COTY 2016 contender: Jaguar F-Pace S

COTY 2016 contender: Jaguar F-Pace S

Nimble big cat

The luxury SUV marketplace is exceptionally competitive, and in recent times, an increasingly crowded one. Suffice to say, Jaguar most likely won’t get a second chance if its first SUV, the F-Pace, turns out to be anything less than stellar.

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It’s a good thing, then, that the F-Pace is miles better than what any of our judges were expecting. Again, as with the Audi RS6 Avant, there were some judges who questioned its presence, seeing as how it isn’t a sports car.

Then again, judges like Alexander Tay welcomed the diversity.

“I’m glad it’s one of the eight cars. It’s nice to mix things up a bit. You usually get all these sedans and sports cars vying for the title, but having different cars keep things interesting," he said.

As for whether he liked Jaguar’s first high-riding car, he said, “I was kind of surprised that an SUV could handle that way. I’ve driven other sporty SUVs before with similar power outputs before, but they tended to be a bit more sluggish."

It seems that surprise was a common theme when talking about the F-Pace. Dr Billy Tan had heard about the car before driving it, and its claim of being confident in the corners, but he too was “surprised by its handling".

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Quah De Ren had this to say about it, “It’s the best SUV on sale right now. The noise it makes, the throttle response, the steering. This car is the best high-riding sports car there is right now. I came in without expectations and it blew me away."

Quah De Yi was a fan as well, rating the F-Pace highly in terms of its exterior design (which calls to mind the F-Type) and its steering. On the flip side, he felt its interior build quality was a bit of a letdown.

Rudolph Van De Lisdonk described the F-Pace as a “welcome new kid on the block" and that it posed a strong threat to SUV stalwarts such as the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-class.

But perhaps it was Tay Liam Wee who summed up the F-Pace best when he said: “It’s light and very interesting to drive when you put it into its Dynamic mode. It doesn’t feel like an SUV, because it’s lively and that’s not usual."

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Published 11th December 2016
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