Jaguar’s F-Pace Blends Luxury with Pragmatism

Jaguar’s F-Pace has been with us for over half a decade, but its latest iteration, the R-Dynamic SE, proves there is plenty of pounce left in this cat.

Article by Justin Jackie

Jaguar F-Pace R-Dynamic SE ReviewPhotography courtesy Jaguar.

The Jaguar F-Pace was the first SUV for the British marque, and even though it sits in the ultra-competitive mid-size luxury segment, it has been able to hold its own since its debut in 2016. Based on Jaguar Land Rover’s iQ-Al modular platform (the same used by the Range Rover Velar), the Ian Callum-designed F-Pace has been in a constant state of evolution, with the latest R-Dynamic SE, being the most impressive we’ve driven.

While the Bluefire paint and R-Dynamic SE body kit combine to produce one of the most handsome SUVs we’ve seen, the true beauty of the F-Pace resides inside those sculpted doors. From the plush leather to the immaculate aluminium, this is one of the most impressive interiors we’ve seen produced by Jaguar. Its blend of luxury and practicality has been well considered and thoughtfully executed, with cleverly hidden storage throughout the cabin and well-made finishes as far as the eye can see. The new Pivi Pro infotainment system is more elegant than an E-Type, and the optional panoramic sunroof bathes the cabin in natural light.

Driving the SUV is a pleasant experience, primarily because the interior is such a nice place to inhabit. The 2.0-litre turbo-charged engine is an excellent reminder of just how far we’ve progressed with four-cylinder engine development, as it constantly punches above its weight. The small unit can efficiently coast around the city, then turn on its 365Nm of torque and tackle highways in its stride. The eight-speed automatic transmission is as smooth as it is effective, and while the start-stop system is a little clunky, it doesn’t take away from the overall driving experience.

One first impression, we thought the F-Pace model might be getting a little long in the tooth, but the R-Dynamic SE has proven the contrary. While it might not be braking acceleration records or towing houseboats, the 2.0 engine is such a proficient companion; you’d question why you need much more. It’s one of the most impressive interiors we’ve interacted with, and even though we’d sacrifice a little of that massive boot space for a little more leg room, we couldn’t think of another mid-size SUV that offers so much luxury for the price.

Jaguar F-Pace R-Dynamic SE Review
Photography courtesy Jaguar.
Jaguar F-Pace R-Dynamic SE Review
Photography courtesy Jaguar.
Jaguar F-Pace R-Dynamic SE Review
Photography courtesy Jaguar.

Tasting Notes:

  • Bluefire paint adds some spice
  • Captivating interior design
  • Panoramic roof is a must
  • Exceptional infotainment
  • Smooth engine
  • Capable chassis

Needs Ripening:

  • Engine lacks enough torque to tow anything substantial
  • Legroom isn’t as ample as you might think
  • The Stop/Start system is a little clunky

Carpark credentials:

Despite its size, the F-Pace feels like a smaller cat. An array of cameras and sensors ensure you won’t need to park Parisian-style, and the automatic side mirror adjustment prevents you from gutter-rashing those alloy wheels.

The second glance:

Considering we were driving a mid-size SUV, there was still some visual acknowledgement. We encountered a couple of “my eyes are up here” and a “tip of the hat” from a slightly tipsy gentleman in the national park.

If this car was a person:

Maggie Aderin-Pocock, on holiday, after delivering a lecture in physics.

Fact Box

Price: $87,000 plus on-road costs
0-100 km/h: 6.4 seconds
Top speed: 230 km/h
Available: Now from dealerships