The Jaguar F-PACE SVR is one of the all-time favourite vehicles that I have driven to date and I jump at any opportunity to have one in my garage for a week! So, when this Ultra-Blue SVR example became available I couldn’t say no.
The last F-PACE SVR I drove was an Atacama Orange 21MY build and since then there have been no changes to the key and impressive performance data of this SUV. The 23MY Jaguar F-PACE SVR has the same 5.0 litre, supercharged V8 producing 405kW of power and 700Nm of torque. This is good for a 0-100km/h time of 4.0 seconds flat and on to a top speed of 286km/h.
I love the addictive nature of the speed and noise of the SVR under hard acceleration combined with the slightly aggressive exterior styling including the bonnet vents and quad exhausts. I must have enjoyed driving this F-PACE a little more than previously as I used 18.7L/100km of petrol, one litre more per 100kms than the Atacama Orange SVR and still well over the official combined fuel consumption of 11.7L/100km!
I nicknamed this F-PACE ‘Sonic’ after Sega’s legendary gaming character who navigates levels to stop Eggman’s schemes for world domination in light of the rapid nature of the SVR and this bright blue colour. This made even more sense when I saw the bright orange space saver spare tyre under the boot floor and I imagined this bolted onto this SVR and it looking like Sonic’s legs speeding around as you were driving along.
Thankfully I didn’t need to use the spare tyre and even though the SVR was riding on 22-inch wheels I found the ride was comfortable on Sydney’s potholed roads no matter what drive mode I was in. Modes available include Eco, Comfort, Dynamic and the optional Adaptive Surface Response ($310) and you switch between them using the rotary knob that raises up when you press it out of the embossed Aluminium centre console. Dynamic mode is configurable and you can switch between Comfort or Dynamic for the Engine, Steering, Gear Shift and Suspension and save your preferences. Also, when you switch between drive modes the digital driver’s dash changes and you can customise the dash even further to your own personal preference.
I still think the Jaguar F-PACE SVR is a bargain starting at $149,900 excluding on-road costs. Not only do you get to share that glorious engine with up to three other passengers comfortably (four at a squeeze), but they all can enjoy the performance seats in Semi-Aniline leather. The fronts seats are heated and cooled, while the rear seats are only heated.
Those front seats have 14-way power adjustment with three memory positions for both the driver’s and passenger’s seats. You can also select to have the seat heating/cooling on your back, bottom or both. The elegant steering wheel is heated also and I love the satin chrome wheel-mounted gear selectors for ‘manually’ changing gears on the 8-speed automatic transmission.
Sonic the SVR had the optional ($1,040) 650W Meridian sound system with 17 speakers, including a subwoofer and active noise cancellation coupled to the 11.4” central touchscreen with Pivi Pro (connected) with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
There are some F-PACE cabin features that could use some improvement though. I found the voice control is still not up to scratch compared with similar-priced vehicles, it was hard to balance the temperature on the climate control, the front footwells are narrow and the auto start/stop button is located under an infotainment menu option and not somewhere that is easy to activate.
However, as a family vehicle the F-PACE SVR is relatively practical with rear seats that can comfortable fit two adults. There are central rear air vents for back seat passengers with individual open/close and direction control and one 12V outlet below this. The centre seats folds down as an arm rest with three grippy sided cup holders in it and large drink bottle storage cubbies in the rear doors. You could fit two car seats across the rear seats and apart from the high transmission tunnel with no mat over it, the rear seats are a child-friendly zone, but less so with this Light Oyster interior colour.
The tailgate is powered and can be opened/closed using the key fob, the button under the boot lid or the button in the cabin. The F-PACE boot is quite large and you should be able to fit a pram and the weekly shop in it or if you need extra space the rear seats have a 40:20:40 split folding mechanism.
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 42.0 out of 49 (85%). They all come with an advanced driver assistance system including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Collision Monitor, Rear Traffic Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition and Emergency Braking. This SVR had optional Pixel LED headlights with signature daytime driving lights ($4,784), auto high beam assist and variable rain sensing windscreen wipers.
Passive safety includes front airbags, with passenger seat occupant detector, front side airbags and full-length side window curtain airbag. The 3D Surround Camera gives you the option to select from different cameras to virtually ‘walk around’ the SUV and the camera is combined with front and rear sensors.
All new Jaguar vehicles sold now come with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty with 5 years roadside assistance. A 5 years/ 130,000km (whichever occurs first) service plan that covers standard service costs during this period and for the F-PACE SVR this can be purchased upfront for $3,750.
Driving the F-PACE SVR can feel like you are Sonic the Hedgehog zooming along, the problem is rather than collecting rings you may be collecting speeding tickets! As tested, this Ultra-Blue SVR costs $170,392 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs. Visit your preferred Jaguar retailer for more information.
|The entertaining, supercharged V8 engine||Voice control still not up to standard of similar priced vehicles|
|The exterior and interior styling||It was hard to balance the climate control temp|
|Competitive pricing||Auto start/stop button not easily located at hand|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.