Jaguar updates its F-Pace line-up for the 2021 model year and adds a classy plug-in hybrid to the SUV’s fold, a variant that is called the P400e.
The facelifted Jaguar F-Pace, a vehicle competing in the same class as the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, Volvo XC60, Porsche Macan… and, of course, the Range Rover Velar and the Land Rover Discovery, two vehicles that are related to the Jag.
It has been on sale since 2016 and proven a popular, trailblazing model for the British marque, which has launched two other SUVs in the wake of the F-Pace’s arrival – there’s the smaller E-Pace, which is similarly conventional in terms of its motive power choices, and then the excellent I-Pace electric SUV.
For the 2021MY cars, it’s the I-Pace that lends its influence to the subtly refreshed styling. At the rear, ‘chicane’-graphic LED lamp clusters are added to the F-Pace and up front, a similarly distinctive light signature is represented in the form of ‘double-J’ daytime running lights. All 2021MY F-Pace models have revised bumpers and air intakes, too, with R-Dynamic models getting a sportier body kit.
Inside is a revelation, with a totally different dashboard structure, a new steering wheel, a fresh design of steering wheel and much improved digital interfaces (we’ll talk about the main one in a later section of this review). All the materials used in the Jaguar’s interior look and feel excellent, so overall the F-Pace’s cabin moves from being a kind of middle-of-the-pack passenger compartment to one that is arguably class-leading for the updated cars.
How is it to drive?
Aside from the V8-powered flagship performance model, no new F-Pace is more powerful or quicker than this plug-in hybrid variant. It pairs a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Ingenium’ petrol engine (300hp/400Nm) to a 105kW electric motor (143hp/275Nm) for system maximum outputs of 404hp and 640Nm. Despite weighing nearly 2.2 tonnes, the F-Pace P400e can run 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds and go on to a 240km/h top speed, while it is also capable of 53km of electric-only driving up to speeds of 140km/h, as well as emitting just 49g/km of CO2 and returning up to 130.2mpg (2.2 litres/100km).
That it manages to blend these two opposing sides of its character pretty effectively – being fast and being frugal – into one amenable package is what makes the F-Pace P400e such an excellent luxury SUV. It isn’t perfect to drive, as the weight doesn’t make it the most assured vehicle in this class when it comes to cornering, as the body control is a bit odd, and the torque vectoring can sometimes feel like it is unsettling the Jaguar mid-bend.
But as a rapid, discreet conveyance, it’s hard to fault. It has a comfortable ride at all times, the noise suppression in the cabin is top notch and the integration of the electric propulsion is absolutely seamless. The F-Pace P400e switches from internal combustion power to hybrid running to all-electric with no sensation of the changeover at all, and it feels good for a 40-50km EV range in the real world as well. There’s also a great noise from the powertrain under hard acceleration, although a degree of noise augmentation is going on to make the super-smooth four-cylinder engine sound a little more exciting than it would otherwise be.
When is it coming to Ireland?
It’s available to order now, with the P400e’s starting price kicking off at €67,750 and our test SE model available from €71,380. That’s set against a range bracket of values of €58,990 for the most inexpensive F-Pace at one end and €153,170 for the only version that can outperform the P400e, that being the 550hp SVR.
Any juicy technology?
Undeniably, the star of the show here is the 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment system that dominates the dashboard, and which has necessitated the complete redesign of the F-Pace’s interior architecture. It’s presented on a curved-glass screen that folds back slightly with the shape of the console, and it’s fabulous to look at and even better to use – Jaguar says 90 per cent of its functions are available from the home screen with only two taps of the display. It also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the issue here being that too many users will probably override Jag’s own Pivi Pro software with their smartphone’s interface instead. Pity.
Carzone.ie rating: 4/5
Although the plug-in hybrid model of the revised Jaguar F-Pace range isn’t the sportiest or most engaging machine for handling, its broad spread of superb attributes in other areas makes it the finest choice in the range. With a magnificent cabin, cutting-edge infotainment system and cultured manners, the P400e is an excellent all-rounder from the company.