REVIEW: 2018 Jaguar F-Pace 25t R-Sport – You Won’t Miss the Six

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Jaguar has made some changes to the outstanding F-Pace, but one that should not worry you is a move towards four-cylinder turbocharged engines.

What is it? 

The F-Pace from Jaguar is a two-row crossover built to make the most of driving excitement. Jaguar/Land Rover now has a herd of crossovers for every taste, like the new Velar and the Range Rover Sport. We love every one of them. The F-Pace has great looks and a premium feel that we think matches its mission. Of the whole lineup, we think the F-Pace is the best driver’s vehicle.

Pricing and trims

The F-Pace starts at about $43,000 and its six trims step up the pricing to about a starting price of $63,000. Be aware that many things you may assume would be standard in a modern luxury car crossover, such as adaptive cruise control and cooled seats, are not, and the adders can boost the price significantly.

Our test vehicle was the F-Pace 25t R-Sport, which had a base price of $55,170, but with options came to $63,585. This is significantly more than the 2017 F-Pace 35t Prestige we tested just ten months ago that rang in at $52,095. That F-Pace had a much more powerful six-cylinder supercharged engine. As it turns out, we didn’t miss the added power one bit.

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The Drive

The F-Pace 25t R-Sport feels quick and light. The F-Pace 25t R-Sport moves off the line swiftly and effortlessly. The engine wants to play in a way that the supercharged V6 from our prior tester did not. In corners, the F-Pace 25t R-Sport has very little body roll and it steers with precision. Throttle in corners adds torque in such abundance that one needs to be careful or the F-Pace 25t R-Sport will get going a little more quickly than one expects. Braking is predictable and the pedal feel is good.

Quick sprints are fun in this crossover. Jaguar is one of the few automakers who rates their vehicles’ 0-60 MPH time. The 25t R-Sport version of the F-Pace can hit 60 MPH in just over 6 seconds. In a vehicle this size, that feels fast. The Supercharged V6-equipped F-Pace (and it is only available in one trim now) can do that same sprint in about one second less. If you can feel that difference, and you plan to be pinning the throttle in your crossover a lot, buy it. That’s not real world driving though.

Jaguar also offers a diesel option in the F-Pace. The four-cylinder diesel F-Pace needs more than 8 seconds to do the 0-60 MPH run. That is slower than most affordable crossovers this size. To our way of thinking, the four-cylinder turbo gas engine is the perfect fit for the F-Pace. With a fuel economy of 24 MPG Combined, and the ability to use regular unleaded, this gasoline version of the F-Pace will cost about the same for fuel as the diesel will, and the tow rating is the same at 5,290 lbs.

Seating, Interior, Cargo

Our F-Pace 25t R-Sport came equipped with 18-way adjustable sport seats. The adjustment types include a thigh extension and side bolsters that can be moved in or out. They were also cooled, a separate option. The seats were comfortable and also attractive with their two-color leather trim. The brushed aluminum and piano black interior trim was a perfect match to this modern vehicle’s personality. Rear seats are also very stylish and comfortable. Legroom is moderate. Front passengers will need to move up just a bit to allow an adult to sit behind them.

The cargo area of the F-Pace is smaller than many compact crossovers with a cargo volume of 33.5 cubic feet. Compared to say, a Honda CR-V’s 39.2 cubic feet.

However, our vehicle had an optional full-size matching spare tire on a matching alloy rim. That creates a big hump about three inches high in most of the cargo area, making it seem much smaller. We love full-size, spares, and it is fantastic that Jaguar offers this $410 option, but be careful to see this before you buy it in your F-Pace. We have one other caution; Be sure you see the optional heated windshield before you buy an F-Pace with it. To our eye, it obscures the view in both day and night lighting. If your F-Pace will be garaged, we would suggest skipping that $385 option.

Infotainment and controls

Our F-Pace came with the optional technology package including a 10″ touchscreen, WiFi hotspot, CD player and Meridian audio. At $3,265 this option does not come cheaply, but we give the touch screen and menus top marks for simplicity and ease of use. The audio is also very good. The steering wheel of our F-Pace was heated and the menu controls easy to use. The transmission’s paddle shifters behind the wheel can add some involvement. Overall, we continue to score Jaguar/Land Rover’s infotainment and controls at the very top of the premium marketplace.

Ownership Experience

Jaguar has earned top scores for customer satisfaction on recent rankings by JD Power and currently has the very best warranty and maintenance package in the industry. It is hard to argue that Jaguar owners don’t enjoy one of the best ownership experiences possible.

Overall

We applaud Jaguar’s bold move to primarily a 2.0-liter gasoline turbocharged engine. The power and torque are well-matched to this vehicle and we didn’t miss the V6 at any time in our testing. However, the price of this F-Pace was significantly higher than the F-Pace we tested and loved just 10 months ago. Did early adopters get a bargain?

Our second test of a Jaguar F-Pace only confirmed for us that it is a special vehicle. It combines great real-world performance with a price point that many premium shoppers will find a great value.

 

 

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John Goreham

John Goreham