We keep a constantly rotating roster of press cars that we test a review weekly. My most recent test SUV was the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR. Coming from the polar-opposite SUV, the Kia Telluride, I was snapped awake from my Telluride-fueled suburban dream state into an incendiary land of roadways begging to get roasted by the screaming Jag. I know; I was just as shocked as y’all to feel such things about a squatted, muscle SUV. It really might be one of the most exciting SUVs you’ve never driven.
Is the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR fast?
There are plenty of hot SUVs these days; the Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X3 M show the most refined, crisp approach to the sporty SUVs. The Jaguar F-Pace SVR doesn’t have the same crispy handling as some of these others, but its 550-hp V8 offers a surprisingly American muscle car experience. Despite its brutish powerplant, the rest of the SUV feels like a proper crossover.
This beefy engine is a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 making 550 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque going to all four wheels. According to Car and Driver, this SUV rolls all that power into a proper supercar 0-60 mph sprint time of only 3.8 seconds. Jaguar has managed a properly fast SUV that really doesn’t feel like it should be all that fast. Unlike the other sports SUVs, the Jaguar hasn’t replaced the suspension with rebar. Instead, the Jag has a supple ride that makes the Jag a joy to drive.
The downside of all this power is the fuel economy. I couldn’t manage any better fuel economy than an average of 13 mpg. In a time where gasoline prices can easily top $4.50 a gallon, this Jag is a costly ride. It can get up to 18 mpg combined, but driving that way will deprive you of the glorious pops and crackles of the V8’s exhaust.
How is the Jaguar F-Pace SVR for everyday driving?
The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is special because it is both parts supercar and a family crossover. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Despite its monster V8, Jaguar not only tuned the suspension to be a bit sweeter, but it also still offers a good bit of interior room.
I had my family in town while also having the angry big cat. Given the trials of NYC and my family’s need to get to the airport quickly and easily, I had to figure out how to get five adults and three adults’ worth of luggage. The Jag handled it without skipping a beat. Granted, the back seat was plenty full with three grown adults, but they and their luggage still fit.
In “eco” mode, the Jag cooled its temper and throttle, allowing us to slow down enough to enjoy the lovely ride, suspension, and interior. It is here where the Jaguar F-Pace SVR makes its play for the best SUV you’ve never driven.
Even across the cratered streets of Manhattan, the Jaguar delivered a comfortable ride that inspired more confidence than I could have thought possible. Although the handling is a bit softer than some of the competition, it still felt secure and trustworthy at speed on the highway, or more surprisingly, when darting through city traffic.
Is the Jaguar F-Pace SVR worth it?
Jag’s newest sports SUV is undeniably exciting, good-looking, and plain cool. However, all that performance and comfort don’t come cheap. The starting MSRP for the 2021 Jaguar F-Space SVR is $84,600. My test unit came in at a hefty $97,379 after adding loads of comfort features like the Hot Weather package, bigger wheels, heads-up display, and a nearly $5,000 optional paint job.
It’s tough to say the Jaguar F-Pace is worth nearly $100k. Between horrible fuel economy, the high sticker price, limited backseat space, and Jaguar’s questionable past with reliability. However, in the week I spent with the Jaguar F-Pace, it was exciting to look at, comfortable to be in, and a thrill to drive. Despite its semi-obscurity, the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is one of the best SUVs you’ve never driven.