30.6.2021Jaguar F-Pace P400e first drive
Jaguar has given its popular F-Pace SUV a wide ranging refresh. Although a capable and characterful large SUV, the F-Pace has often lacked a certain something in terms of truly competing with the likes of Mercedes Benz and BMW. This refresh looks to address that however, building on Jaguar’s strengths by polishing those areas that weren’t up there with the best. We test the plug-in hybrid P400e model to see whether it proves the pick of the bunch.
Review by Chris Lilly
JAGUAR F-PACE P400E: PERFORMANCE
One place Jaguar already had a product to match the class leaders is with its P400e powertrain. Featuring a 2.0 litre four cylinder engine and electric motor, the combination produces 400 hp and 640 Nm of torque, putting power to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The F-Pace may be a big car, but its powertrain is up to the task, completing the 0-60mph time in just 5.0 seconds.
Pick up is brisk, with the electric components aiding low-down acceleration and the engine comfortable taking over further up the speedo. It’s such a flexible set-up that the F-Pace doesn’t have a weak spot in its performance really. If you want to stick to electric mode and reach motorway speeds, you will need a gentle right foot, but otherwise the F-Pace shines everywhere. In built up areas, the electric running mode makes great sense and performs nicely. However, unlike some PHEVs, the F-Pace excels at a cruise, where the whole system settles down as well as the best large PHEVs on the market - a blend of power and refinement.
To drive, there are sportier models around when you look to the flagship models, but otherwise the F-Pace P400e does a good job of performing all-round. The handling is well controlled but supple, and the steering is excellent - precise and with feedback.
Springs work hard to mask the F-Pace’s fairly considerable weight, due in part to the PHEV powertrain. Despite that, the F-Pace is an agile machine, that proves enjoyable to drive in built up areas or on open roads. It’s most fun on a country lane but, like the powertrain, it’s adept at cruising along at motorway speeds where the Jaguar proves a comfortable machine.
The exterior styling is one of the key areas of Jaguar’s refresh, and although the revisions are subtle, they work well. Details such as thinner headlights create a sharper look, bringing the F-Pace into line with other recent launches from Jaguar such as the XE, XF, and F-Type.
Essentially it’s the same car as before, which means that the interior space is good both in the front and rear seats. The boot is spacious and isn’t compromised in terms of capacity by the electrical components, as some PHEVs are. It all adds up to a spacious and comfortable premium SUV.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The other area primarily worked on for this refresh is the interior - specifically the driver’s controls and infotainment system. Fitted is Jaguar’s latest Pivo Pro infotainment system, which has an 11.4-inch curved screen that sits just proud of the dashboard. It looks more impressive at first glance, and when using the screen it becomes clear that the changes aren’t just for show.
A clearer display, improved commands & functions, and responsive system add up to bring Jaguar’s system in line with class leaders. Other changes include the switchgear and driver’s instruments, and the improvements have turned what was a nice interior into an excellent one.
JAGUAR F-PACE P400E: RANGE & RUNNING COSTS
On this launch event, there wasn’t the chance to really test fuel economy and electric driving range. However, we can make certain calculations from our real-world driving. Jaguar’s official figures for the F-Pace P400e are as good as 130.2 MPG, with CO2 emissions of 49 g/km, and an electric-only driving range of 33 miles on a charge.
On the test route around bits of Berkshire and Surrey the calculated range came out at 28 miles on a charge, on a good mix of roads. On a faster section, calculated range dropped to 23 miles on a charge, but built back up on twister roads and through towns. Calculations are made using battery percentage used and miles covered, rather than relying on the car’s displayed figure.
Jaguar’s PHEV system is a very good all-rounder when it comes to performance, but it’s also been well thought out for economy. Charging the 17.1 kWh battery is possible at up to 7 kW AC, which will see an 80% charge take less than two hours. The F-Pace P400e is fitted with a CCS inlet though, so it will also accept up to 32 kW DC from rapid units, capable of a 0-80% charge in half an hour.
Whilst it’s not recommended that PHEVs sit and take up rapid chargers that could be used by pure-EVs in greater need, a quick top-up where convenient can help make the F-Pace as efficient as possible when travelling greater distances. Other features include a drive mode select system that allows the driver to prioritise EV driving where the battery allows, or hold the charge. Other drive settings include an Eco mode to help with efficiency further.
Jaguar’s F-Pace P400e range is covered by S, SE, and HSE trim levels, with R-Dynamic versions of each as well featuring sportier styling. Fitted as standard are LED headlights, 19-inch alloys, automatic wipers and lights, climate control, heated steering wheel, Pivo Pro infotainment system with 11.4-inch screen, navigation, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, Eco driving assistant, and JaguarDrive control. R-Dynamic adds sporty styling details, a powered tailgate, and electric front seats amongst other features.
Driven was the R-Dynamic HSE which includes 21-inch wheels, keyless entry and start, interactive driver display, Meridian audio system, heated and cooled front seats, and leather upholstery.
JAGUAR F-PACE P400E: MODEL SUMMARY
The F-Pace was far from a poor car before this range of changes, but Jaguar’s work has maintained the SUV’s strengths and polished prior ‘weaknesses’ into positive features. The changes might be small in some areas, but the package works very well, particularly with the P400e PHEV powertrain. It’s flexible, fast, efficient, and probably the pick of the range for most buyers.
Model tested: Jaguar F-Pace P400e R-Dynamic HSE
Body-style: Large SUV
Engine / CO2: 2.0 litre petrol engine and electric motor / 49 g/km
Trim grades: S, R-Dynamic S, SE, R-Dynamic SE, HSE, R-Dynamic HSE
On-road price: P400e range from £56,060. Price as tested: £64,490
Warranty: Three years / Unlimited mileage
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 4.0 Stars