by Jay Traugott
As its best-seller, the Jaguar F-Pace SUV is the luxury brand's most important model. Given the automaker's financial issues over the past year or so, the stakes to get the refreshed F-Pace right couldn't be higher. But by all accounts, it appears the UK brand has succeeded in every category.
The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace has received numerous mid-life updates to keep it competitive against impressive rivals. Overall exterior styling remains largely unchanged albeit with some noticeable updates. But it's the interior where a huge amount of attention was given. It hasn't gained any additional space (remember, this is a refresh), but has seriously upped its game in the tech department. And it wouldn't be a proper Jaguar if there wasn't some sort of engine update. The turbocharged and supercharged inline-six option is now electrified, promising both improved performance and fuel economy.
The 2021 F-Pace's general appearance has been enhanced for an even more dynamic look that gives the impression the SUV is moving fast even at a standstill.
The F-Pace's lines may, at first, look similar to last year, but Jaguar's designers have given it a cleaner look. The hood has been resculpted with a wider power bulge and more defined surfaces. Notice the front grille is now bigger and now has the brand's logo-inspired 'diamond' detailing. The LED headlights have been slimmed down and are complemented by new "Double J Blade" daytime running lights that flank the grille.
The rear end has also received some modifications with slimmer LED taillights that now boast an I-Pace-inspired double chicane graphic. The rear bumper receives a redesign featuring larger air intakes and the tailgate design is new as well. For those who desire greater performance, the R-Dynamic trim receives some unique elements. All trims, however, can be optioned with the Black Exterior Pack that comes with bespoke elements in gloss black.
Jaguar had two goals for the updated F-Pace interior: increase luxury and technology. Not only is the overall cockpit design bolder than before, but there's a new center console that sweeps up to the instrument panel. A standard 11.4-inch curved-glass HD touchscreen with a beautiful magnesium alloy frame features the new Pivi Pro infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also new is standard wireless charging. According to Jaguar, this new screen is 48 percent larger and three times brighter than the previous 10-inch screen.
An optional 12.3-inch HD display comes with full-screen navigation mapping and cool digital dials, while new tech includes full-screen 3D mapping and a state-of-the-art head-up display.
As for luxury, Jaguar has upped its game with new open-poor wood veneers, aluminum trim located around the cabin, and laser-etched speaker frets. The Drive mode selector dial boasts "cricket ball" stitching and a precision-metal lower. Jaguar also increased the use of soft-touch materials everywhere, a much-needed improvement. Driver and passengers will also greatly enjoy the new and segment-first Active Road Noise Cancellation system.
Beneath that resculpted hood lies the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivering 246 horsepower. It can make the 0-60 mph sprint in 6.9 seconds. But the big news is that the optional turbocharged and supercharged 3.0-liter inline-six is now electrified. With either 335 hp or 395 hp on tap (depending on trim), this inline-six is paired to a 48-volt lithium-ion battery energy storage system. Not only is efficiency improved, but the top dog R-Dynamic S 400 trim blasts to 60 mph in only 5 seconds. Both engines are exclusively paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission that routes power to all four wheels.
Zinc alloy paddle shifters on either side of the steering wheel promise active driver engagement. A rear-wheel-drive F-Pace does not exist, though the Intelligent Driveline Dynamics system offers RWD biased performance and handling characteristics.
Because the F-Pace has been designed and engineered for year-round usage, different driving modes are available, including Comfort, Eco, Rain-Ice-Snow, and Dynamic. Drivers select their preferred mode through the aforementioned new rotary dial.
Jaguar has not released full pricing or when it'll begin accepting orders, but we expect it will start soon. Chances are, pricing, at least for the base F-Pace, won't deviate much from the 2020 model, which began at $45,200.
Competition in the mid-size luxury SUV segment is more competitive than ever, as the 2021 F-Pace will face off against highly-regarded rivals like the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, and Volvo XC90. The all-new Genesis GV80 has the potential to be the segment disruptor because of its affordable base price and many standard features.
The Jaguar F-Pace may date back to 2016, but this major refresh has given it a whole new lease of life.