2024 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Pros and Cons: Better Than You Think, Better Than It Needs to Be

Everybody who attended kindergarten in the ’90s knows to “never judge a book by its cover,” but if there’s one platitude I had to teach myself over the years, it’s that you should never judge a book by its premise either. The 2024 Jaguar F-Pace SVR—a car-based performance luxury SUV riding on an eight-year-old design and assembled in the West Midlands—is, on premise alone, exactly the sort of car you’d expect to have to make excuses for.

“It’s compromised and interior panels don’t line up, but it’s loud and it’s fast!” you might imagine an owner proclaiming. Well, I’m happy to report that you should indeed never judge a book by its premise because even though, yes, F-Pace SVR is loud, F-Pace SVR is fast, it’s also objectively quite a good car even in all of the ways it probably doesn’t need to be.

Pros

Much like a V8 Lexus or, y’know, most other performance Jags, the F-Pace SVR is one of those cars whose big party piece is the way it sounds. Its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is gravelly and loud but in a refined and elegant way. It isn’t as aggressive as the one you get in the F-Type R sports car which, in comparison, sounds a bit too aggro if we’re honest. It’s trying too hard. This, though, sounds just right. It’s reasonable under light commuting, but stick it in the mad modes and really get on it and the SVR F-Pace buzzsaws on full-throttle upshifts and crackles on liftoff, it’s wonderful.

Here’s a lil’ cold start comparison between it and a BMW X5 M:

Acceleration is quite mighty, too, with 60 mph happening in 3.8 seconds and it tops out at 178. Handling is expectedly admirable. The 4,537-pound, hotted-up F-Pace moves and brakes with the eagerness and agility of a decent sports sedan—objectively impressive for an SUV of this weight and size.

It isn’t quite as hardcore as, say, a BMW X6 M or Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo GT but it also isn’t as clinical as those two, which is a good thing. The F-Pace SVR is a car that doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously as its German competition.

Jaguar’s performance SUV is, as far as SUVs go, quite a pretty car, inside and out. I’m a sucker for the convex curved touchscreen, tastefully stitched leather, suede, and matte-looking alloys. The front seats look (and are) quite aggressively bolstered but remain perfectly comfortable in practice.

It even seems to be built quite soundly, which is a surprise for this particular automaker. In fact, this happens to be the first JLR product I’ve personally driven that exhibited exactly no creaks, squeaks, or rattles during my time with it. I guess there’s something to be said about a platform that’s been in production since 2016.

Cons

On paper, you might think a British performance SUV based on an eight-year-old platform would be the source of much carping from car journalists like myself—or, at the very least, be a prime candidate for the classic “it’s a piece of shit, but it’s a soulful piece of shit!” verdict. But I can honestly, objectively say that the F-Pace SVR doesn’t actually have that many flaws.

That eight-speed automatic transmission ultimately does the job it’s supposed to do, but manual downshifts still aren’t quite as quick as the best auto ‘boxes out there. The shift paddles themselves are metal and feel really nice, though, so there’s that. Even interior usability is decent for a modern luxury car. Its biggest sin would probably be the glossy buttons beneath the screen that you still kind of have to look at to use, but other than that, it’s pretty good.

For a car that’s essentially $100K, this particular example was missing a few creature comforts, most notably a head-up display and massaging seats. And the Meridian sound system is just alright—not bad sounding but also not among the best luxury car audio systems out there.

Quick Verdict

Despite its age, weight, price, premise, and, er, Jag-ness, the 2024 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is a good car. It’s an atmospheric engine attached to a practical, comfortable, stylish SUV that also appears to be fairly well-built and genuinely quite fun to drive. I’m still not sure this is personally where I’d park my SUV money if I had 100 grand to spend on one, but I really wouldn’t fault anyone who did.

2024 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Specs
Base Price (Canadian spec as tested)$93,675 ($107,450 CAD)
Powertrain5.0-liter supercharged V8 | 8-speed automatic transmission | all-wheel drive
Horsepower542
Torque516 lb-ft
Seating Capacity5
Cargo Volume28 cubic feet behind second row | 65 cubic feet behind first row
Curb Weight4,537 pounds
0-60 mph3.8 seconds
Top Speed178 mph
EPA Fuel Economy15 mpg city | 21 highway | 17 combined
Quick TakeIt’s good, I swear.
Score8/10

Got a tip or question for the author about the F-Pace SVR? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com

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