Jaguar F-PACE Hybrid review
The Jaguar F-PACE plug-in hybrid has a classy interior and is fun to drive, too – for such a heavy car. Although expensive to buy it has potentially very low running costs, provided you can charge the car up regularly.
What's not so good
Jaguar F-PACE Hybrid: what would you like to read next?
If the standard Jaguar F-Pace is already a Swiss army knife of a car, then this plug-in hybrid version, called F-Pace P400e, adds more useful tools to its tally than ever before.
You see, not only does the F-Pace take care of the practical everyday stuff pretty well by being spacious and easy to drive, it also satisfies if you’re after something with more desirability and class than more mainstream family SUVs.
On top of that, it’s more fun to drive than you might expect from such a high-riding car, offers lots of comfort and refinement, and – particularly with the extensive 2021 update – it offers a vast array of technology and a real luxury feel inside.
The plug-in hybrid adds to this by giving the choice of smooth, silent and less polluting pure electric power, or extra straight-line oomph by using the electric motor to assist the petrol engine. It really suits the car’s character, although lesser versions aren’t lugging around hefty batteries and are more fun to drive as a result.
The F-Pace is now a much better car than before thanks to its mid-life update. That’s mainly down to the interior, which even on the cheapest models makes the pre-2021 car look about as posh as an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The latest F-Pace really ups its game over the last car - but you’ll need to do your sums to check if the plug-in hybrid model makes sense
Not only is the inside much posher to look at than before, it’s also nicer to the touch as material quality is now a match for the Germans.
The infotainment, which wasn’t great before, is bang up to date, with a sleek 11.4inch curved touchscreen offering loads of features and responsive menus. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, too, if all you do is plug your phone in and go.
Where the F-Pace trumps cars such as the Audi Q5 is in standard equipment terms. Even the entry-level S gets an electric tailgate, heated and electric leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and the full new infotainment system, but the extra luxuries of SE or HSE trim may be worth splashing out for.
Sportier R-design trim ditches subtle elegance for more visual impact with a number of exterior changes and even more kit. Be careful, though, it’s easy get carried away with the spec and push the price of your F-Pace over £70,000, into the firing line of even posher and more practical SUVs such as the BMW X5 and Land Rover Discovery – large SUVs with seven seats and huge boots.
Talking of boots, the F-Pace plug-in hybrid loses around 20% of its luggage capacity due to the battery being mounted under the floor. There’s nowhere to store your charging cables, either, as the underfloor storage is no more. This is the case with many hybrid alternatives, however.
The P400e puts out a healthy 400hp – easily enough to offset the increase in weight over lesser models. Performance feels strong and despite only being a four-cylinder the engine doesn’t sound or feel strained, thanks to the electric assistance. It’ll do 0-60 in five seconds and nudge 150mph, so it’s pretty quick.
As with most plug-in hybrids you’ll need to take the claimed 130mpg with a pinch – or maybe a fistful – of salt. You’ll need to plug it in pretty much every time you’re stationary, and only do fairly short journeys, to achieve that. Still, the 49g/km CO2 output is nice and low.
Most of the time the plug-in F-Pace is much like its non-hybrid siblings to drive if you’re out of EV mode. The ride is comfortable even on the giant 22in wheels you can spec, it steers and handles nicely for such a big car, and it’s enjoyable to drive both on country lanes and motorways.
However, it is a good deal heavier than than lesser models, so ultimately the handling isn’t quite as sharp. If you can live with that the F-Pace plug-in hybrid is well worth a look in.
If you want to see if the plug-in hybrid F-Pace works for you at a fair price, check out our F-Pace deals page. Or tap the button below to build your own spec.
The Jaguar F-Pace is a decently roomy SUV, but the plug-in hybrid’s batteries eat into luggage space
There’s plenty of room up front in the F-Pace and it’s easy to get comfortable. There’s loads of adjustment, and all cars get electric seats, while higher-spec versions see the 12-way adjustment upgraded to 16-way.
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 on the roof (even if you specify the optional panoramic glass roof) and there’s plenty of knee room. The seats are a little firm and the backrest is also quite upright, although the optional 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. If you’re after a practical family SUV with space for plenty of passengers, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is worth a look.
Fitting a child seat isn’t too much of a hardship because the Jaguar 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 GLC or Audi Q5.
If you need to carry more than five people, you’ll have to consider a seven-seat SUV such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport, instead.
The F-Pace’s boot is one of the biggest in its class in standard form, but as is usual with plug-in hybrids it loses a big chunk of capacity due to the batteries being stashed under the boot floor.
The claimed figure of 619 litres (measured to the roof, so it can’t be compared with similar cars) sees it lose around 185 litres from the standard car. Most of that is due to the loss of underfloor storage, which is also a pain as it means your car chargers will be sliding around in the boot. It’s still plenty big enough for your weekly shop or a family holiday, however.
Plug-in system is a smooth and powerful performer, while the F-Pace is one of the best in its class to drive. Just make sure you’ve got somewhere to charge it up
What that all means in simpler terms is a 404hp SUV, which weighs over two tonnes, claims to be able to do over 130mpg.
Of course, that claim needs to be taken with a pinch (or a fistful) of salt. You’d need to plug it in regularly to juice up the batteries to achieve that, and with a range of 33 miles – decent for a hybrid – it’ll be much thirstier if your journey is longer than that.
Still for those that can plug-in at home and don’t have huge commutes it works perfectly. And company car drivers will love the low CO2 figure, reducing their tax liability.
In electric mode it’s punchy enough up to 30mph, and it’ll do up to 70mph without the petrol engine turning on. If you ask for quick acceleration above 30mph, though, the petrol engine will kick in.
With both power sources engaged the hybrid F-Pace is both smooth and pretty fast, given it’s not really a ‘hot’ SUV.
Engine noise isn’t too intrusive unless you’re really hammering it, either. 0-60 is taken care of in five seconds flat, which unless you’re in a Hollywood film chase sequence is probably punchy enough for most needs.
The F-Pace has always been one of the better handling larger SUVs out there and that hasn’t been altered for the updated model.
It’s not a sports car, but for something so high-up, wide and heavy it’s agile and quite fun to thread down a country road.
The steering is nice, too. But cannily Jaguar hasn’t made it super stiff to achieve this. Even on the larger wheels – you can go up to 22in for the full visual impact – it doesn’t crash or thump over sharp potholes too much and smooths out nicely at speed.
The only problem with the plug-in hybrid is that it adds a chunky of weight: about the same as having a couple of burly passengers on board. That makes it a little less sharp in the bends and means a slightly more bouncy ride, but it’s still very good.
The latest F-Pace is vastly improved inside over the outgoing car, and it needed to be. The plug-in version is no different