2019 Jaguar F-PACE SVR

One very mean kitty


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: SVR trim makes it the best-looking F-PACE yet, monster power is authoritative, cabin is comfortable and spacious, intoxicating growl.
Negatives: Finicky and annoying infotainment system, questionable reliability, not as fast as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Bottom Line: The F-Pace SVR is fast, comfortable, and sexy. It's also daily drivable with ample space for cargo and passengers. It might not be the fastest of the bunch, but it's a worthy flagship performance crossover for the leaping cat brand.
The high-performance premium crossover category is getting crowded. BMW has M versions of the X3, X5, and X6. Mercedes has AMG. Audi has the SQ5 and the upcoming SQ8. Alfa Romeo has the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and now Jaguar has the F-PACE SVR. All of them are faster than any crossover has a right to be, and the Special Vehicle Operations outfitted F-PACE is the most powerful F-PACE yet. Though the need for such powerful SUVs is questionable, there's no doubt the market loves them. We drove the F-PACE SVR for a week to see how much better it from the rest of the F-PACE lineup and how it stacks up in the SVR stable. Read on for our full review.
 

Driving Experience

9.4

 

The SVR version of the F-Pace is the most powerful iteration of the model, offering up 550 horses (the next most powerful is the S with its supercharged V8 good for 380 horses). It also gets performance suspension and more powerful brakes to back up the power.

Ride Quality: Though it's firmer than the S model, the SVR still maintains a comfortable and fairly compliant ride despite its sporty leanings.

Acceleration: The massive 5.0-liter supercharged V8 rockets the F-Pace SVR to 60 in a mere 4.1 seconds, a second faster than the S. It's not as quick as the Alfa Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but not much else is. Throttle response is very quick, and the 8-speed automatic fires off downshifts rapidly. The power is intoxicating, and the engine sounds great with the exhaust baffles open in Dynamic mode where everything is more aggressive.

Braking: The brakes are powerful and progressive with great feel and no mushiness. They held up remarkably well and brought the F-Pace SVR to a stop quickly and smoothly.

Steering: Steering effort and heft are right on for this vehicle, and some feedback through the electrically-assisted system was present.

Handling: The F-Pace SVR corners pretty flat, and the balance is very good. We had no trouble taking apexes hard.

Technology

7.2

 

Jaguar likes their systems to look modern, but the sacrifice is in the operation. It's better than the first-generation system, but it has a ways to go in order to catch up to BMW, Audi, and Genesis. We do like the way the systems look, and the optional color head-up display is crisp and easy to read.

Infotainment System: The big gauge cluster is attractive and easy to read, as is the huge 10" TouchPro infotainment screen. We're just not huge fans of its menus and operation despite the fact that the system looks nice.

Controls: The touchscreen menu buttons at the base of the screen are frustrating to interpret and should be physical buttons instead. At least there are buttons and knobs for audio and climate, which work well.

Styling

9.4

 

It takes more than just SVR badging to set this model apart from rest of the F-Pace pack. Good thing it's all handsome, tasteful, and still distinct enough to show the vehicle's performance leanings and substantial price increase.

Front: The SVR badge is on the black mesh grille that also gets black trim instead of silver. The split trim on the lower outboard intakes are gone, too. It's a great look that doesn't overdo it.

Rear: Not much has changed in the back from the S, but the SVR does get big quad pipes and the SVR badge.

Profile: While the shape is the same as the other F-Pace models, the SVR gets some beautiful 22" 10-spoke sport wheels and a new vertical fender vent. It changes the look in the best of ways and makes an already attractive crossover look more aggressive.

Cabin: While the quilted sport seats look fantastic, as does the real carbon fiber trim, there are some cheap bits like the plastic buttons and the gearshift lever.

Comfort

8.7

 

The 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR isn't just a fast cat, it's got the right appointments and space to make for a comfortable drive for everyone. We do wish the level of luxury was of a higher grade at this price, though. Offerings from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and even Lincoln are more opulent.

Front Seats: Seat bolstering is excellent, and the quilted leather does a great job of providing comfort and the right amount of firmness.

Rear Seats: Legroom and headroom are good despite the angled roofline. There's enough space for tall adults to sit behind tall adults, but the center position seatback is flat due to the armrest.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): Build quality is good, and there's not much highway noise. The powerful engine and growling exhaust note are the only noticeable sounds, and they're fantastic.

Visibility: Visibility out the front and sides are good with some rearward compromise due to the thicker D-pillars, slanted roofline, and the tapering glass.

Climate: The climate system and heated/cooled seats worked very well. No issues here.

Safety

6.5

 

The F-Pace has not been tested but does come with solid standard and optional safety features, some automatic.

IIHS Rating: Not tested.

NHTSA Rating: Not tested.

Standard Tech: Standard lane-keeping assistance and lane-departure warning Standard automated emergency braking

Optional Tech: Our tester came with pricey Driver Assist Package that includes Blind Spot Assist, a 360 Surround Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control /w Steering Assist, High-speed Emergency Braking, Park Assist, and a Rear Traffic Monitor.

Storage/Cargo

8.8

 

Although the F-Pace SVR would never be considered huge in terms of cargo and storage, you get quite a bit for the size of the vehicle.

Storage Space: The front cubby, center console cupholders, and the center armrest are good spots for small items. They're not huge, but they suffice for everyday gear.

Cargo Room: The F-Pace SVR has 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 63.5 with the second row folded flat. That's considerably more cargo capacity than you'll find in rival models such as the Porsche Macan (17.6/52.9 cubic feet) and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (18.5/56.5 cubic feet).

Fuel Economy

6.1

 

We drove the F-Pace SVR in Dynamic mode about 80% of the time, so that hampered our fuel efficiency (we drove fairly aggressively, as well). Though better numbers are definitely within reach, don't aim too high. This vehicle was not intended for the miserly.

Observed: 14.3 mpg.

Distance Driven: 199 miles.

Audio

8.9

 

The upgraded Meridian 825-Watt system is strong and clear. It's a great system that's worth the package upgrade, but it's not quite as good as premium systems from Audi and Volvo.



Final Thoughts

Some of the interior demerits are overshadowed by the sheer fun of driving the F-Pace SVR. It moves like a rocket sled, and it handles better than we expected. It's not one of those vehicles that restricts usage because it's very comfortable, good for carrying gear, and its ride isn't at all harsh despite its performance focus. Its base price is less than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and the Porsche Macan Turbo, as well.
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