Jaguar F-Pace S P250
When people are looking for luxury midsize SUVs, three German automakers usually come to mind. In this piece, we are heading west of Germany, across the Channel into England. Today, we are focusing on the Jaguar F-Pace, still built by English workers at the Solihull plant and our test vehicle had an MSRP of $72,070.
We find the F-Pace to be a handsome vehicle. The front grille is aggressive, with a touch of restraint. The cat is placed prominently in the center; it's difficult to miss. In the back, the taillights look sharp and fit the sportiness that Jaguar tried to bring in the SUV world with this offering. As you can expect from British design, the styling of the wheels is posh, and the Portofino blue brings out the car's best attributes.
Inside, the brownish interior is different from your typical black. The steering wheel has some unique buttons that will only appear if you select a special menu on the driver's side. For example, when you are on the home screen and want to lower the volume, the button lights up. If you are on a different page looking at settings, the buttons aren't needed and will disappear to unclutter the wheel, thus making it feel more luxurious. The gauge cluster is entirely digital; no surprise at this price point. We like that you can still see the speedometer and tachometer as you would in any regular car and display other information such as your current song in an easy-to-read fashion.
In the center, you will find the Pivi infotainment system from Jaguar. It's an 11.4" touchscreen that is adequate in this configuration. You will need some time to get a grip of the system, such as finding the menu to adjust the sound settings, but when you are on the home screen, you can go from the map to the media without too much hassle. Shortcuts are located on the side of the screen to make this process a lot easier. The map is pretty large and easy to navigate. We were shocked to find out, during our test week, that Android Auto and Apple Carplay weren't available, so we didn't have access to the preset shortcuts on our phones. It's hard to say what caused this problem, but glitches and minor electronic problems are nothing new for the British brand. On the other hand, the infotainment system is the Meridian sound system which sounds crisp and clear. You can listen to any music for hours on end, and it will be a pleasure for your ears.
The climate controls are located underneath the Pivi screen, and the knobs have a triple function depending on whether you leave them as is or push/pull. They control the heated seats, air temperature, and air intensity. It is well-indicated which function you're using, and it's pretty clever; they didn't need to add many knobs and buttons. Although, piano black was not the best idea for such an area that you will frequently use. On our test vehicle, which had been on the road for somewhere around 8000km, we found out that the driver's side knob was covered with scratches from watches, rings, bracelets, or any other kind of jewelry close to someone's hand.
All seats are pretty comfortable. The ISOFIX ports are easy to access in the back; trunk space isn't cavernous, and the loading floor is rather high, but the overall space is adequate. We also found out that the rear doors didn't open that far out; getting in the vehicle may be challenging for taller people. The back seats provide sufficient room for adults, or children, which is good for a midsize SUV. We didn't like that some materials don't feel as premium as others next to each other. For example, the leather on the gear lever didn't feel as upscale as the one on the steering wheel, which is a shame when you are still spending upwards of 70 grand for a midsize SUV.
Now moving on to the driving experience, let's take a look at the numbers themselves. Our test model was the Jaguar F-Pace P250 equipped with a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain produces 247 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. On paper, the 0-100 km/h acceleration time is around 7,3 seconds; the base engine didn't feel this lively, even in Sport mode.
As for handling, the 20" wheels, all-wheel-drive and stiffer suspension helped make the F-Pace feel sportier in curves and tight corners. All around, the vehicle felt very stable at higher speeds. It seems England's country roads were the main focus for Jaguar's engineers over sheer acceleration. All in all, this configuration is better for drivers that prefer great light handling compared to pure acceleration power. A quick word on fuel consumption, it is decent for a vehicle in this segment. We averaged 8.4 L/100km on the highway, about 10.9 in the city, and combined driving around 10.2L/100km. It isn't exceptionally fuel-efficient, but with rising gas prices, it's a shame the base engine isn't coupled to a mild hybrid like other 6-cylinders available in the F-Pace.
The Jaguar F-Pace combines sportier styling with a classy interior, but its base engine isn't powerful enough, in our opinion, to power such a big vehicle. We would recommend stepping up to the 6-cylinder mild hybrid. Also, with English car manufacturers, reliability is always a question mark; we've experienced a couple of technical problems in the past. The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace is a gorgeous vehicle, inside and outside.
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