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
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 is a chunky SUV but it drives like a lean-machine Jaguar saloon
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.