Road Tripping in the Jaguar F-Pace

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The Jaguar SUV Shines as the Miles Roll On

There are so many vehicles you can take on a holiday road trip. You can hop into a luxury sedan for a smooth ride to your in-laws’ house. Or you can pack your family and all of your gear (and the kitchen sink) into a giant three-row SUV. Forbes used a Jaguar F-Pace.

Over the Christmas break, they drove Jaguar’s first SUV all over England, “from the heart of urban London to Suffolk, a province to the east of the country and then onto Worcestershire and the Cotswolds, an impossibly picture perfect region in south central England.” The more miles they put on the diesel-powered R-Sport model, they more they liked it. The graceful profile, the nimbleness enabled by the aluminum construction, the quick steering – all of those traits stuck out as much as Rudolph’s red nose on a snowy night. Forbes‘ F-Pace test vehicle also got on the publication’s “Nice List” for its InControl 12.3-inch infotainment system, eight-way power front seats, and “smooth-sounding 380W Meridian sound system.”

Despite the tight rear seating dimensions, Forbes deemed the F-Pace nearly perfect. After having driven an F-Pace R-Sport 35t for a week earlier this year, I personally have to agree with their conclusion. The outer design was beautifully proportioned. The interior was attractive and full of useful tech. I found the 340 horsepower from the supercharged V6 a great match for the F-Pace’s 4,015-pound curb weight, which seemed to drop when I thrust the machine into every curve I could find. My journey might have been a much shorter road trip than the one Forbes took its F-Pace media loaner on, but it sure felt as if I was being given a present.

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via [Forbes]

Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including and, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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