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For years now, diesel has been the default choice for those after a chunky SUV thanks to a combination of plentiful low-end shove and reasonable running costs. Recently the tide has turned, though. Instead of diesels being championed for their low carbon emissions, questions have been asked about just how clean they really are.
We’re therefore seeing more and more petrol powered SUVs in manufacturer’s ranges. The Jaguar F-Pace 25t AWD is a perfect example. This 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine has a trendy turbocharger to boost power to a healthy 247bhp. Not only is it a little more powerful than the equivalent 25d diesel, it’s also fractionally cheaper to buy.
2017 Jaguar F-Pace 25t AWD on the road
Push the pulsating starter button and the engine fires up with a slightly gruff note but none of the clatter and far less vibration than Jag's equivalent diesel. Once warmed through it sounds and feels much smoother, beating similar engines from BMW and Mercedes for refinement.
As long as you’re driving in a sensible manner, this calm and quiet atmosphere continues as speeds rise. At a cruise the engine is barely audible and when accelerating below around 4000rpm, the engine has a subdued four-cylinder note.
Ask for a bit more pace and things are less impressive. Past 4000rpm the engine has a slightly strained note while big throttle openings have the gearbox clumsily shifting down one and then two gears, delaying the burst of acceleration you require. Still, once the engine is up to speed there is more than enough poke to get you up to motorway speeds without stress.
You’ll certainly know if you’re working the engine hard, though. Claimed economy might be 38.2mpg, but we couldn’t even get 30mpg on a mixed test route. Ultimately, the combination of high fuel consumption and a relatively small fuel tank means this is a car that’s best suited for short journeys. Have a look at our main Jaguar F-Pace review for information on the other engines available and our recommendations.
At least the petrol engine did nothing to upset the impressive handling of the F-Pace. Body lean around corners is minimal; the steering has a pleasing amount of heft and there’s plenty of grip, too. You really can cover ground surprisingly quickly and have quite a bit of fun while you’re doing it.
We would be tempted to avoid some of the larger wheels available, however. While our experience suggests all F-Paces fidget on motorways and sometimes struggle with typical B-road bumps, 18in or 19in wheels do help. The 20in items fitted to our test car certainly looked great, but we’d save our money and our backs.
2017 Jaguar F-Pace 25t AWD interior
There might be a new engine under the bonnet, but the interior is unchanged. That means you’re best off checking out our full review for our impressions of quality, the infotainment system and practicality.
Our test car came with the optional head-up display that certainly helps keep your eyes on the road, but looks dated and a little expensive compared to rival systems. One option we’d definitely recommend is the rear seat remote release levers than allow you to fold the rear bench from the boot. At just £60, they're well worth the money.
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