The sport-ute boom didn’t end with the rollover scandal, or the death of the Hummer in 2010. They are still going strong. Fuel is cheap and our roads are terrible, and SUVs make a certain kind of Get-There-Or-Die-Trying sense. SUVs have replaced the minivan and the station wagon as the vehicle of choice for parents. To hear car company execs talk about it, SUVs are all anyone wants.
It’s easy to dismiss Jaguar’s first foray into the SUV market, the F-Pace, as an oddly named product of opportunity.
But then you see it, and it actually looks cool. It somehow looks like a Jaguar, even though it doesn’t look like any Jaguar that’s come before. It’s got the rear lights from an F-Type and also a large trunk. It rides on 22-inch wheels and the roof is one huge sheet of glass.
The F-Pace even drives like a Jaguar, although that’s less of a surprise since it’s based on the same basic chassis as the company’s XF sedan. You won’t find any truck parts here. The F-Pace comes across as a sleek and sporty SUV. It’s got all the latest touchscreen and navigation and gadgets too, if you’re into that.
Jaguar offers a frugal diesel engine in the base $49,900 model, but the supercharged V6 model is our favourite for its sound alone.
Those execs are right. If you’re being very honest, this is probably the car you need. It may be a product of opportunity, but it’s a mighty good one.