Driving

Jaguar F-Pace review

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Jaguar F-Pace
Review continues below...
22 Apr 2016 07:31 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 16:40

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Jaguar F-Pace estate performance

The 2.0-litre diesel is no firebrand. But for most people, most of the time, it’s gutsy enough, whether you stick with rear-wheel drive or pay a bit extra for four-wheel drive. The optional eight-speed automatic is worth the premium over the standard six-speed manual.

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The pick of the engine range, however, is the V6 diesel. It allows for a more relaxing driving experience because it has much more low-down pulling power. And it also better complements the F-Pace’s sporting credentials because it’s ultimately much faster than the 2.0-litre when you put your foot down.

The supercharged V6 petrol is much more limited in its appeal, but if you aren’t fussed about fuel economy it is worth a look. It sounds great and is seriously rapid, even though you do need to rev the engine quite hard to get the best from it.

A less powerful 247bhp four-cylinder petrol is also available. It’s a punchy performer, remains smooth at high revs and works well with the eight-speed automatic gearbox. However, with less low down grunt than the diesels, quick progress demands plenty of revs.

Jaguar F-Pace estate ride

We've tried both the standard 'passive' suspension and the more sophisticated adaptive set-up. The latter comes as standard on the V6 engines, but costs extra on the entry-level 2.0-litre diesel.

The passive set-up is firm around town – with larger-than-standard alloy wheels exacerbating the problem – and while things improve with speed, the ride is still a bit busy on the motorway. On the plus side, there's very little of the wallowy body bounce you might associate with old-school 4x4s along undulating country lanes.

The adaptive set-up is still better, though. Switch it to its most comfortable setting and it's noticeably more supple than the passive suspension, although there’s still a firm edge over battered city streets.

Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar F-Pace estate handling

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 Jaguar F-Pace. It’s the way it flows through fast bends that impresses most; it may be lighter than most of its rivals, but this is still a 1.8-tonne SUV, and yet it genuinely feels as agile as many hatchbacks.

It’s only through really tight corners and sudden direction changes that you remember you’re driving something a bit taller. Even then the steering is always precise, building weight at just the right time and with the right consistency to reward you for your efforts. The only other SUV that handles this well is the pricier Porsche Macan.

Jaguar F-Pace estate refinement

The 2.0-litre diesel is the noisiest of the engines, but it’s never overly intrusive. There’s a gentle chug at tickover and an obvious clatter as the revs rise, although you could level the same criticisms at the equivalent engines in the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC.

The V6 diesel is smoother and quieter when you’re accelerating, partly because it doesn’t need to work as hard to deliver the same burst of pace, but also because it’s an altogether more refined engine. Meanwhile, the supercharged V6 petrol howls away like a slightly less rebellious F-Type, which is great when you’re in the mood but can be annoying at other times.

There’s quite a bit of road noise and the odd clonk from the suspension along poorly surfaced roads, but wind noise isn’t a problem at 70mph. The eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly in most situations.

 

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There are 5 trims available for the F-Pace estate. Click to see details.See all versions
Prestige
This is the cheapest trim, and our favourite, because it gets you 18in alloys, a powered tailgate, heated leather seats, front and rear parking sensors, keyless start and climate and cruise control...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£34,394
Average Saving £2,126
View Trim
R-Sport
Well worth a look because it gets everything that features on entry-level Prestige trim plus xenon headlights, 19in alloys and lots of sporty styling touches. Options we’d recommend adding include...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£36,561
Average Saving £2,264
View Trim
Portfolio
This trim gets you a panoramic glass roof, electric seats, keyless entry and a heated windscreen. However, it’s a fair bit more expensive than entry-level Prestige trim, so is somewhat harder to re...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£38,718
Average Saving £2,402
View Trim
S
This range-topping trim is reserved for the V6 diesel and supercharged V6 petrol engine. It’s seriously well equipped, with 20in alloys, adaptive suspension, a panoramic roof and plenty of styling...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£51,282
Average Saving £3,158
View Trim
SVR
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£74,835
View Trim