In-depth reviews

Jaguar F-Pace review - Engines, performance and drive

Few SUVs are as fun or capable as the Jaguar F-Pace, and it's nearly as sweet to drive as the Porsche Macan

Jaguar could have turned to sister brand Land Rover for help with its first SUV, but instead it developed its own platform for the F-Pace. The F-Pace is based on Jaguar’s iQ-AL platform that also partly underpins the XE and XF saloons. This helps the F-Pace feel as sporty to drive as it looks. That’s because it shares the saloon’s suspension set-up, which uses double wishbones at the front and a multi-link rear axle that’s set-up to deliver engaging handling.

Where the Jaguar has a real edge over its rivals is the way it drives. With lots of grip and good body control, the F-Pace is fun to drive; it’s hard to believe a high-riding SUV can handle as well as this. It remains composed even on bumpy roads, and comfort doesn’t take too much of a hit to deliver those fun dynamics. The eight-speed auto transmission is smooth enough when left to work itself, although we found switching to the manual shift paddles produced more sluggish gear changes.

There’s very little road and wind noise, plus the ride is nearly as supple and well controlled as the Mercedes GLC with its air suspension. Bigger undulations can upset the SUV’s balance, but you’ll never notice jolts in the cabin – even on the larger alloy wheels. 

The F-Pace is surprisingly capable off-road, too. While Jag is leaving the proper tough stuff to sister company Land Rover, the F-Pace is admirably efficient when faced with muddy ruts or a grassy field. The four-wheel-drive system does sometimes scrabble for grip, but that's more down to the road-biased tyres, and on the whole it gives you confidence to push the car some way off the beaten track. 

In normal driving, the 4WD system features a clever system that sends more power to the rear wheels to give a purer feel, but switches extra drive to the front wheels when it senses a more even split of traction is required. 

Jaguar also offers the optional Adaptive Dynamics Pack, which costs around £900 and adds adaptive dampers. These are continuously adjustable and constantly alter to the road conditions, unlike most rivals which have pre-set modes. It’s a pricey package, but is worth choosing because there’s a better mix of comfort and agility.

In 2020, Jaguar reinvigorated the F-Pace engine range to include mild-hybrid tech for all versions except the base petrol car. The petrol plug-in hybrid version was also introduced.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

Jaguar F-Pace buyers get a broad choice of engines. The entry-level, four-cylinder diesel version produces 163bhp and 380Nm of torque, which enables a 0-60mph time of 9.2s. The top-performing 296bhp oil-burner, makes use of an extra two cylinders and completes the same sprint in 6.1s. Splitting the difference between these two variants is the 201bhp four-cylinder diesel unit which is capable of 0-60mph in 7.6s.

The petrol-powered cars inevitably bring quicker acceleration, and even the least powerful 247bhp version posts a 0-60mph time of 6.9s. Only a tenth of a second splits the 394bhp petrol car and the 398bhp plug-in hybrid over the sprint benchmark; the plug-in version just shading it with a 5.0s time.

The performance-orientated SVR is frankly ridiculous and will put some supercars to shame in a straight line. Its 542bhp and 700Nm of torque pushes the two-tonne SUV from a standstill to 60mph in 3.8 seconds, before moving on to a top speed of 178mph.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 D165 5dr Auto AWD
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £39,550

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 P400e S 5dr Auto AWD
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £55,340

Fastest

  • Name
    5.0 V8 550 SVR 5dr Auto AWD
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £75,350

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