This electrified Jaguar makes the Germans nervous.
The debate over plug-in hybrids has been brought up multiple times on our blog and social media pages. Even though opinions are torn, why are manufacturers still making them? Seems like people are buying them. With rising energy costs, the ones owning electric cars are also in trouble. Are hybrids the best of both worlds? Or are they the worst of both worlds? Here is the car we've been testing.
Jaguar is notorious for beautiful-looking sportscars and luxury limousines like the F-Type, XF, and XJ. But of course, Jaguar had to join the SUV club with their F-Pace a few years ago. It was stunning from the get-go, and Jaguar has refreshed the F-Pace for 2022. Conveniently for this review, there's a hybrid! Called the F-Pace P400e and the name says everything you need to know about it. 400 horsepower and guess what the "e" stands for? Its 2.0l turbocharged four-cylinder engine is flanked by an electric motor producing 143 horsepower. The battery powering the electric motor is pretty big as well at 17.1kWh. Although the battery is larger than some competitors, its all-electric range is only around 50km. This is average for plug-in hybrids of this size. One thing that is not average is the insane charging speeds (at least for a PHEV). The F-Pace can charge at 32kW on a DC charger which is phenomenal. Enough for 10% to 80% in 20 minutes. For a PHEV, this is huge. It's especially cool to steal EV driver's charge spots on DC charging. You can charge on AC power up to 7kW which will take around two hours to charge the battery.
One thing that comes standard with PHEVs is weight, a lot of it. The F-Pace P400e weighs a monstrous 2200kg and it's noticeable. Power is still plenty and the electric motor delivers a boost to propel the F-Pace to 100km/h in a little over 5 seconds. Very comparable to hybrid competitors like the Audi Q8 TFSIe, Volvo XC90 Recharge, and VW Touareg R. Another thing that is better than competitors is the handling. Jaguar is well-known for making cars go down a road with excellence and thrill. The fact that the F-Pace is heavy cannot be denied, but it deals with corners as well as it can. It won't set your pants on fire like the 5.0l V8 in the F-Pace SVR, but it'll do just fine. Sounds alright for a four-cylinder. A pleasant turbo intake sound can be heard throughout the rev range and if you want, there is a fake V8 sound for even more thrill. But we liked the refined and linear power provided by the hybrid setup. Surprisingly, the AWD system is heavily rear-wheel-drive biased, so the occasional powerslide is not out of the question.
The weight might be down to the fact that the F-Pace has two powertrains in one, but maybe it's also due to the well-upholstered and quiet atmosphere. Jaguar makes sure you feel at home in the F-Pace with various materials scattered around the cabin. The drive mode selector is made from aluminum, the paddles are forged from a single piece of magnesium. All the other surfaces are upholstered in soft leather and plastics. A truly beautiful place to drive in. Unlike other manufacturers, Jaguar believes in old-fashioned design and practicality. Some cars have features that try to reinvent themselves and end up making the whole situation even more complicated. A good example is the A/C: Jaguar solves that situation by not changing it. It's simply laid out under the main infotainment screen with old-school dials and graphics. Some striking details include a Jaguar badge on the center console and a pulsating starter button. A huge panoramic sunroof lights up the cabin even more. It's a bummer then that the buttons on the steering wheel are horrendous to operate and made of cheap plastic. A missed opportunity, since those are the things that you use most often.
So, that's the plug-in hybrid of the F-Pace. Should you buy it? Yes! 100k CHF is a lot of money, but it's great value for money compared to competitors. It looks great and drives even better. Somehow Jaguar always figures out how to make a big SUV drive well, just like the fully electric I-Pace. You sense that Jaguar doesn't make ordinary cars, but sportscars disguised as luxurious SUVs.