Having driven one for the last 18 months, Tony Murtagh, MD of Car Lease Supermarket, is well placed to give his verdict on the Jaguar F-Pace.
After launching the car as their first-ever SUV back in 2015, it has since become well-established in the UK market and a firm favourite in the premium SUV sector, sitting nicely between it’s stablemates the Land Rover Evoque & Jaguar E-Pace and the Velar & Range Rover Sport models. It's not just UK residents, however, that have taken a liking to this break from Jag tradition. In the last 3 years, the F-Pace has been favoured by over 73,000 Europeans - 13,000 more than Range Rover’s Velar! It’s no surprise then that Jaguar Land Rover revealed the F-Pace as their top-selling model of 2019. The model reviewed here is the R-sport 240ps with some added extras, which brings the cost to circa £50,000 - a whopping £20k above a standard Evoque, but equal to, or often cheaper than the other models mentioned above (and that’s looking at their basic spec offering).
The styling remains a unique and identifiable feature of the F-Pace. It’s distinguishable grill and proportionately longer bonnet, plus its rear-spoiler configuration combine to give an image of muscle and speed, like a steam-train in water-colour. A distinctly attractive car. The cabin is OK, nothing more or less and very traditional. The circular gear-change has been around for a long time now and whilst recognisably ‘Jaguar’ - that’s about all you can say. Analogue dials feel very old in 2020, though in the car’s favour is its upholstery. This model has the ebony/oyster leather, which combined with the black exterior paint, offer a very stylish package. The space for all passengers is good but the boot is just reasonable, as judged by its ability to only take a golfer’s ‘tour bag’ diagonally. A middle-class whinge, if ever there was one.
The 240ps engine is a little noisy, but this is just an observation and not a negative. It has plenty of poke though, especially when you combine the 2 sports modes - which also turns the dials red and dims the rest of the dash….very ‘fighter-pilot’, I must say, and great fun. Make no mistake - when driven hard, this is a very sporty car with 4WD (yes, I know this doesn’t make sense….until you drive it). It grunts it’s way over the road and doesn’t deviate much from where you aim it. Get the driving gloves out for this.
I’m an SUV addict. My last cars have been a BMW X5, a VW Touareg and a Mercedes GLE, a very German, very V6 list. Going British and 4-cylinder was a double leap of faith, brought about by solidarity to my Solihull friendship group that has somehow penetrated my petrol-head and ‘made me’ get one. The choice came down to this, or the Velar. To be candid - I chose this because I would have felt like I had veered too far away from the Northern lad who drinks beer and goes to football matches if I had chosen the Velar. I love the F-Pace. It looks great, drives great and feels good to have something British on the drive. Why not?
28th of May 2020