Rumble in the Urban Jungle

When I hit the start button on the Jaguar F-PACE SVR I am greeted with a familiar roar that I am extremely fond of, the supercharged V8 engine coming to life! I have driven a lot of Jaguar models in the past, but this one is my favourite hands down.

This is primarily for three reasons, the aforementioned V8 that produces 405kW of power and 680Nm of torque enabling the AWD F-PACE to send you from 0-100km in just 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 283km/h, if you happen to live in Germany. This in an SUV that weighs from 2,070kg and can carry your family in comfort and here lies the second reason this is my favourite Jaguar; I can share the amazing V8 engine experience with my family too.

The third reason is the price, something not normally a strong point for Jaguar, but here I think the F-PACE SVR is the most value for money Jaguar you can currently buy because it starts at $140,262 plus on road costs. Essentially you are getting twice the number of seats for half the price of the F-TYPE SVR Coupé, a win win in my book.

Also the list of included features on the F-PACE SVR is long and impressive. The Ebony and Light Oyster coloured performance seats with SVR embossing and lozenge quilted leather are heated and cooled in the front and heated only for the rear seats. The cooling though doesn’t work entirely well, but you will have a toasty warm bottom in winter though. The front seats have 14-way electric adjustment with three memory positions each.

The cabin looks and feels luxurious in the F-PACE SVR and the materials used smell nice as well. The top of the dash is covered in Luxtec with SVR trim and you have a heated SVR leather steering wheel, which is lovely to hold. I really like the meshed aluminium trim, but think that this should have extended around the gear lever to avoid getting fingerprints on the gloss black plastic. I recommend that you also look up and admire the very tactile suedecloth and ebony headlining, it’s just gorgeous.

All of this appreciation and I haven’t even pulled out of the garage! On start-up the SUV is not quite as loud as the Coupé, but the V8 still throbs the cabin before the engine has warmed up. The engine will happily tick along at low speeds, but when you plant your foot the animal beneath is awakened and you sprint down the road like a Jaguar chasing its prey. The V8 has a nice burble on the overrun, along with plenty of cackle and pops to make you smile. The 8-speed automatic transmission is very compliant when you change down aggressively, pulling on the metal wheel-mounted gear selectors, while you are braking hard for the next corner.

The damping on the F-PACE is excellent and even in Dynamic mode the ride is comfortable and easy to live with. The backend will break free, but not in a scary way, if the V8 is provoked aggressively. It is quite theatrical how quickly this heavy SUV can be hustled along on your favourite driving roads. Dynamic mode can also be adapted between Comfort and Dynamic settings for Engine, Gear Shift, Steering and Suspension. In addition to Dynamic mode you also get Comfort, Eco and ASPC (for slippery conditions) drive modes to select from.

The theatre of spirited driving is less amusing when you have to fill up the tank though. For my week I used an average of 16.1L/100km of fuel, with the official combined fuel consumption figure of 11.7L/100km. This is slightly more than what I averaged with the F-TYPE SVR I drove last year that averaged 15.8L/100km.

The F-PACE SVR comes with the 10” touch pro infotainment system with navigation pro and pro services and Wi-Fi hotspot and like other Jags the voice control works well for making phone calls, but cannot be used for entering a destination, which is a real pain when you are driving and need to enter one. You get a lap timer, G meter and a throttle/brake graph, which may be good for some giggles when you are showing your friends the performance qualities of the SVR. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, but to connect the two USB ports are located under the arm rest along with one 12V outlet and a micro sim slot and the area where you would place your phone is at the front of the centre console, so the cord could potentially get in the way.

There is an additional handy storage cubby on the side of the transmission tunnel, which is the perfect size for sunglasses and you will be able to fit your drink bottle into the storage cubby in the door. The front passenger foot well is narrow, like in the Coupé, so if you have a passenger in the car they will most likely not appreciate your handbag being placed down there.

The rear seats have enough head and leg room for two adults to comfortably sit back there and enjoy the ride with you. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points and the centre seat folds down to an arm rest with two drink bottle holders or you can use the drink bottle storage cubby in the door. In addition to heated seats, rear passengers also get two USB ports and one 12V outlet, and central air vents with speed control only.

The boot is a good size and the rear seats have a 40/20/40 split folding action, giving multiple storage options even with people sitting in the rear seats. For convenience you get  four tie down points, three hooks and one 12V outlet and under the boot floor is a space saver spare tyre. One feature that I thought the SVR should have had was a gesture opening boot.  

My SVR was fitted with the optional Driver Assist Pack ($4,589) which adds blind spot assist, 360o camera, high-speed emergency braking, park assist, rear traffic monitor and adaptive cruise control with steering assist. The steering assist technology is still not up to the standard of other European car manufacturers. Standard passive safety features include front airbags and front side with full length side window curtain airbag. All variants of the F-PACE model range have a 5-star ANCAP safety rating (2017) with an adult occupant protection rating of 35.5 out of 38 (93%) and a child occupant protection rating of 33.9 out of 42 (80%).

All new Jaguars are covered by a warranty lasting three-years/100,000kms and you can also choose to purchase Jaguar Extended Warranty Insurance for an additional 12 or 24 months, up to 200,000kms. You can purchase a fixed price Service Plan that covers scheduled servicing and roadside assistance over a period of up to five years or a maximum of 130,000kms and for the F-PACE SVR this costs $3,750.

Google ‘Aston Martin DBX’ and look at how similar the side profile is to the F-PACE SVR.

In my opinion the Jaguar F-PACE SVR is the best value model in the Jaguar prowl and I would call it a ‘bargain’ with the starting price of $140,262 plus on-road costs. As tested my SVR was $157,291 plus on-roads, so still cheaper than the V8 powered competitor in this market segment, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63S or the very similar looking Aston Martin DBX. If you want to know why the SVR SUV is my favourite Jag then I suggest you visit your preferred Jaguar retailer to experience the F-PACE for yourself.

Pros Cons
Entertaining V8 engine Less entertaining fuel use
Enough seats to share the fun with your family Limited space in front passenger foot well
The best-value Jaguar currently available Steering assist technology not up to current industry-best standard

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.