The rather striking Jaguar F-Pace gets a 2.0-litre petrol heart. So, does it finally hit the sweet spot?
Since its launch in 2016, the journey of the Jaguar F-Pace in India hasn’t been as smooth as Jaguar would’ve liked. It was really a consequence of misreading the Indian market on two separate occasions. First, Jaguar brought the F-Pace in India as a Completely Built Unit (CBU), making it exceedingly expensive in comparison to its rivals – especially the higher spec R-Sport and First Edition variants. A year later, they realised the problem and took corrective action by commencing local assembly. While this helped them drop the price by more than Rs. 10 lakh and bring it on par with its rivals, it meant the end of the more powerful, 3.0-litre, V6 variants. What remained was a rather lacklustre 2.0-litre diesel that didn’t quite do justice to the car’s capabilities. In an attempt to rewrite the story, again, Jaguar has now brought in the petrol F-Pace to India. So, does it finally manage to put together all the pieces of the puzzle.
The biggest change in this F-Pace is the introduction of a petrol motor. The F-Pace 25t is equipped with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline motor. It’s the same engine that does duty in the XE and XF sedans. While both these sedans are unmistakably lighter than the F-Pace, Jaguar, in a clever move, has ensured that the engine pushes out more power and torque in the F-Pace. In this spec, it’s rated to 247bhp and 365Nm – resulting in a pretty good power-to-weight ratio of nearly 135bhp/ton. To put that in perspective, while the F-Pace diesel weighs the same, the 20d has a power-to-weight ratio of just 96bhp/ton and does the 0 to 100km/h dash in 9 seconds – 2 seconds slower than the petrol. Of course, if you like a torquey motor, the diesel still makes 65Nm more torque. But if it’s is refinement and gusto that you seek, the petrol has you covered.
Right from the word go, you feel that the locally assembled F-Pace has finally got the motor it deserves. The strong low and mid-range camouflages its 1,830kg weight exceptionally well. Progress from a standstill is quick, and it doesn’t hesitate to rev right up to its 6,500rpm red line. The engine is extremely adaptable – it performs its everyday duties with ease and has the ability to bring some energy into your commute. However, its eager nature is somewhat let down by the 9-speed automatic gearbox – which feels like it has one ratio too many.
And while the engine is an absolute delight, the suspension and steering work perfectly in unison to make the F-Pace amongst the best handling cars in its segment. Setup on the firm side, the F-Pace attacks corners with great confidence. Body roll is well managed, and electronic aids like the torque vectoring system come together to provide astonishing agility to this car. The way the suspension is tuned does make it harsh on bad roads, but it’s a trade-off worth having. Despite being electrically assisted, the steering has good weight, feel and precision – a combination that’s rare to find in this day and age.
Visually, it’s not really any different here from the diesel model that’s already on sale, except of course the 25t badging on the tailgate. Despite the F-Pace being more than 2 years old, we’re still in love with its design. It borrows some of its design cues from the XF sedan and the F-Type coupe. The wide grille, tall, flat bonnet, the hunkered-down stance and the F-type like rear – all of which give it an appeal that very few can match.
On the inside, there’s a sense of quality and richness that you’d expect from a Jaguar. Taking centre stage is the InControl touchscreen infotainment unit that comes paired with a great sounding Meridian audio system. Additionally, in this Prestige trim, the F-Pace also gets four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels and adaptive headlights. In terms of safety, the F-Pace has 6 airbags, lane keeping assist, front & rear parking sensors, and more.
Wholesome package, finally!
The diesel motor just doesn’t have enough poke to make the most of what the chassis, suspension and steering have to offer. This 2.0-litre petrol, on the other hand, is splendidly high-spirited. And it also ticks the value-for-money box – something that the V6 diesel never did. In fact, it is `40,000 cheaper than the 20d. The Jaguar F-Pace, nearly two years after it was first launched, now finally feels like a wholesome package.
- Jaguar F-Pace
Engine: 1,997cc / 4-Cylinders 16-Valves / Turbocharged
Transmission: 8-Speed AT All-Wheel Drive
Power: 247bhp @ 5,500rpm
Torque: 365Nm@ 1,300-4,500rpm
Price: ₹63.17 lakh (ex-showroom)
X-Factor: With this 2.0-litre petrol motor, the F-Pace gets an engine that shows off its inherent chassis and steering prowess – making this a very dynamic SUV.