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First Drive: Jaguar F-Pace/F-Pace Plug-in Hybrid

A new interior, mild hybrid diesel engine and, most importantly, plug-in hybrid versions are highlights of the facelifted F-Pace, Martyn Collins finds.

SECTOR Large SUV Price £40,860-£64,490 Fuel 28.8-130.2mpg CO2 49-234g/km

Facelifted at the same time as the XF (see road test here), the exterior changes for the F-Pace follow the same format with a new bonnet, bumpers, headlights and grille. These and the optional Black Exterior Pack freshen up the five-year old design.

Interior changes mirror the XF, with more metal and soft leather trim, plus the same 11.4-inch central curved screen, running the new Pivi Pro infotainment system. However, in use, the maps are perhaps a bit simplistic and moving between the other features isn’t so easy.

Other highlights are the metal-trimmed ventilation controls, plus a new three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, borrowed from the i-Pace, which is as nice to hold as before. The driving position is comfortable and the new seats supportive – while space even for the tallest is uncompromised in the back. The F-Pace also benefits from Active Road Noise Cancellation, which removes unwanted noise from the interior, making the F-Pace a relaxing place to spend time.

S, SE and HSE models are available – with R-Dynamic specification available with all trims. The F-Pace is powered by the latest 247hp four-cylinder and new 347hp in-line six-cylinder petrol, plus 161 and 201hp four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel Ingenium engines – all of these featuring Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology. The MHEV system works via a belt integrated Starter Generator in the engine bay, which harvests energy usually lost when slowing and braking. This is then stored in a 48V lithium-ion battery and gets delivered when accelerating and makes the stop/start system more responsive.  All F-PACE models feature intelligent all-wheel drive and eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Most interesting for fleet, the new F-PACE is available with the P400e PHEV powertrain as well. The P400e combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 141hp electric motor and 17.1kWh lithium-ion battery. The result is 398hp with 0-62mph in 5.0 seconds, yet it’s capable of up to 33 miles all-electric driving, with 130.2mpg and CO2 emissions from 49g/km.

Fast charging (32kW DC) is possible with the F-Pace P400e, with 0-80% charge in 30 minutes, while a domestic 7kW wall box can provide a charge of 0-80% in 1hr 40 minutes.

First drive was in an P400 R-Dynamic SE, with the new 347hp 3.0-litre MHEV Ingenium petrol engine. Like the rest of the range, this F-Pace is a dynamic drive, with responsive steering and excellent body control. Yet, despite the 22-inch wheels, the ride remains composed and refined at speed.

Next up was the P400e in SE trim. Starting with the electric motor, performance is strong from the off – plus it is so well integrated with the petrol engine it’s hard to tell when the petrol engine cuts in. Even with the extra weight, the performance still impresses, and the sporty dynamics seem unaffected.

The market for large SUVs is a crowded one, but the improvements and addition of plug-in hybrid versions make the Jaguar F-Pace stand out.

The Verdict

The frugal P400e plug-in hybrid version and premium interior mean the F-Pace stands out in a busy area of the market.

The Lowdown
Key Fleet Model: F-Pace P400e 2.0 S PHEV AWD
Strengths: Keen drive, uncompromised P4ooe PHEV version, stylish interior
Weaknesses: PHEV still expensive

Fleet World Star Rating

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Martyn Collins

Martyn has 18 years experience as a motoring journalist, working across a wide selection of B2B and consumer titles. A car enthusiast since his early years, Martyn has a particular interest in the latest models and technology and in his spare time enjoys driving his own Minis.