A new 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine adds more variety to the impressive Jaguar F-Pace range. We try it here…
Last year, we awarded the excellent Jaguar F-Pace our coveted Car of the Year trophy. Since then, it’s seen off a glut of talented rivals including the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes GLC, and remains our favourite premium SUV.
From launch, buyers have been given a choice of 2.0 and 3.0-litre diesels, as well as a high-power petrol sourced from the F-Type sports car. Now, however, Jaguar is opening up the market by offering a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in its F-Pace for the very first time.
Give or take a few hundred pounds, the new F-Pace 25t costs broadly the same as the (also new) uprated 237bhp 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel. With an extra 10bhp, the petrol car shaves four tenths off the diesel’s 0-62mph sprint, but loses out significantly when it comes to in-gear shove.
The 2.0d’s 500Nm of torque shames the 365Nm you’ll find in the 25t driven here. That’s not to say the petrol model feels sluggish – simply dial the JaguarDrive Control switch to Dynamic and take control via the steering wheel-mounted paddles, and the F-Pace will proceed at a decent lick. In fact, thanks to the taut chassis and responsive steering, the Jag sets a high benchmark among some very talented rivals.
Even on our car’s optional 20-inch wheels, the F-Pace appears fluid and well resolved. Our car was fitted with Jag’s £1,185 Adaptive Dynamics Pack, and while the ride is on the firm side, the clever damping means you’re never presented with shocks through the chassis. Grip is good, too.
But while the diesel never feels strained, the course-sounding petrol engine makes quite a fuss at high revs. The flagship 3.0 V6 is smoother and more relaxed, though the 2.0 is incredibly refined at motorway speeds. Where the diesel ticks away in the background, the petrol motor is almost inaudible at 70mph.
What it gains in refinement, it loses when it comes to running costs, however. The high-power 2.0 diesel will return 48.7mpg, but the 25t falls short by more than 10mpg. The difference is less marked when it comes to tax, though; private buyers will pay the same flat-rate VED (£140 per year), while business users are split by a single Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax band.
Elsewhere, the F-Pace boasts a high quality and practical interior, loaded with kit including 18-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate and leather seats. Our R-Sport model adds sportier styling, xenon lights and gloss black detailing, while Portfolio cars get a panoramic roof and 10-way electric front seats. Disappointingly, the new, more responsive InControl Touch Pro infotainment system remains part of a pricey option pack.
Model: Jaguar F-Pace 2.0 i4 250PS R-Sport
Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo petrol
Transmission: Eight-speed auto, four-wheel drive
0-62mph/Top speed: 6.8s/135mph
On sale : Now