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 P250 petrol car. The P400e 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 D165 diesel version produces 163bhp and 380Nm of torque, which enables a 0-60mph time of 9.2s. The top-performing oil-burner, the 296bhp D300, 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 D200 which is capable of 0-60mph in 7.6s.
The petrol-powered cars inevitably bring quicker acceleration, and even the least powerful P250 posts a 0-60mph time of 6.9s. Only a tenth of a second splits the P400 and the P400e over the sprint benchmark, with 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.
In this review
- 1Jaguar F-Pace reviewWith new on-board tech and hybrid power, the Jaguar F-Pace is still a front runner in the upmarket SUV class
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingFew SUVs are as fun or capable as the Jaguar F-Pace, and it's nearly as sweet to drive as the Porsche Macan
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe diesel models return decent fuel economy, but the real efficiency champion is the P400e plug-in hybrid
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Jaguar F-Pace offers a fresh exterior look and revamped cabin with the latest on-board tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe F-Pace rivals cars like the Porsche Macan and BMW X3, but trumps them both for boot space and back-seat practicality
- 6Reliability and SafetyJaguar scores well for safety, but customer feedback highlights reliability issues
- 7Deals and offersThe latest finance deals and special offers on the Jaguar F-Pace SUV
- 8Used and nearly newOur Jaguar F-Pace used buyer's guide, covering all models from 2016 on