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Jaguar F-Pace 20d review: It’s beautiful but lacks in pace for a sports SUV

Does the more affordable, but lower-powered, version of the F-Pace make for a good sports SUV?

autos Updated: May 22, 2017 12:19 IST
Nikhil Bhatia
Nikhil Bhatia
Autocar India
Jaguar F-Pace 20d review,Jaguar F-Pace 20d,Jaguar F-Pace review
Jaguar’s very first SUV, F-Pace, was crowned 2017 World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show.(Autocar India)

There’s no arguing that Jaguar has given us a cracker of a car in F-Pace, its very first SUV, especially since the car was recently crowned 2017 World Car of the Year. What you see here is the more affordable one of its avatars – the F-Pace 20d. It’s priced from Rs 68.4-77.8 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) which is a sizable amount, though less than the more powerful F-Pace 30d, which costs upwards of Rs 1.18 crore.

On the outside, the F-Pace 20d does with fewer chrome-finished bits, but it nonetheless looks handsome and nothing like any SUV on sale today.

The biggest saving is on account of the smaller engine that this version of the F-pace packs under its hood. In place of a 300hp, 3.0-litre diesel V6 engine, the 20d gets a humbler 180hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine which comes from Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium range of engines. The power figure may seem low in something touted as a sports SUV, but let’s not dismiss it so soon.

Besides the drop in grunt, the 20d variants also get fewer features as standard. Surround camera, LED lights and reclining rear seats are just some of the options on the expansive list of paid extras. And you’ll be wise to tick the box for lumbar support for the front seats. The rear seats, however, are comfy and there’s space aplenty in the back. In general, the ambience inside the bright and airy cabin is nice but some plastics and materials aren’t in keeping with the F-Pace’s price.

You’ll be wise to tick the box for lumbar support for the front seats. The rear seats are comfy and there’s space aplenty in the back. (Autocar India)

Get going and you’ll notice that the engine is not the most refined one around. It’s not loud per se, but for the asking price, you could have bought yourself a Mercedes or an Audi SUV with a quieter V6 diesel. You’ll also note a bit of hesitation from the powertrain at low speeds. Things do settle down as speeds pick up and the engine too comes into its stride once it spins faster. The eight-speed automatic gearbox does quite a good job of keeping the engine operating efficiently, but you’ll have to rev the engine past 2,000rpm to make quick progress. From thereon, the engine pulls quite strongly all the way to 4,000rpm. This engine helps make this F-Pace a good highway cruiser. However, the small 2.0 engine sounds a bit coarse when revved hard and performance isn’t impressive for its positioning as a sports SUV. The 0-100kph takes a leisurely 10.66sec; even a Ford Figo 1.5 diesel is quicker to 100kph!

The smaller heart -- the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine makes 180hp. (Autocar India)

Where the F-Pace really shines is when you drive it around a set of corners. It feels extremely sure-footed around bends, and drives like a Jaguar SUV should. Dynamic, the sportiest of the drive modes, adds sufficient weight to the steering and also keeps the engine in its strong zone, making the SUV a lot more engaging to drive. The gearbox does tend to be indecisive in Auto mode at times, but you can always tug at the paddles to take manual control. Ride comfort is largely good but there’s more than expected vertical movement at high speeds.

It’s indeed a beautifully designed SUV, but it makes sense more only in the V6 version. (Autocar India)

Even in 20d form, the F-Pace is not particularly well-priced. There are larger and more powerful SUVs that cost less and that’s what makes the F-Pace a bit hard to recommend. Also, ironically enough, this F-Pace lacks in pace for a sports SUV. If you want the full F-Pace experience, you’ll have to shell out more for the V6 diesel.

Jaguar F-Pace 20d Factfile
  • Engine 4 cylinder, 1,999cc turbo-diesel
  • Power 180hp @ 4000rpm
  • Torque 430Nm @ 1750-2500rpm
  • Gearbox 8-speed automatic
  • Dimensions (LxWxH) 4731mm x 2070mm x 1651mm
  • Wheel base 2874mm
  • Price Rs 77.8 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

(In arrangement with Autocar India)

First Published: May 07, 2017 09:47 IST