With that said, I dare you to make an online petition to ask Jaguar to sell this version in the U.S. It's a gem of a car as long as you have a charging station at home. Because that's the biggest issue with plug-in hybrids. If you can't charge it to do your daily commute on batteries, then it isn't really worth the trouble and the extra cash you'll pay for it. But this is exactly the version that Jaguar needed to be not just competitive but also thrilling and punchy when needed. After all, a stylish and fast crossover is always welcome at any cars and coffee event.
Since Jaguar is in the same boat as Land Rover, it just came natural for these brands to share engines and platforms. Thus, the F-Pace is a distant cousin of the Velar. The latter was already available with this plug-in hybrid drivetrain, so it was just a matter of time until the cat-brand installed it under the hood. The problem was where they could fit the batteries. The LR-badged crossover is slightly longer and can easily accommodate them. Well, in the end, Jaguar's engineers found a way to do that. But first, let's take a look at this R-Dynamic S version of the P400 PHEV.
Design evaluationUnless you are a fan of chunky, wedged-shaped vehicles, you can't help yourself but like the F-Pace. Its angry-looking headlights feature a double-waved upper line, and the LED headlights and those Double-J daytime running lights are awesome. Since the car tested featured the R-Dynamic Black package, it sported a black grille and red accents on the badge, which say that it's the sportier version, and functional lower side scoops. In addition, on the lower air dam, the automaker also included a second, A-shaped grille.
Overall, the fluid lines and organic shapes blend together nicely. There's nothing daring on the car's exterior, but it's far from being called dull. I think it's just beautiful in a way that no German crossover is. I'd dare to say that it's in the same league as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and the Maserati Grecale.
Interior assessmentAlong with the facelift, the F-Pace has received a redesigned interior, and that was a good thing. It finally has a cabin fit for a premium vehicle. Not only that the materials are among the best in the business, but it excels both in the fit and finish. Nevertheless, the tech part of the vehicle is essential. The first impression comes when opening the doors. There's a lovely leather-wrapped door card with real metal trims on it and a metallic grille for the speakers. Everything looks solid and well-fitted, and it inspires confidence.
Thanks to their bolstered areas, the front seats can now hold occupants in place during high-speed cornering. It seems like the automaker had to make a concession between sportiness and comfort. Somehow it managed to get both of them. Still, there is one problem I can't get over: they are mounted too high! As expected, they are height-adjustable, but even in the lowest setting, I felt like I was driving a TrailBlazer, not a sporty crossover. Maybe the automaker did this so it could provide enough legroom for those seated in the back, who didn't complain about that. Jaguar also offers a set of Performance seats (that's what it calls them) with integrated headrests and high-bolstered areas, but those were not fitted on the test vehicle.
It is the same 11.4" PiviPro unit found in the Velar. Its slightly curved design helps the driver see all the information clearly. It works with very little lag, and the connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay works seamlessly. I had one unusual problem, though, I couldn't make it run Waze, so I had to stick with the next best thing, you guessed it, Google Maps. The voice commands worked well, but I'm not a big fan. What I do like, though, are the physical buttons installed by Jaguar, especially for the volume.
Honda tried touch buttons on the Civic's tenth generation, and it failed. Now there are other automakers that are going on the same road. I wish them the best of luck. These touch-sliders are suitable only when the vehicle is stopped. And don't tell me that there's a volume button on the steering wheel. I know it's there, but it is way easier to stretch your arm, grab the knob, and quickly turn it left or right if you like the song you're hearing or not. Please tell me in the comment section below if you're using the controller from the steering wheel or from the panel.
The 13-speaker (including a subwoofer) Meridian sound system is very good. Not as good as on other premium vehicles I drove, but it does the job very well. On low volume, it loses some of the high-pitch notes. Turning to the max makes your lungs explode, and some of the cabin's interior parts emit strange noises. But between 10 and 80% sounds excellent.
But the car's most important downside is the trunk's volume. Since Jaguar installed the battery pack under the luggage compartment, it had to raise the floor in that area. As a result, it has a sloped-down edge towards the tailgate, and when opened, it makes all the groceries come down on your feet. That might be a good thing if you open it and put the shopping cart there to fill it. But usually, you're going with that full to the vehicle, not from there. Fortunately, Jaguar noticed that and installed anchoring hooks on the sides, so you can strap the bags.
The automaker states that the total trunk space of 613 liters (21.6 cu-ft), measured with blocks and filled up to the headliner behind the rear seats. But if you take into consideration just the volume up to the windows line, you'll get around 354 liters (12.5 cu-ft). So, you have to use your skills and imagination if you're going camping with the F-Pace. Or fold down the rear seats seatback either in part or completely, so you'll get up to 1440 liters (50.8 cu-ft) of space. But as long as you're using the car for school runs and cruising down the boulevards, that won't be a problem. Moreover, as far as I know, the shoe boxes are still squared, and they don't roll.
Driving takeWith the battery fully charged, the car can go in EV mode for about 33 miles (50 km). That might be possible only if you don't turn on the windshield heater, the AC, or the heated seats. But if you're crawling through morning rush-hour traffic, then you can get about 20 miles. I have to admit that I used the juice from the batteries mostly for launching, overtaking, and going flat-out from curves. Because the F-Pace, especially if fitted with the R-Dynamic Pack, likes to do that. Thanks to the adaptive suspension, it stays flat while cornering and torque-vectoring. In addition, the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system makes the vehicle feel like a hot hatch, not a crossover.
Regardless of the mode selected, when the accelerator is smashed to the floor, it goes full power and gives everything it's got. Thus, it can get a 5.3-second time from 0 to 100 kph (0-62 mph), but only when the batteries are charged. Nevertheless, an estimated time of 6.5 seconds can be achieved with the turbocharged engine alone. After all, it still provides 300 PS (296 hp). That's still more than enough for regular travel. Thanks to the direct fuel injection and turbocharging, the inline-four can be very reasonable in terms of fuel efficiency. Obviously, when the battery pack is full, it sips gasoline, but it's no gas-guzzler either, even when those are depleted.
Everyday livingJaguar says that the battery pack is good for 33 miles, and that applies under certain conditions. In real-life situations, that's hard to attain. Still, you may count on 20 miles (32 km) if you're not reckless with the accelerator. The car may be topped up at a 50 kW DC charger in 30 minutes from 10% to 80% and in an hour and 13 minutes to 100%. On a domestic 2.3 kW plug, it needs seven hours and 6 minutes to completely replenish the battery pack. So, if you need a stylish crossover for the daily commute that's not too far from home, it's worth it. Moreover, if you have a plug available nearby your workplace, that's perfect!
Besides fuel efficiency, comfort is also important. While it might not be as comfortable as a Volvo XC60, it ensures a more spirited drive. But the Jag is a driver's car, and you can feel this. The suspension is on the firm side, so the car doesn't feel like it's floating. It stays firm in the curves, and that torque-vectoring system is awesome. Nevertheless, in an emergency situation, the big rotors will help the F-Pace stops on a dime.
Since we're living in a world where connectivity means everything and our devices need chargers, Jaguar offers wireless charging at the bottom of the center stack for the front passengers. Those seated in the back has two USB-C outlets installed on the central console's end, so they can keep their phones charged at all time.
Test drive roundupAt almost 90,000 euros ($97,455), it offers all the bells and whistles you might expect from a luxurious, compact-sized crossover. In addition, it can do some wade crossing without breaking a sweat. After all, Jaguar's brother is Land Rover. The F-Pace can serve as a family vehicle as long as you travel light, it sips fuel when the batteries are charged, and it can sprint if it needs to. In addition, the AI-enhanced infotainment system can make your life easier. So, yes, Jaguar had to create the PHEV version. And it should sell it in the U.S. too.
- Exterior design
- Luxurious cabin
- Infotainment system
- Fuel efficiency
- High seating position
- Small trunk
- Noisy suspension
- Not available in the U.S.
- Complicated controls for HVAC