Jaguar's first SUV was a fine effort in most regards – now it's yours from £15k
By Tony Middlehurst / Sunday, 23 October 2022 / Loading comments
• Available for £15,000
• 2.0-, 3.0- and 5.0-litre petrol, 2.0- and 3.0-litre diesel, all-wheel drive
• Fast, capable, and classy first SUV effort
• Wide range of engine options
• Almost as wide a range of problems in early cars
• 2021 refresh improved the car in useful areas
Everybody’s doing it, doing it, doing it. Not sure what song that comes from, but whatever it was there’s a chance that Jaguar high-ups were singing it in the early 2010s when the decision was made to go ahead and build the company’s first SUV for release in 2016.
Jaguar traditionalists cried out in protest at what they saw as the upcoming bastardisation of their beloved brand, but the realists knew that not moving ahead with the SUV project would have had serious negative repercussions for the ‘J’ bit of JLR. You only had to look at the enlivening not to say life-saving effect of SUVs on the balance sheets of struggling companies like Nissan (Qashqai) and Porsche (Cayenne) to work that one out.
So, a Jaguar sports utility it was. To maintain the firm’s long-established brand values, it couldn’t just be a load-carrier. It would have to be sporty in both performance and handling, well-engineered, and not ruinously expensive to run. And it would have to have the right name. That process turned out to be almost as agonising as designing the blooming thing.
Names mean a lot in motoring and even more so for an emotive brand like Jaguar. To convey the ‘texture’ of its new creation Jaguar wanted an actual name rather than random numbers. To signify its other-worldliness (for a Jaguar) they favoured the letter ‘X’. Amazingly, designer Ian Callum nearly succeeded in reviving the X-Type name for another lap of the track but in the end they went with F to establish a connection with the F-series sports cars, and Pace because Callum liked Hale & Pace and Norman Pace was born in Dudley, just around the corner from the F-Pace plant in Solihull.
Like that joke, there was nothing funny about the range of engines that would power the F-Pace. The performance side of the equation would come from a supercharged 380hp 3.0 litre petrol V6 and (from 2018 in the SVR) a 550hp 5.0 litre V8. Low running costs would come from 163hp, 180hp and 240hp versions of the 2.0 four Ingenium turbodiesel, with a 250hp Ingenium petrol version also available for those who couldn’t bring themselves to swallow diesel. A mix of economy and performance would come from a high-torque 516lb ft 3.0 V6 twin-turbo diesel (as used in the XF S).
The F-Pace’s modular platform was shared by the XE, gen-two XF and LR Velar. It had the same sort of double wishbone front suspension as those cars but there was a new and more factory-twiddleable multi-link suspension arrangement at the rear which they called Integral Link. The body was 80 per cent aluminium with even lighter magnesium for the cross-chassis rail and heavier steel for the boot floor to get a near 50/50 front/rear weight balance.
In its first full year on sale (2016) the F-Pace became Jaguar’s best-selling model, making up nearly half of the firm’s total sales. Bearing in mind the experiences of Porsche and Nissan with their SUVs, it’s true that failure had seemed unlikely, but you could never rule out the British motor industry’s ability to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory.
As it happened, the F-Pace received a warm reception from the world’s press. Some made it their Car of the Year in 2016. British reviews typically gave it at least four out of five stars, praising its classy feel, its space and its ability to blend a degree of off-road talent with a good on-road driving experience. There was a model for just about everyone too, with a head-wobbling choice of Luxury, S(port), R-Sport, Prestige, and Portfolio trims plus maybe a few others that we’ve forgotten about. We counted over 70 combinations of engines and trims from the poverty-spec D165 diesel at a little under £40,000 to the full-house 178mph 5.0 V8 550 SVR at nearly twice that. The SVR was meant to go live in 2018 but it didn’t actually appear in UK magazine road tests until 2019 because of a mysterious component supply problem.
A very good range facelift for the 2021 model year addressed most of the first F-Pace’s shortcomings, which centred generally on quibbles about interior design and materials quality (perceived by Jaguar fans as inferior to that of the XF) and more specifically on the slightly clunky infotainment system. That was fixed in the facelift by a stylish new curved 11.4in touchscreen and the provision of Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto. Also at this time the P400e arrived, a plug-in hybrid F-Pace combining a 300hp version of the 2.0 Ingenium petrol engine with a 141hp electric motor to deliver a total of 400hp, 472lb ft from 1,500-4,400rpm, a 0-62mph time of 5.3sec and 33 miles of electric-only driving at speeds of up to 87mph. Its £62k price was carefully curated to undercut the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLE PHEVs.
Today, in 2022, all new F-Paces bar the P250 petrol and the P400e plug-in hybrid are MHEVs (mild hybrids) which store and re-use lost energy during deceleration, but can’t be plugged into a power point for battery charging. The model choice is still pretty bamboozling, with the ‘regular’ models in F-Pace, S, SE or HSE spec (even the basic one having an Amazon Alexa in it, not sure if that’s a delete option) overlaid by R-Dynamic S, SE, HSE and Black models (which include mainly wheel and comfort upgrades), 300 and 400 Sport models (more of the same plus bodykits and Meridian sound). The range is topped off by the SVR and, from mid-2022, the 22in wheeled purple and gold 1988 Edition at £101,500.
Some issues have been experienced this year (2022) in regards to the supply of new cars, with MY22 P400e orders being cancelled by the factory for reordering in MY23 spec and buyers for other models not receiving their cars (or much in the way of information) after a year’s wait. Orders were actually suspended in April ’22.
Which all points us towards the used market. But, six years on from the launch, how sweet does the F-Pace look as a secondhand purchase? As of late 2022 private 85,000-milers were coming in at £17,000, with 70,000-mile dealer examples at under £20k and high-milers (120,000 plus) beginning at £15,000 – but are these a risk worth taking? Let’s have a look at why you might want to get some F-Pace in your life – and why you might not.
SPECIFICATION | JAGUAR F-PACE (2016-on)
Engine: 1,999cc turbocharged diesel four/5,000cc supercharged petrol V8?Transmission: 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],000rpm/[email protected],000-6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],750-2,500rpm/[email protected],500-5,500 rpm
0-62mph (secs): 8.3/4.3
Top speed (mph): 129/178
Weight (kg): 1,775/2,070
CO2 (g/km): 146/272
Wheels (in): 19-22
On sale: 2016 – on
Price new: from £38,550
Price now: from £15,000
(Figures are for AWD 180hp diesel four/AWD 550hp 5.0 V8)
Note for reference: car weight and power data are hard to pin down with absolute certainty. For consistency, we use the same source for all our guides. We hope the data we use is right more often than it’s wrong. Our advice is to treat it as relative rather than definitive.
ENGINE & GEARBOX
When it came to dynamism, none of the F-Pace engines disappointed. Even the 163hp diesel was more than able to get out of its own way. The 180hp diesel is probably the most common F-Pace on the UK used market however so that’s the car we’ve chosen as our default for the spec panel. The 250hp petrol was a refined and lively unit that, compared to the diesels, took some of the weight out of the car’s front end to sweeten up the handling a little. The supercharged 3.0 V6 neatly bridged the performance gap between the 2.0 and the 5.0 SVR V8, delivering a mid-five second 0-62mph time, and the official fuel consumption wasn’t bad as you might have thought at around 32mpg. The 5.0 SVR not only went like the wind but was also responsible for one of the best sounds in modern motoring thanks to its lightweight variable valve active exhaust system.
All F-Paces were all-wheel drive with 100 per cent of torque going to the rears if conditions allowed (reducing to 50/50 if they didn’t, or to as little as 10 per cent at the rear of the SVR). The puniest 163hp diesel could be rear-wheel drive only if you so desired, in which case it would have a six-speed ZF manual gearbox. This transmission was also available with the 180hp diesel. The auto gearbox on almost all F-Paces was the well-respected 8-speed ZF-8HP, which generally worked well in this application. One owner did complain about extreme jerkiness in their 2.0 petrol car, which they attributed to the transmission but of course it could have been something quite different.
Unfortunately, diesel Ingeniums have acquired something of a bad name in the oil department, specifically for dilution and for the unwanted presence of iron and aluminium particles. Diesel particulate filters on more than a few cars have had to be changed more than once. Coolant reservoirs on early cars were prone to cracking.
More than a few F-Pace owners, or their cars anyway, experienced turbo and clutch failures at mileages you wouldn’t expect that sort of thing to happen. One owner reported catastrophic engine failure at 54,000 miles, with JLR offering to pay 40 per cent towards the £16,000 repair bill. The JLR network did not always appear to cover itself in glory when it came to goodwill.
On servicing, a 5-year plan was initially made available at £699 which later increased to £1,300, but those days have gone. Service costs at official Jaguar dealers can fluctuate quite considerably. Some owners reported quotes of up to £750 for the first service, sometimes followed by a reduction to whatever lower quote you might have been able to secure elsewhere. Independents will typically charge you between £320 and £350 for a minor service. The 5-year service is an expensive one on the supercharged 3.0 as that’s when the spark plugs need to be changed.
We couldn’t find any maintenance specified by Jaguar for the Haldex AWD even though the component manufacturers Borg Warner recommended a fluid change every three years. Cleaning the mesh filter on the Haldex pump inlet wasn’t a bad shout either.
Adaptive suspension was standard on the SVR and the 3.0 diesel, and was a worthwhile £1,200 option on other models. The spring rates on the SVR (which ran on 21-inch wheels as standard, with a 22-inch option) were stiffened by 30 per cent at the front and 10 per cent at the rear to improve body control. 19in wheels might not have looked so cool as 22s but in town the ride quality on any big-wheeled F-Pace was less than plush. Road noise seemed higher in the P400e hybrid than in conventionally powered F-Paces.
The SVR benefited from a new electronic active diff and braking-based torque vectoring system, along with bigger brakes. Owners of lesser F-Paces have reported ‘long’ brake pedals or variable pedal pressures. Brake discs seemed prone to rusting, and £1,500 dealer quotes to replace all four corners including pads were by no means unusual. Corrosion also affected some alloy wheels, and wheel bearings have failed. Noisy rear suspension has been noted on some F-Paces.
The F-Pace wasn’t always suitable for owners who were looking to do serious towing as it was only rated for 2.4 tonnes braked, or 1.6 tonnes on the basic model. The electrical connector for the towbar didn’t always stay in place.
Considering the fine-tolerance factory tech that was widely available at the time of the car’s release, the inconsistences in the standard of some of the F-Pace’s panel fit and the paintwork seemed slightly peculiar.
The extensive use of aluminium in the body was good for keeping the weight down but it wasn’t so good for repair costs if some numpty nerfed your door in the supermarket car park. The bottom section of the front bumper didn’t always need hitting for it to fall off, ditto the wheelarch inners, and some owners reported squeaks and rattles from the front doors. The JLR network seemed to struggle to rectify some of these bodywork issues.
There was 20 per cent less boot space in the P400e PHEV than in other F-Paces, and underfloor storage disappears in that model too, which is a double whammy as that would have been a prime location for charging cable storage. Some cars have suffered tailgate/rear window damage as a result of the ‘gate opening apparently by itself. The cover for the rear towing eye has been known to fall off. Washer pipes became detached from the bottle.
The first thing you noticed on climbing behind the F-Pace wheel was how un-SUV-like the driving position was, especially in the bucket-seated SVR. This ‘high but somehow not high’ feel at the wheel combined with reasonable visibility from the cabin and plentiful storage opportunities to create a superb long-trip environment for a family. Leather and climate control were standard across the range, and although the back compartment was better suited to two passengers (especially if the optional headroom-robbing panoramic sunroof was fitted) the benefit of carrying two rather than three was a good feeling of space for everyone and there was good cargo flexibility in the boot. It was just a pity that at least some F-Paces had a gap between the rear parcel shelf and the back seats that was wide enough to allow visual inspection of the boot’s contents.
If you were buying new and wanted luxury, Prestige spec gave you the best balance of price and desirable/useful equipment. R-Sport was the obvious choice for those wanting something a bit more flash, especially if you could resist the temptation to spoil the ride quality by going too large on the wheels.
The basic 8.0-inch InControl touchscreen system included digital radio, smartphone integration, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and an 80w audio setup. The touchscreen could put up plenty of data including g-forces, always a good one when your passenger was nervously holding two scaldingly hot drive-thru coffees in their lap, but the flow of infotainment wasn’t always smooth. Linking to phones was often very hit and miss. For many owners it seemed that the satnav software hadn’t been given access to anything other than B-roads and/or no roads that had been built in the previous few years.
Software updates improved matters (as long as your battery was in good enough fettle to accept them) but it seemed wrong to many owners that a premium car should be saddled with inferior screen tech in the first place. If you went for the optional InControl Pro system at nearly £1,800 on Prestige or R-Sport F-Paces you could follow your navigational progress more pleasantly on a more sensitive 10.2in touchscreen or in ‘3D’ (sort of) via the 12.3-inch virtual instrument display. That’s assuming it was working OK – it sometimes went blank. ICP also threw in a 380w Meridian sound system (a £600 extra if bought separately), a 10Gb hard drive and some online Jaguar services. As mentioned earlier, the infotainment was somewhat improved on post-’21 facelift cars but earlier cars weren’t exempt from electronic glitches, falling victim to random warning lights along with non-functioning cameras, cruise controls and speed limiters.
Some owners complained about the clumsiness of the climate control system, noting its apparent lack of dual-zoniness and its inclination to jet cold air onto passengers even when the temp was set to a balmy 21 degrees. One owner reported exhaust fumes being sucked into the cabin after an exhaust downpipe clamp came loose. Poorly aligned dashboards were an issue for some.
If you were a keen beachgoer you could leave the F-Pace’s main ignition key inside the car, safe from damaging moisture, and gain access to your car via a waterproof Activity Key wristband. Would you, though? Hmm.
In the Buyers Guide that we put together for the Range Rover Velar we covered off a surprisingly wide range of negative issues. Less surprisingly perhaps, the not dissimilar F-Pace (built alongside the Velar at Solihull) has had a sticky time of it too. This is all a massive shame as, like the Velar, the F-Pace is clearly a fine design that’s been let down by niggles of varying degrees of seriousness. The 2021 facelift put a lot of stuff right but the five years before that have felt like longer for some owners of early F-Paces.
There has been a lot of complaining on forums about the apparently uncaring attitude of quite a few Jaguar dealers. On the plus side, Jaguar Assist (to whom many complainers were referred in the absence of anyone else to speak to) do have a good reputation for helping owners with problems. This is just as well because F-Paces are certainly not problem-free.
Of course, we rarely hear from the satisfied car owners who make up the majority so let’s not get too depressed about things. At the time of writing, there were no less than 580 F-Paces for sale on PH Classifieds. Around 500 of those were diesels. The most affordable F-Pace on PH was this 163hp manual diesel Prestige from 2017. The cream leather interior does bear witness to the 100,000 miles covered but the price is right at a pound under £17k.
Only 23 of PH’s 580 cars were manuals, split more or less evenly between the 163hp and 180hp diesels (the only two models available with that box). For a gruntier diesel experience, £26,980 would put you into the driving seat of this 2016 300hp 3.0d S with Meridian sound and 22-inch wheels, but for that money you would have to accept 79,000 miles on the clock. For £2.5k more you could trim over 30,000 miles off that mileage in this silver S with the InControl Pro pack.
If it’s petrol or nothing for you, the engine choice is between the 2.0 four in 250hp or 300hp flavours, the 380hp supercharged 3.0 V6 or the mighty SVR with its blown 550hp V8. There are only a handful of SVRs on sale in the UK at any given moment. This was the lowest-priced one on PH as we went to press, a 2018 12,000-miler in Ultra Blue at £53,995. At the other end of the petrol scale was this 94,000-mile 250hp Portfolio at £24,200. For not a lot more cash (£26,990) you might like to push the petrol boat out with this supercharged 3.0 V6 from 2017. It has 68,000 miles and the unusual option (among many others) of an auxiliary heater for pre-warming on those nippy morns.
Just nine of the F-Paces on PH were P400e PHEVs. The cheapest one listed on PH was a 19,000-mile R-Dynamic SE priced at £57,890 but there were no pics with that so here’s the next cheapest, another 2021 20,000-mile R-Dynamic, but this time an HSE, at £61,257. Strong prices, but that’s what happens when demand outstrips supply.
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