The Jaguar F-Pace crossover SUV was introduced as a totally new vehicle for 2017 with a 340-horsepower supercharged V6. Within months, Jaguar added a high-mileage 2.0-liter turbodiesel, and six months after that added a bread-and-butter 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine. That was enough for the F-Pace to be named World Car of the Year.
For 2018, a fourth engine is added: a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo four, making a strong 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Designated the 30t, it can accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in 5.7 seconds and gets an EPA-estimated 25 Highway miles per gallon on Premium gasoline. It costs about $3000 more than the base turbo-four engine, called the 25t, which makes 247 horsepower with 269 pound-feet of torque, and accelerates from zero to sixty in 6.4 seconds while getting a couple more miles per gallon than the 30t.
Other changes for 2018 include available driver assistance technologies such as Forward Vehicle Guidance and Forward Traffic Detection3.
The F-Pace uses the same solid rear-wheel-drive structure that is the foundation for the Jaguar XE sedan, although the architecture is expanded for the SUV; for example, all-wheel drive is standard on all models. All engines transmit thrust through an 8-speed automatic transmission, primarily to the rear wheels, sending power to the front wheels when needed.
Size-wise, the F-Pace is bigger than the BMW X3 and smaller than the X5. Its careful proportions disguise its size. It doesn’t look it, but it’s also slightly bigger than rivals like the Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC, and Porsche Macan. Notably, it’s lighter, thanks to a body shell that’s 80 percent aluminum.
It’s dynamically and visually athletic, as well as versatile, being roomy inside, and quiet. Infotainment and telematics are substantially improved over previous Jaguars. Even all-terrain capability has been addressed, with a new system called Surface Progress Control that allows the driver to select a very slow speed for crawling up or down slopes, great for icy roads.
Fuel economy is average, with the supercharged V6 EPA-rated at about 20 Combined miles per gallon. The 20d turbodiesel earns a 26/33/29 mpg rating, while the 25t turbo four is good for 22/27/24 mpg, on Premium fuel.
Prices span from a low of $42,065 for the base 25t, to $46,275 for the Premium 20d, to $59,775 to the S, to a max of $63,000 for the Portfolio S, and $62,000 for the Portfolio 30t. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge of $995.)
The 30t with the more powerful turbo-four engine costs about $3000 more than the 25t.
The Jaguar F-Pace is surprisingly conservative, that is to say it’s not overtly distinctive like the Porsche Macan. But it still stands out, thanks to muscular haunches. The surfaces are taut, with an aluminum skin that fits like Spandex. The profile reveals a roofline that slopes rearward and a beltline that rises rearward, like its cousin the Range Rover Evoque, only not so radical.
Even the base 25t model feels elegant inside. Maybe not the elegance of walnut-and-leather Jaguars of past years, but a modern blend of quality materials, handsome design, painstaking craftsmanship, and up-to-date infotainment, something that Jaguars haven’t been known for. The standard touchscreen in the F-Pace is big, with bright icons and a nav system that’s cooperative and accurate.
The F-Pace is roomier than its German rivals, with ample leg and head room behind the front seats, and lots of space behind the rear seats. It’s called a five-seater, but the middle rear seat straddles the driveshaft tunnel.
We got some seat time at high altitude, which saps power because of thinner air; but with the V6, because of its supercharger, the power remained impressive. The S model has available modes; the Dynamic setting quickens throttle response, raises transmission shift points, cuts their shift time, adds weight to the steering, and turns the gauges red.
In addition to the brisk acceleration and agile dynamics, the F-Pace S is also quiet at most speeds on most pavement, and delivers a surprisingly supple ride.
We’ve only driven an XE sedan in the 20d model, with the 2.0-liter turbodiesel making 180 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque. The F-Pace is heavier, but the performance of the diesel should still be respectable.
The Jaguar F-Pace matches the performance, quality and style of the best cars in its heady class. It upholds Jaguar tradition. Excellent choice of engines, all with sharp 8-speed automatic transmission. The new turbo-four engine brings it all together.