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REVIEW – Jaguar F-Pace SVR 5.0 V8 Supercharged


Jaguar F-Pace SVR 5.0 V8 Supercharged 550PS
  • Exterior Styling
  • Interior Finish
  • Engine / Performance
  • Ride / Handling
  • Economy
  • Practicality
  • Equipment
  • Value For Money
5

Summary

With an increase in performance SUV offerings, the choice of which to buy could seem like a difficult decision. It isn’t: the Jaguar F-Pace SVR is the best all-rounder out there. It has style, with huge kerb appeal. The interior is high-quality and high-tech. Performance – and soundtrack – from the 5.0 supercharged V8 is exhilarating. But the best thing about the F-Pace SVR is how great it is to live with, providing you can ignore the fuel bill…


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Exterior Styling

The basic shape of the Jaguar F-Pace is a nice one. It takes styling cues from the F-Type sports car and XF saloon, combines them and builds on them to create an SUV that still manages to be sleek and sporty.

The F-Pace SVR is the sportiest of the bunch and, as such, gets treated to the most striking visual design. There is evidence of this car’s performance from just about every angle.

At the front, you’ll notice all the air intakes have grown. The result is a rather gaping, shouty-looking mouth that will bear down on people’s rear-view mirrors with purpose. In addition, there are two vents on the bonnet to let some of the hot air escape. Look closely and you’ll spot the SVR badge on the front grille.

At the side our test car had optional 22-inch alloy wheels finished in gloss black. Just behind the front wheel is another vent on the wing. But that’s not even the best feature here. The side skirts incorporate a diffuser at the front. The subtlety of this only adds to its effect.

At the rear, there are similar diffusers incorporated into the rear bumper at the outer edges. Just above these are slits in the bumper. They aren’t vents, but simply highlight the SVR’s broad and muscular body. A rather large roof spoiler and quad exhausts let you know this big cat is ready to pounce.

Of all the colours available on the F-Pace SVR, our test car was finished in our favourite, the magnificent Firenze Red. It may not be an exclusive colour – in fact, it’s quite common across the Jaguar Land Rover range – but it looks extra special on this car.

Interior Finish

In our recent review of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio we were left wanting more when it came to interior quality. And that point was hammered home when, immediately after the Alfa went back, the F-Pace SVR arrived.

For two cars that cost roughly the same, the difference in cabin quality couldn’t be starker. In the Jaguar you feel like you are in a luxury car just as much as you are in a performance one. There are lashings of the finest quality leather everywhere, from the seats to the dashboard, the door cards and even the instrument panel.

Our test car had the red and black interior, which was a perfect match for the exterior colour scheme. The vibrancy of this colour scheme brings the cabin to life, making a change from the sometimes-dull black-on-black interiors.

The front seats are fixed-back bucketed numbers which are extremely inviting. The outer rear seats, whilst not quite as bucketed, mirror their shape in terms of the headrest and shoulder shape. This attention to detail is to be admired.

There’s plenty of contrast red stitching to marry the red and black sections of the cabin, and an alcantara headlining is a sporty touch. The finisher on the door trims is a patterned aluminium trim, with some gloss black on the centre console.

All the switchgear has a quality feel to it, with special merit given to the aluminium gear shift paddles and start button. The digital instrument cluster gives a crisp display for the driver, whilst a widescreen multimedia screen uses touchscreen technology to reduce the clutter of buttons on the centre console.

We also like the slim dashboard; exaggerated by the two-tone colour scheme. It aids visibility and makes you forget you’re in a big, hefty SUV.

Engine/Performance

When you talk about high-performance Jaguars there is only one engine that comes to mind: a supercharged V8 petrol. And the one in the F-Pace SVR is particularly good.

It’s a 5.0-litre V8 with a monumental 550PS and 680Nm of torque. This is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This makes the 1,995kg Jaguar surprisingly sprightly; 0-62mph takes just 4.3 seconds and the top speed is 176mph.

That’s a serious shove in the back, and the F-Pace SVR seems to pick up wherever the revs are. It pulls from low down right up the red line, coaxing you to keep your foot in the carpet and watch the speedo climb.

And then there’s the noise. Oh the noise. There is a button on the centre console that opens flaps in the exhausts and brings that V8 to life. It was the first button I pressed on getting in the car. Every time.

The F-Pace SVR has so much audible character for your ears to enjoy. At low revs, there’s an unmistakeable V8 rumble; raw and bassy. As you climb higher into the rev range this turns into a delightful roar. Throw in a fierce crack on upshift and a satisfying burble on downshift/overrun and you have the complete audible package.

From the driving seat you are kept somewhat insulated from the full force of the exhausts. But open the windows in a tunnel or built-up area and you can appreciate it in all its glory. Smiles are guaranteed.

The gearshift is rapid, moving through the gears to keep you on the power. The response from the steering wheel paddles is instantaneous, and using these allows you to control the intricacies of the exhaust. Pops and bang on command; it doesn’t get better than this…

Ride/Handling

With several drive modes to choose from, the Jaguar F-Pace SVR is able to make the most of whatever surface you find yourself on. Each drive mode alters the suspension, steering, throttle, gearbox and exhaust.

In comfort and Eco modes the Jag is soft and supple – it eats up motorway miles and is as comfortable as you could hope for. The exhaust flaps close to allow for some quiet relaxation, and the gearbox stays in as high a gear as possible to save fuel.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is dynamic mode. This makes the F-Pace SVR firmer, and fiercer. The throttle response is sharper, the steering heavier, and the gearbox more eager: holding you at the perfect revs for instant acceleration.

The result on a twisty B-road is incredible. Suddenly this big, heavy SUV becomes agile and athletic; capable of carrying impressive speed through even the tightest of corners. What’s more, the 5.0 supercharged V8 is one of the best slingshots you could have – flinging you out of one bend to the next.

The AWD system in the F-Pace SVR gives you the confidence to use every last ounce of the 550PS available. You never struggle for grip, even when the conditions are sub-optimal. And above all else you never get the feeling it’s going to snap and bite your hand off; reassuring in such a powerful car.

Sure, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio would be the better drive on a track. But in all honesty few performance SUVs will ever find themselves on track. In the real world, the Jag does absolutely fine and is a more balanced car. You don’t have differentials fighting each other either, so the overall driving experience is more luxurious.

Economy

Now you don’t get a dog and proceed to complain about the barking when postie brings your letters in the morning. Likewise, you don’t buy a Jaguar F-Pace SVR and proceed to complain that its 5.0 Supercharged V8 has you at the petrol station every twenty minutes.

And if you have appropriate expectations the fuel economy of the Jag isn’t half bad. Combined fuel consumption is 22.7mpg on the combined WLTP cycle. Based on our time with the car, this figure is on the mark too – you can expect to see this in the real world.

CO2 emissions – also on the WLTP cycle – are 281g/km, which results in first year VED of £2,175. But as that’s built into the price it’s never as noticeable. Subsequent years are at the standard rate – currently £150 – and subject to the VED surcharge for cars over £40,000, which adds a further £325 in years 2 to 6.

Several tricks up the SVR’s sleeve contribute to this reasonable efficiency. Start/stop technology cuts out that big V8 in traffic to save fuel. Eco drive mode makes use of higher gears and reduces throttle response to encourage more economical driving.

Practicality

One of the biggest selling points of a performance SUV is the ‘SUV’ part. That implies there is a high level of practicality and usability for you and the family; and that’s certainly not what you’d expect from a ‘traditional’ performance car.

And with the Jaguar F-Pace SVR you certainly get a great family car. It’s spacious in the rear: more than enough room for three kids to fight amongst themselves, or for two adults to sit in absolute comfort.

The boot, at 650 litres, will easily swallow up the weekly shop, or luggage for a family holiday. If you fold down the rear seats you can go mad at Ikea and still get it all home in one trip.

But practicality goes further than that. What if you have a lovely touring caravan, or a boat? Ordinarily you might expect that would rule a performance SUV out; you’d certainly have to rule the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio out. But not the F-Pace SVR. That will gladly bring something in tow: capable of pulling 2,400kg braked and 750kg unbraked.

And whilst the Jag may not have the same performance credentials as the Alfa when it comes to the extremes – i.e. on track – it is far more pleasant to drive on the road and is therefore far better to live with. The luxury of the interior ensures it is a nice place for the family to travel.

The proof of the pudding comes thanks to COVID-19, which meant that the F-Pace SVR couldn’t be collected from us.

We ended up having the car for four months, and it performed everything asked of it: from carrying loads to the recycling centre, to family days out. And then, when driving alone, it would happily blast down the country roads.

Equipment

As the flagship in the line-up, the F-Pace SVR boasts a comprehensive standard specification that is designed to make life on the road as luxurious as it is exhilarating.

For your comfort and convenience, the SVR has keyless entry and go, a powered tailgate, electrically-adjustable steering column, 14-way electrically-adjustable front seats with memory function and power-fold, auto-dimming, heated door mirrors with approach lights.

The front seats are heated and cooled, whilst the steering wheel and outer rear seats are heated for those cold mornings. There’s also a heated windscreen, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and a headlamp washing system.

The multimedia offering is brought to you via a Meridian sound system, and comprises DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, InControl Apps, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s a 10-inch touch screen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, the combination of which can be configured to show trip information, navigation directions, map data, media information and much more.

With a fierce 550PS V8 under the bonnet, it’s nice to know the F-Pace SVR is safety-minded too. Standard equipment includes cruise control with speed limiter, lane keep assist, 360-degree parking aid with rear-view camera, traffic sign recognition with adaptive speed limiter, and emergency brake assist.

There are many electronic systems to aid life on the road, including Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVBB), electronic active differential, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) and Trailer Stability Assist (TSA). Lots of acronyms, but all useful to have.

We think the F-Pace SVR is perfectly equipped. The basic specification is more than enough to make the Jag a great car to live with. The optional extras are more for adding your personal touch to the SVR – colours/wheels and the like – and for the ‘top-shelf’ gadgetry you may or may not want.

Value For Money

We would like to think that by this point we’ve highlighted many reasons why the Jaguar F-Pace SVR is an attractive proposition. Which means you could be waiting, with bated breath, to see how much it costs. But don’t worry; because we think the Jag represents outstanding value.

The base F-Pace SVR (if there is anything ‘base’ about this car!) is £75,375. Consider the level of performance and standard equipment, that’s not bad at all. Especially when you consider that the Range Rover Sport SVR starts at £101,850.

Not only is the Jag cheaper than the Range Rover Sport, but it is lighter too. And that means it’s faster than its big cousin, despite having 25PS less. That could cause some upset at the traffic lights…

So with such good value on offer here, you may wish to explore the options list. Our car had quite a few fitted, including privacy glass (£415), sliding panoramic roof with electric sun blind (£1,600), 22-inch alloys with gloss black finish (£1,320).

It also had the upgraded Meridian Surround Sound System (£420) and Adaptive Surface Response (£165). On the technology front, the head-up display and solar attenuating windscreen (£1,295) was something that was nice, but not what we’d class as essential.

One that would be a must-have for us is the Driver Assistance Pack (£3,160). It may be pricy but brings with it loads of useful tech, such as adaptive cruise control with steering assist, 360-degree surround camera system, park assist, blind spot monitoring, high-speed emergency braking and rear traffic monitor.

Even with this liberal approach to options, our test car was £83,750. Considering the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio we tested was £89,285 that still seems an absolute bargain.

All things considered then, the Jaguar F-Pace SVR seems a no-brainer to us.

Facts and Figures

Engine 5.0-litre, V8 supercharged petrol
Max power 550PS at 6,000-6,500rpm
Max torque 680Nm at 2,500-5,500rpm
Drivetrain 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
0-62mph 4.3 seconds
Top speed 176mph
Fuel tank size 82 litres
Fuel consumption 22.7 mpg combined, WLTP
CO2 emissions 281 g/km WLTP
Kerb weight 1,995kg
Towing capacity 2,400kg braked / 750kg unbraked
Luggage capacity 650 litres
NCAP rating 5 stars
Base price £75,375
Price as tested £83,750
Company website www.jaguar.co.uk/jaguar-range/f-pace/index.html

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