The facelifted F-Pace may look more or less the same from the outside, but the inside is where you will notice a drastic difference.
The Jaguar F-Pace is by far Jaguars’ most popular car. Nearly 50% of Jaguars’ sales are of the F-Pace, which makes sense in an environment where people are going gaga for SUVs. Problem is, while the prior version of the F-Pace was a properly good-looking car from the outside, it was always a bit behind the competition in terms of interior fit and finish. It just did not seem like a special place to be. Compare that to its competition, the Mercedes GLC, BMW X3, Audi Q5, or the Porsche Macan and it was easy to see why these cars were always the heavy hitters in the segment. They were overall a better package, and the interiors were better put together. Now, however, Jaguar is really sticking with its ethos of Grace, Space and Pace with this new facelift. And I have to say…the car is finally worthy of the Jaguar name.
Let us start with the exterior. As I mentioned, not much has changed with the exterior, but a discerned eye will notice it has been nipped and tucked. The press photos show an F-Pace S Dynamic version with extra bulges in the hood, and a redesigned front fascia to boot. The headlights, this time around, are skinner and include Jag’s new “J-Blade” daytime running lights. The front grille has also grown marginally bigger, sits more flush with the front of the car and features a lightly tweaked overall design pattern. The big cats’ air intakes are now larger and more aggressive looking, and they look amazing. Not much has changed along the side of the car but moving towards the rear, the F-Pace gets newer, slimmer taillights that feature a “Chicane” light design and rear exhaust tips that sit more flush with the lower bumper. Overall, still the best-looking SUV in its segment now with a little more punch.
The mechanical aspects have also been tweaked for 2021. The base engine is now a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 247 HP but you can opt for two new six-cylinder engines as upgrades. The middle of the road turbo in-line six-cylinder will make 335 horsepower and the top of line turbo six makes 395 ponies. That is until we see the SVR again. Both the six-cylinder engines also get a bit of hybridized magic added on in the form of a 48-volt battery pack which powers a belt start generator and an electric supercharger. Basically, it’s Jaguar's solution to turbo lag which means launches should feel fast-fast. This begs the question, will there ever be a full-on electric version soon and could this technology find its way to the Mac daddy SVR version and make it even quicker than before? Hmm, only time will tell.
Now the piece de resistance! That interior. Let me start by saying this is finally an interior the screams elegance and class. The old F-Pace was just too plasticly, looked dull and felt, well, cheap. All the areas that should have been soft to touch, were hard and the design overall was uninspiring. The technology also felt a little lackluster. It was never a technological tour de force, and I’m not saying jag intended it to be, but it was barely keeping up with the Germans in that department. And don’t get me started on how Jaguars may or may not be known for reliability issues pertaining to the electronics onboard. Having said all that, this new interior almost looks like they started from scratch.
At first glance, there is way more genuine leather around the cabin than before. You can find leather and soft-touch material on the newly designed door panels, door pockets and center console areas. The whole front dash has been redesigned and features a flattened yet upscale look with more wood veneer or metal trim along with that gorgeous leather. The standard seats now feature a new cross stitch diamond pattern and the optional sport seats get a newly designed honeycomb type pattern with the familiar Jaguar embossed logo on the headrest. The driver’s display gets a big 12.3-inch screen that is reconfigurable, and the steering wheel has been upgraded to a small hub style with gloss black accents and back-lit buttons. It is basically the same one used in the current I-Pace, but it looks like it can be had in a two-tone color scheme in the F-Pace. The central display has been given a massive upgrade to an 11.4-inch display with an updated UI which Jaguar calls Pivi Pro. Some cool features now include the ability to pair 2 Bluetooth devices to the car and the system includes 2 SIM card slots to allow for faster Over The Air (OTA) updates to the car. The system does include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard if you don’t spec the optional Pivi Pro system to your F-Pace, but the 11.4” remains the standard size for the display.
Moving down, the HVAC controls do not have a separate screen, which some expected to carry in from the Land Rover Brand or even the I-Pace, but instead get 2 large knurled dials to control the fan speed and temperature along with seating climate controls. The center area between the knobs include all the common AC functions which you have come to expect. The central console gets a major layout change that includes a new shifter which features stitching you would find on a cricket ball and a simpler button layout to let you control volume and adjustment of the driver modes. Directly forward of the shifter, Jag has thrown in a wireless charger for a mobile device, and in the aft there is a sliding door, which I can only assume, holds another tray for belongings and 2 cup holders. Lastly, Jag implemented a pass-thru section underneath the center console for more storage. Neat touch since it was never in the original design.
It's nice to see all the upgrades on the new F-Pace, and I mean it when I say they were sorely needed. The car always handled well and looked good from the outside, but the finicky electronics and the bland looking interior always kept me at bay from considering the vehicle. What can I say, I expected a lot out of Jag. But this time around they really hit the nail on the head. Better yet, Jag has said the all new F-Pace will come standard with blind spot monitoring, a 360-degree camera system, heated 14-way front seats, proximity key, a 14-speaker Meridian audio system, LED headlights, auto brake hold and active noise cancellation. Considering all this, along with more space than its competition and more power, it is hard not to consider this car when searching for your next SUV. Now this car really does drive with grace, has the space, and keeps up the pace. If I were in the market for a new 5-seater SUV this car would be at the TOP of my list. Great job Jaguar. Now I'm hoping the new XJ is just as much of a hit as this car is.