The F-Pace may not be the most complete or capable family 4x4.

It may rely a little too heavily on the skill of Jaguar’s chassis tuners to conjure its sporting appeal and it may deserve a more distinguished diesel engine, although the recent additions of petrol engines may lift this burden off the oilburner's shoulders.

By and large — and engine apart — it’s the Jaguar SUV we hoped it would be

But it has enough SUV convenience, utility, ruggedness and refinement, combined with outstanding handling, to earn a fulsome recommendation.

For our money, it’s rounded and rewarding enough to deserve a berth at the sharp end of its class – and wider test experience suggests that it’s even better to drive in different chassis specifications.

Our preference for a Land Rover Discovery Sport, with its enormous breadth of ability, neatly sums up how little notional space there was for this car to flourish in – because even the perfect F-Pace could probably never be the complete SUV.

Nonetheless, this one makes a very refreshing, modern and engaging fist of things – and it will only get better. As a result it, the F-Pace betters the Volvo XC60 and Mercedes-Benz GLC to come in third behind Land Rover’s Discovery Sport and the BMW X3.