Why I would buy it?
8 / 10
- Attractive looks
- Cabin look and feel
Why I would avoid it?
- Lacks bottom-end punch
- Noisy low speed ride
8 / 10
The first version of anything usually leaves something to be desired. Take the Jaguar F-Pace for instance. When it made its debut over half a decade ago we all couldn’t stop raving about how stunning it looked and how well it drove. But we were also aware that its interior lacked the same level of exquisite look and feel that the rest of the package would have you believe. Now, though, Jaguar has brought in the 2021 F-Pace and its better, much better where it counts.
The 2021 F-Pace still has one of the curviest profiles in the business. Make no mistake; it’s a style-focused crossover that attracts eyeballs wherever it goes. Despite missing the old R-Sport’s belligerent front-end and fancier wheel designs, the 2021 model remains distinctive to look at. This facelift has added several little changes to the F-Pace’s design to make it sportier still.
Things like the more pronounced bulge on the bonnet, the enlarged grille, redesigned air intakes on the bumper and the super slim LED headlights with the signature ‘double J’ DRLs completing the front look. The defining features at the rear come in the form of the F-Type like slim taillights and the pronounced haunches. We aren’t fans of the lack of exhaust outlets on the bumper though overall, the F-Pace is a handsome SUV and it looks stunning as ever.
Engine and Performance
7 / 10
Jaguar has made some improvements to the 2-litre diesel F-Pace by giving it more power and mild-hybrid tech. The 2-litre petrol version that you see here remains unchanged for 2021 and it continues to make 250bhp of power and 365Nm of torque. It’s just that this version is now called P250 instead of 25t. Thumb the pulsing starter button and you are greeted by a muffled startup noise, followed by a rhythmic idle. Now the power and torque figure may not seem stratospheric, but the way this motor generates and delivers power at the top-end is such, you would be hard pressed to think of it as a 2-litre motor. Post 4,000rpm, the pull is particularly strong as you are greeted by a wave of torque which thanks to the 8-speed ZF gearbox is well spread out over the rev range.
The F-Pace has four driving modes and shifting to Sport makes the steering heavier and the throttle response more immediate. The gearbox, too, holds onto gears for longer and shifts down to keep the revs in the meat of the torque band. In our acceleration test, the F-Pace P250 managed the 0-100kmph sprint in just 7.95 seconds though we would like to add that it doesn’t feel that quick behind the wheel because of the lack of punch in the bottom end. This engine is extremely smooth though and under regular driving conditions you will hardly ever hear it working.
Ride and Handling
8 / 10
The 2021 model drives just like the original and we are glad for it. After all, the F-Pace is a performance SUV and it’s quite obvious with the way it handles. Apart from a certain amount of roll that comes with a heavy vehicle riding this high, it’s properly fun in the corners. The steering is light around town and weighs up correctly over long corners. The front-end grip is strong too, with the nose darting into bend just the way you would want it to. Also, the brakes work well to pull this beast of a crossover up from speed as you approach tight corners. As for the all-important ride quality, the F-Pace will handle bad roads without breaking a sweat, but because it is stiffly spring, you will always end up hearing the suspension working, especially at slow speeds. That said, the suspension flattens all the road undulations as you up the pace, keeping the car thoroughly stable.
Interior Space and Comfort
7.5 / 10
The F-Pace’s cabin is now among its most impressive traits. And to think that the interior has always been this car’s bugbear makes the 2021 update even more impressive. Looking at it from material and trim perspective, the upgrades in design and technology is worth commending. You get new display screens, a digital instrument cluster and higher quality materials. Even the steering and the entire centre console are all-new.
Buyers can choose between two new interior colors - Mars Red and Siena Tan. Speaking of which, we are huge fans of the red and black spec on our car – it just goes well with the F-Pace’s outlandish character. This new dash design looks way more modern and sporty than before and its better on quality, too. There’s real aluminium for the upper door inset, centre console, steering wheel and air vents. The new gear selector features an upper section finished with ‘cricket-ball’ stitching, the lower part being made of metal. As for the rest of the visual updates, you get new door casings, featuring a 360-degree grab handle for easier access and more storage for bottles and other items. All in all, the cabin is stunning and there’s undoubtedly more wow factor in here than in the interiors of a similarly priced BMW or Mercedes SUV. However, the finish on some of the components, namely the steering mounted controls and the window switches, is lacking next to the rivals. Neither has the same level of tactile feel to it and that’s something we are used to in posh German offerings.
Space and comfort levels are the same as before, meaning the seats upfront are large and accommodating. They are extra comfortable now thanks to lumbar adjustment which was missing in the old F-Pace. The cushioning is also just right and there’s more than enough thigh support thanks to the large base. Similarly, the rear seat is wide and supportive with a great deal of contouring for that ‘seated in rather than on it’ feeling. As for the boot, it’s huge even with the rear seats in their place and the loading height is set fairly low, too. Weekend outings won’t be an issue for F-Pace owners.
Features and Equipment
7.5 / 10
The 2021 F-Pace has you covered for features and new-age tech. Besides the regular stuff such as climate control, ambient lighting, LED headlights, leather seats and electrically adjustable seats, the Jag also gets electric recline function for the rear seat (the switch, however, is oddly placed next to the seat base). Then there’s a fully digital display and a fixed panoramic roof. In terms of infotainment needs, the F-Pace gets the latest version of Jaguar’s Pivi Pro infotainment system which can be accessed through the new 11.4-inch curved glass touchscreen. Straightaway it’s leaps and bounds better than the one in the original F-Pace when it comes to UI, touch response and connectivity tech.
Thankfully, there’s enhanced clarity and simplified menu structure that allows you to view up to 90 per cent of common tasks from the home-screen in two taps or less. You get all the feel-good features including wireless charging, a 360-degree camera, high-end Meridian audio system and an electric tailgate.
8 / 10
The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace has improved in many ways and as a result, is a better proposition than it has ever been. It’s stunning looking, more refined, way nicer on the inside and with the addition of new-age tech, smarter as well. The lack of a more powerful petrol engine is unlikely to upset buyers and if you want something that’s both fast and frugal then the diesel F-Pace with the mild hybrid tech makes for a solid buy. Priced at Rs 69.99 lakh ex-showroom, the 2021 F-Pace actually represents decent value considering the fact that it has created a sweet spot for itself in the luxury SUV range. Like the original, the F-Pace has a much wider appeal than something like the BMW X3 or the Mercedes GLC – it’s a family SUV that looks the part and is great to drive and that’s what makes it a definite all-rounder. Pictures by Kapil Angane