From the outside, it’s quite easy to see how the F-Type sports car influences the F-Pace.
What do you value in your family appliance? Some may value maximum versatility, while others hold on to the sports car credentials they had to give up when moving to a more family-friendly vehicle. Others like the look and feel of a premium luxury crossover, with performance being secondary on the list of priorities. Thankfully, the choices out there today are numerous, and all chase their own ideals. We recently tested the new BMW X3 M40i (reviewed here), which prioritized performance over looks. One of the more pragmatic choices in the same segment is Jaguar’s F-Pace. Available for sale since the 2016 model year, it offers up a blend of great looks and performance, with supercharged V6 engines producing lots of power and good noises. New for this year is an F-Pace with a more sedate four-cylinder engine, and we were sent a “Carpathian Grey” 2018 Jaguar F-Pace R-Sport 25t for evaluation.
The F-Pace follows an interesting approach to model evolution. Automotive product planning has often introduced mainstream models first, in order to target the largest chunk of the market. Then, to keep things interesting, more powerful models get added to the mix. Jaguar, has done things a little differently. As of this writing, the F-Pace SVR has just been announced, stuffing a supercharged 5.0L V8 under the hood, producing 550 horsepower, and bringing the gauntlet to Mercedes-AMG with a go-fast hyper crossover. It won’t be available until later this year, but as interesting as the SVR is, the important model for Jaguar is this simpler 25t.
We’ve tested the Jaguar F-Pace 35t (reviewed here), which was powered by a supercharged 3.0L V6. The 25t is one of the “in-between” models, though it is priced lower than the diesel-powered 20d. Contrary to popular belief, the 25t isn’t actually powered by a 2.5L engine, but rather a 2.0L four-cylinder gasoline engine, hailing from the new Ingenium family. It features an all-new in-house modular design, utilizing direct-injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger, and even some valvetrain technology borrowed from Fiat-Chrysler: their electrohydraulic MultiAir intake valve control system. Coupled with a strong focus on low-friction technologies, the engine in the F-Pace 25t produces 247 horsepower at 5,500RPM, and 269 lb-ft. at a useful 1200-4500RPM. Power is routed to all four wheels via ZF’s excellent eight-speed longitudinal automatic transmission.
Most of us here are very accustomed to how the V6 F-Pace feels, and we expressed some reserved doubts that the base 247hp gasoline would fare. This is one of those engines that punches above its weight, thanks to the versatile torque output. The revs barely need to come up from idle in order to make full use of the 269lb-ft. of torque. The ZF eight-speed automatic also does a great job making the most of that torque, keeping the revs in the meat of the power band. Jaguar Canada quotes the 0-100km/h time at 6.8 seconds, but this base engine falls well in-line with its immediate competition: think of the BMW X3 30i, Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, Audi Q5, Lexus NX 300, Volvo XC60 (reviewed here), and the list goes on. If this isn’t quite enough for you, there’s also the 296hp F-Pace 30t, with more powerful version of the same Ingenium 2.0L gasoline four-cylinder engine.
One of the bonuses of opting for a more relaxed engine in the Jaguar F-Pace is the improved fuel consumption. Jaguar Canada estimates the F-Pace 25t at 10.7L/100km in the city, 8.8L/100km on the highway, and 9.9L/100km in a combined cycle. During my week of mixed city and highway driving, I ended up at an indicated average of 10.3L/100km. Winter tires and low temperatures affected these numbers, though the idle start-stop helps in the city, somewhat. Comparing informally to the more powerful F-Pace S, you’d be looking at approximately a 25% penalty in fuel economy in mixed driving. The fuel tank will hold 63L of premium 91-octane fuel.
Outside, the F-Pace 25t doesn’t give up much in terms of its overall looks – it’s quite easy to see how the F-Type sports car (reviewed here) influences the F-Pace. The base 25t Premium steps you down to halogen headlights and imitation leather seats, but I suspect most buyers will opt for the Prestige, which adds a lot of the features people expect in a luxury crossover. My particular R-Sport tester comes fully loaded with 20″ wheels, adaptive LED headlights, and more blacked-out trim. Inside, you get the usual Jaguar interior design, including that nifty rotary gear selector knob, and the updated InControl Touch Pro infotainment interface. While the screen resolution is decent for its size, the continued omission of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay means the F-Pace continues to lag behind many of its competitors. Taking a look around, the large panoramic roof allows lots of light in, and the available 17-speaker Meridian Surround Sound system lets you play great-sounding music.
The most affordable way to get into the Jaguar F-Pace is with the 25t, starting at a base price of $50,250. Stepping into the 25t Prestige will cost you $54,750, and the loaded 25t R-Sport starts at $60,000. This particular tester was also equipped with “premium metallic” Carpathian Grey paint, which adds $1,640 to the subtotal, and the $3,320 Technology Pack, which adds the improved InControl Touch Pro, digital LCD instrument cluster, and the Meridian Surround audio system. The $1,130 Adaptive Dynamics Pack allows for fine-tuning of various mechanical parameters, such as engine/transmission behaviour, suspension damping settings, and steering weight settings. The $3,320 Driver Assist Pack was also selected, which adds radar adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree surround camera, and active parking assist. The trademark Jaguar-Land Rover heated windshield adds $440. All in, there is over $12,000 in options here, bringing the total as-tested price to $72,100.
In terms of price, there’s a lot to consider, in this segment. BMW’s new X3, in both 30i and M40i, are well-rounded machines, with good dynamics, though they don’t quite have the universal good looks of the F-Pace. Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG offer their GLC 300 and GLC 43 at price points that match up with surprising value, if you manage to exercise some restraint with the options menu. Audi’s new Q5 and SQ5 (reviewed here) offer up more of that usual low-key Audi performance and style. The common denominator between all three of these German competitors is that they all offer six-cylinder power, at less money than what Jaguar asks to get you into an F-Pace S.
Over $70,000 for a loaded luxury crossover with four-cylinders is a lot of money, but one needs to consider how versatile the F-Pace model lineup is, nowadays. For those chasing those good looks, with an eye to either fuel consumption, or not getting an overpowered everyday vehicle, the 25t represents an interesting argument. Those who want the power, drama, and all the goodies can still opt for the F-Pace S, but the 25t and 30t represent a much more realistic option for the majority of the market. Let’s be honest: it is unlikely these mid-size luxury crossovers will see much time off the beaten path, let alone the racetrack, so it’s no surprise that Jaguar is redirecting much of its resources into ensuring their new Ingenium engines are more than up to the task. Adequate power output and agreeable power delivery means the F-Pace 25t and 30t should quickly become the volume sellers for Jaguar.