Jaguar F-Pace SVR Review
The Jaguar F-Pace SVR is one of the fastest SUVs you can buy thanks to its fantastic-sounding supercharged V8 engine. Unfortunately, it feels a bit old-hat inside.
What's not so good
Jaguar F-Pace SVR: what would you like to read next?
If you’re looking for a seriously quick sports car but need something roomy enough to carry four friends and their luggage across countries in comfort, then the Jaguar F-Pace SVR could be the car for you.
Don’t be fooled by its SUV proportions, raised ride height and massive alloy wheels – the F-Pace SVR isn’t a hard-core off-roader. Much like the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and Porsche Macan Turbo, this four-by-four is more at home storming down twisty back roads than hauling heavy loads along muddy farm tracks.
As such, it has plenty of gaping air intakes to cool its powerful engine – a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 no less – along with some gigantic brakes, four exhaust pipes and some clever aerodynamic fins and vents in the bumpers to help it slip through the air as easily as a high-riding SUV can.
Climb inside, and you’ll notice this SVR model comes with plenty of racy goodies missing from the standard F-Pace. There’s a set of seriously supportive sports seats with quilted leather trim, an SVR steering wheel, a new gear lever and some metal gear-shift paddles that feel absolutely lovely. A Porsche Macan easily has the edge in terms of posh materials, though.
Sadly, you don’t get Jaguar’s latest Touch Pro Duo infotainment system in the F-Pace SVR. As a result, you’ll have to use old-fashioned buttons to adjust the climate control settings rather than a set of slick touchscreen controls like those in the I-Pace and even the latest XE. At least there’s a digital driver’s display instead of the rather dated analogue dials you get in the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, so it’s not all bad news.
You can forget about traipsing off-road in the F-Pace SVR – this is an SUV built for autobahn storming, not hauling horse boxes across muddy fields.
The Jaguar F-Pace SVR isn’t quite as good at carrying three passengers in the back at once as the Mercedes, but there’s still enough space for two adults to stretch out. The boot’s pretty roomy too, so you’ll be able to chuck in a set of golf clubs without flipping the back seats down.
However, the way the Jaguar F-Pace SVR drives will make you want to carry on past the golf course and head straight for your favourite deserted back road. Every slight prod of the throttle is accompanied by a raucous yell from the exhaust and a delicious combination of bassy rumbles and high-pitched whines from the supercharged V8.
This 5.0-litre unit is a 550hp version of the 575hp engine from the F-Type SVR and has enough poke to blast the Jaguar F-Type SVR from 0-60mph in just 4.1 seconds. That’s a smidgen slower than the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but still more than rapid enough to extract a few screams from unwitting passengers.
Despite being significantly taller than your average sports car, the F-Pace SVR tackles tight, twisty roads with plenty of grip and very little body lean. Add to the mix some direct steering and a sure-footed four-wheel-drive system and the F-Pace SVR gives you plenty of confidence in slippery conditions or on unfamiliar roads.
Unlike many fast SUVs, the Jaguar F-Pace SVR isn’t overly firm over rough roads. Even in Dynamic mode, it irons out bumps impressively well and there isn’t a great deal of wind or tyre noise to worry about – even if you pay extra for the optional 22-inch alloy wheels. Stick it in its most comfortable setting, and besides its rather excessive fuel consumption and noisy V8 engine, there’s little to tell you that you aren’t cruising along in a regular F-Pace.
This is what makes the Jaguar F-Pace SVR such an appealing SUV. It’s a very comfortable cross-country cruiser but, at the flick of a switch, it’ll put an embarrassingly big grin on your face. Handy when you find yourself faced with an empty stretch of road – or better still, a tunnel.