Jaguar F-Pace review - engine and gearbox
Possibly, for the first time ever, we recommend the diesel automatic version
The 3-litre V6 turbo-diesel might not be the most characterful engine, but it’s functional and incredibly flexible. Keep it between 2500 – 4000rpm, which is easy thanks to the plethora of gears in the 8-speed automatic gearbox, and you can make swift progress. Rev it out to its limiter and, although the noise isn’t unpleasant – it’s much nicer than you’d expect from a diesel – there’s not much to be gained in terms of performance.
The top-spec, supercharged V6 might produce some impressive numbers, but it isn’t quite as impressive to use. It needs revving hard to feel the benefits of the power on offer, a task not befitting for an SUV. If you aren’t working the supercharged V6 hard, then the diesel – with its additional 184lb ft of torque – is faster from A to B.
The volume seller will be the 178bhp 2-litre turbo-diesel, which while not as quick nor as flexible as its six-cylinder relatives it has just enough performance to avoid frustration. The manual may appeal to the die hard driving enthusiasts but the eight-speed auto is more naturally suited to the F Pace.
The F-Pace has a number of driving modes from eco, through normal to dynamic. The throttle map and automatic gearbox's shift points and speeds are changed dramatically in the sportiest mode.
It may not be the most powerful engine available, but we think the 3-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 diesel suits the F-Pace better than the supercharged, petrol V6. Its huge torque figure delivers the performance that works best with an SUV, and it suits the rest of the Jaguar's character, too.
That is until Jag’s 5-litre V8 worms its way into the front of the F-Pace, which it inevitably will. Then, we’ll undoubtedly change our minds.