Fashion Quarterly‘s digital editor Kelly McAuliffe trades in her old school VW Polo for the new Jaguar F-Pace for a week. Here’s what happened:
Who’s that girl?
That girl is the Jaguar F-Pace 35t R-Sport. She’s sleek, she’s red and she’s racy. She purrs too.
Very nice, how much?
Pricing for the Jaguar F-Pace starts at $115,000 with optional extras available including Panoramic Roof ($2,950), Power Recline Rear Seat ($300), and Black Pack ($1,300).
Looks matter. What first impression does this make?
For someone whose tiny VW seems fitting for my 5’2″ frame, my first reaction when I saw this big red monster was complete denial. There was no way on Earth I going to be able to drive this thing, let alone park it! I could barely get in the driver’s seat without practically pole vaulting myself inside. Fast-forward 30 minutes and I’m not only dominating the motorway but feeling like I own the road. Okay, NOW I get why people like big cars. At the end of the day, I drop FQ’s creative director Marcel Gull home after work. He, like me, can’t get enough of the sliding panoramic roof. “It feels like we’re in Jurassic Park,” he quips. Uh, if you say so Marcel.
If this car was a person, who would it be?
Andre Leon Talley. It’s got a big presence and the personality to match.
What can this car do? Any fancy gizmos or tech?
Considering the fanciest thing my own car can do is play my iPhone music through a cable connected to the tape deck (baller), everything about this car is fancy to me. The keyless ignition, although standard in new cars, is a revelation. The seats are heated and electric; you can move them up, down, side-to-side, at the flick of a switch. Even better, there are three presets you can configure to your ideal seat position. So if you share the car with someone who has considerably longer legs than you do, you can do away with the frustration of having to move everything back to the way you like it each time you take the wheel – just hit the desired preset and voilà, you’re back in business. The Activity Key is also a winner for those that lead an active lifestyle and/or are worried about losing your key fob when out and about. Instead, a waterproof FitBit-looking wristband replaces your conventional key fob when you are out for a run, swim or day at the beach… Simply present the Activity Key to the tailgate to lock and unlock the vehicle. However, it is the Bluetooth speakers which sync to my phone that is my favourite gadget. I can be listening to my usual morning ‘pep-me-up’ playlist in my bathroom at home, jump into the driver’s seat five minutes later and it’ll start playing right where I left off. There are few things in life that will give you as much satisfaction as a seamless Spotify transition.
Most importantly, how are the cup holders/lipstick mirrors?
Considering the high centre console is such a prominent feature, there isn’t much in the way of cup holder options – just two spots for you and your driving companion to each pop your takeaway flat white. However, the makeup-checking facilities of this vehicle are next level. Not only does the magnified rearview mirror help to, you know, check the road and the vehicles behind you with ease, but it’s like it was literally made for accurate lipstick application. Shout out to the panoramic roof for giving you awesome natural light so you can do one final check before heading into the office.
Anything you wish it had or could do?
Aside from maybe a stepladder for the shorter-legged among us, there’s not much this car is missing. One observant passenger (who may or may not have been pretending he was in Jurassic Park at the time), noted the seatbelts didn’t have an automated function to tighten or present itself to you. But you can’t have it all, can you?
Parking difficulty level/how many attempts did it take?
I’ve never owned a car with a parking camera before, so I didn’t use this feature to its full effect. My solution? I just parked approx. 1km from my final destination everywhere I went so I didn’t have to contend with tight carparks and other cars *ahem*. But if you’re a more confident breed than I, the camera and parking sensors will make maneuvering a breeze.
Is it one you’d drive for yourself or for the attention of other women or men?
After experiencing the power of the F-Pace on the open road, I would definitely be driving this one for myself. Men seemed more intrigued on the whole – I guess they’d heard about its speed – but it would also make the perfect family vehicle. Let’s just say, if I were a yummy mummy dropping off my kids to school, I’d feel pretty good about doing it in the F-Pace.
Things that matter to car geeks
The first thing you’ll notice (or should notice) is the F-Pace can go from 0-100km in 5.5 seconds. I’m not a speed freak by any means, but even I got a great sense of enjoyment from this. Other things you should know: The Jaguar F-Pace 35t R-Sport is a 3.0 litre, 8-speed automatic all-wheel drive with a V6 Supercharged Petrol engine available in either 250kW or 280kW. It has an Intelligent Stop/Start ignition, Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) software, smart regenerative charging (harvesting kinetic energy from braking to charge the battery) and is equipped with 10-way electric heated front seats, 4-way Lumbar and Driver Memory, Dual Zone Climate Control, Automatic Headlights with Powerwash, Rain Sensing Windscreen Wipers, Front and Rear Parking Aid, Rear View Camera, Powered Tailgate, Touch-Screen Display, Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio and Meridian 380W Sound System with 11 speakers.
I’m always a huge proponent of the heated seat – but that panoramic roof is everything.
A wardrobe full of Prada, Chanel, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Celine, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tom Ford or this car?
The power, the panoramic roof, the preset seats – I did come to love the Jag and it was heart-wrenching to have to hand it all back at the end of the week. But when it comes to the crunch, I would happily keep driving my little silver VW bullet in exchange for a wardrobe of such epic proportions #sorrynotsorry.