2023 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Review: An Automotive Cleanse
We like to judge cars based on the size of their screens, how good they are on fuel, and how comfortably they can get you from A to B. More often than not, electric vehicles fall into this category. They’re quiet, effortless, and generally quite comfortable due to their weight and size. However, there was something entirely refreshing about jumping behind the wheel of the supercharged Jaguar F-Pace SVR after a two-year hiatus.
I’ve professed my adoration for cars like the Polestar 2 and the Porsche Taycan in the past, but nothing puts a smile on my face more than a powerful petrol vehicle. It starts when you turn on the engine in the SVR, the supercharged V8 roars to life in typical Jaguar fashion and before long you’re looking for the little button on the centre console with the exhaust symbol to open the quad tailpipes.
Put the shifter in drive and you chop and glub your way out of the garage on your way to the grocery store, the school drop-off, or the nearest driving road so you can stretch the car’s legs. Although, it really doesn’t matter which because there’s a sense of occasion to any of these outings. It’s this specific characteristic that I’ll miss the most about petrol cars, they may not be as fast as their EV counterparts, but they have something that even my sh*tbox Golf GTI manages. Character.
RELATED: Reminder, The Jaguar I-Pace is Still the Best-Looking EV on the Road.
What Powers the Jaguar F-Pace SVR?
|2023 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Performance|
|Engine||5.0-litre supercharged V8|
|Power||405kW @ 6250rpm|
|Torque||700Nm @ 3500-5000rpm|
The F-Pace SVR’s main competition comes from the Porsche Macan GTS, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, BMW X3 M, and the Mercedes-AMG GLC63. However, as noted in the video, only one of these cars is fitted with a V8, and only the F-Pace is supercharged. You can check out my thoughts on the BMW X3 M here, it’s a more focused driving experience overall but lacks some of the theatre associated with the V8 in the F-Pace.
For most, the supercharged V8 is the sole reason they’re looking to buy the F-Pace and we don’t blame them. And while you’ll take a hit in the fuel consumption stakes, this motor gives you everything you’d want and more. Yes, it’s got the figures to back the claims with more than 400kW of power, but it’s so full of character that you’ll fall in love with it shortly after climbing behind the wheel. I sometimes miss the childish pops and bangs that the earlier SVR models made on overrun but I’ll happily take the brutish roar from the exhaust.
Even with the emissions filters in full effect, the Jaguar F-Pace SVR is still one of the loudest and best-sounding cars on sale today.
How Does the Jaguar F-Pace SVR Drive?
In the video above I touch on the driving impressions of the car, but if you’re more interested in the interior, you can check out my impressions in the video below. I’ll be starting with the engine itself, because I know why you’re buying the SVR.
When I first drove the F-Pace in 2021, I found the throttle mapping to be very touchy and rather agitated. That seems to be fixed for the new model, and I had no trouble leaving the car in normal mode while driving around. Other driving features such as the stop-start system (which saves you a bit of fuel) are nice and quick to engage, while the brake pedal bites with precision and a comfortable amount of travel.
The Dynamic mode is still a bit stiff and bouncy for public roads, but it too seems to be dialled back a notch on the previous model.
As is the advantage with supercharged motors, the powerband is strong all the way to redline at 6750rpm, it builds and builds until you grab another gear from the 8-speed torque converter transmission. It might not be the quickest vehicle in the segment on paper, but at no point will it leave you wanting more thanks to the aural bliss. Sacrificing outright speed for sound is always a winner.
Is the F-Pace SVR Comfortable?
As I first wrote in my 2021 review, the brand’s SVO team have gone over the suspension with a fine-toothed comb to sort out the comfort for the road and even the track. During the face-life phase in 2021, the brand replaced the vast majority of the suspension bushings, lower front control arms, and electronic systems. For my second time with the car, I found the settings to work better on the street, it was far more comfortable than I remember and when you combine this with the seats, it’s a great daily driver.
When you flick the car into ‘Dynamic’ you won’t forget that you’re driving a ‘sports’ SUV as the ride is fairly firm, however, it’s no worse than the competition. Take the 22-inch wheels into consideration and it’s rather comfy. Most importantly, Dynamic mode unlocks the 100% rear-biased torque splits that turn the car into a nimble beast in the corners. It’s unbelievable how fun the F-Pace is to drive on the twisties and we wish luck to whatever sportscar owner thinks they’re leaving it for dust on the track.
What’s the Interior Like on the Jaguar F-Pace SVR?
Jaguar absolutely nailed it when it comes to the interior on the facelifted F-Pace. One step inside the new cabin and you’re immediately greeted by a modern interior laced with soft-touch materials, plush leather, and a good number of rotary dials and switches. The highlights are a new dashboard with digital gauges and an 11.4-inch central touchscreen with the brand’s flagship Pivi Pro infotainment system.
Key interior equipment found on the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR, includes;
- 11.4-inch Touchscreen.
- Interactive Driver Display.
- Meridian Sound System – 400W, 13 speakers including subwoofer.
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, are now Wireless with the OTA update.
- Pivi Pro (Connected).
- 14-way heated and cooled electric driver and passenger memory Performance front seats.
- 40:20:40 SVR folding, heated rear seats with centre armrest.
- SVR Leather Heated steering wheel with Satin Chrome gearshift paddles.
- Cabin lighting – 10 colours configurable ambient lighting, zone control.
- Two-zone Climate Control – Automatic with Solar Sensing and Mist Sensing.
- Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror.
Take a seat in the F-Pace and you’ll immediately realise the vehicle’s sporty characteristic. The bucket seats are still the best-in-class and they blend comfort and body-hugging together perfectly. There’s no need to go full-on ‘racecar’ like those found in the top-of-the-line Porsches and the BMW M cars when it comes to family wagons.
The driving position itself is perfect for spirited driving. My main criticism of SUVs is that they often feel large and unwilling, however, it does a fantastic job of masking height and weight with an encouraging driving position.
Knee contact points and foot positioning are comfortable, but I’d still prefer some grippier material on the steering wheel at the expense of longevity leather. More and more brands are phasing out traditional gear knobs in favour of ‘gear selectors’ for a minimalist look, I think the Jaguar strikes a good balance between the two, but I’d still prefer a physical knob.
Should You Buy the Jaguar F-Pace SVR?
|ANCAP safety rating||Five stars (tested 2016)|
|Warranty||Five years/unlimited kilometres w/ Roadside Assistance|
|Main competitors||BMW X3M, Mercedes GLC63 AMG, Porsche Macan, Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio|
|Price||From $142,300 plus on-road costs|
It’s a thought that I’ve long been pondering, “why do I continue to lust over petrol V8s when EVs are ‘better’ in every way possible”. First sparked by cars like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, and Land Rover Defender 90 V8, until I finally worked it out in the Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
Revisiting this car was like catching up with an old friend that still had all the best jokes and stories. It’s fun to drive to the grocery store, it’s fun to drive on a back road, and it’s comfortable enough to drive every day. There might be smarter purchasing decisions to make in the short term, but the Jaguar F-Pace SVR is the last of a dying breed, and with the competition sitting around costing roughly the same but lacking the theatre associated with the SVR badge, I’d happily take one in blue.
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