By Nauman Farooq
The acronym SUV stands for, Sport Utility Vehicle; however very few SUVs are actually sporty to drive!
There are some exceptions, and one of them certainly is the Jaguar F-Pace. Ever since this vehicle was launched in 2017, it has impressed with its sporty performance and road manners. Jaguar could have just rested and left things as they were, but they had other plans!
The result of their restlessness is this, the F-Pace SVR – an SUV with a supercharged 5.0L V8 under the hood, four-wheel drive traction, and a bark that can scare some sports cars back into their garages!
I got to spend a few days with one; and here’s how it went.
Styling: Aesthetic appeal is a personal thing, but I always liked the way the Jaguar F-Pace looked. It’s not as boxy as most SUVs, and in the right color and rim package, it looks stunning!
My tester, which came wearing “Ultra Blue” paint (which is very similar to ‘French Racing Blue’) and “Black” 22-inch wheels – looked absolutely stunning!
It looked the business, and lots of people out on the road took notice; this vehicle got a lot of thumbs up, and I certainly wasn’t expecting that.
So, if you want an SUV that can turn heads and attract a crowd at car meets, this F-Pace SVR is as good as it gets!
Interior: Open the door, and you’re greeted by a very nice interior with lots of features; however, due to its sporty nature, the F-Pace SVR isn’t the most luxurious SUV on the planet, but that’s part of its charm.
So, instead of big massage chairs for the driver and passenger, you get racing buckets – which still offer a lot of adjustments and features.
Once seated, you’ll notice the new touch-screen infotainment system, a wonderful Meridian sound system, adaptive cruise control, head-up display, a panoramic sunroof, and enough room for a proper family of five.
If you’re going to nit-pick, you could point out that some plastic bits look a bit cheap, and that its German rivals have even more features on their infotainment systems – but trust me, you don’t really need anything more than what the F-Pace SVR offers, it’s very good as it is!
Powertrain: Very good might be an understatement when it comes to describe this vehicles drivetrain – because it is excellent!
Under the hood lies a supercharged 5.0L V8 engine that produces 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. All that power is routed to an active all-wheel drive system via an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission.
Performance & Driving Dynamics: As you’d expect from such power figures, the F-Pace SVR is fast, and it doesn’t disappoint! Launch it correctly and it’ll sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, and go on to an electronically limited top speed of 283 km/h – please do not try the latter unless you’re on the de-restricted sections of the German Autobahn.
Thankfully, its big brakes are also more than capable enough to haul you down from a speed run, although, you do have to be firm on the brake pedal to get the maximum out.
Most SUVs, even sporty ones, fall off the road if you try to drive them quickly through twisty, country roads. Not so the case with the F-Pace SVR; despite its nearly two-tonne curb weight (1,995 kg to be exact). This vehicle feels fairly agile and responsive in the bends. There is a tad more understeer than I would like, but most people won’t take any notice of that.
Also impressive is the ride quality. Most sporty SUVs bounce around so much, they’d cause you a neck sprain – but the F-Pace SVR is smooth and comfortable, even in “Dynamic” mode, its sportiest setting.
So, if you’re looking for an SUV that will be fun to drive on a daily basis, this is it!
Fuel Economy: In my fuel economy test (where I drive a vehicle 170 km on the highway + 130 km in the city) the 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR averaged 13.0 L/100 km. That’s not bad for a powerful, two-ton SUV; but remember, it’ll only drink premium fuel, and hence filling up will cost a bit – not that it’ll be a concern to those who can afford it!
Pricing: The 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR will set you back $92,000. Add the options that my tester had, plus the freight charge, and your bill before taxes will be $104,463.
That might sound like a lot for the masses, but it is a bargain compared to most of its competitors.
Verdict: I’ve always said that a fast SUV is an oxymoron; these big, heavy vehicles aren’t meant to go fast, and no execution of this genre of vehicle had impressed me enough to want to own one. The 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is an exception, this thing is perfection – and if I could just live with one vehicle for the next decade, this’ll be it.