The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is exhilarating. With its supercharged engine, sharp looks, and engaging driving experience, the SVR gets closer to performance SUV nirvana than most contenders in the segment. The SVR does so by committing to performance almost above any other metric, making this Jag not just fun because it’s an SUV. It’s a proper performance vehicle full stop.
To put the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR through its paces, I spent a week living with it, alternating between quick blasts through the canyons and mundane commutes to see if this SUV is more than just a performer. While this Jaguar is not without its flaws, it serves up an exciting driving experience for the type of buyer that needs one car to do it all.
Aging Like Fine Wine
The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR marks the first model year of this SUV’s mid-cycle refresh and facelift. The first-gen SVR was a stunning thing to look at. Designed by Ian Callum, the man behind heavy-hitters such as the Aston Martin Vanquish, DB9, and DB7, the F-Pace stands out as a family hauler that is genuinely nice to look at.
The refresh, however, takes things further, employing sleeker lines and emphasizing the SVR’s commitment to performance. It all starts at the front, where this latest Jag sports improved aerodynamic elements that allow for greater airflow, resulting in improved cooling and a 35 percent decrease in lift. Additionally, the new face reduces this SUV’s drag coefficient, allowing it to cut through the air more efficiently.
My tester was finished in an SVO premium paint color called Desire Deep Red, which itself is a $4,550 option. While this shade couldn’t decide if it was brown, red, or purple, the way it shifts under different lighting scenarios only helps extend the visual appeal of the SVR. Additionally, my tester’s dark gray contrasting trim highlighted key parts of the F-Pace’s design, including its wheel arches, front aero, and rear diffuser.
The rear of the SVR picks up where the front left off with its new LED taillights. While the large spoiler on the rear hatch screams sporty, it’s all about the rear diffuser. Flanked by two aero elements that help channel air, the diffuser houses four polished exhaust tips that stand out against this SUV’s dark paint but also help highlight the most critical part of the SVR, its engine.
550 Horsepower And A Driving Experience To Match
While most performance SUVs juggle the difficult task of trying to be equal parts comfy and sporty, the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR breaks away by committing to performance. Powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V8, the SVR pushes out 550 horsepower and 516 pound-feet. All that power allows this 4,535-pound Jaguar to hit 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.
Aside from delivering linear power thanks to its supercharger, this V8 sounds fantastic, producing a guttural noise befitting a muscle car. While valves in the exhaust allow you to quiet things down, slam the throttle with the valves open, and you get one of the best-sounding SUVs I’ve ever driven.
The SVR turns noise into speed via an eight-speed automatic transmission mated to an all-wheel-drive system. Around town, this Jag’s powertrain calms down significantly, blending into the background of your commute with smooth shifts and quick responses to throttle inputs. However, the SVR shifts significantly faster at speed, delivering a more aggressive driving experience. While this transmission doesn’t feel as sharp as what you can expect from a dual-clutch, it’s most of the way there.
While this SUV is a true performer with excellent straight-line speed, that isn’t its most impressive trait. The SVR’s party piece is how well it handles. With adaptive dampers on all four corners, this large SUV is incredibly tight, offering little body roll and excellent stability. Aside from just raw performance, the SVR nails the fun department, offering a driving experience that requires few compromises for the buyer who needs a performance vehicle and a family hauler.
However, one such drawback is the F-Pace’s ride quality, which is great when you’re blasting through canyons, but stiff and bouncy around town. While the SVR is far from uncomfortable, a quick spin through a crowded city reveals where this SUV falls on the comfy vs. sporty spectrum.
The SVR’s Biggest Improvement
While this refreshed 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is nice to look at and even nicer to drive, its most significant improvement lives in its interior. Instead of tweaking a few vital components, this latest F-Pace has an entirely new interior design, including a new steering wheel, dashboard, infotainment screen, and more.
Gone is its predecessor’s 10-inch touchscreen that lived embedded in the dash. Instead, we now have an 11.4-in unit with a tablet-style design that sits proudly on top of the SVR’s HVAC controls. This display is powered by the brand’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment that is both sleek and easy to use while offering up Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The SVR’s white-leather seats are as good-looking as they are to sit in. These bucket-style sport seats offer cooling and heating functionality while supporting you without squishing you in an attempt to be overly sporty. The SVR’s interior strikes a nice balance between ergonomics and material choice, befitting a near six-figure SUV.
How Much Does The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Cost?
While the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR starts at $84,600 plus a $1,150 destination charge, our tester came in at $97,379. Optional extras such as the premium paint for $4,550, 22-in wheels for $1,200, and leather seats for $1,150, push this SUVs price closer to six figures. While the SVR is far from cheap, V8-powered competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz all start over $100,000, making this Jag a good value in its segment.
I couldn’t find things I would change about it throughout my time with my tester. This is precisely how I would option an SVR, with just enough extras to accentuate its strengths. After a week with my tester, it was clear that while it may not be the world’s fastest SUV or the most luxurious, the SVR strikes a great compromise between offering a fantastic driving experience and enough space for your family to tag along.