2019 Jaguar F-Pace Review

2019 Jaguar F-Pace - The new hot rod Jaguar F-Pace SVR is every inch a Jaguar.


Price: $79,990

Pros-Sharp crossover styling. Very fast. Adroit handling. Roomy. All-wheel drive.

Cons-Almost too-fast steering. Slightly high step-in. No fuel miser. Why the oversized tachometer?

Bottom Line-Comfortable in town but a blast to drive given some open road.

The 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is no pussycat. Far from it. This slick crossover from Jaguar's Special Vehicle Operations team does 0-60 m.ph. in 3.7 seconds and reportedly tops out at 176 m.p.h. It will be virtually unchanged for 2020.

The $79,990 four-door hatchback F-Pace SVR has a supercharged 5-liter V-8 that generates 550 horsepower and 502 pound/feet of torque. Power shoots through a crisp-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission with relatively short ratios that can be quickly shifted manually via paddle shifters. Thank goodness the previous rotary gear selector is gone.

Fuel economy isn't a strong point. It's an estimated 16 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on highways. However, the engine automatically turns off quickly to save fuel if you're stuck, say, by a freight train at a railroad crossing-then starts immediately when you're set to go.

The exhaust sound under hard acceleration is dramatic. Otherwise the engine, exhaust and interior are quiet.

There are tamer F-Pace models, but the SVR is worth the extra money. It can be compared to such formidable, costlier rivals as the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Bentley Bentayga Speed and, yes, even the Lamborghini Uru With Jaguar's long, illustrious reputation it need not take a back seat to any of them.

Like virtually all Jaguars, the SVR has slick styling. There's an impressive grille with the Jaguar badge flanked by large air intakes, and the hood has two functional hood scoops. There also are functional vents behind the front wheels, a new smoother rear bumper and four hefty exhaust outlets bunched together in the center of the bumper that hint at the better-breathing exhaust system.        
The SVR drives as if lighter than its approximately 4,600-pound weight. Helping keep it hug roads are chassis features including performance-tuned adaptive dampers and new springs that are 30 percent stiffer in front and 10 percent stiffer in back. Not mention the SVR's dynamic stability control, updated all-wheel-drive system with a rear-based torque split, brake-based torque vectoring and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential.

No more than 50 percent of power is delivered to the front wheels. There big tires on 21 (22-inch optional) wheels. My test SVR had the optional wheels

The steering allows very sudden moves, but is almost too quick. It calls for a driver to pay attention to staying in his lane instead of wandering a bit into an adjoining lane. The brake pedal has a rather soft feel but the brakes bite early and with authority.

While on the firm side, the ride is comfortable for long-distance travel. There are three selectable driving modes: Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. The latter sharpens the throttle, transmission and chassis systems for more aggressive driving without causing occupants teeth to rattle.

The upscale, leather interior has heated and cooled, supportive, comfortable and powered front seats. However, it calls for a slight step up to enter the quiet cabin, and the wide cargo opening is a bit high for quick loading. However, the power hatch works fine, and the split rear seat backs can be easily folded forward to enlarge the spacious cargo area.

While billed as a five-seater, the SVR really only comfortably seats four adults, as the center of the rear set is too stiff to comfortably seat a fifth.

Curiously, there's a small digital speedometer tucked inside a large analog tachometer. I had no trouble reading the digital speedometer, but why not a large analog speedometer in such a sporty crossover. There's a pushbutton starter, and the dashboard and console are filled with lots of control buttons._ But controls are easy to use. A 10-inch touchscreen has a new graphic layout that won't cause headaches to use. I'm no expert on sound systems, but the optional surround sound system was really impressive.

There are the usual luxury vehicle features such as a two-zone climate control system and a panoramic sunroof.

Safety features include full-length side window curtain air bags, a rearview camera with a 360 parking aid, lane-keep assist and driver condition monitor and a traffic sign recognition and adaptive speed limiter.

My test car had a $3,600 option package that contained such items as the larger 22-inch wheels, a 360 surround camera, adaptive cruise control, park assist, rear traffic monitor, the optional surround sound system, heated windshield and a head-up display.

Open the twin-strut hood and you'll find that no ugly plastic cover conceals the engine.

While it's not a slinky two-seater, this is a genuine Jaguar. Yes indeed.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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