2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR essentials: Mutant cat

What is it: The Jaguar F-Pace SUV was the company’s first foray into crossover/SUV world and it stormed onto the scene at the 2015 Detroit auto show with good looks and a solid V6 powertrain. It was based on the C-X17 concept from a few years before. But like all things, it eventually needed more power.

Key Competitors: Lexus RX, Audi Q5, Mercedes-AMG GLE63, Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Base Price: $81,015 As-Tested Price: $89,900

Full review: Jaguar F-Pace SVR first drive

Highlights: Enter Jag’s nameplate for its top-tuned models: SVR. The SVR team wedged a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 making 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque into the F-Pace engine bay. That’s good for a 4.1-second sprint to 60 mph and a monster of an engine note. The SVR aero package enhances cooling, reduces lift and drag and aids in high-speed stability with unique bumpers, lower bodysides and a rear spoiler.

Our Opinion: The Jaguar F-Pace SVR comes standard with bigger brakes than the base model, made from two pieces, helping cooling and therefore repeatability. It also gets a rear electronic active differential and lord knows this SUV needs it.

It’s a rocket, and sounds like a NASCAR engine at full tilt. It’s jumpy in sportier modes so taking off smoothly from a standstill requires a little practice. Like always in V8 Jags, if you want a fast start, just plant the pedal and hold on. The F-Pace SVR crackles and pops when shifting, and when slowing down, which I love. I know some people think that’s too much “look at me” bravado, but I don’t mind. It does start off in a quiet mode, but even that isn’t very quiet. And those brakes are rock, fricking, solid. A two-piece setup is more expensive than one-piece rotors and for good reason, they work way better. Or at least they have in my experience.

The F-Pace steering is both heavy and quick in SVR tune. Again, good for racy moves but maybe a little high strung for daily use. It does stay planted on center, but the ratio feels up there near the Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s superquick setup. It doesn’t seem to get upset with bumps either, which is something I’ve noticed on the last handful of Jaguars I’ve tested. I was worried about the huge rims and super low-profile tires, but I’m not complaining because this is the high-performance model. I feel the same about Merecedes-AMGs. Get the big wheels, fine. But if I want a standard grade SUV, I’ll take some more comfortable 18- or 19-inch shoes.

Base Price: $81,015

As-Tested Price: $89,900

Drivetrain: 5.0-liter supercharged V8, eight-speed automatic, AWD

Output: 550 hp @ 6,000-6,500 rpm; 502 lb-ft @ 2,500-5,500 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,395 lb (filled out by intern)

Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 16/21/18 mpg

Pros: Monster powerplant, great looks, good price

Cons: High strung


The paint color is unfortunately called Ultra Blue. I thought it would be something cooler, named after a racetrack or something. But overall the F-Pace looks fantastic. It’s the right proportions for me and my family, about Jeep Grand Cherokee-sized, a little shorter but wider. It’s low and aggressive, and the integrated exhuast pipes look great. Just judging on looks between this, the Lexus RX, Audi Q5 and Cadillac XT5, I’d take the F-Pace in a heartbeat.

I had both child seats in without a problem and there looks to be enough space in the trunk for a stroller, a cooler, a couple bags–the stuff you might need to go to the beach. The front seats look awesome, thin and racy. They’re supportive too. Jag’s infotainment system is better than it ever has been, most of the bugs seem to be worked out and it reacts quickly to inputs. It looks good too with bright colors and understandable icons.

So, if I was buying in this super, midsize SUV range I’d look at the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 ($103K), the BMW X5 M ($101K for last year’s model) and I suppose the Porsche Cayenne Turbo ($124K). The F-Pace SVR undercuts all of those by 10 grand or more. So there is value here. It’s not as luxurious as the GLE, but all four are close to the same amount of power. The Cayenne is probably faster around a racetrack, but how many of these crossovers will ever see a chicane? Probably none, or maybe one. In which case, if you’re looking for speed and good looks over straight luxury, the Jag is a good choice, and you’ll save some change too.

–Jake Lingeman, road test editor

Options: Driver Assist Package including blind spot assist, 360-degree surround camera, adaptive cruise control with steering assist, high-speed emergency braking, park assist, rear traffic monitor ($3,600); 22-inch wheels ($1,530); aluminum weave carbon fiber ($1,300); head-up display ($1010); premium sound ($450); activity key ($410); heated windshield ($385); rear seat remote release levers ($200)

The standard 2019 Jaguar F-Pace in Ultra Blue.

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