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The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 4.0

Jaguar’s F-Pace is a stylish SUV and has been updated with a range of new petrol and diesel engines, some including so-called mild hybrid technology (or MHEV, in the jargon) to improve efficiency. There is also a new plug-in hybrid version (or PHEV), which we’re looking at in isolation here on the basis part-electrification is a necessity for many buyers wanting to keep running costs manageable on cars of this type. With over 400 horsepower the F-Pace P400e hybrid has a performance edge over rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q5 and BMW X3 and is cheaper than the related Range Rover Velar, which is available with the same engine. For our Expert Review on the rest of the F-Pace range click here.

Reasons to buy

  • Beautiful interior
  • Lots of space
  • Excellent performance

Running costs for a Jaguar F-Pace PHEV SUV 4/5

The Jaguar F-Pace is a premium car and priced accordingly, though the plug-in hybrid (or PHEV) version occupies a curious position in the range. By list price it’s big hike over a basic petrol F-Pace in the same trim level but it’s also a lot, lot faster. The more interesting comparison is with the P400 MHEV, which confusingly costs about the same, shares a model designation and has a similar power output but uses mild hybrid technology and therefore can’t be plugged in or run on electric power alone. Although the P400e can cover over 30 miles on the electric motor and boasts official fuel consumption figures of over 100mpg the real-world savings will only really be noticeable if you cover short journeys and plug it in every night to charge. The killer blow in favour of the P400e is in tax, however. You’ll save £1,320 in first-year VED immediately over the P400, while company users stand to save a packet in Benefit In Kind taxation thanks to the much lower CO2 banding.

Against rivals the F-Pace sits between models like the GLC and GLE in the Mercedes range, the diesel hybrid version of the latter capable of greater electric-only range and offsetting its greater price with cheaper still BiK for business drivers. The Jaguar is more powerful and faster, though. It’s also usefully cheaper than the closely related Range Rover Velar, which uses exactly the same hybrid system.

Reliability of a Jaguar F-Pace PHEV SUV 2/5

Jaguar doesn’t historically do well as a brand in reliability surveys, finishing in the bottom fifth of most tables, and the F-Pace ended up behind all its competitors in a large SUV reliability survey last year. Stories of glitches in the infotainment system (used on various Jaguar and Land Rover products) are not uncommon and, indeed, the car we tested had a fault with its instrument cluster and wouldn’t display the navigation map. “We’ll take a look at it,” said a chirpy Jaguar technician, which was helpful, if not inspiring of total confidence in the tech.

Safety for a Jaguar F-Pace PHEV SUV 4/5

All F-Paces come with four-wheel drive and you have the extra forward visibility from that tall stance. New features include ‘Clear Exit Monitor’ which alerts occupants leaving the car to bicycles or other vehicles via a warning light next to the front and rear door handles. There’s adaptive cruise control (standard with HSE trim) and Driver Condition Monitor as well as a 360-degree parking camera and optional ClearSight technology which shows the surface directly under the bonnet, in case you’re about to hit a kerb or bollard, as well as transforming the rear-view mirror into a camera view of the road. This is useful when the view out of the rear window is obscured by large objects.

There’s also a new version of Park Assist as an option, which uses sensors to steer the car into a parking space, controlling the steering, acceleration and braking.

How comfortable is the Jaguar F-Pace PHEV SUV 4/5

The F-Pace is a big car and feels quite intimidating to drive until you get used to it; the visibility out of it is at least better than many of its type and that helps at junctions and around town. As is typical for Jaguar the F-Pace rides really well on lumpy roads, the extra weight of the hybrid working in its favour in this regard and helping it feel even more settled. You pay the price under braking and through the corners but the hybrid F-Pace is still above average in its ride and handling, only the intrusive tyre roar (even more noticeable when cruising on silent electric power) spoiling the refinement. Interior quality has improved with this updated version and the upholstery and other materials all feel of suitably high quality.

Sculpted rear seats give luxurious accommodation for the two outermost rear-seat passengers but anyone sitting in the middle gets a raw deal and has to sit with their legs either side of the wide transmission tunnel. The hybrid also loses over 100 litres of boot space thanks to the battery, raising the floor of the load area with an unsightly lip. To be fair to Jaguar rivals like the Mercedes GLC suffer similar compromises and the F-Pace’s boot is still pretty huge but if you need the flexibility and room for kit you may be better off with one of the regular models.

Features of the Jaguar F-Pace PHEV SUV 4/5

As well as the new safety gizmos, the most obvious change to the new F-Pace is the introduction of Jaguar Land Rover’s new infotainment system, branded Pivi Pro. A large curved touchscreen with restrained, elegant graphics dominates the dashboard. Apple CarPlay comes as standard while Android Auto is market-dependent. Spotify, Deezer , TuneIn, Google and Microsoft Outlook calendars are also are embedded. Weather and fuel price information are on hand and the system offers up available parking spaces as you approach a town. We weren’t so much fans of the multi-purposed steering wheel controls, which are easy to muddle and can result in a skipped track or accidental phone call on the main screen when you wanted to change something in the instrument binnacle.

Power for a Jaguar F-Pace PHEV SUV 4/5

The distinctive electrified rush of acceleration sets the hybrid apart from the regular internal combustion models and the P400e feels effortlessly fast off the line and powerful when you need bursts of acceleration for merging into fast-moving motorways or to safely overtake on single-carriageway roads. The petrol-engined part of the powertrain is a 2.0-litre unit, which isn’t as smooth as the six-cylinder in the mild hybrid P400 version and can sound a little unrefined if you’re really demanding its all. Most of the time it’s happy to whirr unobtrusively away in the background and the transition between electric motor and petrol engine is seamlessly managed. Despite the extra weight the electric motor has enough grunt on its own, so the F-Pace feels sprightly enough even when running purely on battery power. Jaguar says it will do just over 30 miles in this mode and, if your regular journeys are within this range, you could quite happily drive the F-Pace hybrid as a quasi EV without having to nurse it to avoid waking the internal combustion engine. That said, if you enjoy the performance and drain the battery as we did the fuel consumption soon plummets…

Click here for our review of the regular petrol, diesel and mild hybrid versions of the updated F-Pace.