Starting Price: €77,638
Price as tested: €88,589
- Stunning interior, best infotainment system this side of Tesla
- The EV range isn’t really close to billing
WHAT IS IT?
The Jaguar F-Pace has been around for a few years now and managed to quickly rubbish any suggestion that making a Jaguar SUV was a bad idea, as since it has arrived it has collected a small, but loyal following of fans for its good looks and composed handling. And now we have a new version to keep it relevant, and that of course means there is a plug attached. Whereas Diesel would have dominated at the time of the launch of the F-Pace, we live in a different world now and thanks to a CO2-based taxation system, the second most powerful F-Pace you can buy, after the supercar-worrying SVR version, is this new P400e Plug-In Hybrid version, which despite having 400 horsepower, only has 52g/km of CO2, meaning it gives the Government less tax and you more power for your money. For €77,638 you can now have the entry-point of the F-Pace that’s faster than the mild-hybrid Diesel or Petrol and for a few Euro more you can have this P400e Dynamic Black Edition. The F-Pace is a medium-sized SUV, so think Audi Q5 or BMW X3. It has a generous boot, although less so in this PHEV as the battery gobbles up some of that. Price-wise it is at the premium end of the market, however, as the car we were in was close to €90,000.
HOW ABOUT THE LOOKS?
The Jaguar F-Pace was always handsome, but there have been some subtle changes to the latest version to keep it fresh. For a start, on the outside there are new LED headlights, with their ‘double-J’ daytime running lamp signatures, new rear LEDs, a reshaped bonnet to suit the slimmer lights, as well as new front and rear bumpers and revised air intakes. We were driving the Dynamic Black Edition version, which adds Black 20” Alloy wheels and with optional Bluefire Blue (€1,280) metallic paint. There are also Gloss Black mirror caps, fixed panoramic roof, privacy glass and Gloss Black roof rails.
WHAT IS THE INSIDE LIKE?
The main bulk of Jaguar’s efforts has instead gone into improving the interior. And that is improving on what was a good, if not excellent predecessor. The main news as so often is the case these days surrounds the infotainment system, the modern-day car’s altar, upon which it seems to live or die. The new 11.4-inch Pivo Pro system is presented on a curved glass display and is the prettiest display I’ve seen in a car yet. And it works really, really well. It is responsive, intuitive and Wireless too, both in terms of charging your mobile and connecting your device to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Most controls are via this system, but there are lovely dials for the Air Con and heated seats and a short, stubby gear shifter, which if I was critical, was a little slow to respond when you are going back and forth in a parking manoeuvre. Being a Jaguar, as you might expect there are plenty of high-quality materials on show, with wood and metal that wouldn’t look amiss in a high-end private members club. It is now more modern and it is not one bit stuffy.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The catchy P400e is a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle). And while these no longer attract the grants they once did, remain relevant because of their ability to reduce your fuel consumption, which lowers your CO2 (and your annual motor tax) and can in some cases mean you can drive on shorter journeys on EV power alone. Jaguar says that this can travel up to 53km on EV power alone thanks to a 17.1 kWh battery powering a 105kW electric motor. After a week and a lot of kilometres in the car, I can tell you those numbers aren’t likely but around 30km should be easy enough without too much effort and that could for many mean their daily commute to the office uses little or no fuel. As a PHEV, working as a hybrid (you can choose to use the car as an EV, switch it to Hybrid mode or Save mode reserves your electricity to a time you choose) the F-Pace isn’t quite the fuel-sipper we had hoped for.
Driving at 100km/h on the motorway we were averaging about 7 l/100km and this went up to almost 10 l/100km at 120km/h. This is 2.2 tonnes of SUV and it seems no battery, plug or miracle is going to make it frugal. However if you’ve spent the north-of-€80k on this you most likely aren’t sweating the end of the month too much, but if geography allows you could find this a reasonably useful sort-of-EV. For similar money of course you could have the iPace Black Edition, which feels smaller, but is brutally fast and has the most engaging driving experience of any EV at the moment. But stick to the F-Pace and you get a generously-sized rival to an Audi Q5 or BMW X3, with slightly less luggage space lost to the battery, but enough room for five adults to sit in comfort. And this too is a really nice drive.
This is the second-most potent F-Pace behind the 100% more expensive SVR model (and it’s also the cheapest engine variant), and sprints to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds on to a potential 240km/h top speed. That is urgent in a 2.2-tonne car. And one you’ll only have to pay €140 motor tax on. The handling is really impressive in this. It isn’t as fun to drive as the I-Pace, but it moves through bends really well for a car of this size.
WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?
The fact that Ireland’s taxation system has made this the cheapest version means that this is the one to go for. Weirdly, in the UK, this is £15,000 more than the entry-level 163PS Diesel, whereas in Ireland the Diesel is €7,600 more. So if you want an F-Pace, it’s a no-brainer really. Get the one that’s fast, slightly frugal and more future-proof.
IS IT SAFE?
The Jaguar F-Pace has gone through independent Euro NCAP safety tests and received the full five stars, with an impressive 93% score for adult occupant protection. There are a plethora of safety features aboard the F-Pace, with Adaptive Cruise Control fitted to this model as standard. There is Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter as well as a Driver Condition Monitor. Features such as Front and Rear Parking Aid and Rear Camera are also included. There are also optional packs available too, such as Blind Spot Assist Pack, Driver Assist Pack and Park Assist Pack. A Rear Collision Monitor can detect if a vehicle is approaching from behind is not slowing down and presents a potential collision threat. The system will then attempt to alert the driver to brake by automatically flashing the hazard lights.
The F-Pace P400e is a gorgeous place to be, especially thanks to its new interior. The PHEV version is fast and depending on your commute could be very cheap to run, but the EV range is limited enough and even working as a hybrid is not that frugal. Buy the I-Pace if you want better handling, but the F-Pace is a very good all-rounder.
Jaguar F-Pace P400e Dynamic Black
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, 105kW electric motor and 17.1 kWh lithium-ion battery.
0-100km/h: 5.3 seconds
Fuel Economy: 2.2 l/100km
Top Speed: 240 km/h
Transmission: 8-speed Automatic
Annual Motor Tax: €140
Luggage Capacity: 552-litres (vs 650 in the regular F-Pace)
Price as tested: €88,589
For more information log on to www. jaguar.ie