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post #1 of 9 Old 02-12-2019, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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20 Days Into Ownership - An Honest Review

Hi everyone, as I mentioned in my very first post ever, I purchased a MY2019 F-Pace 25t on Jan 23rd of this year, and now 20 days into ownership, I feel like i have had sufficient experience with it to write share a few of my thoughts, good and bad, so here goes!

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The lease was up on my 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport which is what led me back to the dealership to find a replacement vehicle. Initially, I was going to take a look at the Range Rover Velar, since I was really taken by the styling and what appeared to be pretty cool tech features. I also liked the smooth sheetmetal and sleek "futuristic" design elements. But then I saw the F-Pace and that really changed the dynamic for me. Whereas the sheetmetal and design for the Velar was sleek and cool, the F-Pace had a sinuous, warm and "sexy" look that made the Velar seem cold and impersonal in a side by side comparison. And odd observation I suppose, but the difference struck me: did I want to drive a vehicle that felt warm and approachable with a personality that asked it to be driven, or a vehicle that felt a bit aloof and icy in terms of design and tech? So the F-Pace it was....

Driving & Handling

The first thing I have been struck by is the dynamics of the vehicle and the perception it gives. Coming from the Discovery Sport, I must say the dynamics are night and day. Obviously the Discovery had more of a "truck-like" demeanor in terms of both handling and ride. I guess I had gotten so used to it that it faded into the background a bit. That is until the roads were even slightly rough and then the Discovery would clatter and bounce about, feeling a bit unsure on the road and a bit tinny and light. That road roughness eventually led to a TON of squeaks, squeals and loose body panels that Land Rover never could resolve to anyone's satisfaction despite constant dealership visits. In comparison, what has struck me is the almost vault-like quality of the build and sound dampening in the F-Pace. I can still hear road noise, and feel the road through the steering wheel feedback, so it isn't a sense of complete isolation from the driving experience, but it has a serenity that makes driving the F-Pace a joy. I don't get the sense of fatigue I did with the Discovery Sport. The other thing I noticed is that there is a perception of size that belies its actual dimensions to me. It "feels" big and solid and roomy. Which I suppose it it is in comparison to my last vehicle, but it just feels wide and large and "planted" on the road. It is a very commanding feeling. Also, the steering has a really nice and solid weighted feel to it with great road feedback. Not too much, not too little, so it isn't trying to pretend to be a sports car, but still retains a solid sporty tightness to it. As I have the 19 inch rims, I feel like that rim/tire size is the perfect compromise between riding on something better suited to a Toyota Yaris, and the 22 inch rims with tires devoid of sidewall that transmit every bump and undulation in the road surface to your back and arms which wear a person out on long trips. I've experienced both scenarios so I know of which I speak...

Drivetrain

I really must say I was initially concerned about getting the 25t and worried about being underpowered in daily driving situations. Once again using the Discovery Sport as a comparison, the engines are a night and day difference. My old vehicle had a Ford-produced power plant that was so herky-jerky with the turbo bolted to it that you had to take a master class on just how to finesse the pedal in order to avoid dead spots in the turbo from lag, or the sudden and unpredictable laying down of power that would snap your head back into the headrest. Needless to say, merging into traffic or emergency maneuvering was always a dicey affair. This is so much different. The Ingenium really seems to have tackled the turbo issues and created a smoother delivery of power when needed. Color me impressed! And It provides me with all the power I really need to do what I must in a daily driver: get me from point A to point B and still let me have a bit of fun punching it from time to time. But there is an issue I need to discuss with the dealership sooner than later, and that is the transmission. Something isn't right. There is a bit of what I can only describe as "slip" before it feels like it engages to move the vehicle forward. You feel it in the gas pedal in fact; a jumping or skipping sensation under mild to moderate acceleration, but doesn't seem to happen when you lay on the pedal. That can't be normal. Or perhaps it is and I'm just an idiot. LOL!

Headlights

Mine came with the LED Adaptive headlights and I don't think I have ever had better lighting in any vehicle I have owned before. I live in an area where deer are a constant hazard at night and often are seen too late to avoid collision because the headlight spread pattern is not always wide enough to properly catch the sides of the road. These headlights do that really well. Add to it the auto high beams and it really inspires confidence driving at night because you really can see EVERYTHING! I love them! Oncoming traffic however? Not so much. Even after the system has sensed oncoming traffic and have dimmed the headlights, I have lost count of the number of times I get flashed and shown the middle finger as we pass one another to turn them down because they still think the high-beams are on. I am having to constantly flash them back to show them that isn't the case, which then deactivates the auto beams and then have to be turned back on again. I admit it has become a major annoyance for me but, boy oh boy, I sure can appreciate how much better they make night time driving seem.

Sound System/ICTP

I ended up with the 825 Watt Meridian system, and I must say I am really not impressed at all. I honestly felt that my lesser system in the Discovery Sport sounded better. I have gone through multiple settings and just don't like it. The first thing that struck me is the imaging is, well....odd to me. In other vehicles I have had in the past with higher end systems, the imaging seemed to make the music feel as though it was all around you, while being clean and crisp in both the highs and lows. This system seems to make the sound appear spatially like a "ball" that floats centered right above the touchscreen in the dash. For me it is disorienting and headache-inducing, and I still have not gotten used to it. When I turn it to stereo mode, it "spreads it out" but then sounds muddy and messy. Every few songs makes it seem like one needs to go in and adjust the base and treble because it is too much one way or the other, in to attempt to balance it all out...until the 3rd or 5th song comes on when you need to do it all over again. Not thrilled at all with the system and tend to leave it off more than on at this point.

Twice so far, the settings I have chosen for the speedo/tach display have reset itself and I have had to go in and redo my preferences. Also, I have had the touchscreen do the (rather cool) Jaguar cat display at startup only to go completely blank several times. I have turned off the vehicle and restarted it which has solved the issue, but still an annoyance and really should not happen in a 2019 vehicle. Also, and this has been an irritant more so than a serious problem, in using the Remote Start, I cannot use Apple CarPlay. It just will not connect and gives me a "not available" message even as my phone says it is connected to the vehicle. I was assured I had the latest software that was supposed to have addressed that issue, which I brought up at the dealership prior to purchasing. All I can say is, obviously that either wasn't true/wasn't solved. Irritating, but ultimately minor.

So thanks for hanging in there and reading my blather. Would love your feedback and thoughts on MY feedback and thoughts!

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Last edited by Brubs; 02-12-2019 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Edited to correct some misspelling!
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-12-2019, 02:34 PM
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Nice review!
As far as the Meridian, I have found that moving the focal point behind the front seats helps.
If it’s positioned exactly in the center, I agree the sound appears to be coming entirely from the dashboard.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-12-2019, 02:52 PM
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Thank You for the review.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-12-2019, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
Nice review!
As far as the Meridian, I have found that moving the focal point behind the front seats helps.
If itís positioned exactly in the center, I agree the sound appears to be coming entirely from the dashboard.
Seconded. I agree it's disappointing, but if you focus it about half way between the picture of the forward seats and the rear seats you at least get some balanced sound. Then you need to tweak the EQ to avoid the sub woofer from being too dominant. Finally, program your home page to include the buttom for the EQ mode, that lets you rapidly shift between Dolby, Meridian, etc. Different sounds sound very different depending on which of their mixing gets used. I can usually find something that sounds tolerable, but I'm never going to love the sound quality in this car the way I did in my Audi or BMW.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-12-2019, 09:34 PM
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What I don't understand ,
is WHY does the stock radio in my Ford Fusion , sound like the same volume on *10* ,
as my F-PACE w/825-watts sounds on *24* ???

On *12* the Fusion is getting pretty loud ,
but I really don't get pretty loud until *45* on the F-PACE ???
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-12-2019, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRVR View Post
What I don't understand ,
is WHY does the stock radio in my Ford Fusion , sound like the same volume on *10* ,
as my F-PACE w/825-watts sounds on *24* ???

On *12* the Fusion is getting pretty loud ,
but I really don't get pretty loud until *45* on the F-PACE ???
YES!!! I forgot to mention that part as well because I feel like I have to crank it well above the midpoint to even feel as though Im getting any muscle out of the system. Seems odd for so much supposed wattage...
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-13-2019, 09:33 AM
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Great review, something definitely wonky with your CarPlay/ICTP. I have had that message once in a rare while and it went away with a phone and vehicle reboot. You’ve probably tried this but if not try different cables, the whole setup is exquisitely sensitive to what cable you are using. Clean restart your phone and test different cables, particularly a brand new out of the box original Apple cable. If that doesn’t help have dealer look at your USB ports, I’ve heard of a case where after much testing dealer finally figure out there was a crimped wire in center console on USB port. CarPlay really is transformative and it should be working fine.

Per Meridian comments, I’m not too much of an audiophile but I find it a good sound system. As you’ve found switching between sounds modes makes a big difference. Also buried deep in this forum from long ago are extensive posts by a serious audiophile who reprocessed his source music files in a way that he claimed vastly improved playback on Meridian.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-13-2019, 09:40 AM
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Great review, something definitely wonky with your CarPlay/ICTP. I have had that message once in a rare while and it went away with a phone and vehicle reboot. Youíve probably tried this but if not try different cables, the whole setup is exquisitely sensitive to what cable you are using. Clean restart your phone and test different cables, particularly a brand new out of the box original Apple cable. If that doesnít help have dealer look at your USB ports, Iíve heard of a case where after much testing dealer finally figure out there was a crimped wire in center console on USB port. CarPlay really is transformative and it should be working fine.
True this.
Had a non Apple cable that worked fine for 2 years, and with no warning, didn't. This occurred after upgrade to 18C and Apple CarPlay.
Took my fresh, brand new Apple brand cable from my new XS Max and problem solved. Very sensitive on USB connectors.

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-13-2019, 10:56 AM
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Nice review, thanks for taking the time. I agree, I've had the Disco Sport as a loaner a few times and I thought the stock 325w or 350w system in that car sounded better than the F-Pace 800w Meridian with some songs. for the first 35k miles in my F-Pace I ran with the Stereo setup and pumped the base as high as I could get it without causing distortion to give the music some foundation. To me your imaging comment is spot on, I think while having 800plus watts, the Meridian system in the F-Pace uses those watts strangely. There is no real foundation to the music in my opinion, while Stereo spreads it out, the SubWoofer doesn't really work well enough. I think maybe the car isn't putting enough of those watts to that woofer to really make it count. Lastly, I have been running around in Meridian mode for imaging, and I did what Skyking suggested and moved the center of the sound further back into the back seats. Seems better to me but still not great.

I also have heard that the 2019s are not any better, even with software changes. So I'm guessing with my new F-Pace, I'll be in the same spot. Maybe I need to look at Upgrade options without totally killing the head unit. Perhaps different speakers and added amps. Don't know, but I totally agree with your review on the stereo.

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