NEW JAGUAR F-PACE P400

Major update for Jaguar’s star all-rounder adds driver appeal, creature comforts and quality new tech.

The F-Pace range has undergone such a comprehensive update that to call it a mid-life facelift sells it well short. We sampled the P400 R-Dynamic, a model that sits well up the pecking order. In fact, the base price for the lavishly-equipped HSE is $135,900 but the standard equipment list at this level is huge. What you see driven here costs $144k thanks to impactful options such as 22-inch alloys, a vast panoramic roof, black exterior pack, privacy glass, and an invaluable head-up display.

Under the bonnet lies a cracking new straight-six engine befitting a genuine driver’s machine. Outright power of 294kW is one thing but it’s the 550Nm of torque from just 2000rpm that makes it a real force on the road. Whipping up all that torque is a twin-scroll turbocharger and an electric supercharger. The result is the sort of effortless, whirlwind acceleration you would expect from a big-cube V8 and there’s plenty of character in the soundtrack, too, when you really plant it. The P400 also stops as well as it goes and brake pedal feel is reassuringly top-drawer.

So far, so very good, but what's happening on the efficiency front? Behind the scenes is 48-volt mild hybridisation, which means average fuel economy of 8.9L/100km is achievable and our open-road cruising figure was way below that. This car proved a controlled delight on an inter-city trip as it’s ultra-responsive, boasts close to 50:50 weight distribution, steers sweetly, has a settled ride in default Comfort mode, is generally quiet, and affords great visibility. Just note, however, that while the massive 22-inch wheels look the part, they compromise overall ride comfort and tyre roar can be intrusive on fast coarse-chip surfaces.

The cabin has come in for a major update, too. But before we address the new tech, a special mention for the superlative front sports seats that cradle your frame brilliantly over distance and have all manner of electric adjustment, as well as heating, ventilation and massaging. They even look exquisite.

The large new 11.4in curved central screen and super-sharp TFT instrumentation seem very Range Rover and the sports steering wheel with alloy paddle shifters is a fantastic control point. We were a little less enchanted by the plasticky feel of the switchgear and conventional lever that has replaced the old rotary transmission selector. Elsewhere, an abundance of leather trim, double stitching and glass-black inserts are befitting of a high-end Jag and cement an impression of overall luxury. It’s a terrific environment in which to travel.

The F-Pace is a former World Car Design of the Year winner so the designers had a great starting point for the exterior refresh. Key changes conspire to give the P400 a sharper, more athletic look. There’s more sculpting in the bonnet, a bigger grille, and fresh intakes, LED headlights and front bumper treatment. It’s enough to liven up the looks of what was always a handsome, beautifully proportioned vehicle, and the tweaks add enough spice to complement the new blend of performance and technology.

Jaguar’s excellent all-rounder may well be at its most desirable in this F-Pace P400 HSE specification.

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JAGUAR F-PACE P400 HSE

ENGINE 2995cc twin-charged inline six

POWER 295kW (396bhp)

TORQUE 550Nm @ 2000-5000rpm

TRANSMISSION 8-speed auto

DRIVETRAIN All-wheel drive

WEIGHT 2100kg

LENGTH 4.75m

WHEELS 22-inch alloy

TYRES 265/40 R22

0-100km/h 5.5 secs

FUEL CLAIM 8.9L/100km

PRICE from $135,900

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