Jaguar F-Pace R-Dynamic SE P250 review: look at it with a clean set of eyes
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Jaguar F-Pace R-Dynamic SE P250
- Swish new interior details
- Four-pot still sprightly
- Great around corners
- Adaptive cruise still optional
- Gruff-sounding compared with sixes
- Everybody asks ‘Is it the V8?’
The rorty supercharged V8 SVR gets most of the attention in the F-Pace range. All of the attention, even? It accounts for 40 per cent of F-Pace sales in New Zealand and it’s likely that there are some people who genuinely think that’s the only version available.
But it wasn’t supposed to be like that, and indeed isn’t like that in other markets. The F-Pace was conceived as a premium SUV with a broad range, just done with a bit of Jaguar flair. It’s always been available in a variety of powertrain and specification levels.
There’s no reason to think the Kiwi sprint towards the SVR will slow down, as we enter the last three years of petrol-powered Jaguars. But we’re also in the age of the Clean Car Programme in New Zealand, so expect a stronger showing of the less, shall we say, profligate models in the F-Pace range.
Seems like a good time to introduce the facelifted F-Pace P250 R-Dynamic SE, the entry level of the range. Not quite the eco-hero, given there’s a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in the lineup, but the P400e is an extra $26k over the P250. So if you’ve got one eye on the environment and the other on your wallet, the P250 still comes up trumps.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder doesn’t have the character of the brand’s sixes and that monster V8 of course, but it’s still quite sprightly and you can’t argue with the figures: it makes 184kW, can romp to 100km/h in just over seven seconds and still returns 7.7l/100km.
You can’t actually have the straight-six petrol in entry SE specification so it’s not an altogether relevant comparison, but the $137,900 HSE 3.0-litre mild hybrid delivers 0-100km/h in 5.4sec and 8.9l/100km.
But you’re hardly going to be embarrassed at the traffic lights in the P250. And the F-Pace has a nicely sorted chassis that feels surprisingly nimble for a large SUV, so the crisp four-pot engine does still suit character-wise.
Auckland | Auckland City
$533.62 p/w $2,134.47 p/m
The F-Pace has made great strides as a luxury car in its latest incarnation, too. All facelift models now have the R-Dynamic design package as standard, so they all look the part; a cabin spruce-up has addressed two major failings of the previous version, the clunky rotary gearshift dial and the sluggish, sometimes-glitchy infotainment system.
The F-Pace now has a more traditional style of gearlever, albeit in a wide and chunky style. And there’s a swish new curved-glass 11.4in screen running the also-new Pivi Pro operating system. It looks sharp, offers speedy responses and even has its own dedicated battery system. There’s a “Hey Jaguar” voice assistant, which also means the car is live, with the ability to update its own software over-the-air.
The interior is sumptuous and actually really practical (the boot’s an impressive 650 litres) in a way that you might not be expecting from something so focused on high style. That was another packaging brief for the F-Pace right from the start, which is easy to overlook.
Would you buy the P400 six if you could? Well, probably. It offers a lot more performance for a relatively small penalty in fuel economy. But you certainly don’t feel like you’re missing out on status and luxury with the P250. And it’s in the Clean Car Discount “zero band”, so no fine; you can feel smug about that.
JAGUAR F-PACE R-DYNAMIC SE
ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four
GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic, AWD
0-100KM/H: 7.3 seconds