In April MenStyleFashion had driven the Jaguar F-Pace Model S petrol version in the Netherlands. We were impressed with the F-PACE then, it was a great car that could not come to its great potential due to the extremely busy roads of the Netherlands. Now I have the chance to drive the 3 litre Twin Turbo Diesel version of the F-PACE S through Australia with its expansive country side. My review focuses on driving in Australia and how the F-PACE coped with the roads and also people’s perceptions.
I was born in Australia and grew up driving on rural roads that were a test to my cars. There were many occasions where I lost concentration over driving long distances which thankfully looking back could have lead to a fatal accident between the car and me. For the simple reason there was only me driving on the road. Way back in 1997 I drove around Australia covering 33,000km in less than five months in a Ford Laser. I certainly tested that car to the maximum, it even had a bump with a Kangaroo.
I grew up in an era where car technology was in its infancy and road safety accidents were a major problem within rural and outback Australia. I recall driving my dad’s Holden car and at 100 kmph the steering wheel would shake due to car needing a regular wheel balance. Crikey it certainly scared me along side the roads with huge pot holes. Two hands on the steering wheel was a must otherwise my life was in danger.
Australia then and now prides itself on highlighting and enforcing that the roads Down Under are challenging, vast and to be respected at all times. During my two week stay in Victoria Australia I was very intrigued, excited and was on a mission to see how the Jaguar F-PACE Twin Turbo Charged Diesel would perform and assist me, regarding performance and its road safety technology. How was it going to handle the rural roads and those unexpected pot holes, let alone the kangaroos?
Driving in Australia is very different to Europe due to the remote distances that one has to cover in order to reach a city let alone a country town. I rarely drive long distances in Europe and the UK. The car traffic in Europe and the UK is constant and there is rarely a place where you will not encounter a vehicle within a 30 km radius, unlike Australia. Other traffic keeps me alert and focused as my brain is always stimulated with new road challenges including traffic lights.
I have lived in Europe for twenty years now and the last time I travelled within Australia for long distances was at least ten years ago. So the biggest challenge here was not the drive but it was the distances that I chose to cover in one day. On many occasions, I rarely saw a vehicle for at least 25 minutes. This is where the danger of accidents can and will occur if I didn’t stop and take a rest. This is what I love about Australia, these massive signs to kindly remind you that it’s important to be aware of not falling asleep at the wheel.
Jaguar F-PACE S 3.0 litre V6 Diesel
I was driving the top of the range F-PACE S 3.0 litre V6 Diesel, valued at AU$130,000. Unfortunately, Australia taxes imported cars to safeguard the little that is left of Australian built cars with only the Toyota factory left now that Holden and Ford have both closed production. Thanks to Jaguar Australia, I had plenty of gadgets to play with and test out regarding driving safely here in Australia. Also, I had the beautiful 22″ alloy wheels and the Meridian sound system to keep me happy.
Monotony driving here in Australia is why I encourage anyone to buy the latest cars full of technology to keep you on the road safely. What was not monotonous was the Jaguar F-PACE itself, it was a beauty that stood out.
Melbourne to Warrnambool To East Gippsland
My tour began from central Melbourne to Warrnambool in one day driving inland. The drive on average is 3 hours 4 min (256.6 km) via M1 and Hamilton Hwy/B140. It took me just over five hours to drive for two reasons, I had two young children with me and I simply could not handle the distance. The road on many occasions had little traffic and it was completely straight. This I found was potentially dangerous because I became very relaxed and was in cruise control mode for most of the drive. The monotony in open roads such as this left me drowsy, complacent, bored and due to not driving like this for many years, I found my focus was challenged. I drove this same road way back in 1997 in a Ford Laser. Can you imagine car technology then, let alone the lack of safety features? I was also a lot younger, had no kids and had a driving partner too. On this occasion, I was the only driver, had two children and not driven in Australia for over ten years.
How was my mind going to continually be stimulated to make this one of the safest and most luxurious drives ever for me in Australia?
I chose not to drive in the dark due to wildlife encounters I have had in the past. Kangaroos seem to love those car headlights. The last thing I wanted was to hit a kangaroo, a wombat let alone a deer. That’s not to say that one can’t drive in the dark. I just had the luxury option in rural Australia not too.
Car Safety Options
Over the 14 days that I drove the F-PACE I nearly covered 2,000km both in Melbourne and mainly rural Australia. During the drive, the smile never ever left my face because this luxury SUV had all the bells and whistles to keep me super comfortable and safe whilst driving.
Lane Keep Assistant And Driver Condition Monitor
The Lane Keep Assistant and Driver Condition Monitor where the best driver-assist tech on the rural roads. When I did waver from my lane occasionally I was quickly woken up with some AI technology and the car corrected itself, this is worth every penny. Alongside the blind spot monitor which was great for overtaking. I am not one to look over my shoulder much and this little light in the side mirror gave me a warning every time there was a car in my blind spot.
Road Safety Tips Australia
I had not driven in Australia for many years, so I decided to pull into my local Orbost Police Station and spoke to highway patrol for some refreshing road rule guidelines. In speaking to constable Mathew Jenkins, he was very keen to encourage anyone to embrace modern car technology for keeping safe on the road.
Australian roads are very different to European and USA roads. On many occasions even though the road speed stated 100 kmph I was very grateful for the driving assist technology here to keep me alert. How did I get to meet Constable Matthew Jenkins, I got pulled over, but just a regular check and my guess is that he wanted to take a closer look and admire the F-PACE. This is what he had to say:
Australian police can pull you over at anytime and ask for your personal details and licence. Do not take this personally, it’s Australian law. Don’t fight it just be polite and respect the culture and the law.
Cold Climate Pack – Heated Seats
It was winter in Australia and there was nothing more wonderful then to have heated front and rear leather seats. Also, the steering wheel was heated, this is the best thing on a cold morning. The backseat drivers had their own option to change the temperature whenever they wanted too. The many adjustable options to the driver seat made my drive as comfortable as possible. I never came out of the car with an aching lower back let alone a numb buttox.
Jaguar Drive Control
The F-Pace has three driving modes Dynamic, Normal and ECO, this was brilliant as it allowed me to change the way the car drove, ECO for long-distance and Dynamic to impress my friends. Yes, this baby can do 0-100 kmph in 6.2 seconds. Also because the engine has a twin-turbo, there is no lag, when I floor it goes. This made driving the F-PACE a lot more interesting and fun. The F-PACE in Australia got a lot of attention, and on the open roads I enjoyed spreading its SUV wings.
Cruise Control And Speeding Alert
Australia when it comes to staying within the correct speed is very strict. The speeding fine alone will leave me feeling ill. So I loved it when the speeding alert message would pop up on the HUD to kindly remind me of my speed. The Heads Up Display shows the GPS, my speed and speed limit on the windscreen, only for me to see. Many Ozzies I showed this too were blown away with this clever technology and for me this was another added safety tool.
The 22 Inch Wheels
I loved the massive 22 inch wheels when we had the F-PACE for the first time in Holland and again the size of these wheels is a real head-turner in Australia. They’re not as comfortable as smaller size wheels, but it is a bit like women shoes, the better the looks the more painful the experience. I did take the F-PACE on some gravel roads and I could feel the bumps.
Plastic Backseat Protectors & Cameras
I had two girls and as you know kids don’t respect the luxury that goes into keeping the cars looking their best when it comes to car seats. So the plastic on the back of the passenger seats was a brilliant solution also as I did not feel any kicking. A quick car wipe would remove all the dirt. Also on many occasions, I was so grateful for the cameras because of the children are a constant interruption and no matter how many times I try to reinforce that when I am driving or parking to stop talking to me. The rear and front camera alerted me to many objects that I could have hit whilst parking including gates on the farm.
The Ozzies Reaction And Thoughts
For me, the Jaguar F-PACE is a very sporty looking SUV and as a female driver, I feel and look very sexy in it. Trust me a lot of blokes were very intrigued and on many occasions I giggled at how many guys stopped and looked, they could not keep their eyes on the Jaguar F-PACE. It was really empowering returning to the parked Jaguar, to find guys looking at it wondering what this SUV was all about.
No matter where I drove it, the F-PACE turned heads. I especially noticed guys really taking a look at how it drove and how it sounded. In a country where the V8 engines dominate I certainly was impressed with how many people stopped, looked and commented on how posh my car was. But as an Australian who has many mechanic friends, I could not help ponder how Jaguar would succeed and position itself here down under. This was the question I asked many times to petrol heads and women who were out shopping.
This is the land of 4WD and SUV’s, a vast country when it comes to travel so every penny counts regarding fuel economy. Talking about fuel economy I drove from Warrnambool to Orbost on one tank. The distance and drive was 7 h 11 min (623.4 km) via M1 and Princes Hwy/A1, which costs me just under 70 dollars. Crikey I thought that was pretty damn good. So did anyone else I talked too.
Personally, I felt like royalty and very safe driving the Jaguar F-PACE because in the 2,000km I drove it, I never saw one. Officially around 650 have been sold in total and in a huge country like Australia that means one F-PACE per 12,000 km2. In a rich country such as Australia, this is rare, unique and for me money well spent.
The F-PACE is not a common SUV that every Australian will own let alone can afford to buy. It is going to take time for Jaguar to re-establish itself and move away from that old man’s car mentality, and on many occasions, the average Australian didn’t even know that Jaguar had an SUV. With the demise of Holden and Ford production in Australia, I can see this car market opening up to more imports including Jaguar. The F-PACE is a hit for Jaguar worldwide with this model alone making more than 50% of the total sales. The E-PACE has just been launched which is a smaller version, and next year will also see the launch of the I-PACE all-electric SUV. Jaguar is becoming an SUV company.
Does the Diesel Model S version make sense over the petrol one? Performance-wise there is not much of a difference. The petrol one does sound better, but the diesel one gives better fuel economy. If you drive long distances which is more likely in Australia I would go for the Diesel.