First Drive

2017 Jaguar F-Pace 25d 240 review

Jaguar's large SUV is now available with a new 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine. We've driven it in the UK to see if it's our new favourite version

Words ByRory White

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Take a look at our full Jaguar F-Pace review and you'll see that we rather like it. It's extremely good fun to drive for a large SUV, is surprisingly spacious and practical inside and comes well equipped across the range.

There's a generous range of engines to choose between, too. Our current favourite of the diesel line-up is the 296bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder for its superb low-down pull and smooth delivery, both of which seem fitting in a premium large SUV.

That's not to say we don't like the 2.0-litre four-cylinder options, which until now came in 161bhp and 178bhp form, because they make more sense to company car drivers in search of lower CO2 emissions. Now, though, there's a third option: the 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel, labelled the 25d, which we're driving here. Does it now stand out as the F-Pace to buy?

2017 Jaguar F-Pace 25d 240 on the road

The 25d's extra 59bhp over the 20d 180 isn't what's noticeable on the road; that would be the extra 69lb ft of torque with which to drag it up from low revs. This means you don't need to click down a gear using the F-Pace's wheel-mounted paddles in search of its sweetspot when accelerating down motorway sliproads and overtaking slower-moving traffic on faster B-roads.

However, the F-Pace's eight-speed automatic gearbox often dithers when acclerating from stationary situations such as roundabouts and T-junctions when left to its own devices, and this can be a little disconcerting at times.

The 25d doesn't have the guttural, low-down shove of the 3.0-litre V6 diesel, either. Or, for that matter, its luxuriously smooth operation. The four-cylinder fires to a grumbly idle when cold and sends far more vibration back through the pedals and steering wheel when pulling from low revs. In short, it feels less 'premium' than the V6.

However, the way the F-Pace rides and handles remains superb in 25d spec. Its steering is best in Normal driving mode, in which it feels nicely weighted and precise, compared with a little too heavy in sportier Dynamic mode.

Our car was fitted with an optional (Β£1185) Adaptive Dynamics Pack, which includes adaptive suspension, and in Normal mode it soaks up bumps extremely well at all speeds. Dynamic helps to further reduce body lean in corners, but it stiffens the ride a little too much.

That said, Dynamic mode does have a benefit, which is the improved urgency of the F-Pace's automatic gearbox; here, it's much quicker to flick down a gear when you want a burst of accleration, rather than pausing for thought.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace 25d 240 interior

For a full break down of the F-Pace's interior, visit the interior layout and space and practicality sections of our full review.

But, in short, the F-Pace offers a high and generously adjustable driving position, so the majority of drivers will be able to get comfortable with ease. There's very good space for a couple of tall adults in the front seats, and another couple will sit behind them with decent knee and head room. Behind that, the huge 650-litre boot is one of the class's best.

All F-Paces come with an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system, called InControl Touch, as standard. It features sat-nav, a DAB radio, a USB port, Bluetooth and a wi-fi hotspot, and can even sync with your smartphone to run a selection of apps. It’s just a shame the screen is often sluggish to respond when you press it.

If you can afford it, we’d recommend upgrading to the range-topping InControl Touch Pro system. It isn’t cheap, but it has a wider 10.2in screen, a more sophisticated sat-nav, an extra USB port and a 10GB hard drive to store your music on. It’s much more powerful and snappier to respond to screen presses, although still not a match for best systems, such as BMW's iDrive or Audi's MMI.

Probably the most disappointing aspect of the F-Pace's interior is its material quality. Sure, a leather steering wheel and seats are standard, but some of the dashboard plastics, chrome accents and switch damping is off the pace of rival manufacturers such as Audi and BMW at this sort of money.

Next: 2017 Jaguar F-Pace 25d verdict>

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Review

Jaguar F-Pace

What Car? SaysRated 4 out of 5
Owners sayNot yet rated

The Jaguar F-Pace is fun to drive and surprisingly practical. The 2.0-litre diesel makes the most financial sense, but the V6 diesel is an absolute belter if money is less of a concern.