What Car? says...
Jaguar once ridiculed the idea of making an SUV, but all that changed with the Jaguar F-Pace – the brand's first entry into the world of higher-riding cars, and still the biggest model in its range.
The F-Pace sits above the E-Pace family SUV and the I-Pace electric SUV in the car maker's line-up. Since its launch in 2016, it's been Jaguar's best-seller, and a mid-life refresh to keep it competitive added super-slim front and rear LED lights, re-profiled bodywork, a larger grille and, best of all, a heavily revised interior.
The engine line-up includes a range of mild-hybrid petrols and diesels, along with a full plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that could save you a small fortune in company car tax. If you want the quickest version available, there's a V8-powered SVR performance variant.
Die-hard fans of traditional Jaguar saloons might not be won over by the F-Pace, but branching out makes total sense for the brand. Especially when you consider that it’s part of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and can lean on Land Rover’s expert SUV knowledge.
Is that shared expertise enough for the Jaguar F-Pace to compete with the best rivals? After all, they include the Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC and Volvo XC60 at the luxury end of the market, plus the sportier BMW X3 and Porsche Macan. Read on to find out...
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
All Jaguar F-Paces come with four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The best choice for most buyers will be the D200, a 201bhp 2.0-litre diesel that's impressively punchy from low revs and quick enough to whisk you up to motorway speeds without any fuss (0-62mph takes 8.2 seconds officially).
Then there’s the six-cylinder, 3.0-litre, 296bhp D300. It’s quite pricey, but if you fancy a quick turn of speed (0-62mph takes 6.4 seconds) and something truly gutsy to tow with, it’s cracking.
With a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, it has a combined 398bhp, with plenty of instant muscle thanks to the motor. It's officially capable of up to 40 miles of electric-only driving, but, on paper, the Mercedes GLC 300e PHEV will manage double that.
For more performance, consider the P400 Sport. This 395bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol is impressively quick, with a 0-62mph time of just 5.4 seconds. It’s a worthy Porsche Macan S rival, but the Macan has a more linear accelerator response and a more responsive auto gearbox than the P400.
If the 400 Sport is still not quick enough for you, there's a P550 543bhp 5.0 V8 SVR version – for more on that, see our Jaguar F-Pace SVR review.
Suspension and ride comfort
If you're considering the F-Pace because it's a sportier SUV like the Macan, rather than for outright comfort, we reckon you'll find the ride quite appropriate.
The standard suspension set-up is firm around town and the larger alloy wheel options tend to exacerbate that, but it's not harsh. Things settle down and improve with speed, although the ride is still busier on motorways than a well-specified Audi Q5, BMW X3 or Volvo XC60. On the plus side, it's well controlled, so there's very little bounce or fidget along undulating country lanes.
There's also a more sophisticated adaptive set-up, called Adaptive Dynamics. It's available as an option with the D200 and P250 engines, and is standard if you go for the D300, the P400e or the 400 Sport. It's more supple than the passive suspension but has a firmer edge than the most comfortable rivals.
If you want your SUV to scythe through bends more like a hot hatch on stilts than an old school 4x4, you’ll love the F-Pace. The way it flows through fast bends, feeling genuinely agile, is impressive for a 1.8-tonne car. The only other SUV that handles as well is the Macan.
It’s only through really tight corners and sudden direction changes that you remember you’re driving something a bit taller that has a tendency to lean more than lower-riding cars. Even then the steering is quick and precise, building weight at just the right level to feel consistent and predictable. It's certainly more wieldy than the XC60.
Versions with adaptive suspension have a stiffer Dynamic mode that tightens up the body so you get less lean in bends.
Noise and vibration
The F-Pace's six-cylinder 400 Sport petrol engine is smooth and subdued when you’re just pootling around, but when you put your foot down you’re treated to an intoxicating six-cylinder howl. It’s a more characterful soundtrack than the Macan S's six-cylinder engine.
The P250 and P400e use four-cylinder petrols that are a bit buzzier under load but, on the plus side, the P400e is able to run silently for prolonged periods in electric mode. The P400e also stops and starts up slickly, as do all the mild-hybrid engines (that's all of them except the P250). The diesels are relatively smooth-sounding, particularly the six-cylinder D300, but they’re not quite as silky as the Q5's diesels.
Whichever engine you choose, the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox shifts smoothly. Road noise is pretty good when judged against all but the whisper-quiet Q5. There's quite a bit of wind noise in the F-Pace at 70mph, but it’s the suspension thumping away over poorly surfaced roads that is the most intrusive aspect at lower speeds.
Strengths Great to drive; strong engines; smooth and responsive gearbox
Weaknesses Not particularly refined at speed; busier ride than softer rivals
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Jaguar F-Pace is a breeze. Even the entry-level R-Dynamic S trim gets you 12-way electric adjustment and driver memory. R-Dynamic HSE Black and above upgrades that to 16-way adjustment, passenger memory seats and an electrically adjustable steering column (it's manually adjustable on lesser trims but still has a great range of movement).
The 12.3in digital instrument panel offers a range of layouts for the speedometer, including one that shows a full-screen sat-nav map, and comes as standard on all trim levels bar entry-level R-Dynamic S. A head-up display is available as an option, but it's a worthwhile extra rather than an absolute must because the digital screen is easy to read anyway.
The rest of the controls are well laid out and easy to use, with more physical buttons (as opposed to fiddlier digital controls) than in the Volvo XC60.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
You might imagine that its swooping styling would make seeing out of the F-Pace quite tricky. Thankfully, the view forwards is pretty good and you sit relatively high up – just not as high as you do in the tallest SUVs, such as the Land Rover Defender.
Meanwhile, your view out of the rear is hampered by the small rear screen, but it's not as difficult to see out as you might imagine. Besides, all trims come with front and rear sensors, and a rear-view camera to help you out when you're parking. A 360-degree camera system is available as an option, as is a self-park system.
LED headlights with high-beam assist are standard on all versions. Alternatively, you can add matrix LED headlights as an option – they automatically adjust the light output so you can leave them on main beam.
Sat nav and infotainment
The F-Pace features the Jaguar Pivi Pro infotainment system. It responds swiftly and the large 11.4in touchscreen's graphics and resolution are impressive. You also get lots of functionality, including built-in sat-nav, wireless phone-charging and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone integration.
As touchscreen systems go, it's one of the better ones in the class. It has intuitive menus that are relatively easy to operate on the move, with a line of conveniently placed shortcut buttons for switching between the main functions.
Even the home screen is configurable, so you can stick the tabs you use the most where you want them. The reason we say "as touchscreen systems go", though, is that we prefer the option of using a physical rotary controller, like the one in the BMW X3, because they’re less distracting to use while driving.
The standard sound system is perfectly acceptable, but music lovers can pick from two optional upgrades: a 400W Meridian sound system with 12 speakers (standard from R-Dynamic SE Black models) or a more powerful surround-sound version with a 600W amplifier and 16 speakers, which is available as an option. So far we’ve only sampled the 400W set-up and it's utterly fantastic, with weighty bass notes balanced by a crisp, precisely drawn treble.
The F-Pace’s interior was overhauled as part of its mid-life update – and what a transformation it is over the original models. The interior looks and feels genuinely upmarket with next to no scratchy plastics anywhere.
You get a mix of plush, softly finished surfaces, punctuated with classy wood veneers (depending on the trim) and nicely damped switches. Only some slightly flimsy electric seat controls let the side down.
Strengths Comfortable seats and driving position; good infotainment system; vastly improved interior quality
Weaknesses Nothing major, some rivals are even more plush inside
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
You’re unlikely to have any problems with the amount of space in the front of the Jaguar F-Pace.
There’s enough head room, even if you’re well over six feet tall and there's a panoramic glass roof fitted (a no cost option on all trims). The seats slide back far enough to accommodate long legs.
There's also lots of storage space, including large front door pockets, a decent glovebox and further cubbies in the centre console and under the front armrest.
The F-Pace isn't the biggest SUV you can buy, but it's a lot bigger in the back than the Porsche Macan.
It's spacious enough for a family of four even if the kids have passed the six-foot mark, although they won't have oodles of room to spare. The Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Land Rover Discovery Sport have even roomier back seats.
There are a couple of points worth noting. The optional panoramic glass roof reduces head room in the back to the extent that tall passengers might feel their hair brushing the roof, and sports front seats have hard plastic rear shells, which are uncomfortable against rear passengers' shins.
A third rear-seat passenger will find it a bit of squeeze – there's more width available in the back of a Discovery Sport.
Seat folding and flexibility
Conveniently positioned handles on the inside of the boot are a reasonably priced option. They allow you to drop the 40/20/40 split rear seats from the boot, rather than using the buttons on the rear seats.
Another reasonably priced option is electrically reclining rear seats, which are great when your rear passengers fancy an impromptu snooze. There's no option for sliding rear seats, though, which come as standard with a number of rivals, including the Discovery Sport.
Like the driver’s seat, the front passenger has electrically operated lumbar, height and backrest angle adjustment as standard. Higher trims add full passenger-seat electric adjustment for easier fine-tuning.
In our tests, we managed to fit eight carry-in sized suitcases below the F-Pace’s tonneau cover, making it a match for the BMW X3 and Discovery Sport. Meanwhile, there are some rivals that offer more space, the Audi Q5 swallowing nine cases and the Kia Sorento and Peugeot 5008 up to 10.
The P400e loses a couple of carry-on suitcases of overall capacity due to the bulky hybrid battery pack that lives under the floor. This reduces the overall height, but a set of golf clubs or a buggy will still fit easily, as will a couple of larger suitcases. Under the floor there's a bit of additional storage for the charging cable.
If you fold down the rear seats, you’re left with a virtually flat extended load bay that makes it easier to slide longer items on board. A powered tailgate is standard, while a gesture tailgate (the boot opens automatically when you wave your foot under the rear bumper) is on the options list. A load space partition net is available as an option, as are luggage rails for the floor.
Strengths Loads of front space; lots of interior storage; big boot
Weaknesses Some rivals offer more rear space and are even more practical
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Jaguar F-Pace undercuts most of its premium SUV rivals if you opt for the cheapest version.
Our favourite engine, the D200, in popular R-Dynamic S trim, costs slightly more than the equivalent Audi Q5 40 TDI S line, but less than a BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport and Mercedes GLC 220d AMG Line. If you want the 400 Sport, that's more expensive than the X3 M40i and the Porsche Macan S but it does come with more standard equipment.
Few cars in the class hold on to their value as well as the Macan, but the F-Pace should hold its value pretty well. Indeed, it’s predicted to depreciate slower than the Q5 but can’t quite match the X3 and GLC. Even so, the strong resale values will help to keep PCP finance payments competitive – to make sure you get the best price, check our new Jaguar deals page.
If you're a company car driver, the P400e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will be the one to go for because it sits in a much lower BIK tax bracket. You’ll want to make sure it’s regularly charged to avoid expensive petrol bills though, something that’ll take around 30 mins on a 50kW charger (0-80%).
The D200 diesel, which officially averages around 45mpg, could be cheaper to run if you have nowhere to charge up a PHEV.
Equipment, options and extras
No F-Pace is stingy when it comes to standard kit, with even the entry-level R-Dynamic S getting adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, a heated front windscreen, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, two-zone climate control, power-folding door mirrors, 19in alloy wheels and other kit. That's way more than the entry-level Porsche Macan.
Higher trims, such as R-Dynamic SE Black, add luxuries such as privacy glass, keyless entry, 20in wheels, and more safety tech. Meanwhile, R-Dynamic HSE Black adds 21in wheels, ventilated and massaging front seats and fancier Windsor leather.
The top spec (excluding the Jaguar F-Pace SVR) is 400 Sport, which gives you access to the P400 engine and also adds equipment such as 22in wheels and leather performance seats.
Jaguar as a brand finished a disappointing 29th out of the 32 manufacturers surveyed in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey – below key rivals including Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.
The F-Pace as a model placed in the bottom third of the large SUV category in the same survey, above the petrol X3, the Land Rover Defender and the diesel Q5, but below the Volvo XC60, the Macan and the diesel X3.
Every new Jaguar comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty as standard. That can be extended if you’re prepared to pay extra, and you can add MOT cover for a small fee. The battery in the P400e PHEV is covered for eight years and is valid for up to 100,000 miles.
Safety and security
The F-Pace scored five stars out of five for safety when it was tested by Euro NCAP. Looking more closely at its adult, child and pedestrian safety scores shows that the F-Pace performed just as well as the BMW X3 but the Volvo XC60 did better for adult and child crash protection.
The thing is, all three were tested back in 2017 and their ratings have now expired. You see, every year the tests get more stringent, making it impossible to directly compare to rivals including the Mercedes GLC, which was tested in 2022.
Luckily, you can rest assured that every F-Pace comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB), a driver attention monitoring system, rear collision monitor and a lane-departure warning system as standard.
Stepping up to R-Dynamic SE Black trim brings blind-spot monitoring, a clear exit monitor and reverse traffic detection, while R-Dynamic HSE Black features a rear collision monitor. Those safety systems are also available on lesser trims as part of a Driver Assist Pack.
Strengths Well priced; lots of standard kit; plenty of standard safety features
Weaknesses So-so reliability record; expired safety rating
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That depends on your needs. You see, the F-Pace costs more than the Jaguar E-Pace and is a much bigger car. Our expert reviewers scored both cars three stars out of five against their main rivals.
There’s plenty to like about the F-Pace, including its great handling, smart interior and the amount of standard equipment. Still, some of the best family SUVs are more practical and refined.
|RRP price range
|£47,370 - £87,090
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|petrol parallel phev, petrol, diesel
|MPG range across all versions
|171.8 - 44.8
|Available doors options
|3 years / No mileage cap
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£854 / £6,248
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£1,707 / £12,496