The F-Pace has been through some mild suspension retuning for this updated version, and the P400 - on its standard adaptive dampers, and even on coffee-table-sized optional 22in rims - rides and handles well enough to give it a clear dynamic edge over its SUV rivals.
Allowing you to mix supple-yet-controlled ‘comfort’ mode suspension with ‘sport’ settings elsewhere, the ‘Dynamic-i’ custom drive program lets you find a near-ideal rolling configuration for keener UK cross-country driving, with only particularly coarse Tarmac creating noticeable road noise. The F-Pace handles and steers with striking accuracy, plenty of agility and balance, and a distinct sporting flavour; but its athletic dynamic compromise isn’t punishing on comfort or refinement, which isn’t something you can say of its rivals.
The car’s interior update is wide-ranging, lifting the old F-Pace’s standards for material appeal quite a way; and JLR’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system, delivered here on a slightly unusual convex-shaped 11.4in touchscreen, does even more for onboard technology.
You still get physical heater controls for the car, and an audio volume scroll button placed just next to the gear lever. The new infotainment setup works so much better than the old one did thanks to really simple and clear usability with fixed shortcuts for hopping between menus, and much improved clarity and responsiveness. You can even pair two phones with it via Bluetooth, and wireless device charging is available also.
The extra satin chrome garnish that Jaguar has used around the cabin lifts the car’s perceived quality quite a way. Judged more broadly, the F-Pace is certainly on a par with a BMW X3 and Audi Q5 for luxury ambience, although perhaps not quite for the solidity of feel of quite all of its fixtures and fittings.
Our one word of warning would be to think carefully before ordering Jaguar’s optional performance seats, which our test car had. They offer good lateral bolstering and are comfortable for those up front, except for a slightly short backrest with a fixed ‘integral’ headrest which was too low for this tester, and annoyed by repeatedly poking in the back of the neck.