Jaguar F-Pace Review
The Jaguar F-Pace is a slick-looking SUV that’s fun to drive and impressively practical but alternatives are more comfortable and have more intuitive infotainment systems.
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The Jaguar F-Pace is a large, stylish family car that – unlike many alternatives – tries very hard to live up to the ‘Sport’ in ‘Sports Utility Vehicle’.
A big part of this is down to how it looks. From the front, the Jaguar F-Pace’s aggressive squinting headlights, bold grille and gaping air intakes mean it appears much more athletic than the likes of the curvy Mercedes GLC and the boxy Land Rover Discovery Sport. This theme continues around the back, where – unlike its E-Pace cousin – the Jaguar F-Pace avoids looking like a pumped-up hatchback on stilts.
You won’t be disappointed when you step inside, either. Sure, the Jaguar F-Pace can’t quite match the swanky screen-filled interior of the Range Rover Velar, but everything’s laid out nice and neatly, and the low-slung seats make you feel more like you’re sitting in a jacked-up sports car than a tall SUV.
It isn’t all good news, however. Some bits of trim feel cheaper than those in the Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5 and BMW X3 and the Jaguar F-Pace’s infotainment system isn’t particularly intuitive, but its spacious cabin has plenty of room for two adults in the back and its big boot has ample space for their luggage.
The Jaguar F-Pace is one of the few SUVs on sale that’s genuinely good fun to drive, making it a tempting choice if you’re after an entertaining yet practical family car.
While the Jaguar F-Pace is certainly more spacious than your average sporty saloon car, it doesn’t feel dramatically different to drive. Its sporty suspension helps it carve from corner to corner with much less body lean than a Mercedes GLC or Land Rover Discovery Sport and the direct steering gives you plenty of confidence on tight, twisty roads.
It feels especially grippy if you avoid the entry-level two-wheel-drive diesel model and go for a more powerful four-wheel-drive car with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This combination comes with the option of a range of engines, including a seriously rapid 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol unit.
For most people, however, the 3.0-litre diesel engine will be a better bet. This unit is punchy, smooth and relatively economical for a big SUV – especially if you do lots of motorway miles.
If you spend a lot of time driving, you’ll also want to consider some of the Jaguar F-Pace’s optional driver assistance systems and adaptive suspension to help it iron out bumps around town.
Even with this system fitted, you’ll find the Jaguar F-Pace isn’t quite as comfortable as the likes of a Mercedes GLC or Range Rover Velar. That said, if you’d rather your SUV felt more like a sports car than a stretched limo, the Jaguar F-Pace is well worth considering.
Common Jaguar F-Pace questions:
Is the Jaguar F-Pace fast?
That depends on which engine you choose. You’d never call the entry-level 163hp 2.0-litre diesel fast, but 380hp 3.0-lire V6 petrol models will leap from 0-60mph in less than 5.5 seconds. Looking for something even faster? The Supercharged petrol V8-powered F-Pace SVR will crack the 0-60mph sprint in under 4.3 seconds.
What is the difference between the Jaguar F Pace and E Pace?
The Jaguar F-Pace is a mid-size SUV alternative to the likes of the Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5 and BMW X3. The E-Pace is its little brother that’s more comparable to the likes of the Audi Q3, and BMW X1. Both come with five seats, the option of manual or automatic gearboxes, two- or four-wheel drive and a range of petrol and diesel engines.
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 rather small or very tall. 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 (rather cheeky) optional extra 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 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 Jaguar F-Pace’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 Jaguar 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 and only 39 litres less than the Land Rover Discovery Sport can muster. 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 all your rear-seat passengers at home and, with all three seats folded, the Jaguar has a cavernous total capacity of 1,740 litres, which puts it ahead of the likes of the Mercedes GLC and the Land Rover Discovery Sport. 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 optional Activity Key, that lets you 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 is worth considering on Prestige and R-Sport models, but it makes less sense on S and Portfolio cars because they come with keyless entry as standard.
The Jaguar 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 engine is the pick of the Jaguar F-Pace range because it provides effortless performance and is much quicker than either the 180 or the 240hp diesel options. After all, if you’re spending a lot of money on a Jaguar F-Pace, it’s worth investing a little extra cash to get the absolute best out of it.
The big diesel surges smoothly from 0-60mph in less than 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, along with Jaguar’s smooth-shifting, eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s worth going for the S model because you also get adaptive suspension that makes the car more comfortable on bumpy roads than the standard non-adjustable suspension.
Jaguar claims the 3.0-litre diesel will return 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 cheaper 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, does without four-wheel drive and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox that isn’t as relaxing to use as the eight-speed automatic.
You also have a choice of petrol engines, including a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine that’s hair-raisingly fast but not at all economical, or a range of 2.0-litre units. These are fairly economical (Jaguar claims the 250hp model will return 38mpg) and they’re still reasonably quick – pick a 300hp version and it’ll reach 60mph from rest in less than 6.0 seconds – but they don’t feel quite as smooth as cars fitted with the larger 3.0-litre engines.
If you want an SUV that feels like a hot hatch in the corners, and you’ve ruled out the pricier Porsche Macan, then the F-Pace is the car for you. It doesn’t lean a great deal in tight turns like some high-riding SUVs and its quick steering makes it feel more agile than the likes of the Range Rover Velar, Mercedes GLC and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Comfort suffers, though. You’ll find the Jaguar’s suspension is stiffer than that in a Mercedes GLC and an Audi Q5 – particularly if you go for an R-Sport or Portfolio model 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 optional extra across the rest of the range.
The big wheels and slim tyres also generate a fair drone at motorway speeds, 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, including 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 an optional extra, however.
The Jaguar F-Pace’s height means you get a good forward view in town, but the front of the bonnet drops from sight which can make it hard to judge the corners of the car when parking. Even worse, however, is rear visibility – it’s just as well the Jaguar F-Pace comes with all-round parking sensors, then.
For an extra helping hand, you might want to consider the optional Park Assist – which can automatically park the F-Pace into perpendicular and parallel spaces – or the surround-view camera options.
You’re unlikely to risk damaging your Jaguar F-Pace by driving it off-road (a Discovery Sport would be much better suited to such activities) but all models – besides the basic entry-level 163hp diesel – are available with four-wheel drive.
The Jaguar 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