Jaguar F-Pace review – all-round excellence has finally come Jag’s way, but is it too late?
The F-Pace has always looked and driven better than most of its rivals. Now it has the interior and tech to match, too
Jaguar’s F-Pace has traditionally been one of the more composed and entertaining premium SUVs to drive, but such is the rate of progress that its light has dimmed since its 2017 launch. To keep its most popular model fresh, Jaguar set about giving it a pretty substantial update, and while from the outside it doesn’t look like much has changed, nothing could be further from the truth.
Under the new bonnet is an array of engine options that are even more varied than before, with mild- and plug-in hybrid assistance on a range of petrols and diesels. Not only that, Jaguar has also completely revitalised its interior and tech interfaces – all big marks against for the previous car, even from launch.
Combined with its excellent driving dynamics and sleek design, the F-Pace has never actually been more desirable, and with a range so varied as to offer a plug-in hybrid at one end and a fire-breathing 542bhp SVR model at the other, there’s no sliver of the premium SUV marketplace it doesn’t appeal to.
So Jag’s on to a bit of a winner, which is unfortunate for a few reasons as there’s no plan to directly replace it. Instead it will stand as a final flourish of brilliant engineering before the brand goes all-electric ahead of its 2025 relaunch. Still, right here, right now, the F-Pace is a very strong competitor in the segment with no obvious or deal-breaking flaws, making now an ideal time to enjoy this sort of combustion-powered Jag while we still can.
Jaguar F-Pace in detail
- Engine, gearbox and technical highlights – Four-cylinder options aren’t great, but the new six-pot diesel makes up for this. PHEV is also pretty solid, so long as you don’t run out of battery.
- Performance and 0-62mph time – Six- and eight-cylinder options offer great performance, four-cylinder ones less so, PHEV excepted.
- Ride and handling – The excellent chassis remains – it’s polished, precise and perfectly suited to the UK.
- MPG and running costs – Comparable to its rivals in terms of economy, that’s to say respectable for an SUV but far from exceptional.
- Interior and tech – Much better than before, it’s plush, sumptuous and wonderfully detailed. Tech’s good, too.
- Design – The F-Pace’s inherently sound aesthetic remains largely unchanged, with just enough detail upgrades to keep it looking fresh.
Prices, specs and rivals
The F-Pace might look similar to the model that was launched back in 2017, but the latest range has taken some pretty solid leaps under the skin, starting with the available range of engines that are almost completely renewed, but no less varied than before. There are six powertrain variants available (plus the supercharged V8 found in the SVR) made up from four- and six-cylinder petrols and diesels, with both mild- and plug-in hybrid assistance. All F-Paces come standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission too.
Diesel models feature a mild-hybrid system, with the 2-litre Ingenium available in D165 and D200 forms. Step up to the D300 and two extra cylinders will be thrown in. In terms of petrol options, there’s a P250 four-cylinder petrol, P400 straight-six mild-hybrid petrol and finally the P400e plug-in hybrid that pairs the turbo four with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. The SVR still features a supercharged 5-litre V8 petrol, and is none the worse for it.
Each of these powertrain options are then available with either base or R-Dynamic design packages (six-cylinder models are R-Dynamic only), which are then split into different S, SE and HSE equipment levels. The result is a spread of prices that starts at £40,675 for a basic D165 S and goes up to £65,575 for a P400 D-Dynamic HSE. The SVR is priced higher again at £78,165.
The good news is that these prices haven’t really risen significantly over the last couple of years, making the F-Pace comparable to the BMW X3 in price, rather than the X5 as it once was. All F-Pace models feature LED headlights, heated folding door mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, new Pivi Pro infotainment system accessed on the slick curved glass, parking sensors and a rear camera – we could go on. SE and HSE build on this with bigger wheels, higher-spec leather, bigger stereo options and more, alongside a further individual options list.
Rivals are numerous, and start with the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC – three big-name competitors that are neither as good to drive, nice to look at nor as luxurious inside. None of them is any better in the tech stakes either (shockingly), nor offers any appreciable lead in efficiency or standard equipment. The Porsche Macan and Alfa Romeo Stelvio are more on the Jag’s level in driving terms, both having the edge in outright dynamics, but with their own compromises, namely the Porsche’s thirsty engine range (no diesels or hybrids) and the Alfa’s basic interior design and underwhelming petrols.