We’ve tried Jaguar’s first SUV/crossover/whatever with a choice of engines, but this time it’s with the biggest diesel. Most sales will probably be with the four-cylinder Ingenium engine, but the bigger V6 is a different beast. It’s also notably more expensive, so how does that all balance up?
Certainly, the Ingenium unit is a good working turbodiesel, but it’s not exactly the most refined on the market. Many of those issues are removed by installing the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel. It’s smoother, quieter and generally less clattery. Basically, it feels and sounds less of a diesel.
Except in one regard. The 296bhp and hugely impressive 516lb ft of torque give a monumental shove from low down. And further up the range. Feeding smoothly through the eight-speed auto box, torque and horsepower simply pour forth, which makes for superb on-road performance. The 0-62mph time of 6.2sec is pretty good, but really it’s out on our road system where you’ll appreciate the real-world delivery.
It makes overtaking a doddle, and reduces stress. The engine never sounds that urgent, and seems to just get more relaxed the faster you go. For a mile-muncher, that’s a solid quality. The handling and ride match that.
When you’re motoring along the F-Pace seems to just soak up the miles and the roads, shifting you forward with the aplomb of the best SUVs, with their long-travel suspension. This model gets the adaptive dampers and they are definitely an improvement over the passive suspension of lower models.
Yet when you want to do some rapid cornering, the F-Pace becomes much more like a saloon car, and can corner with enthusiasm and control. It’s a terribly clever trick that Jaguar has pulled off here. One criticism would be that there seems to be a certain amount of noise involved in all this, but our test vehicle was fitted with the optional and rather butch looking 22in rims. Go down to the standard rims and that should improve.
The issue here isn’t whether this is a good vehicle. It truly is, the only question being just how good, or how great. The issue really is one of price. You could buy the F-Pace in 2.0d AWD R-Sport trim with the Ingenium engine for a touch over £40,000. But this V6 diesel with the other upgrades like the adaptive suspension comes in at £51,450.
That’s quite a price jump and makes this version more costly even than the comparable Porsche Macan. But, then, this model drives better, has good economy, is incredibly practical and is just a superb vehicle. You really couldn’t ask for much more from a crossover.
Jaguar F-Pace 3.0d S AWD
On sale: Now
Engine: V6, 2993cc, diesel
Power: 296bhp at 4000rpm
Torque: 516lb ft at 2000rpm
Gearbox: 8-spd automatic
Kerb weight: 1884kg
Top speed: 150mph
Economy: 47.1mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band: 159g/km, 31%