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Road test | Jaguar F-Pace: emerging from oblivion

With the abandonment of the compact sedan XE and the intermediate XF which sees its technical sheet reduced to a single four-cylinder turbo, the F-Pace becomes the mainstay of the range of the English manufacturer Jaguar. Offered with a fairly comprehensive powertrain package and refreshed with various upgrades for 2021, it is now seeking recognition. We took the wheel of two versions to assess the content of this reissue.

Design

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The design of the front optics with the diodes at obtuse angles establishes the presence of the Jaguar F-Pace.

The luxury compact SUV register is rather crowded. To stand out, Jaguar has therefore applied itself to what it probably does best: sculpting a design displaying great aesthetic refinement. It is never easy to apply this approach to an SUV / crossover that is already the result of a compromise, but the designers have succeeded.

The starting point is the design of the front optics whose diodes with obtuse angles establish the presence with, in addition, rear lights which describe “a double chicane”. It’s slim, refined and complements front and rear parts that don’t try to overdo it. The SVR high performance outfit does not play in the visual overbearing either, exposing its presence by a beefier pneumatic mounting accentuated by wider tracks and enlarged mesh openings, for the sake of thermal management. The lateral balance, supported by a long front section, essentially takes up the spirit of a sports car.

On board

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The many ways to customize the rendering with various colors and materials enrich the shopping experience.

The cabin has also been largely reformed with a completely redesigned dashboard using much more sumptuous materials, even for the cheaper liveries. The many ways to customize the rendering with various colors and materials enrich the shopping experience. The approach is clean and smooth with an overlay of horizontal lines that incorporate the ventilation nozzles. The weighted use of brushed aluminum embellishes the whole thing nicely and the integration of the infotainment screen and the gear lever is very harmonious.

On the controls side, Jaguar went from an in-between with smooth surfaces that cover, like a varnish, physical touches for the heating and air conditioning system. It is more pleasant to handle. The front passengers benefit from a nice airy space, while at the rear, it is less welcoming due to the narrowness of the access. The central square is also mortgaged by the tunnel housing the transmission shaft.

Under the hood

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The Jaguar F-Pace SVR’s V8 produces 550 hp.

The two tested variants of this F-Pace lie at opposite ends of its spectrum: the base version powered by a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (247bhp) and the explosive SVR whipped by its 5L V8 supercharged by compressor (550 hp). Certainly, the driving experience is poles apart. On the one hand, the standard engine, despite its initial boom thanks to its torque (269 lb-ft) reached very early (1300 rpm), lacks the means in recovery as well as further in the range and is rather rough. at low speed.

On the other hand, the V8 exhales an extraordinary and harmonious sonic impetuosity as only this mechanism employed for more than a decade by Jaguar knows how to do it. Its grip is manifested by great flexibility thanks to its volumetric compressor configuration. The ZF automatic transmission could be a little more assertive in the changes of its eight reports, but we denote the desire of this F-Pace to spare its passengers. On the consumption side, the two versions were respectively 8.7 L / 100 km and 11.7 L / 100 km.

Behind the wheel

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The suspension is slightly firmer than that of some competitors when opting for the fixed suspension elements.

The F-Pace is based on the aluminum frame shared with the XF sedan. Receiving the contribution of a double wishbone front suspension, it limits its weight to 1822 kg when it embeds the four-cylinder. This ensures good agility, but the suspension is slightly firmer than that of some competitors when opting for the fixed suspension elements.

The SVR variation stiffens the behavior a little more. That said, it does not present the hyperactivity of an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifolgio for example, positioning itself rather on the side of a large sports tourism sophisticated in its way of negotiating with bumps.

Despite its prowess in terms of movement management with its active shock absorbers, the feel of its steering is too disconnected, a defect less present on the side of the four-cylinder probably because of its narrower soles. The SVR’s servomotor braking is also more difficult to modulate than the basic livery, but is a model of efficiency.

Embedded technologies

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The new Jaguar F-Pace infotainment display

Named Pivi Pro, the new F-Pace infotainment system is based on tactile navigation (11.4-inch screen) and includes a volume control knob on the center console. Jaguar has done its homework when it comes to intuitiveness. Equipped with two side bands that allow you to return to important menus, the system responds quickly. The sharpness of the image as well as its not very garish colors make its use very pleasant.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment, as is the induction charging pad. However, you cannot do the wireless gateway, which makes the use of the keypad less relevant. Jaguar also didn’t build a compartment large enough to store our phone in when plugged in, an omission that requires us to obstruct the cup holder. The sound of the audio system provided by Meridian is of exceptional quality in its most advanced iteration in the F-Pace SVR.

The verdict

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The entry-level version of the Jaguar F-Pace, at $ 63,176, is significantly more expensive than those of direct rivals Germany, if not Japanese.

The biggest weakness of this Jaguar F-Pace is in terms of its pricing structure. Its entry-level version at $ 63,176 is significantly more expensive than those of direct rivals from Germany or even Japan. Admittedly, its standard features are numerous and its dynamic appearance makes it very charismatic, but it is no match for its input engine which lacks breath.

The SVR variant, for its part, is obviously far from a bargain at $ 98,076, a bill justified by its captivating and singular temperament. The best option is undoubtedly between these two liveries, by opting for the turbo inline-six which compensates for the shortcomings of the standard mechanics with its smoothness and ease. All in all, this update of the F-Pace is successful without however completely transforming it. It gives it new impetus with a nostalgic look before the inevitable electrical transition.

Notebook

The chronometer test

Despite similar power, the 2.0L turbo four-cylinder accelerates 0-100 km / h in 7.3 s according to Jaguar, it is more than a second slower than the German competition of the same displacement.

The old guard

The 5L V8 in the SVR livery has been used by Jaguar since 2009. Coded AJ133 III, it was built by Ford until last year before the Jaguar Land Rover Group repatriated its assembly. Its roots go back to 1996, when the XK8 was launched.

Not the most practical of the horde

The storage spaces in the F-Pace are quite numerous, but it is above all their limited volume that makes it less practical than certain competing SUVs which adopt a more family-oriented vocation.

A cousin with a very different design

Based on the same chassis as the F-Pace, the Land Rover Range Rover Velar poses a different aesthetic look and a more marked off-road vocation with a choice of similar engines (excluding the V8).

Mission: improve reliability

The big boss of Jaguar Land Rover made it clear in an interview earlier this year to the magazine Coach, the group’s reliability record is far from immaculate and it wants to improve it at the source. Let us hope that his words have direct effects for this great English manufacturer.

Technical sheet

  • Models under review: Jaguar F-Pace P250 S and SVR
  • Engines: L4 2L DOHC turbocharged and 5L DOHC supercharged V8
  • Power: 247 hp at 5500 rpm (L4); 550 hp @ 6,250-6,500 rpm (V8)
  • Torque: 269 lb-ft @ 1,300-4,500 rpm (L4); 516 lb-ft @ 3,500-5,000 rpm (V8)
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual mode
  • Drive architecture: Longitudinal engine, all-wheel drive
  • Consumption (manufacturer): 10.7 / 100 km (L4), 12.9 L / 100 km (V8)
  • Price range (with freight and preparation costs): from $ 63,176 to $ 98,076
  • Competitors: Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Genesis GV70, Infiniti QX50, Lincoln Corsair, Lexus NX, Land Rover Range Rover Velar, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Porsche Macan and Volvo XC60
  • New in 2021? Redesigned body and interior, new lightweight hybrid inline six-cylinder engines replacing the supercharged V6

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