Our collective head knows we need to judge each and every SUV of the Year contender by six key criteria, but our heart … well, the heart wants what it wants, and for many of this year’s judges, their hearts wanted the Jaguar F-Pace, a model that benefited from a midcycle update for the 2021 model year.
Along with a handful of exterior and interior revisions, the 2021 F-Pace trades the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 of yore for a new 3.0-liter I-6 that features both a turbocharger and an electric supercharger. The prior 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 carries over in base P250 form, now making 246 hp, or 1 hp less, than in 2020, while the topline F-Pace SVR retains its 550-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V-8.
Jaguar offers the new six-pot in 335-hp and 395-hp guises, the latter of which the British marque sent to contend in this year’s SUV of the Year shootout. Dubbed the P400 R-Dynamic S (F-Paces with the lesser I-6 are called P340 S), the most powerful six-cylinder F-Pace separates itself from its more plebeian stablemates by way of trim-specific exterior and interior details such as its grille, wheels, and perforated leather sport seats. The cost of entry for all of this? A cool $66,350, or $5,805 more than that of an F-Pace P340 S.
Jaguar, however, pulls a page from Porsche’s playbook and asks buyers to drop additional coin for items other automakers often include as standard equipment. For instance, rear privacy glass is a $200 option. As such, this F-Pace P400 R-Dynamic S stickered for north of $80,000. We quickly pegged that sum as a strike under the value criterion.
But then we slipped behind the F-Pace’s wheel, and our heart grew three sizes. “The interior design feels premium, sporty, and refined,” Mexico editor Miguel Cortina said.
Despite its high-end materials and stylish looks, the F-Pace’s cabin was not without faults. “Give me a break, you pay this kind of money, and you get an antique form of manual steering-wheel adjustment,” guest judge Gordon Dickie said of the pricey SUV’s steering column.
For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.