front lumbar support, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, and navigation over the base Premium, but the lesser model is where the majority of goodies are found.
Pulled up from Premium to Prestige trim are LED daytime running lamps, LED taillights, power-folding mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, proximity-sensing keyless access with pushbutton ignition, metal doorsill plates, a 10-way powered driver’s seat, eight-way powered front passenger’s seat,
|The primary gauges are very well executed for a base system. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Safety in mind, Jaguar had added a $2,250 Vision Assist pack to my tester, upping content to include LED headlights with signature
|The centre stack includes an impressive base 8.0-inch infotainment system and beautifully design dual-zone auto HVAC interface. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The spare tire meant I wasn’t cruising on run-flats, a bonus for both handling and ride quality, the latter very nice for such a sporting SUV and the former superb, as noted. The F-Pace might be the best compact performance utility on the planet, or at
|Navigation works superbly and benefits from both 2D and 3D mapping. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
This helps straight-line performance as well, the engine pulling especially well from low revs, which makes for less shifting than a gasoline-powered equivalent would. Paddles are standard just the same, this brought about by JLR’s near complete abandonment of gear levers, a rotating dial powering up out of the lower console
|Jaguar’s rotating gear selector powers up from being flush-mounted before ignition. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
It’s such moments when I was able to take in the F-Pace interior, a particularly attractive mix of classic and contemporary design themes combined with rich materials and mostly good build quality. I say mostly good because Jaguar forgot to cover the primary instrument hood with anything but subgrade hard plastic, when the rest of the dash top and front facing is finished in superbly crafted leather,
|Standard powered seats were superbly comfortable and wonderfully supportive during aggressive handling. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
These latter items include the head-up display atop the dash, large TFT multi-information display set within the gauge package, and sizeable touchscreen over the centre stack mentioned before, and while the second and third are impressive the first is my favourite. The convenience of having priority information projected onto the windshield in full crisp colour day or night was appreciated, especially nav directions and posted speed limit reminders, while it also warns of potential collision via forward alert. Of course, there’s also the safety benefit of not having to take your eyes off the road to read the multi-information display or infotainment
|A panoramic sunroof offers wonderful natural daylight. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The former is big, colourful and graphically attractive, one of the nicer base systems in the class, and the latter is also large with superb graphics, especially if you like classic British scenery, a lone red phone booth standing in a field used for Bluetooth connectivity, streaming lights of a multi-lane highway at night (the M1?) for navigation guidance with 2D or 3D mapping, more of an Icelandic or Greenlandic dusk theme (then again it could be Alberta) for climate control, and so forth. The base 8.0-inch touchscreen also includes a backup camera with dynamic guidelines, text-to-voice, audio streaming, Jaguar InControl Apps and more.
|Rear seating room is spacious and particularly supportive of the lower back. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
That would be on top of the F-Pace 20d Prestige’ $55,400 starting price, this model $4,500 more than the $50,900 base Premium and $5,500 less than the $60,900
|40/20/40-split seatbacks make expanding the F-Pace’ cargo area easier, while it’s very roomy either way. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
That base price makes it the second-most expensive SUV in its compact class, something to consider for sure, but while pondering you’ll need to factor in all the standard features I noted earlier and its size, which almost lifts it into the mid-size luxury class. These attributes, plus styling to die for, gives it an edge over many peers, and is reason enough for its superb sales.
The F-Pace only came on the market in May of last year, so it’s difficult to directly compare it to rivals, but Jaguar sold 159 in January of 2017, which puts it well ahead
|Jaguar’s new 20d turbodiesel is the most efficient non-hybrid in the compact luxury SUV class, and best all-round on the highway. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
It pays to do the right thing, and in the case of building a better sport utility Jaguar has done a lot right. I recommend you put it on your shortlist.
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