Sep 8, 2021

We took the New Jaguar F-PACE for a Weekend & found an ulu Cafe with a Mini Animal Farm!


Choosing a family car after the kids come along can be anti-climatic, because practicality no doubt ranks at top of the list - safety, fuel consumption, ample seating space and comfort. Gone are the days when acceleration performance, exterior design and interior details matter greatly. Yep, kinda boring actually. 😅

Ah, but that was because I haven't met the gorgeous Jaguar F-PACE yet.

After spending a weekend with the car, I can totally understand why the F-PACE performance SUV is the fastest-selling Jaguar ever since it was launched in 2016.  For those who love driving but require added practicality (because of family commitments) and luxury (because of well, personal comfort), the F-PACE is a tough SUV package to beat.

I wasn't the only one who said that though. The monkies did too, after we spent the weekend sussing out ulu (remote) places in Singapore to put the F-PACE to the test.

Their first impression on seeing the car? It's a beauty!

The new Jaguar F-PACE features significant exterior enhancements. The headlamps are now slimmer, with super slim all LED quad headlights while the larger grille is finished with a new mesh design that contains diamond detailing. 

At the rear, the rear lights and bumper have been refreshed for a more assertive presence.

But what really clinched for me (and the monkies) was its luxuriously crafted interior.

The F-PACE dashboard is entirely new, with an excellent split design finished in red and black with contrast stitching.

The monkies commented that the seats felt soft and comfortable. Plus, they get two independent climate zones as rear occupants! Yes, air-conditioning comfort is very important in their eyes. 😁

As for the front occupants, namely me the driver and the wifey the front passenger, we get lumbar support adjustment in our seats!

Now that's a comfort level I appreciate as we cruise to our ulu destination... as the monkies enjoy the changing view above, courtesy of the F-PACE's huge panoramic sunroof.

Speaking of cruising, we were headed to the east as I revved the SUV along the PIE - a most apt way to test out the car's performance. Boasting superb handling, the engine remained rev-happy and didn't feel overtly turbocharged, which complements the F-PACE’s fun-to-drive nature.

What made it more fun was the option to choose four driving modes: Dynamic, Comfort, Eco and Rain/Snow. Needless to say, I was in Dynamic mode most of the time, simply because the F-PACE is such a tremendous handler, with agility that belies its size and weight.

I have to give a special mention to the Pivi Pro infotainment system too, which made switching between the different driving modes (available as an optional upgrade) an effortless affair.

You know how some car infotainment systems are so complicated to operate? The F-PACE's Pivi Pro infotainment can be accessed through an all-new 11.4-inch HD curved glass touch screen which has been chemically strengthened. The glass screen features two coatings; one which is anti reflective to reduce glare and a second which makes wiping away fingerprints easier.

I love how the system has been designed such that I wouldn't require more than two touches to accomplish any tasks from the screen. In fact, I was told that the technology has been modelled after the smartphone's usage experience. So everything is kept as simple to use as possible - even my kids were able to navigate the system effortlessly at the first try!

Since our destination was located in the far-flung area of Changi, I had to rely on Pivi Pro's navigation map for directions which as you can guess by now, it was an absolute breeze to use.

And the 'long' travelling time of 25 minutes also breezed right through, as the monkies were kept occupied by blasting their kind of music through the 14-speaker Meridian sound system in the car... by connecting to their Spotify account through their phones via Bluetooth. All I can say is even though I have to say their taste in music is somewhat dubious, the songs' audio quality had immense depth and clarity within the car.

Since we are on the topic of cool technology, I love how the F-PACE's Interactive Driver Display allows me to customise all the essential driving information I require, according to my preferences. Oh, And I also have to mention the Head-Up display at the driver's seat! See the display projection directly above the dashboard?

Call me suaku, but this is super cool! Thank to the Head-Up display, I no longer have to look downwards to check my speed. I can even turn on Lane Keep Assist System which helps me to detect lane markings via video camera and actively assists me to remain in the marked lane.

We reached out destination soon enough - Johore Battery at Changi. But first, there was the small issue of parking the car and I needn't had to worry because the F-PACE came with not only a Front and Rear Parking Aid, it also had a 3D Surround Camera. I practically have a 360° view of the car's exterior from the Pivi Pro in the car!

Well, I could have seen this giant gun if I had parked right next to it! 😁

Johore Battery was built in the late 1930s as part of Singapore’s coastal defence system. It comprised three 15-inch guns, known as “monster guns”. Although the battery was meant to stop enemy attacks from the sea, two of its guns could be rotated to fire landward. The British destroyed the guns before the Fall of Singapore to prevent them from falling into the hands of the invading Japanese.

Today, the site has been taken over by an F&B operator which is Halal-certified. Named Duit SG (27 Cosford Road Singapore 499549), it serves a wide variety of food, from zichar to western to pizza & pasta to Indonesian dishes like Ayam Penyet. 

Prices are reasonable and average about $8 to $10 per mains.

But the real draw for kids is the vast open space that they get to enjoy before and after meals. There are swings and this contraption where kids can test their strength by lifting the heavy weight at one end from different parts of the bar.

There is also a mini animal farm where they get to see rabbits, birds, chickens and even tadpoles!

Somehow it doesn't really feel like Singapore; more like a kampung in Malaysia... which is good enough for now since travelling is out of the question for now. 😅

TIP: Go for dinner because the entire area is lit up come nightfall, which makes it seem even more like a pasar malam in Malaysia. It's great for the IG, I think. LOL.

Time to head home after our meal and I was secretly excited to be able to drive the long way back home again. #cheapthrill

And since we were all full from our meals, it gave me the perfect excuse to test out the F-PACE's boot space. So in went the monkies...

SUCCESS!!! 😂😂😂

Don't worry, no monkie was harmed in the making of this GIF.

Suffice to say, the boot space was exceedingly generous. If you want to get technical, it's 793 litres with the rear seats up, and 1,842 litres with the seats down. Which again gave me and the wifey the perfect excuse to load up our foldies the next day to go on a couple date!

I parked the F-PACE at Queenstown and we cycled along the Alexandra Canal Linear Park to connect to the Alexandra Park Connector to reach Robertson Quay. All in a day's worth of fun (and couple time).

Did I mention that I didn't have to take the car keys with me? The Jaguar F-PACE comes with an Activity Key which essentially looks like a smart watch. So all I had to do was to wear it on my wrist and it can lock and unlock the car!

No bulky keys poking me through my pocket while I exercise or even swim (yes, it's waterproof too!). Fantastic!

Personally, the weekend jaunt with the Jaguar F-PACE felt too short and fleeting. So when the time came to part with it, I was terribly reluctant. I suspect the monkies were too.

Because not only is the F-PACE huge and delivers power in abundance to all four wheels, it is luxurious yet user-friendly. It definitely doesn't disappoint.

But don't just take my word for it.

Feel the power & luxury behind the wheels for yourself at the Jaguar showroom!

For more information, visit HERE.

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