Eric's Autos; 2022 Jaguar F-Pace
This one gets to 60 in less than 4 seconds.
On The Road
It may look like a crossover, but it doesn't drive like one. It drives like the rear-wheel-drive Jaguar sport sedan its crossover-shaped body was draped upon.
Put the F-Pace through some paces. Feel the way the rear wheels break traction -- just a little bit and just enough to be fun -- when you floor the thing from a stop at a T intersection and crank the wheel hard over. A FWD-based crossover will typically understeer skitter as it tries to recover its footing. The Jag oversteers -- just a touch -- and then the tail snaps back into line and off you go, a smile on your face that nothing FWD-based can induce.
This cat is balanced -- and that's the difference.
At The Curb
There are a few others that emulate the driving experience -- the Porsche Macan, for instance. But Jaguar pulls another cat out of the bag by making the F-Pace a more practical experience.
It can tow 5,291 pounds, for instance -- almost as much as some trucks and considerably more than the Porsche's 4,409 pounds. It also has not far from twice the space behind its back seats -- 31.5 cubic feet with them in place versus just 17.2 for the Macan, even though the Jag isn't appreciably larger on the outside than the Porsche.
With its back seats folded, the Jag has 69.1 cubic feet of capacity for whatever you need to carry versus a less practical 52 cubic feet in the Macan. The lowered -- almost "chopped" -- roofline of the Porsche also results in less headroom in both rows than in the Jag, even with its standard panorama sunroof.
The only hair in the soup is the Jag's pretty but clumsy curved glass LCD touchscreen interface.
These systems all have the same problem that arises when trying to tap/swipe a smartphone while you're driving. The car moves along with the road -- and so does your finger. You tap or swap something you didn't intend? Try again. This requires some concentration, which takes yours off the road.
The F-Pace does thankfully have end-run mechanical inputs such as finger-wheel volume adjusters on the center console and steering wheel that make such operations less frustrating and distracting.
The Bottom Line
You may need a crossover. But if you want a Jaguar, this one fills both bills.
Eric's latest book, "Doomed: Good Cars Gone Wrong!" will be available soon. To find out more about Eric and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate, Inc.