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  5. Daily Driven: 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Daily Driven: 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

All of the performance, less of the cost.

We are lovers of all things powerful. Really though, how could you not be? This rings especially true when a big engine is stuffed under the hood of a vehicle that really shouldn't have one. Mid-size two-row SUVs have become our absolute favorite vehicles in this regard, and no one seems to do it better than the mad scientists of the Jaguar Land Rover SVO division.

The JLR Special Vehicle Operations folks have taken a liking to stuffing the company's mad 550 horsepower supercharged 5.0L V-8 engine into just about everything that'll fit it. Prior to taking delivery of the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, we drove the even more bonkers 575hp Range Rover Sport SVR. Aside from being slightly larger and a fair bit heavier, the Range Rover also sported a price tag of more than $131,000. We loved everything about the Range Rover from its luxurious interior to its incredible speed. However, its price tag left us a bit stunned. That had us wondering, what do you do if you want all of the performance, most of the luxury, and a price tag that's easier to stomach? That's where the Jaguar F-Pace SVR comes in.

Using JLR's claimed figures, the F-Pace SVR will run from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while the Range Rover Sport SVR will do it in 4.3 seconds. Both have a top speed electronically limited to 176 mph, both share the same 8-speed transmission, and both are fitted with an all-wheel drive system. What the Jaguar lacks is the Terrain Response 2 all-wheel drive system with locking differentials, adjustable air suspension, the 1,700-watt Meridian audio system (the Jag's Meridian system is only 825 watts), soft-close doors, and some of the higher-end interior treatments. Ultimately, the F-Pace is quicker than the Sport, plenty luxurious, and no one is going to take an F-Pace rock crawling, so a two-speed transfer case isn't needed anyway.

It was immediately noticeable when slipping behind the wheel of the F-Pace SVR that this wasn't your normal SUV. The seats have more bolster; the steering wheel has an SVR badge; and when fired up, the exhaust has a mean burble. Aside from big brakes, hood vents, and its quad exhaust, the exterior is rather unassuming, a sleeper if you will. Throttle response is crisp in any drive mode, however, switching to Dynamic firms everything up from transmission shifts to suspension damping.

During our short time with the F-Pace SVR, we pretty much never pulled it out of Dynamic mode. We raced it from 0 to the speed limit every chance we could, and there was never an issue merging onto the interstate. If we owned this vehicle, we'd certainly need a second job just to pay for the speeding tickets; it's that quick. And speed aside, the exhaust note in Dynamic is fantastic. The F-Pace SVR roars loudly on acceleration and burbles, snaps, and pops like a real racecar on deceleration. Fortunately for the neighbors, when left in any of the normal drive modes, the active exhaust is turned off and the F-Pace instead emits a sound that both pleasing to the ear and hearty enough to let passersby know that there's more than just an I-4 under the hood.

Highway ride is a bit firm, but it's to be expected from a performance vehicle. The F-Pace SVR's suspension has been firmed up by 30 percent in the front and 10 percent in the rear. A larger anti-roll bar is also fitted. There's so little body roll that the F-Pace SVR carves corners almost like it's on rails. Sticky Pirelli tires help hold the big SUV to the road; however, the optional 22-inch wheels amplify any road imperfection. The steering has also been improved for the F-Pace SVR, with a slightly heavier feel than the standard SUV. This weightiness is magnified when in Dynamic mode, but it never feels slow or unresponsive. In fact, it's just perfect for the performance vehicle it is.

Interior comfort was perfect for the size of the vehicle; the audio system is outstanding, and though we give JLR's Touch Pro Duo infotainment system a hard time, we genuinely missed having it in the F-Pace. Hopefully, it'll get ported over in the next refresh. We found the rear seat to have plenty of room for two children's car seats, and it was comfortable enough for full-size adults as well (but not at the same time, obviously). And the cargo area was plenty large enough for whatever needed hauling. For driving it like teenage boys, giggling with every full-throttle press of the accelerator, we got fairly decent fuel economy. Over the course of 300 miles, we averaged nearly 18 mpg, which fits with the vehicle's EPA rating perfectly. We're confident that given a long enough highway slog and gentle throttle application, we could best its 21 mpg highway rating comfortably.

Overall, we were quite pleased with our time with the Jaguar F-Pace SVR. We found it to be a near perfect blend of performance, style, luxury, and practicality. Sure, for the price you can buy an SUV with more performance or more luxury, but it would be quite difficult to find both in a package that costs less than six-figures.

2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Base price: $79,990
Price as tested: $89,900
Engine: Supercharged 5.0L V-8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Horsepower: 550 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 502 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
Towing capacity: 5,291 pounds
EPA fuel economy rating: 16 city, 21 highway, 18 combined
Actual calculated economy, 300.9-mile trip: 17.61 mpg

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