Used test: Jaguar F-Pace vs Porsche Macan

These two fast and practical SUVs from Jaguar and Porsche can be had much cheaper bought used, but which one makes the most sense? We have the answer...

Jaguar F-Pace driving

What are they like inside?

When you’re spending this much on a car, you want the interior to feel special. Although the Jaguar F-Pace looks impressive at first glance, it’s let down slightly by the quality of the materials, with hard, scratchy plastics being rather too prominent. What seems like a leather-covered dashboard is actually vinyl and the steering wheel buttons aren’t especially slick in operation.

Jaguar F-Pace interior

 The Porsche Macan, on the other hand, is more conservative in its design but feels like a quality product, thanks to its plethora of soft plastics, well-damped switches and brushed aluminium accents. Some might like the uncluttered look you get in the virtually buttonless Cayenne and Panamera, but we actually prefer the functionality that comes with the rows of physical switches on the Macan’s centre console.

In the F-Pace, Jaguar’s InControl Touch Pro system feels at least a generation behind Porsche’s system. Its menus aren’t as easy to navigate, the resolution of its 10.0in touchscreen is relatively low and it can be sluggish to respond to commands. Frustratingly, Apple and Android smartphone mirroring isn’t available.

In the Macan, its 10.9in touchscreen is far more user-friendly than the F-Pace’s setup. The menus are well laid out and the screen is quick to respond and pin-sharp, although some might find the far corner of it a bit of a stretch. Sat-nav, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and an 11-speaker sound system are standard. Apple CarPlay phone mirroring and various online services were also included, but Android Auto wasn’t.

Porsche Macan behind the wheel

The cars are more evenly matched when it comes to their driving positions. You sit far lower in the Macan – something many sports SUV buyers will prefer – but the standard sports seats in the F-Pace offer better side support to help keep you in place in corners. Eight-way electric adjustment for the driver’s seat is standard on the Macan, whereas you would have had to pay an extra £400 to get basic 10-way electric movement on the F-Pace when it was new. From new, it was also possible to specify the Macan with 14-way electrically adjustable comfort seats and the F-Pace with 18-way electrically adjustable sports seats, and as these both offer adjustable lumbar support they’re both an option that’s well worth seeking out on a used car. 

In the front, the Macan certainly feels snugger than the F-Pace. Yes, there’s more head room in the Macan, but a bulge in the transmission tunnel pushes the driver’s left leg farther over to the right than is ideal, while thick side pillars inhibit visibility.

It’s the same in the rear seats. While passengers can stretch out in the rear of the F-Pace, the Macan is much tighter; if you’re more than 6ft tall, you’ll probably have your knees pressed up against the scalloped front seatbacks.

The rear seatbacks split and fold in a flexible 40/20/40 configuration in both, lying almost flush with the boot floor. Although they can accommodate the same number of carry-on cases (eight), there’s more room left over in the longer boot of the Jaguar F-Pace longer boot and it has a much smaller lip at its entrance. On the other hand, loading the Porsche Macan is easier in some ways, because it sits closer to the ground and can be lowered further via a boot-mounted button for the optional air suspension.

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