Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8
  • Broad range of petrol and diesel engines
  • Rear- and all-wheel drive permutations
  • V6 engines provide the most performance

For a brand synonymous with performance, it’s no surprise that each of the Jaguar F-Pace’s three diesel and two petrol engines are turbocharged or supercharged. Lower-powered diesels are available with a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive, but further up the range an automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The auto’s changes are so smooth they’re barely perceptible, and the F-Pace doesn’t struggle deciding which ratio to pick – a problem on some rivals’ gearboxes.

Several diesel choices in the Jaguar F-Pace

The majority of F-Paces you see on the road are powered by versions of the four-cylinder Ingenium family of turbocharged diesels. Entry point used to be the 2.0-litre 163hp version, exclusively paired with a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive, heralded as the F-Pace’s efficiency champion, with claims of up to 59.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 126g/km. It's no longer available, so you'll have to seek out a used example if you want one.

Needless to say this was the slowest model in the line-up, with a top speed of 121mph and – despite 380Nm of torque available from 1,750rpm – a 0-62mph time of 10.2 seconds. Offering more urgency is the now-entry-level 180hp version of the same engine, badged 20d. It’s still rear-wheel drive as standard but now with the slick eight-speed automatic. An increase in torque to 430Nm sees the 0-62mph time dip to 8.6 seconds, while top speed’s a little higher at 129mph.

We found this motor to be perfectly adequate and, considering its running costs are so much lower than the V6 powerplants on offer, there isn’t much reason to go elsewhere unless you want to pick one of the higher trims. Pity it doesn’t sound particularly inspiring. If you need the extra traction afforded by all-wheel drive, the 20d AWD is also available. It has a 129mph top speed and requires 9.0 seconds for the 0-62mph dash.

That same basic four-cylinder diesel also features in the 25d AWD, but is now twin-turbocharged for 240hp and 500Nm of torque for a linear power delivery from 1,500rpm. It’s appreciably quicker with a 0-62mph time of 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 135mph.

Topping the diesel range is the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 fitted to the 30d AWD or 300 Sport. Admittedly this is a nicer unit to drive, primarily because along with its 300hp it boasts a massive 700Nm of torque from 1,500rpm. That means 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds – significantly quicker – and thanks to the pair of extra cylinders it sounds better as well. It’s smoother to drive and has a slightly more purposeful burble, though it’s not exactly F-Type levels of sonorous sound. Top speed is 150mph.

If the budget stretches then this engine is a great fit in the F-Pace. It's effortless and refined, but powerful enough to make the most of the F-Pace's sporty chassis setup. But if you don't have to have the highest level of performance, you may be better served with the less powerful diesels that still provide plenty of punch. 

Petrol-powered options in the F-Pace

If you don’t cover the kind of annual mileage to warrant a diesel, then one of the petrol choices for the F-Pace may appeal. First up is a turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder slightly confusingly badged 25t AWD. Not only does it come with all-wheel drive, an automatic gearbox is also standard.

There’s 250hp on tap, although at 365Nm at 1,200rpm it’s the least torquey of the range. Top speed is 135mph, while the 0-62mph test is dispatched in a brisk 7.0 seconds. It’d be easy to discount this engine in the face of the larger, more refined six-cylinder option but it’s actually quite strong, revving cleanly to 6,500rpm and offering a quieter cabin on the move than you get in the diesel range.

Despite its turbocharged nature, this engine’s power delivery is very smooth and the throttle pedal is nicely responsive so long as you keep the revs up, otherwise it is a little flat. Our only complaint is that it never really feels particularly quick, and the automatic gearbox hesitates on up and down shifts when you’re pressing on.

The middle ground is inhabited by the 3.0t engine, again available as an AWD auto only, but boasting a bit more power than the 25t. Here you get 300hp and 400Nm of torque (the latter coming in at higher revs than the lower output engine, at 1,500rpm), which means 0-62mph takes just 6.1 seconds. There isn’t much of an economy penalty to pay for this engine but it costs a bit more to buy in the first place for only a marginal performance gain.

High-performance F-Pace SVR

You know the score already. It's fast. Ballistic, in fact. Here are some numbers for this 550hp range-topping SUV – Jaguar claims 0-62mph sprint in just 4.1 seconds and, if you find a stretch of derestricted autobahn long (and empty) enough, the maximum speed is 176mph. Not long ago, only supercars could match these numbers.

Having said that, the SVR's appeal isn't just about its numbers. It makes a great noise – at start up, it barks into life, and at idle, it rumbles away like distant thunder. It bellows like a race car under full acceleration, and in Race mode, it bangs and pops when you back off the throttle, or when it changes gear when you're really going for it. In short, it's a seriously addictive toy for grown-ups.

How does it handle?

  • One of the sportiest SUVs to drive
  • Confidence-inspiring steering set-up
  • Feels more composed on the smaller wheels

The F-Pace is an incredibly accomplished drive regardless of specification. It manages this through a clever set of chassis components that work in harmony to provide a rear-wheel drive character for the most part, only diverting up to half the available torque to the front wheels when the car senses it’s required.

We found this system uncanny in its performance, with Jaguar’s first SUV genuinely capable of driving as well as anything in the class short of a Porsche Macan – and the latter isn’t quite as big or comfortable.

There’s a titanic amount of grip on offer. No matter how quickly you corner we doubt you’ll test the extremities of the wide tyres’ adhesion. It seems to drive better if you avoid the 22-inch wheels optionally available, and the F-Pace’s composure is more apparent with the taller sidewalls you get on smaller wheels. We found 20-inch items to be ideal – with cheaper tyres to replace too.

Its steering is finely honed, with enough feedback to inspire confident cornering and weighting that feels natural in all situations. The handling balance is great too, which further adds to the assured nature of the F-Pace. It always feels solid and composed – valuable peace of mind for the sorts of families who will buy this car.

The only variable in this sense is the four-cylinder petrol engine – because it’s lighter than the six-cylinder petrol and all of the diesels. Although the 25t and 30t units are not the punchiest, they lend the F-Pace a much keener rate of turn-in.

Cars fitted with the optional Adaptive Dynamics suspension package ride with greater poise than the standard set-up, particularly when fitted with larger wheels. If your budget stretches to it, go for this option. You get Land Rover’s Terrain Response system on all-wheel drive cars (called Adaptive Surface Response in the F-Pace’s case), which adapts the way the drivetrain and stability control systems work together to optimise the car for the sort of surface you’re driving on.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR handling

The F-Pace SVR has been tuned for keen drivers, and is the best model in the range for those who value steering feel, decent handling and a sporting drive. Despite tipping the scales at almost two tonnes, it's agile on the road, and is ably assisted by the active electronic differential, which is a first for Jaguar. For those who don't need to know how the diff works, the easiest thing to remember is that the most power will always go to the wheel with the most traction – thus aiding confidence.

Happily, the driver doesn't need to know what’s happening, how it works, or fiddle with settings. It handles well regardless – the accurate, sweet, not-over-assisted steering is a delight to experience, even if it's not quite as overtly sporting as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.

Off-road in the F-Pace

We’ve driven this SUV on the rough stuff and can confirm it’s extremely capable, tackling far tougher terrain than Porsche dared to subject the Macan to when it was launched. You’d expect that, frankly, because don’t forget this is the same organisation that builds the Land Rovers that lead the field in this respect.

You don’t get quite as many off-road-centric features on the road-biased Jaguar, but you could hardly call it lacking either. We were particularly impressed with the All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) system, which acts like cruise control for off-road driving. Set it to any speed up to 19mph and it’ll take care of the car’s speed for you, leaving you to operate the steering.