Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Cabin is stylish and feels upmarket
  • Plenty of bright material choices
  • Pivi Pro infotainment system is a big improvement

The Jaguar F-Pace’s cabin struggled to impress when it was first launched back in 2016, adopting the simple, but underwhelming dash fitted to the smaller XE saloon.

The 2021 facelift saw the introduction of the XF's cabin architecture and is considerably better for it.

The mixture of bright materials and trim highlights lift the cabin's mood and is far more inviting than it used to be. The touch points have been upgraded, too. The rotating gear selector has been replaced by a leather-faced lever, the rising dial to select your drive mode is pleasingly tactile to use, while the steering wheel and rotary temperature controls are lifted from the I-Pace. 

Being an SUV, you still sit above conventional hatchbacks and saloons, but the high windowline and dashboard helps the driver to feel more ensconced in the experience of driving. It’s easy to find a good driving position, thanks to highly adjustable electric seats and a steering wheel that moves in four directions. Combined with the high ride height that so many buyers find desirable, it's a comforting place to sit.

What slightly disappoints is how flimsy and fragile some of the switchgear feels in a car this expensive. Thankfully, it's a minor point and doesn’t ruin the whole cabin, as it's limited to the steering wheel's toggle switch for the cruise control and the push-pull action of the multi-function climate control dials. The Audi Q5 and BMW X3 are far from perfect but manage to feel sturdier overall.

The Pivi Pro touchscreen multimedia system introduced in 2021 is also a welcome improvement. The 11.4-inch touchscreen is clear, easy to read and within easy reach, but the system itself is quick to respond and much easier to navigate through thanks to a simple grid layout with large icons for glancing at, and the absence of too many sub-menus.

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but a head-up display is optional on all models and the 12.3-inch digital instrumentation screen is only standard on the flagship SVR.

Is it comfortable?

  • Comfortable interior, but rivals are more hushed
  • Ride quality is firmer, although never uncomfortable
  • Larger engines come with adaptive suspension

When it comes to refinement, the F-Pace is quiet enough on longer journeys, although the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan are worth a try if you seek maximum silence at motorway speeds.

Road noise in this tall Jaguar betters the XF saloon and the closely-related Range Rover Velar, while the 2021 facelift introduced active road noise-cancelling tech to further help quieten things down. You can sense it working, but not by a great deal.

The smaller engines are generally quiet and only sound strained when asked to work hard. The larger, brawnier-sounding 3.0-litre engines in the D300 and P400 are far more tuneful - building up to a loud, angry note that suits the F-Pace's sporting character as you build up the pace.

However, this ambience can be affected by the ride quality, which is very dependent on wheel size and suspension choice. Predictably, the smaller the wheels, the better - plus, it'll save you money when it comes to replacing tyres further down the line.

Opt for smaller alloys and you'll find it's comfy and quiet most of the time, although it never really settles down or feel as supple as the Q5 or Macan mentioned above.

A potential solution is to option a vehicle with adaptive suspension, as this has the ability to soften things down. It's a pricey, but effective addition, as we've tested models on 22-inch wheels with them that isolate the cabin from bumps far better than those on regular, passive suspension and 20-inch wheels.

So yes, big wheels may look great - especially on this big Jag - but think carefully about the ride as it may fidget over bumps and ruts. And if you must spend the extra on them, the adaptive suspension might be worth speccing in tandem.

The front seats are comfortable, with plenty of padding and a wide range of support. Sportier R-Dynamic models can be optioned with the same slimline leather sports seats fitted to the SVR and aren't as unforgiving as the pictures may suggest.

You can even have electrically reclining rear seats installed as an optional extra for another touch of luxury, making the F-Pace a better option for families than the Mercedes GLC or Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Plus, a panoramic roof on some models brightens things up too.