Jaguar’s most popular car in Singapore, the F-Pace SUV, changes its spots a little and gains a much improved interior for steady evolution
Photos by The CarBuyer Team
SINGAPORE – We know that at least half of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) buyer’s decision is how well the car in question tickles the visual cortex. If that was 100 percent of the deal, then the new Jaguar F-Pace would likely claw its way up the sales chart.
This is Jaguar’s update of its most popular model in Singapore, the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace facelift, and its key selling point – its good looks – are very much intact.
For a full history of the British brand’s midsized luxury SUV and used alternatives, scroll to the end of this story. In brief, this is a big update to the first-gen F-Pace, which debuted in 2016 and is built to rival cars such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Unlike the Germans, which have dedicated coupe-styled model versions (see Audi Q5/ Q5 Sportback, BMW X3/X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC/ GLC Coupe for example) Jag doesn’t have a coupe-ified version because well, the default F-Type is already one.
The facelift emphasises that even more. While the bonnet and headlights remain the same in form, the latter now have the ‘dual J’ LED running light signature. They also encompass active ‘pixel’ LED, which shutters out incoming cars from your highbeams, and so on.
The grille has expanded considerably, and is flanked by unblocked air-intake sections/sub-grilles. Round the back, the headlights are now totally flat – ala the I-Pace – and the tailpipes are hidden, which emphasises the coupe-ness further.
This car, in standard R-Dynamic trim, comes with the massive 22-inch wheel option, three inches up over the standard issue items. It does give the car an immediately sporty stance, though 22-inchers on a midsized SUV is bordering on Clown Car territory. Nonetheless, the F-Pace has always looked athletic with its small greenhouse, raked windscreen, and it does look even more ready to pounce this time around.
That’s a notion supported by the interior, which has had quite a major going over. You can’t miss the hot red upholstery and perforated leather sport seats (inspired by the SVR model’s, says Jaguar). The steering wheel’s new – borrowed from the I-Pace electric SUV.
But 2021 being what it is, it’s the infotainment that takes pride of place. The entire center console has been cleaned up, with The War On Buttons ensuring that a large 11.4-inch touchscreen now sucks up all your attention, for anything from phone calls, to climate control, and car features.
It’s the same Pivi Pro (no it doesn’t stand for anything) infotainment system we first saw on the new Land Rover Defender. It’s leagues better than the old system, being responsive, beautifully presented, and intuitive to use. There’s a slight bulge toward the middle – it’s curved – which Jaguar says matches the curve of the instrument panel behind it. Like all good infotainment systems, it packs Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, via USB cable.
Below the Pivi screen, the fiddly rotary gear selector, first seen on the first-gen Range Rover Evoque, has been replaced by a nicer-looking stubby gearlever, in front of which is a wireless charging pad.
Jaguar’s really raised the tone of the cabin here, with the Pivi system making things look very modern indeed, so much so that you can probably overlook the niggles – slightly clicky steering stalks and pale blue backlighting (very 2010). It’s also a pity the 12.3-inch driver’s display doesn’t have similar aesthetics to the Pivi, either.
Space-wise, the F-Pace is the same as before: Plenty of headroom, even in the rear with the optional panoramic sunroof. Three adults will fit the rear with a bit of shoulder squeezing, and two with comfort. Boot space remains the same at approximately 650-litres, which is quite generous, and there’s an automatic tailgate.
The Jaguar’s a good choice for an SUV driver who doesn’t want to go gently into that good night just yet. The current 2.0 is now all-wheel drive (the previous 2.0 was rear-wheel drive), and that does blunt its pointiness a little, making it similar to the German rivals. It sits somewhere between the do-what-you-want blank slate of the Audi Q5 and the more sporty, but also less comfortable BMW X3 xDrive. Like them, the F-Pace can emulate a sports car or a comfy sedan – the test car came with optional adaptive suspension (‘Adaptive Dynamics’) and you can vary the mood with driving modes too.
If there’s a weakness to the drive, it’s that gearbox can be clunky at low speed, and that the car doesn’t feel as punchy as its 250hp and all-wheel drive suggest. At the same time, the F-Pace isn’t particularly frugal as midsized SUVs go, but given there’s a PHEV option, and only the Audi Q5 has mild hybrid tech, this isn’t such a big issue.
Our other nit to pick may not be present on standard F-Paces: The gigantic 22-inch wheels never quite let the car settle down, a pity since the F-Pace is quite refined when you’re taking it easy.
Since its inception, the F-Pace has proven good enough to win its own set of fans – it’s Jaguar’s most popular car here – and the facelift not only improves its main draw (the looks) but also addresses key weaknesses (cabin quality and tech). Jaguar’s taken a steady hand to the F-Pace and come up with one of its better cars as a result.
|Engine||1,997cc, inline 4, turbocharged|
|Power||250hp at 1500-4000rpm|
|Torque||365Nm at 1370-4500rpm|
|VES Band||C1 / +S$15,000|
|Price||S$264,999 with COE and VES|
|Verdict||Jag’s midsize SUV gets added visual spice and major interior |
improvements to keep it competitive
2016: First-gen F-Pace launched in Singapore with 2.0 turbodiesel and 3.0 V6.
The F-Pace is Jaguar’s first SUV and CarBuyer drives it at its international debut in Montenegro. It’s a real alternative to the German suspects, and drives well too. Ju-Len approves of the car’s enthusiastic handling, but less so the standard powertrains: The only small engine available at launch was a 2.0-litre diesel, although the 3.0 supercharged V6 is thrilling.
2017: Jaguar F-Pace 2.0 gasoline turbo introduced to Singapore
Jaguar Singapore introduces an entry-level gasoline model, which packs the 2.0-litre turbocharged Ingenium engine with 250hp. Read our test drive of the R Sport version of that here.
2019: High-performance F-Pace SVR introduced
The most powerful F-Pace to date – the F-Pace SVR – rocks our socks thanks to its 550hp supercharged V8 and excellent driving dynamics, though the interior is starting to look a little dated.
2021: Facelifted F-Pace debuts in Singapore
Facelift model launches, and we have the full story here. The car receives a major update to its interior, with minor improvements in styling. 2.0 gasoline is the launch model, with the PHEV, 3.0 V6 and 5.0 V8 versions available on indent.