The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace is priced from $60,350 in Canada, $49,995 in the US.
The F-Pace is a not-so-hidden gem among small, midsize premium SUVs.
Refined, classy, this is a Jaguar.
This isn’t the first time, nor is the last (SVR review coming soon), that I’ve spent a week with a Jaguar F-Pace. Since 2017, I’ve not met an F-Pace that I did not like. In the ultra-competitive and crowded small, midsize premium SUV, the F-Pace is far from the most popular and this is one of its best traits.
Unique and special
As I commuted with the F-Pace, I crossed countless Audi Q5s, BMW X3s, Mercedes-Benz GLCs but crossed only a handful of Jaguars. I could not help but wonder why this was. Despite being a middle-aged adult, I still distinctly remember classmates going out of their way to be different. Being still in touch with a number of them, I know that many drive one of the German vehicles, but none have a Jaguar or an Alfa Romeo Stelvio for that matter.
Other than giving up on their dream of being unique, there is no reason why the F-Pace is being snubbed. On the basis of the brand alone, Jaguar is easily on par with the German brands. If anything, it’s an upside…
Handsome and premium
Physically, the F-Pace is extremely handsome. Its proportions, short overhangs, and steeply raked windshield give the SUV the right modern look. For the 2021 model year, the Jag received tasteful and moderate updates. The hood, grille, front and rear bumpers were all redesigned as were the headlights, now slimmer and sharper. My tester, painted Portifino blue, included optional 20-inch wheels and the black exterior package replacing all brightwork with gloss black accents.
The enhancements are difficult to identify but this only goes to show that the F-Pace, launched for the 2017 model year, was properly penned (by Callum) from the get-go. The cabin too has always presented extremely well. For 2021, the central touchscreen grows in size, to 11.4 inches, and in resolution. The shifter is also new as are the door cards.
The new Jaguar F-Pace’s is as premium as one could hope. The materials and craftsmanship are beyond reproach as are ergonomics. Jaguar designers created a dashboard that beautifully houses all functions and the screen. Admittedly, here, Jaguar overtakes Audi by quite a margin with a cleaner and simpler presentation.
The seats all around are superbly comfortable. The front perches are supportive and configurable. There’s plenty of room up front however the rear quarters are a little tighter. Two normal-sized adults will be fine but three abreast will be snug. The trunk is plenty useful at 613 litres in volume.
Efficient and refined
What excited me most about driving this 2021 F-Pace was the spec. The P250 S is powered by the boosted 4-cylinder 2,0-litre mill. It produces 246 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque (from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm) or the same output as in the smaller E-Pace. The power is sent to the standard intelligent AWD system via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Despite the F-Pace’s 4,000 lbs, it’ll claw (had to) its way to 100km/h in a respectable 7.3 seconds. You’ll keep up with most other 4-cylinder engines in the segment but what matters is the following: The 4-cylinder is at least $7,000 less expensive than the available V6 and you will average about 9L/100km.
With the exception of the engine’s note being pumped into the cabin for a sportier experience, which is pointless, the F-Pace is serene, quiet, and supremely refined. The chassis’ tune is both sporty and comfortable with all manners of controls are perfectly adapted to the SUV. Steering is responsive with well-suited assistance and the brakes are up to the task.
The driving experience can be adjusted via the JaguarDrive Control’s rising wheel selector. Truth be told, I spent nearly all my time in Comfort mode. Dynamic seemed all but completely unnecessary. More or less the same can be said about the Start/Stop function. When in use, the technology causes the F-Pace to jerk forward when the petrol engine sparks to life. It’s best to turn it off on every occasion.
A better luxury SUV
This is how I see the small premium SUV segment: The German offerings are far too common, the Japanese offer little to no emotional connection while the Italian and British options are special.
If a driving experience is what you seek, the BMW X3 and Porsche Macan are fine choices however so is the Alfa Romeo. For all other reasons, be it prestige, luxury, and high-end amenities, the Jaguar F-Pace is the answer.
The 2022 Jaguar F-Pace is already available and is priced from $61,600.