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2 Dudes in a Car: Stalking the suburbs in the Jaguar F-Pace S

Pras Subramanian

Let’s say you’re looking to step up your game on the suburban boulevard known as your cul-de-sac with a new luxury, crossover SUV. What are your options?

The tried-and-true BMW X5? Maybe you want a bit more in terms of creature comfort with the Audi Q5? Or the tech-luxury packaging of the Acura RDX? One thing’s for sure, there’s no dearth of options.

Lucky for those buyers a new mid-size luxury crossover SUV has been stalking suburban subdivisions and upscale shopping centers like the Westchester Mall near New York City.

Have you seen the relatively newish 2017 Jaguar (TTM) F-Pace S? Maybe you have, and it most likely caught your attention.

Credit: Jaguar USA

Jaguar F-Pace sales began in mid-2016, and it soon became Jaguar’s top selling vehicle, which is no surprise given trends in SUV/crossover sales outpacing car purchases in the US for quite some time. 

There’s no doubt the F-Pace is a looker. It’s svelte, with taut lines, wheels pushed out to the edges, with the rear tires placed under wide haunches. It’s a very sporty looking crossover, and in fact it really is quite attractive. We we’re given a number of looks as we drove the car through its natural habitat (Westchester County), and were asked many questions when parked outside of well-to-do restaurants (“Is that new? I didn’t know Jaguar made a crossover … ”).

One area where these taut lines hurt the F-Pace were the C-pillars, which created huge blind spots making rear-visibility tough. Good thing our F-Pace S included blind sort monitoring and a rear-view camera, which we should note, are are only options on lower trim versions of the F-Pace.

Credit: Pras Subramanian

Also for those looking for a city car – as I parked the F-Pace in a Midtown Manhattan parking garage – I noted the dimensions of the vehicle [186.3 in (length) x 76.2 in (width) x 65.6 in (height)] were actually smaller that what was considered an SUV/oversize vehicle size. So no oversize charge, or worse, where a garage could deny you a spot. Nice work Jaguar.

The F-Pace S with its 380-HP supercharged V6 (40 more than the standard F-Pace) delivered a spirited yet comfortable ride, though it won’t knock your socks off like a Maserati Levante SQ4 or Macan Turbo. No, the F-Pace S is going for something more genteel, yet still urgent—especially when you switch into dynamic mode and engage paddle shifting.

And if you ever venture off the parkway, rest assured the F-Pace is capable of some offroading, as brand cousin Land Rover has donated its Terrain Response system, which appears as Adaptive Surface Response buttons in the cabin. Per Jaguar, these moves are meant for  “adverse weather and driving conditions,” including “icy or rainy conditions and on surfaces such as grass, mud, gravel, deep sand, or deep snow.”

The F-Pace keeps up with recent Jaguar vehicles on the inside as well, with a handsome interior awash in fine leather and high-quality wood veneers. Our version had a dark, bone-ebony veneer which went quite well with the dark navy leather seating. The sound system was optioned up to the 825W Meridian Surround System which was stunning to hear, especially since the cabin was particularly quiet.

Credit: Jaguar USA

Features aside, is this the crossover SUV you’re looking for? I posted this question to Yahoo Finance columnist and ‘2 Dudes’ co-host Rick Newman, who tested the F-Pace S with me.

“Jaguar has rediscovered itself,” he said, noting the F-Pace was indeed taking the fight to BMW, Mercedes and Audi.  “The performance is there, the design is there, it’s marvelous.”

That’s high praise from the usually critical Rick Newman. But, he would couch that comment with noting this car should be marvelous, when our nicely-optioned version of the F-Pace S stickers for slightly over $75,000.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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