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Buying a new car is not easy. In fact, as with most things, it’s much easier to give advice to others about what car they should buy than going through the process yourself.
This is why, at CarAdvice, we are very proud of the fact we actually buy new cars. In our own fleet, right now, you'll find an Audi S1, a Mazda MX-5, a Mitsubishi Triton, a Porsche Macan and a Volkswagen Golf GTI. We own these.
But even so, a company car is different to one you pay for personally. So when it came down to actually paying my own cash for a vehicle that can’t be given back, it became an insanely difficult challenge.
Having sold our Land Rover Discovery Sport, for it had a few too many little things go wrong with it (nothing major, but enough to be annoying), the question came immediately, what should we buy next?
We started our search with a quick look at the new Audi Q7, which was just too plain for our design conscious mindset. Then we looked at the BMW X5, for it’s basically a default choice when it comes to a large luxury SUV, but it felt its age and considering there is half a dozen of them living within a 100m radius of our house, it didn’t suit our desire for something a little bit different.
There was the Volvo XC90, which my wife liked the look of but I felt was too underdone on the inside. And, at the time at least, Volvo wasn’t doing any deals.
At the end of what felt like a lifelong search, I asked my wife, why not the Jaguar F-Pace? We saw it at this year’s Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne and she immediately liked the look of it and as an Aston Martin tragic, I am a sucker for anything Ian Callum designs, so it felt right.
The real question though, were we willing to go back to a Jaguar Land Rover product straight after our ownership experience with the Disco Sport? To be fair, the main problem with the Disco was the bloody door cladding kept falling off and the door trim came loose, not to mention the rear-view camera occasionally went on strike. These were fixed, but then unfixed themselves on a number of occasions and I personally don’t have much of a tolerance for this - so it started to drive me mad.
On to the F-Pace. Initially my thought was to go for the supercharged V6, but having driven it in Montenegro earlier this year and again in Australia a couple of month later, the reason we didn’t go that route was Jaguar’s removal of the exhaust overrun crackles.
In the F-Type, that exact engine emitted such a glorious note you can’t help but to fall in love. In the F-Pace, it’s far more subdued and we felt that it took the character and life out of the car for the sake of refinement (it would be nice if Jaguar offered this as a sports exhaust option that brought the crackles back).
Having ruled out the V6 petrol, it was time to look at a diesel. Once more, we looked at the larger capacity V6 diesel to start with but after realising Jaguar charges an extra $10,000 for two extra cylinders and zero additional equipment, it didn’t make sense for a car that drives to Coles and the kindergarten. So we ended up going with the new 2.0-litre Ingenium engine.
As far as my wife was concerned, the engine was irrelevant. Which made the decision to save 10k rather easy. She wanted it in Italian racing red, with a black and red interior. She left the choice of wheels to me and I picked 20-inch black wheels with the R-Sport trim with the additional black pack to make it sing.
I ran the whole interior exterior and wheel package combo past Ian Callum when I met him a few months back and he approved. So, then it was time to order the car.
The problem with ordering a luxury car is that the price advertised is about as close to the on road price as a politician’s promise is to reality.
Firstly, Jaguar doesn’t even have keyless entry as standard. Yep, a $19,990 Hyundai i30 has that standard. So, about $1300 there. Heated and cooled seats? A $1700 option.
But you know the saying, you get what you pay for and despite that constant “You can buy a Santa Fe or a Sorento with everything standard for half the price” ticking in the back of my head, we signed the form and began the process of 'waiting for the car'.
It showed up a month ago and, like it or not, we are in love with the colour, inside and out.
So far our engine choice has proven ideal as our F-Pace has never struggled for… pace. It’s getting terrible fuel economy at 9.7L/100km but it has only done around 2000kms and driven on mostly inner city roads, so far.
I was going to conclude this initial ownership experience by saying, so far nothing has gone wrong, however in the last week the black door cladding on the driver’s side has come loose and vibrates when the door is shut.
Also, the rear-centre cup holders have come loose and need to be forced back into place each time they are used. Hopefully these are just minor things that will be fixed once and remain that way.
On the tech side, lack of Apple Carplay is a big disappointment.
The infotainment system is good, but it would be so much better, not to mention future-proofed, with CarPlay.
The rear-view camera on the odd occasion takes a very long time to engage, which coincidentally also blocks the ability to adjust the aircon (the buttons stop responding when in reverse), so we've had to retrain our brains to turn the car on, play with the aircon first, then engage reverse.
Check back again next month for an update.
Italian racing red/Jet Red seats – $1383
Interior mood lighting – $152,
Gesture tailgate – $200,
20" Black wheels – $1615,
Air quality sensor – $155,
keyless entry – $1395,
Panoramic roof – $2615,
Climate front and heated rear seats – $1769,
Premium carpet matts – $230,
Gloss figured ebony veneer – $320