On the road: The new Jaguar F-Pace Hybrid
On the road: The new Jaguar F-Pace Hybrid

Putting the big cat on a lead

Ian Lamming plugs into the latest SUV from Jaguar

SOME cars seem to date in an instant while others feature classic, timeless lines.

The latter must be a nightmare for the designers to refresh but the public’s demand for different is unstinting so change often comes for change’s sake.

The Jaguar F-Pace takes this hunger for something new to subtle levels. When a car looks this attractive in the first place then radical change is never an option for fear of alienating its loyal fan base.

But progress requires change and the designers have successfully facelifted the big SUV without damaging its appeal.

So new bonnet and valance at the front are enhanced by double j-shaped indicators and LED lights. At the rear the bumper now provides a home for integral exhaust ports and LED rear lights, while the overall silhouette is marginally squared off. Only the purists would notice the changes and while they are subtle they do seem to combine to make the F-Pace look even wider, more muscly, with increased road presence.

More obvious is the completely new interior, dominated by the 11.4in curved touchscreen that looks after myriad commands including the excellent infotainment centre. The virtual dash is also splendid offering the choice of displays and boundless information.

What hasn’t changed is the general feeling of opulence thanks to double stitched soft leather, aluminium metal finish trim and multiple-coloured ambient lighting. The excellent dash and fascia, fixtures and fittings somehow manage to combine traditional sports car with contemporary SUV.

Tactile split-rim leather steering wheel and cricket ball stitched stubby gear lever mean the interior is as great to touch as it is to look at, while new sports seating ensures your body is supported perfectly and ready to absorb the lateral forces that come with speed and movement.

F-Pace is blessed with generous proportions so all five occupants have plenty of room and the boot is large and accommodating, even more so with the rear seats folded down. In all it’s a great place in which to be a driver or passenger and long journeys are dispensed with ease.

Style doesn’t ignore functionality and there are plenty of places to deposit detritus, cups and the knick-knacks of life.

With more of us deciding to take to our cars to work, F-Pace not only offers four USB charging points and wireless device charging with Signal Booster2, but also cabin air ionisation with filter to capture airborne particles and allergens from the outside and cleanse the air in the cabin which enhances the wellbeing of all inside.

In keeping with the emphasis on new-world technology F-Pace now comes with a plug-in hybrid to complement the mild hybrid petrols and diesel variants.

With the new plug‑in hybrid you enjoy greater fuel economy and zero tailpipe emissions while driving in full electric mode. Impressively, it will charge from zero to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes and offers CO2 figures as low as 49g/km, with up to 33 mile range on EV, giving the fuel figures as high as 132mpg.

F-Pace comes with a raft of advanced safety technologies as standard, including emergency braking, lane keep assist, cruise control and speed limiter, even a driver condition monitor to keep you safe from yourself.

Front and rear parking aid and 3D surround camera helps driver stow F-Pace away safely in even the tightest of spots.

So with new F-Pace plenty has changed but not much at all so everyone should remain happy.

Fact File

Model: Jaguar F-Pace plug-in hybrid

Engine: 2.0 litre, petrol plus electric

Drivetrain: eight-speed auto
Power: 404PS (143PS electric)
Top speed: 149mph

0-60mph: 5.0 secs

Miles per gallon: 132

CO2 (g/km): 49

Price: from £56,060.00