The Jaguar F-Pace is proving to be a bit of a hit. We rated it highly from the day we first drove it, and it seems the spacious, practical and good to drive large SUV is being similarly well-received by customers. British buyers can’t get enough of it.
The engine range is already extensive, with our choice being the range-topping 296bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbodiesel. It’s very smooth and has loads of pulling power from low revs – the 161bhp and 178bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel alternatives are good too, but they don’t quite have the large-car grunt of the bigger motor, even if they are more efficient.
To try and narrow the gap between the two motors, Jaguar now has a third choice of 2.0-litre turbodiesel, one producing 237bhp. Called 25d, it has 59bhp more than the 178bhp 2.0d 180 and, more significantly, 69lb ft more pulling power. What does this deliver on the road? More of the 3.0-litre V6’s effortlessness, that’s what.
You now don’t have to click down a gear or two on the steering wheel paddleshifters when joining a motorway, and overtaking is more effortless as well. In this regard, it’s an improvement: pity the eight-speed automatic is still a bit dim-witted when left to its own devices.
And although it has more grunt, the 25d still doesn’t have the creamy engine note of the V6. It vibrates more at lower engine speeds and is more gravelly when it’s cold. While it serves up V6-like surge when it’s on the boil, it can’t match the premium experience of the 3.0-litre.
Fitted with the optional Adaptive Dynamics Pack, our test 25d F-Pace rode and handled as brilliantly as we’ve become accustomed to with Jag’s first SUV. It’s a joy to drive through bends and the ride is very supple at speed; the extra pace of the 25d makes it even more enjoyable than lesser 2.0-litre versions.
It’s as practical as all other versions too, with loads of space front and rear plus a near class-leading boot. It’s well worth using some of the money you’ll save over the V6 to upgrade the standard 8.0in infotainment system to the 10.2in InControl Touch Pro system – although even this still isn’t quite a match for Audi or BMW’s systems.
Neither, sadly, is materials quality. The leather seats and steering wheel are nice, but the plastics themselves are simply not up to the premium standards set by the German brands. For the money, you can do better here.
And although this 25d version is a decent improvement on lesser 2.0-litre versions, we’d still ultimately go for the V6. The extra up-front cost isn’t that much greater and the fuel economy savings with the 25d don’t add up to all that much of a bonus, either. The best, most appealing F-Pace remains the 3.0-litre.
Jaguar F-Pace 25d 240 Portfolio
Engine 4cyl, 1999cc, diesel
Power 237bhp at 4000rpm
Torque 386lb ft at 1500rpm
Gearbox 8-spd automatic
Top speed 135mph
Official economy 48.7mpg
CO2, tax band 153g/km, 32%
Release date On sale now
Rob Adams is a writer for WhatCar
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