heycar editorial team
- A real head-turning SUV
- Great fun to drive
- Decent levels of standard equipment
Not so great
- Infotainment is frustrating to use
- Doesn’t have a particularly high seating position
- Quite thirsty and expensive to run
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
"The Jaguar F-Pace rocked the SUV market when it arrived in 2016. Here’s a car that’s big enough to carry your family yet still fun to drive, while its head-turning looks are bold enough to make some buyers think twice about a BMW X3 or Audi Q5 - and even the Porsche Macan."
The following years have done little to blunt the F-Pace’s left-field appeal, although stronger competition in the form of the Volvo XC60 means the F-Pace has to work harder to tempt you into parting with your cash.
There’s a number of petrol and diesel engines on hand, made up of four- and six-cylinder units as well as two- or four-wheel-drive. The six-cylinder diesel is the most desirable choice, with effortless performance from its 3.0-litre engine and reasonable fuel economy (although this isn’t a car you’ll run on a budget).
The F-Pace emphasises the ‘sport’ element of SUV, with a fairly firm suspension contributing to agile handling. Models with the adaptive suspension do a better job of ironing out lumps and bumps, but you’d be better looking elsewhere if you want a car that’s going to provide a magic carpet ride.
It’s on a fast, flowing A-road that the F-Pace really impresses. The steering is unusually communicative for an SUV of this size, and it’s only on really twisty roads that you’ll start to notice its considerable mass. On the motorway, it becomes the kind of relaxing long-distance cruiser you’d expect for a premium SUV of this size.
Although most F-Pace models come with four-wheel-drive, this isn’t an off-roader. But that’s what Jaguar’s sister brand Land Rover caters for. The F-Pace’s all-wheel-drive system should provide a little reassurance in slippery conditions, though, and there’s a host of driver assistance systems acting as back-up, too.
These include autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist and a driver condition monitor - all of which are standard across the F-Pace range and contribute to its five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
All F-Pace models are fairly well equipped, with the range split between luxurious and sporty models. Prestige and Portfolio models make up the former, while the latter consists of R-Sport and S trim levels. There’s also the hot Jaguar F-Pace SVR, if you’d like your SUV with a 5.0-litre supercharged petrol engine.
With a less than perfect reputation for reliability, buying a used Jaguar SUV might seem like a bold choice. However, despite sharing a lot of mechanicals with sister brand Land Rover, Jaguar often performs well in reliability surveys.
As it’s been on sale since 2016, there are some good deals available on the used market, too. Less than £30,000 will bag you a lightly-used three-year-old 3.0d in a desirable trim level - representing quite a saving over list price. If you’d prefer a newer F-Pace, there are some strong pre-reg deals on hand. We’ve seen 2.0-litre diesel examples advertised with delivery miles for below £36,000.
So, there’s a lot going for the Jaguar F-Pace. It might not be quite as well-finished as alternatives like the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 and the infotainment is a bit of a let-down, but it looks the business and is good to drive.
Comfort and design
"While other SUVs provide lounge-like interiors and high seating positions, the Jaguar F-Pace takes a sportier approach. You sit relatively low down, cocooned by the dashboard and raised centre console. This makes it feel surprisingly sporty - like an SUV F-Type - but it definitely feels more claustrophobic than something like a Range Rover Velar or Mercedes-Benz GLC."
It’s not quite as well-finished as rivals, either - but at least all models come pretty well equipped, with some form of leather seats standard across the range.
The F-Pace was initially offered with eight- or 10-inch infotainment systems, although later models come only with the latter. That’s good news as the smaller screen looks a bit downmarket in a car like this. The bigger InControl Touch Pro system also comes with a slick 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster which, although not as customisable as Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, is a pleasingly modern touch.
Despite feeling a little claustrophobic up front, there’s a reasonable amount of space with plenty of head- and legroom and usefully-large door pockets. There’s enough room in the back for a pair of adults, while the boot is big enough - if not as versatile as an Audi Q5’s.
Handling and ride quality
"Unsurprisingly for a large premium SUV, most used F-Types will be powered by a diesel engine. The 2.0-litre diesel will appeal to the cost-conscious, with reasonable fuel economy and adequate (if little more) performance."
The standard 2.0-litre diesel engine - badged the 20d - is available with rear- or all-wheel drive. If you’re concerned about running costs go for the former, although you’ll find many more AWD models on the market. A limited number of 20d models are sold with a manual gearbox which, again, helps fuel economy - but it’s a strange choice in a luxurious SUV like this. We’d strongly recommend the eight-speed auto instead.
If budget allows, the 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel is the pick of the range. This provides effortless performance with a more Jaguar-like soundtrack (even if it’s still undeniably a diesel).
There are petrol choices too, but these are thirsty and a bit pointless unless you only cover short journeys.
MPG fuel costs
"If you’re looking for a frugal choice, you’ll want a rear-wheel-drive model with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. Officially the RWD 20d returns up to 44.8mpg with the manual gearbox and 43.8mpg as an auto."
If you need a four-wheel-drive model, you’ll pay for it at the pumps. A 20d AWD officially achieves up to 40.0mpg, while the 25d returns 38.5mpg. This drops to 36.6mpg with the 30d 3.0-litre V6.
As you’d expect, petrol models are somewhat thirstier. The F-Pace 25t officially provides up to 29.2mpg, while the 30t is good for 28.0mpg. While this doesn’t sound particularly economical, it’s worth noting that these figures are from the latest WLTP fuel economy tests which means they should be fairly realistic.
Jaguar F-Pace models registered since the beginning of April 2017 will cost £150 a year in VED (road tax), plus an extra £325 a year in premium car tax for five years for those with a list price of more than £40,000 (that’s most of them).
Cars registered before April 2017 will be taxed depending on their CO2 emissions. This could provide quite a significant saving, so it might be worth hunting out an early model.
Trim levels and standard equipment
"The Jaguar F-Pace line-up is split into sporty and luxury models. The Prestige is the one of the posh ones, with standard equipment currently including 18-inch alloy wheels, an electric tailgate, leather seats and a 10-inch Touch Pro infotainment system with navigation."
The F-Pace Portfolio builds on this with 19-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and a panoramic sunroof. It also gets more luxurious Windsor leather seats (with 10-way electric adjustment in the front), keyless entry and a premium Meridian sound system.
As its name suggests, the F-Pace R Sport is a sporty option. This comes with fancy 19-inch alloy wheels, a bespoke body kit and gloss black exterior highlights. Inside, there’s perforated leather sport seats with contrast stitching.
The F-Pace S adds 20-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers and adaptive suspension. A heated windscreen is a useful addition, as well as electrically-folding door mirrors and 10-way electric front seats. There’s also a Meridian sound system and keyless entry.
Is the Jaguar F-Pace right for you?
If you want a premium SUV that’s great to drive and is more likely to turn heads than a BMW X3, the Jaguar F-Pace is a strong choice.
What’s the best Jaguar F-Pace model/engine to choose?
We’d recommend the 3.0-litre diesel if budget allows. The posh F-Pace Portfolio is a desirable option, but we’d look for a sporty S model.
What other cars are similar to the Jaguar F-Pace?
Just like the (excellent) Volvo XC60, the Jaguar F-Pace is a slightly obscure alternative to premium SUVs like the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3. You could also compare it to the sporty Porsche Macan, or in-house rival the Range Rover Velar. Italy’s answers to the Jaguar F-Pace include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Maserati Levante.
Bold looks and a fun driving experience are let down slightly by a less-than-perfect interior and below-par infotainment system. Still, if you can live with these little quibbles, the Jaguar F-Pace is a really appealing SUV.
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
Reviews of similar cars
Quality checked, all cars less than 8 years old and warranty included