Rarely does a facelift make such a profound improvement to a car. Jag’s Pivi Pro tech is excellent and the interior spruce-up puts it back among the class leaders. The new PHEV powertrain is deeply impressive, too; keep it charged and more than 50mpg is easily possible.
- Economy: 50.4mpg
- Mileage: 11,625
Sports Utility Vehicles generally deliver far less of the former than the latter. But there are exceptions to the rule, and the Jaguar F-Pace has offered much of what the firm knows about sports saloons and coupés, distilled into a far more practical package.
Times change, though, so for the 2022 facelift the fundamentals remain, but the F-Pace has been boosted in areas where it was being left behind: tech and electrification.
That’s why I find myself talking to Ahmed Rahman, sales executive at Beadles Jaguar in Southend, Essex, as he shows me around our new F-Pace: a plug-in P400e in R-Dynamic SE spec and Portofino Blue.
Ahmed gives me a tour of the immaculate showroom; you could pretty much eat your food from the floor, and it’s every inch the premium experience. He says: “Jaguar and Land Rover is all about personalisation, the personal touch.” It’s something that becomes clear as he leads me into one of two handover rooms.
In the middle of the room sits a black sheet-clad F-Pace; in the corner there are balloons, some tasty cakes, juice and a bottle of bubbly. “It’s what we like to do for all our customers,” Ahmed says.
Car group tests
For many, collecting their Jaguar is all about the big reveal. Ahmed says his phone is chock full of videos of eager customers pulling back the black sheet over their new cars. And having done precisely that, it feels every bit as dramatic as you might hope.
Ahmed shows me the F-Pace’s interior; it’s hard not to be impressed by the design, fit and finish. It feels every inch the premium product, as you might expect it should given its £63,615 list price. The black leather sports seats are supremely comfortable and the cabin is packed with high-quality materials.
But it’s the Pivi Pro infotainment that’s the star. It centres around a 11.4-inch curved touchscreen, sporting crisp, elegant graphics and a user interface that’s easily the match for anything else on the market. Ahmed demonstrates the ‘Hey Jaguar’ voice commands, although I’m keen to see if they’ll replace my iPhone’s Siri. All the usual features are bundled in Pivi Pro, including a range of camera angles that feel very much like the kind of kit you’d find on Land Rover models, and are really helpful when manoeuvring and parking a big SUV.
The F-Pace falls into that category, but responsive steering, decent visibility and well judged suspension make it feel more agile than you’d expect. Those dynamic abilities are complemented perfectly by the plug-in powertrain. It’s fundamentally the same system that features on our long-term Land Rover Defender, but shorn of that car’s weight, the Jag feels more alive, punchy and sporty. In Dynamic mode it’ll hunker down for a five-second 0-62mph dash, which is more than fast enough. While it can’t hold a torch to the hot SVR model in a straight line, the P400e can pipe a V8 roar through the speakers.
A full charge takes a couple of hours from a home wallbox or as little as 30 minutes from a DC charger – the F-Pace is one of a few PHEVs to have this capability. Jaguar claims a 33-mile range is possible, but in reality it’s closer to 28. So far, most of my short journeys have been on EV power, while I stick it in hybrid mode for longer trips. Here, I tend to max out at around 55mpg – impressive, but in stark contrast to around 30mpg when the battery is flat.
|Model:||Jaguar F-Pace P400e R-Dynamic SE|
|On fleet since:||August 2022|
|Engine:||2.0-litre 4cyl turbo petrol PHEV, 398bhp|
|Options:||Portofino Blue metallic paint (£740), 21-inch 10-spoke dark grey wheels (£900), privacy glass (£415), cabin air ionisation (£100), air quality sensor (£60), Meridian sound system (£420), wireless charger (£300), lockable, cooled glovebox (£60), sliding panoramic roof (£1,600)|
|Insurance:||Group: 43 Quote: £1,120|
|Any problems?||None so far|
*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.