Is the Jaguar F-Pace SVR too thirsty for a road-trip?
This year I was determined to drive over to France – not to check my eyesight but for a holiday. Two years is a long time to not go away and quite frankly I was missing those smooth, pothole free and efficient open roads France so duly supplies. But first I needed a car…
You see, I’m mainly driving electric cars these days (not entirely by choice I might add) and the thought of doing a long roadtrip in my current e-Berlingo lifer with an average range of 120–140 miles was making me even more nervous than Charles Leclerc hearing on the radio that they are changing to Plan Z.
Our regular holiday spot is a good 12 to 14 hours door to door in a petrol car, can you imagine how long it would take in the Berlingo? A call to the tread shuffling department was needed. “Ollie M, I was wondering if I could take a different car on my holidays?” “Sure, we’ve got a Defender, may need the roof rack to fit your family of 5 or I think the Jaguar F-Pace SVR will still be around. But 23mpg and £2 per litre does not make a happy equation!”
So I did the sensible thing and took the F-Pace with the spirit of the words from Ferris Bueller ringing in my ear: “If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?”
The trip started badly. A text came through at precisely 2.31am warning me of queues of approximately three hours to reach border control. And they weren’t kidding, I reached the queue at 7am and didn’t show my passport until 11am. Thankfully the interior of the SVR is a lovely place to be. Bucket seats that are both comfy and offer much support. A high-up centre console and for once an ICE system that works and takes the same stylishly designed software as the new Range Rover. Overall it manages to feel snug, welcoming and also sporty.
Once over the water and on to the silky tarmac of France the hard suspension that makes its presence felt on our poorly kept roads was much less noticeable. In fact it makes perfect sense over here and opening up that burbling smooth V8 is a sound I’ve oh so dearly missed over the last year or so. I genuinely felt I could have listened and driven this car for days straight.
I reeled off the miles, and the fuel, but to my surprise I was averaging anything from 26–28 mpg and occasionally tipping in to 31. Still had to take out a small mortgage to get there, of course, but on arrival petrol was much cheaper than I was expecting. I found on average it was about £1.50–60, almost at pre-pandemic levels.
With all that money saved on cheaper fuel it meant I could get an extra tin of fois gras for the trip home. Just the one, mind. Which is just as well because the boot isn’t spacious, and quite tiny for a family of five. Snug in the back too for the kids. Still, as long as the booze fitted (which it did) that’s all that matters, right?
And much like Ferris Bueller, I duly did keep the SVR for another camping minibreak straight after we got back. Everything fitted but it’s not the ideal car for camping if I’m honest. Capable off-road but too nice to get roughed up.
And so these two holidays both very much exposed the good, the bad and the ugly of the SVR, but they both had one thing in common – it’s a truly lovely thing to drive and own, and unlike Ferris I handed it back in one piece and missed it immediately.