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Used car tests

Used Jaguar F-Pace review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Jaguar F-Pace that's been on sale since 2016

Verdict

We loved the F-Pace when it was launched – enough to crown it our 2016 Car of the Year. When we first drove the new arrival we proclaimed: “The Jag is firm yet comfortable, and beautifully controlled on a twisty road. It’s cleverly packaged, too, with a roomy cabin that offers practicality, luxury and simplicity in equal measure. It’s a shame it took so long for Jag to launch its first SUV, but the F-Pace proves it was well worth the wait”. Yet while the F-Pace is undoubtedly impressive in many ways, read the owners’ forums and the owner reviews on our sister title carbuyer.co.uk, and it seems that many F-Pace buyers initially adore their car, but the experience is sometimes soured by high running costs, poor build quality, disappointing reliability and (sometimes) poor dealers, so be sure to buy with care.

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Jaguar was rather late entering the SUV segment. For years it had resisted building a 4x4 of its own, worried that it would steal sales from its Land Rover stablemate. But eventually, consumer tastes made the arrival of a Jaguar off-roader inevitable. Introducing an SUV (or several) has been the only way that some car makers have survived, and so it proved for Jaguar, with the F-Pace becoming the company’s fastest-selling model of all time.

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Looking less ostentatious than most contenders in the mid-sized SUV segment, the F-Pace has proved to be a big hit thanks to its excellent dynamics, impressive engines and roomy cabin. Furthermore, the use of a bodyshell that’s made largely from lightweight aluminium has helped to cut fuel consumption and improve agility.

The question is, how does the rest of the F-Pace’s package stack up compared with its rivals in this hotly contested market?

Models covered

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  • Jaguar F-Pace (2016-date) - Our 2016 Car of the Year was Jaguar’s first ever SUV – but does it make a good used buy?

History

The F-Pace first arrived in summer 2016 with a choice of 2.0-litre or 3.0-litre diesel engines, and a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit. Whereas the 3.0-litre engines came only in automatic AWD (all-wheel-drive) form, the 2.0-litre diesel could be ordered with either rear or four-wheel drive, the latter with a manual or auto gearbox.

At launch there were five trim levels: Prestige; R-Sport; Portfolio; S; and First Edition. Jaguar’s 296bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine was introduced in July 2017, and the 542bhp F-Pace SVR arrived in the summer of 2018; this coincided with a refresh that brought an upgraded cabin with improved infotainment, plus particulate filters for petrol engines.

Jaguar F-Pace reviews

Which one should I buy?

The petrol-engined models cost significantly more to run than the equivalent diesel cars because of their higher fuel, tax and maintenance costs. If you’re buying to tow you definitely need a diesel powerplant, and if you’re buying a 2.0-litre edition make sure it’s an AWD model.

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No F-Pace is spartan, with even the entry-level Prestige model featuring eight-way electrically adjustable heated front seats, leather trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, navigation and DAB radio. The R-Sport adds sports seats, 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights and a bodykit. The Portfolio comes with 10-way seat adjustment, a heated windscreen and washer jets, panoramic roof, keyless go, electrically folding door mirrors, upgraded hi-fi and a rear-view camera. The S has 20-inch wheels while the First Edition gets 22-inch wheels, LED headlights and electric rear seats.

Alternatives to the Jaguar F-Pace

Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer the Q5, X3/X4 and GLC respectively. None of these is as handsome as the Jag, but they all have far superior infotainment systems and come with efficient engines, decent dynamics plus plenty of high-tech driver-assistance systems. They all have pretty strong residual values, so you’ll be doing well to bag a bargain. Alternatively you could buy a Land Rover, with the Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque or Range Rover Sport all potentially fitting the bill depending on your budget; unlike the F-Pace, both Discoverys are available with seven seats.

If you want dynamic brilliance, meanwhile, the Porsche Macan should be on your shortlist, while the hybrid Lexus NX is particularly impressive for its efficiency, equipment, refinement and reliability – but not so much for its driving experience.

What to look for

Sensors

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The rear parking sensors can bleep even when there’s nothing there. A software update should remedy this fault.

Build quality

Some owners are unimpressed with the panel fit, especially on the bumpers, bonnet and tailgate, where there can be larger gaps.

Noises

Creaks, squeaks and rattles are more common than you might expect on a premium car, especially on high-mileage examples.

Additive

The AdBlue tank found on diesel models needs to be refilled every 12,000 miles or so; this is included in the service plan if you take one out.

Interior

The Jaguar F-Pace’s cabin is attractive, features high-quality materials in most areas, and is ergonomically sound, but there are a few areas that are of lower quality than one would expect on a car of this price and class. In addition, living with the car for a while reveals some minor usability issues with the switchgear.

What is extremely impressive, though, is the cabin space, with ample room for three in the back, although cars with a panoramic glass roof do forgo a little headroom, which could be an issue for some buyers. Boot space is excellent, at 650 litres, or a mammoth 1,740 litres when the back seats are folded completely flat.

Running costs

Whereas the service interval for F-Paces with a 2.0-litre diesel engine is set at two years or 21,000 miles, it’s 12 months or 16,000 miles for the other mainstream models (3.0d, 2.0, 3.0).

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Servicing costs for the 2.0d range from £641 to £1,891 – the latter is for the 105,000-mile or 10-year service for cars built up to 2019. After this date the maximum price jumps to a hefty £2,082. The equivalent prices for an F-Pace 3.0d are £611 and £2,150; the latter is for the 10-year/160,000-mile service, but the seven-year/112,000-mile service cost is also high, at £2,049. Services for a supercharged 3.0 V6 model are £588-£851; the 2.0-litre petrol costs £421-£1,650. There’s no cambelt to change on any engine.

Recalls

The Jaguar F-Pace has been recalled no fewer than seven times since it first hit showrooms back in 2016, the first occasion being in August 2016 because of the possibility of an electrical short circuit in the engine bay.

Just one F-Pace was recalled in April 2017 because of a driveshaft detaching, then diesel-engined cars were recalled in May 2017 because of potential fuel leaks; petrol-engined models were subsequently recalled in March 2018 for the same reason.

The digital instrument cluster going blank was the reason for a campaign in October 2017, then in January 2019 a few F-Paces were recalled because of problems with the engine’s crankshaft-retaining bolt fracturing. Two months later, a recall was issued for emissions problems – These were cured with software updates.

Driver Power owner satisfaction

The F-Pace didn’t appear in this year’s Driver Power new car survey, but it did notch up 40th place out of 100 cars in the 2019 poll, which is a pretty respectable result. Owners love the driving experience, its practicality, the exterior design and the quality of the outside finish – but don’t like the multimedia system. Respondents weren’t too enamoured with the F-Pace’s reliability record or running costs, either

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