World Car of the Year: Jaguar F-PACE
A History of Listening
Jaguar may have been a little late to the game when it came to compact SUVs, but they made up for it by really hitting the features people wanted. While the F-PACE is no doubt a fast car, it’s not designed to make you want to push its limits on every freeway. You can still have a (light) off-road adventure, even if you have to navigate through heavy traffic to get there. It could just as easily be attractive to a professional as it would be for a family of five.
A Humble Acceptance
The CEO of Jaguar Land Rover Ralf Speth was both excited and humbled when accepting this prestigious award. Considering Jaguar has been criticized for its lack of SUV choices, it’s an even sweeter victory for everyone. For a team as small as his division is, he was absolutely ecstatic to hear that they had managed to create something that distinguished itself in a crowded category. With everyone trying to outdo one another, this was a huge moment for everyone who worked on the SUV.
An In-Demand Design
The F-PACE was a finalist along with two other SUVs: the Audi Q5 and the Volkswagen Tiguan. (Even though the show was held in the Big Apple, the winners didn’t have to be sold in America.) It also won the 2017 World Car Design of the Year too, which was another major score for Speth and his associates. The F-PACE debuted to the public in 2015 and hit garages in Europe and the US in spring of 2016. It has managed to achieve the perfect balance between sporty fun and everyday practicality. The SUV has helped Jaguar sales pick up almost immediately, with sales for the company having already tripled this year.
The Judges’ Criteria
SUVs may be beloved throughout America, but they generally don’t win the World Car of the Year. This famous auto show has been attracting the best of the best in car makers, who debut everything from their brand new models for next year to the craziest concept cars that will never see the market. For 13 years, the award went to sports, hybrid or electric cars. The judges aren’t just looking at the flashiest gadgets and superfluous features, they’re looking at real ways a car manufacturer has managed to truly innovate the field. It’s by adding value to the customer’s life that the F-PACE has managed to gain an edge over its competition, and it’s definitely a car that’s worth a test drive (or two.)