Class: Premium Compact Crossover
Miles driven: 190
Fuel used: 12.7 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B-|
|Power and Performance||A|
|Fit and Finish||A-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||550-hp 5.0-liter|
|Engine Type||Supercharged V8|
Real-world fuel economy: 15.0 mpg
Driving mix: 75% city, 25% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 16/21/18 (city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium Gas
Base price: $79,990 (not including $1025 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Driver Assist Package ($3600), 22-inch alloy wheels ($1530), Aluminum Weave Carbon Fiber Trim ($1300), Head-Up Display ($1010), Meridian surround-sound system ($450), Activity Key ($410), heated windshield ($385), Rear Seat Remote Release Levers ($200)
Price as tested: $89,900
The great: Muscular engine; agile handling; classy interior
The good: Respectable cargo room
The not so good: Fuel economy; stiff ride
Perhaps we should have seen this coming from a brand that has a leaping jungle cat for a logo: Jaguar has sprung from middle of the pack to first place in the horsepower race among premium compact-crossover SUVs. The 2019 F-Pace makes the jump via a new SVR model with a 550-horsepower 5.0-liter V8.
The Jag’s move is a clear advance over its closest pursuers. The 505-horsepower Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and the 503-horse Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S “coupe” are the only other members of the class above 500. The F-Pace SVR shares its engine with the Premium Midsize Range Rover Sport SVR from corporate companion Land Rover, which extracts 575 ponies from the same powerplant, but charges considerably more for the privilege.
Needless to say, the supercharged V8 delivers great acceleration from a standstill (Jaguar says the SVR can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds) with the side benefit of nice midrange scoot. The 8-speed automatic transmission kicks down quickly for easy passing, and snaps off slightly crisper shifts in “Dynamic” mode. (The SVR’s transmission uses a selector lever in place of the pop-up dial in other F-Pace models; there are steering-wheel shifter paddles, too.) A pleasing burble in the exhaust note grows a little more menacing in Dynamic. It might also approximate the sound owners make while watching the quantity and price counters roll at the gas pump. This tester clocked just 14.4 mpg after his trip of 122 miles, 70 percent of that under city driving conditions. EPA estimates for the F-Pace SVR are 16 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and 18 combined.
Performance-enhancing chassis features include “Adaptive Dynamics” automatic damper adjustment, as well as an electronic active differential that provides torque vectoring by braking the inside wheels during turns in order to reduce understeer. The F-Pace certainly handles well, with weightier steering in the Dynamic setting for a better sense of control when speeds rise. The test truck was outfitted with a $1530 set of 22-inch alloy wheels that don’t leave a lot of room in the tire sidewalls for cushioning road bumps, so surface imperfections make their presence felt. The SVR’s meatier brakes are quick and strong stoppers.
All-wheel drive is standard. Its work is helped along by “All Surface Progress Control,” a low-speed cruise control that maintains a consistent pace in varying traction conditions. Though it wasn’t included on CG’s test vehicle, an optional “Adaptive Surface Response”—available for F-Paces with Adaptive Dynamics—changes engine and brake performance as it interprets differences in surfaces.
In addition to its high-protein powertrain, the SVR has a vented hood, distinct front fenders, and aerodynamic enhancements to the front and rear fasciae and rocker panels. The interior is decked out with nicely supportive side-bolstered high-back sport bucket seats in front, and rear seats with compatibly designed integral headrests. Windsor leather with lozenge-pattern quilting in the centers covers the seats, which are heated and cooled in the front row and heated in back. The power-adjusted and heated steering wheel is wrapped in soft leather, and sill plates and pedals are trimmed in bright metal.
Other standard equipment includes adaptive LED headlights with automatic high-beam control, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated power exterior mirrors with memory function and approach lights, dual-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, cruise control, keyless entry, push-button starting, and vehicle-information display in the instrument cluster. Infotainment features are a 380-watt Meridian sound system; satellite and HD radio; Wi-Fi hotspot; and “Touch Pro” with navigation, telematics links, and a 10-inch touchscreen. In the safety realm are automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, driver-condition monitor, and traffic-sign recognition. However, it takes the $3600 Driver Assist Package to get things like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot assist, a 360-degree surround camera, and rear cross-traffic monitor.
Legroom is better in front than it is in back, but two adults can comfortably fit in the second row as long as front passengers don’t need all of their available space. Headroom is fine in each row. Plush soft surfaces are found on the dash and a good portion of each door panel. The cabin is pleasingly quiet. Controls are legible, and easy to access and use. The vehicle-information readout betwixt the speedometer and tachometer can be scrolled by steering-wheel thumb buttons. Audio, navigation, and other functions accessed through the touchscreen all have their own menu windows to work through, but information is easy to find. Saving—or clearing out—audio favorites couldn’t be easier. Tap a finger on a station listing and a white star icon indicates it is saved; tap on it again and an outline star signifies that it is no longer in the “favorites” queue. Climate controls exist as an extensive double row of push buttons below the touchscreen, though some functions are handled on the screen.
The best cabin-storage choice is the ample glove box. The console box is of limited capacity, some of which is given over to various device inputs. Map pockets are found in all doors; they are slightly larger in front than in the rear. Net pouches are affixed to the backs of the front seats—something that not all sport-seat designs provide. Two cup holders under a retractable cover in the console accommodate front passengers, and two more in the pull-down center armrest serve rear-seat passengers.
Inside the wide power liftgate, rear cargo room is generous, and load height is no particular obstacle. Rear seats fold flat to create an even bigger cargo floor, a process made a little easier when optional remote seat releases with levers in the rear compartment are ordered.
For practical purposes, more frugal 4-cylinder or V6 models will serve most F-Pace customers just fine. But those who fancy the power and speed of the Range Rover Sport SVR (F-Pace SVR curb weight is 700 pounds less than the Rover’s, which mitigates the horsepower gap) for a starting price about as far below $100,000 as the Range Rover’s is above can leap into this Jaguar.
Jaguar F-Pace SVR