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The Top Gear car review:Jaguar F-Pace
What is it like on the road?
Jaguar will tell you all day long that the F-Pace is a ‘performance crossover’ infused with technology and ability borrowed from the F-Type. That’s a load of cobblers. Yes it has the same suspension layout as the F-Type, and a similar name, but this is a large SUV that size-wise sits somewhere between the Porsche Macan and Cayenne.
Body control is tighter than any Land Rover model, but let’s not pretend it changes direction like an F-Type – that’s physics. Dial back your binary inputs and drive briskly, not manically, and it responds with slick, balanced movements. Ultimately, its safe zone is fast, open roads where it gobbles up big mileages in supreme comfort. Naturally, the big V6 diesel and petrol are appealing, but this is also the best home yet for the 2.0-litre Ingenium engine.
In the real world, it’s arguably a sweeter car than the V6 diesel. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, its peak torque arrives sooner, making the engine keener to respond in slow moving traffic and on tight urban roads. Secondly, spec-for-spec, the 2.0d is more than 100 kilos lighter than the 3.0d V6. Go for a rear-drive manual and you can lop another 100kg off. Those are big losses, ones which no doubt contribute to more agile chassis responses.
Oh, and smaller wheels are better. Jag offers everything from 18-inch to 22-inch alloys. Those 22s look nowhere near as big as they sound, and they’re the rims that best suit the F-Pace’s design (it’s a big car). But they also hobble its low-speed ride quality. The good news is you don’t need to downgrade too far: stick with 20s, and they still look very good while being notably less fussy in town.