Jaguar F-Pace Review
The Jaguar F-Pace is a smart-looking SUV that is fun to drive and very practical, although its stiff suspension means it isn’t as comfortable as alternative models
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
- Great looking
- Very practical boot
- Sporty to drive
What's not so good
- Interior feels cheap in places
- Firm suspension
- Clattery diesel
Jaguar F-Pace: what would you like to read next?
If you want a practical SUV that looks brilliant and is fun to drive, then the Jaguar F-Pace should be right at the top of your shopping list.
It was launched in 2016 and updated in 2017 with three new engines: two 2.0-litre diesels – with 163 and 240hp – and a 2.0-litre petrol with up to 300hp. New colours were also introduced as was the option to upgrade the infotainment screen with Jaguar’s dual-view display, which means the front passenger can watch a DVD while the same screen gives the driver satellite-navigation directions.
The F-Pace has loads of room inside despite being as handsome as some low-slung coupes. You should be able to get comfortable in both the front and the back whether you’re thin and tall, or wide and small, and it only starts feeling cramped if you squeeze three people onto the rear bench.
The boot is also very practical. It has a squarer shape than a conventional, low-slung Jaguar saloon, so it’s easy to load and can swallow a week’s worth of luggage for a family of four without flinching. It’s a great car for house moves, trips to the dump and those sorts of things.
Trouble is, while it’s nice to look at, the interior is let down by flimsy build quality in places – the Jaguar’s cabin feels a little less sturdy than that in an Audi Q5 or Mercedes GLC – forgivable in a cheap car, but not in an expensive SUV like the F-Pace.
The Jaguar F-Pace is so good it makes you feel proud to be British
The F-Pace drives more like a sporty saloon than a tall SUV. There’s very little body lean in corners and its wide tyres mean it has plenty of grip. The main drawback is that the stiff suspension highlights bumps that would be smoothed out in the Audi Q5.
The basic diesel engine gets the best fuel economy of all. If you can afford it, though, treat yourself to the S model’s V6 diesel. It is quick enough to make the most of the F-Pace’s excellent handling and as standard you get adaptive dampers – that smooth out bumps better than the regular suspension – and Jaguar’s smooth-shifting, eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The F-Pace has yet to be tested for safety by Euro NCAP, but it shares lots of parts with the XE and XF saloons – both of which were awarded top marks when they were evaluated under 2015’s tough testing regime.
Whichever F-Pace you choose, you’ll get a car that looks great and is extremely practical. Its bouncy suspension means it’s not quite as comfortable as similar cars, but the trade-off is that it is more fun to drive.
Dor an in-depth analysis of the F-Pace, read our following interior, driving and specification review sections. Or take a look at the very latest Jaguar F-Pace deals.
The F-Pace’s interior has a classy appearance but closer scrutiny reveals it has hollow-sounding hard plastics and an infotainment system that’s tricky to use on the move
The F-Pace is the most practical Jaguar currently on sale – it’ll happily carry four people and its big, boxy boot is perfect if your active lifestyle requires you to carry bulky kit about
The F-Pace is a chunky SUV but it drives like a lean-machine Jaguar saloon
You’ll find it easy getting comfortable in the front of the Jaguar F-Pace – both the driver’s seat and steering wheel have enough adjustment to get you comfortable, even if you’re particularly vertically challenged. Prestige and R-Sport models get eight-way adjustable front seats, while trading up to Portfolio and S cars gets you 10-way electrical adjustment. All cars have heated front seats and a centre armrest, but adjustable lumbar support is a cheeky £250 option across the range.
Your backseat passengers will be pretty happy too, unless there are three of them. The F-Pace’s upright shape means they won’t be bashing their heads even if you specify the £1,200 panoramic glass roof, and there’s plenty of knee room too. The seats are a little firm and the backrest is also quite upright, although the £160 electric recline function solves the second issue.
The only time you’ll find the F-Pace isn’t up to scratch is when you carry three people. The middle seat is very firm and the Jaguar’s relatively narrow body doesn’t offer the shoulder room you get in a Mercedes GLC or Audi Q5, and the big hump in the floor means there isn’t space for three pairs of feet either.
Fitting a child seat isn’t too much of a hardship because the F-Pace’s height means you don’t have to bend your back when you’re fitting it and the Isofix points are easy to latch on to. The only difficulty comes when you’re manoeuvring the seat onto the base – the Jaguar’s doors don’t open quite as wide as they do in the Mercedes or Audi.
The Jaguar’s interior has lots of smaller storage areas to make your life easier in day-to-day use. The cupholders up front hold your coffee in place – even during exuberant cornering, the glovebox can swallow your big water bottle, the front door bins are massive and the cubby under the front centre armrest has two USB plugs, so both you and your passenger can charge your phones. Disappointingly, wireless charging isn’t available.
Even if you’re sitting in the back, you aren’t robbed of storage – the rear door bins aren’t as big as the ones in the front, but they’ll still swallow your big bottle of water, and you get two cupholders integrated into the centre armrest. The centre console sitting in front of you has two USB plugs, plus an AUX plug to charge electricals, and you get a tray above them big enough for a phone.
The F-Pace’s boot is huge. It has a 650-litre capacity, which is exactly 100 litres more than you get in the Mercedes GLC or Audi Q5 – both of which, like the Jaguar, get a bottle of tyre repair rather than a spare wheel. The Jaguar’s rear seats fold 40:20:40 so, if needs be, you can carry the spoils of a painfully long and expensive Ikea visit and still have space in the back for one or two passengers.
Leave your rear-seat passengers at home and the Jaguar has cavernous total capacity of 1,740 litres, which puts it ahead of similar models – the Audi Q5 offers 1,550 litres and the Mercedes GLC 1,600 litres. Loading is simple because the small load lip means you can slide big items into place rather than having to lift them – it’s just annoying that you can’t lower the floor if you’re carrying something tall, such as a house plant.
You’re not left wanting for much else, though. The boot floor is reversible with a wipe-clean side that means you can carry wet dogs or mud-encrusted hiking boots without ruining the carpet. You get hooks for your shopping – so your bags won’t spew their contents at the first hint of a corner – and also a 12v power socket to power electricals such as a portable vacuum cleaner.
A cool option is the £320, Activity Key, which allows you to lock the car with the keys in it. It straps around your wrist like a watch and is waterproof, so won’t succumb to adventurous activities, such as surfing, in the same way the standard keys will.
The optional Practicality Pack adds a lever in the boot that folds down the rear seats – so you don’t have to stretch reaching for the latch on top on the back seats – and keyless entry, to lock/unlock the car without taking the key out of your pocket. You also get a lockable glovebox that’s cooled by the air conditioning and a luggage net for keeping the boot tidy. Finally, there’s a hands-free boot lid, opened by waggling your foot under the rear bumper – so you can open it even when your hands are full. The pack costs £1,150 on Prestige and R-Sport models and makes sense, but on S and Portfolio cars – that have keyless entry as standard – the pack makes less sense.
The F-Pace is fun to drive for an SUV, and has a good range of engines – but it can be uncomfortable on bumpy roads
The F-Pace drives like a hot hatch on stilts
The smooth 3.0-litre 300hp diesel is the pick of the F-Pace’s engine range because it provides effortless performance and is much quicker than either the 180 or the 240hp diesel. After all, if you’re spending a lot of money on an F-Pace, it’s worth investing a little extra cash to get the absolute best out of it.
The big diesel surges smoothly from 0-62mph in just 6.2 seconds, so you’ll always have a healthy dollop of overtaking power in reserve if you need it, plus grippy four-wheel drive is standard as is Jaguar’s smooth-shifting, eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s worth going for the S model because you also get adaptive dampers, which make the car more comfortable on bumpy roads than the standard non-adjustable suspension.
Jaguar reckons the 3.0-litre diesel will get 47.1mpg, which isn’t too far off the 53.3mpg an identically specified 180hp 2.0-litre model gets.
Want an F-Pace that’s cheap to run? Go for the basic 163hp 2.0-litre diesel, which returns fuel economy of 58.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 126g/km. But it can’t offer the performance the F-Pace deserves, gets a six-speed manual gearbox and no grippy four-wheel drive.
You have two choices of petrol engine – a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine which is hair-raisingly fast but not economical, or a 2.0-litre. This 2.0-litre, introduced in 2017, isn’t as thirsty (38mpg in 250hp form) and is still reasonably quick – getting from 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds (300hp version), but it doesn’t feel as effortless as either of the 3.0-litre models.
If you want an SUV that feels like a hot hatch in the corners, and have ruled out the pricier Porsche Macan, then the F-Pace is the car for you. It doesn’t suffer from the excessive leaning in corners you might expect from a traditional SUV and its quick steering makes it feel agile.
Comfort suffers, though. You’ll find the Jaguar’s suspension is stiffer than that in a Mercedes GLC or Audi Q5 – particularly if you go for R-Sport or Portfolio models that come with 19-inch alloy wheels and low-profile tyres. Sporty S cars have 20-inch wheels but come with adaptive dampers, which smooth out bumps. They’re an £875 option across the rest of the range.
The big wheels also generate a fair drone although wind noise is well contained. That said, an Audi Q5 is quieter at a cruise.
The F-Pace comes with lots of standard safety kit, such as automatic emergency braking, a lane departure warning system and a traffic sign recognition system that displays the current speed limit on the infotainment screen. Adaptive cruise control – which can brake and accelerate autonomously to match the speed of the car in front – is a £1,460 option.
The F-Pace’s height means you get a good forward view in town, but the bonnet drops from sight which can make it hard to judge the corners of the car, and visibility out the back is atrocious – it’s just as well it comes with all-round parking sensors. Park assist – which can automatically park the F-Pace into perpendicular and parallel spaces – is a £470 option, while all-round cameras, which give a bird’s eye view of the car, are £990.
You’re unlikely to risk damaging the F-Pace off-road (a Discovery Sport would be much better suited to such activities) but all F-Paces – except for the basic 163hp diesel – are available with four-wheel drive.