Who would have thought it: a Jaguar SUV? That buyers didn’t appear to be too fazed by the F-Pace’s arrival in 2016 says much about the way it met their expectations of what a Jaguar should look and feel like.
However, four years is a long time, and it’s fair to say that the F-Pace has since been overtaken by newer rivals in buyers’ affections. No worries; that only means prices of used ones are a little softer than they once were, making this classy, stylish, roomy, well-equipped and, above all, funto-drive SUV even more attractive.
There’s a version for most appetites and budgets, from an entry-level, rear-wheel-drive diesel to a full-on supercharged 5.0-litre V8 SVR.
The diesels make the most sense, although they aren’t as economical as you might expect. Apart from the least powerful one, they have four-wheel drive, but the system runs in rear-wheel mode most of the time. The mid-range 178bhp unit is the most plentiful and, for its blend of value and performance, rightly so. However, if you want more of the latter, check out the 3.0 V6.
Diesel versions of the F-Pace easily outnumber petrol ones, but if your mileage is on the low side and towing isn’t your thing, you might prefer one of the petrols. These range from a 248bhp 2.0-litre to the aforementioned 5.0-litre V8 that makes 542bhp. In between is a 375bhp supercharged 3.0-litre V6.
The 2.0-litre engine is a sweet and responsive thing that, being lighter than the equivalent diesel units, doesn’t load up the car’s nose as much in corners. The 3.0-litre is a blast, but you’ll pay for it at the pumps.
Expect the usual refinements on all versions, including climate control, leather and front and rear parking sensors. The alloy wheels, which are also standard, need careful choosing. Depending on the version, they’re as big as 22in, which can make the already-firm ride harsh as well.
Trims are offered in a range of luxury and sporty flavours. Among the former, our pick is Prestige, since it has all most people could want and at a reasonable price. From the latter, we’d take R-Sport for its stylish bodykit, exterior detailing and modest 19in wheels.
When appraising an F-Pace, be sure to check for dings and dents, since the aluminium body is tricky and expensive to repair. Also inspect the panel gaps and the paint finish, both of which have been criticised. Whether in standard or uprated guise, the infotainment is prone to glitches, so run through every feature and satisfy yourself all is well. Regarding diesels, check if the one you’re perusing has had oil dilution issues relating to its emissions system. On the test drive, listen for noises from the rear suspension.
That is a bit of a list, but find a good F-Pace and you’ll enjoy the best of all Jaguar worlds.
Need to know
Cars with bigger alloys ride best with the optional Adaptive Dynamics Pack, which offers a good blend of comfort and agility. It will have cost around £1200.
Another good option to look out for is the InControl Touch Pro Pack with the 12.3in infotainment screen and 380W Meridian sound system.
Check there’s enough head room in the back in cars fitted with the optional panoramic sunroof.
No F-Pace can tow more than 2400kg braked, and the entry-level version is restricted to 1600kg.