DRIVEN: Jaguar F-Pace SVR in the UK

Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to be invited to test drive the Jaguar F-Pace SVR in St Tropez for Average Joes. I had a great time, fell in love with the car and have missed it ever since. Luckily for me, the lovely people at Jaguar contacted me to see if I would like to have the opportunity to have the car again for a week, to see what it is like for everyday use.  I think that there was absolutely no hesitation in accepting their amazing offer, and the husband was happy too, he had heard me going on and on about how great the car was and reminding me again that “no we can’t have one”, but was interested to see whether what I had said was true, or whether I had just been overstating the SVR’s qualities because I got to go on the trip and he hadn’t.

Whilst waiting for it to be delivered, I did have some worries.  Was my memory clouded by glorious accommodation and dinner with David Gandy, would I still enjoy driving the car sitting in traffic on the Acle straight and getting home to have dinner with my husband, whom although I love dearly, doesn’t look at all like David Gandy in his pants.

I was at work when the car arrived, so the husband took the opportunity to post pictures on Instagram and take it for a test drive before I got home.  When I arrived back from work, it was clear from the look in his eyes, that I was correct, this is an amazing car to drive.  The youngest child excitedly told me that he wanted to keep the car for camping as he could sleep in the boot and it had a light in when the boot was closed so he would be happy!!

Weekends, as are many people’s, are taken up with doing stuff for the children which although they appreciate in their own way, always seems to be such an inconvenience for them.  This weekend was no exception.  We all dutifully climbed into the car, albeit with a big smile on our faces and a spring in our step which doesn’t usually happen on a Saturday morning and set off for football, which happened to be in Cromer on the North Norfolk Coast. 

Driving with my husband can be an interesting affair, he flicks through all the settings, showing us how the auto-drive works down the Broadland Highway, popping it into dynamic mode around the country lanes, and using active exhaust at every moment possible.  The children even managed to spend 5 minutes not fighting whilst they enjoyed the additional space in the back of the vehicle, then one of them noticed that there was a central arm rest, which then caused half an hour of arguments as one wanted it up and the other down.  At least because of the size of the backseat, the usual punch-up that happens in my MINI couldn’t happen as the youngest’s arms were too short to effectively hit his older brother.

A successful football win later and we were off out taking in the scenery and taking full advantage of the great weather and quiet roads to test the car out in the real world.   The smile on my face was huge as we bounced down C roads, cruised down the B roads, and revved up the A’s.  The whole family classed the car as a success, and we headed home.

I wasn’t allowed to drive the car much during the next few days, the husband muttered something about taking photos and doing motoring reviews but I was finally “given permission” to drive on Wednesday.  Usually, getting up in the morning is a chore, chasing the youngest one around to get him ready for nursery is a full-time job in itself, before even getting to the office.  But once he was reminded that he would be in the F-Pace, it was the quickest turnaround in the history of mankind and we were out of the door on time.  

There are several different routes that I can take to work and back, the A47 all the way and various different backroads and country lanes are all open to me.  I therefore decided that I would spend the next couple of days taking the car down different routes to see how it felt on the daily commute whatever the road surface.  The usual annoyance of sitting on the Acle straight waiting to crawl into Great Yarmouth was appeased by the comfortable driving position and because it was a warm morning giving the air-conditioned seats a blast which really woke me up.  Finally arriving at the office, it became clear that when they marked out the car park, they hadn’t taken into consideration anything larger than a micra, but the rear camera and parking sensors, helped to ensure that I parked in a straight line, even without my morning coffee.

The style of the SVR obviously turned a few heads, with several people coming up to me and commenting on what a lovely vehicle it was, and at the end of the day, I put active exhaust on (purely for research purposes) and the smile on my face and those waiting to get out of town at the end of a long day said it all, this is a fantastic car.

As I had felt in St Tropez, the car gives you the confidence to drive no matter what type of road it is you are on.  Your ability as a driver or lack of will become apparent long before the SVR reaches its full potential meaning that you are always confident that the car will react in the right way.

The balance of practicality, fun and pure power are well balanced, making this a sensible family car choice which allows you to have fun and driving enjoyment whilst carrying out the most mundane of journeys.

My only criticism is as amazing a car as it is, it is clear that it doesn’t matter how great the drive, brothers will continue to punch each other in the back of the car and complain about the length of the journey, and no level of comfort or excitement about a car will ever change this.

Guest post by Grizelle Britton

This is a change from our normal type of review. What did you think? Would you like to see more car reviews like this? Let us know in the comments.