The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
So far, we’ve only tried the Jaguar F-Pace in R Sport and S trims, both of which get figure-hugging sport seats as standard. These seats are comfortable and hold you in place around tight bends, although it’s a shame Jaguar charges extra for adjustable lumbar support on all versions of the F-Pace. This important feature helps ward off lower back pain on longer journeys, so is well worth adding if you plan to spend several hours behind the wheel at a time.
Prestige and R Sport models have an eight-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, while pricier Portfolio and S models get 10-way electric adjustment. Pay a bit extra and you’ll also get electric adjustment for the steering wheel, but there’s really no need; the wheel is easy to adjust manually and has a good range of up-and-down and in-and-out movement.
The controls for the air conditioning aren’t quite as intuitive as in some rivals because you have to stab at buttons to raise or lower the cabin temperature, rather than simply twist a dial. The process isn’t overly distracting, though.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
You might imagine that swooping styling would make seeing out of the F-Pace quite tricky. Thankfully, the view out of the front is actually pretty good, even though you sit lower in the car than in many rival SUVs.
Over-the-shoulder visibility is hampered by the rising window line and small rear screen, but all trims come with front and rear parking sensors to help counter this. To make backing up even easier, a reversing camera is optional on Prestige and R Sport trims and standard on range-topping Portfolio and S versions.
A self-parking system and a 360-degree bird’s eye view camera are on the options list.
Sat nav and infotainment
All F-Paces have an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system as standard, which Jaguar calls InControl Touch. It incorporates sat-nav, a DAB radio, a USB socket, Bluetooth and an in-built wifi hotspot, and can even sync with your smartphone to run a selection of apps. It’s just a shame the screen is often sluggish to respond when you press it.
If you can afford it, we’d recommend upgrading to the range-topping InControl Touch Pro system. It isn’t cheap, but brings a wider 10.2in screen, a more sophisticated sat-nav, an extra USB socket and a 10GB hard drive to store your music on. It’s much more powerful and snappier to respond to screen presses.
Options include a digital TV and an InControl Secure system that allows you to monitor the location of your F-Pace using your smartphone. Sound systems range from an 80W system to an uber-powerful 825W Meridian surround option.
Interior quality is probably the least impressive aspect of the Jaguar F-Pace. The cover above the speedo dial is hard and scratchy and the buttons on the steering wheel feel a bit low-rent, so lined up against the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC, let alone the Porsche Macan, the Jaguar is mildly disappointing inside.
At least the main portion of the dashboard is wrapped in leather, and the gloss black centre console helps lift the interior ambience to an acceptable level.