One trend is clear when you attend this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Sport Utility Vehicles, and lot’s of it. Frankfurt always host the most world debuts but what makes this year’s show special, and possibly most important is that a couple of car companies which had never made SUVs ever in their long history had finally revealed their “off-roaders” at Frankfurt this year. One of them was not so well received in terms of external aesthetics, but the one i’m talking about is actually quite a looker. It’s none other than the Jaguar F-Pace!
Unlike Porsche, brands like Jaguar always seemed like a car company that should produce SUVs but doesn’t, and have none to compete with its German rivals. I mean the jaguar animal is a versatile, ferocious hunter of the forest and yet not as popular as tigers or lions. Just like how Mercedes or BMW tend to first come to mind when talking about premium cars, but not Jaguar, Lexus, or Infiniti.
You almost forgotten about the existence of Infiniti haven’t you? And so just like Jaguar cashing-in on a popular segment, Infiniti, popular for their bold-looking SUVs and crossovers has instead revealed their very first Q30 compact hatchback at Frankfurt to join the A-Class and 1-Series party. That too is a stunning looking thing, but that’s a story for another day.
Jaguar could not have chosen a better time to launch the F-Pace. Jaguar’s latest design language translates so well into a SUV body that I don’t think Jag’s design five years ago would. Yes, you might say that the front is directly taken from the new XF and the F-Pace’s rear lights are identical to the F-Type sports car, but it works, the end-product looks stunning in person, and dare I say it, probably the best looking SUV out there. The Porsche Cayenne may have a more original look that hardly resembled its sport cars siblings, but it took Porsche two generations to make it look decent.
Copying and pasting may have worked on the exterior, but sadly not so much for the interior. And because the interior very much resembles the new XE and XF, there is a lack of wow factor when you enter the F-Pace. Porsche excels in this respect, and you will notice that Porsche’s two-door models (911, Cayman, Boxster) features a completely different dashboard compared to their four-door model lineup (Macan, Cayenne, Panamera). That’s why Porsche’s extra effort results in interiors that makes even a base diesel Macan owner feel special.
The F-Pace interior is not bad, far from it in fact. Basing the interior off of Jaguar’s latest sedan models meant the F-Pace gets all the latest bells and whistles: The digital speedometer which could display the GPS map in full, the latest infotainment system which can also adjusts the car’s suspension etc. It’s a well-built if not bland-looking interior if it was not for the digital speedo and large infotainment screen. I just wished Jaguar borrowed interior styling cues from the F-Type sports car instead of the XE. A centre console grab-handle or pop-up air-con vents would have made a huge difference.
But who am I joking, the F-Pace will sell no matter what, just like how the fugly first-gen Cayenne was still a cash cow for Porsche. The F-Pace is a well-proportioned, good looking SUV, the interior feels great if not a bit small at the rear, and knowing Jaguar, will most probably be fun to drive too.
Now enjoy more photos of the
F-Type F-Pace in the gallery below, and please excuse me for the lack of interior shots. I may like the look of the F-Pace, but I’ve spent way more time inside Bentley’s ugly duckling SUV.