Jaguar F PACE 11

It’s a Jaguar. It’s an SUV. It’s a Jaguar SUV.

Yes, that day has finally come. At the Los Angeles auto show in 2015, Jaguar Land Rover officially unveiled its first-ever sport utility for the US market. Last year later, we got our hands on it.

In the flesh, the vehicle, called F-PACE, was as stunning on the street as we initially thought it was on the showroom floor in LA. The name, which is meant to connect the crossover in nomenclature with Jag’s F-Type sports cars, is weird. But the machine is beautiful — the most gorgeous SUV currently available, we think, thanks to the aesthetic ministrations of designer Ian Callum.

Jaguar shares a corporate stable with Land Rover, so it’s not as if these folks don’t know how to bolt together a stupendous offroader. They’ve been doing it for decades. 

But how would a Jaguar SUV stack up? After all, Jag is a sedan-and-sports-car brand, full of British panache. Does a suburban family hauler really fit, even it if that’s what the market wants?

We had a few days in the Northeast with the 2017 F-PACE to find out:

Photos by Hollis Johnson.

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Our $72,000 test vehicle was extremely well kitted out, as they might say across the pond. It was the “First Edition” trim level, and the color was an alluring Caesium Blue. Only 275 will be built.

It isn’t easy to design a stylish, sporty SUV. In fact, it’s nearly impossible. The basic form for the segment is a large rectangular box with a wheel at each of the four corners and a big liftgate dominating the rear. But Callum has performed magic with the F-PACE.

The legendary Jaguar badge is fairly tasteful emblazoned on the finely boned, blacked out front grille. No leaping cat hood ornament, unfortunately.

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