Jaguar’s first SUV is a doozy, with remarkable handling, plenty of cabin space and looks that rocketed it to the top of Jag’s range as its best-selling model until it was overtaken by the smaller E-Pace.
There are one or two details that detract a little from the overall driving experience: among them some undistinguished four-cylinder diesel engines, a hesitant automatic gearbox and a slightly jittery, noisy ride in certain specifications. There’s room for improvement, too, in the car’s steering. But the F-Pace is still a fine-handling car and a very creditable achievement for Jaguar, and that nestles it impressively into third place – above even its Land Rover Discovery Sport cousin.
The Discovery Sport might be the entry-level Land Rover in the showroom range, but it isn’t short on trademark Land Rover capability, comfort or charm.
Facelifted for 2019, the Discovery Sport now sits on the same PTA platform as the Range Rover Evoque but hasn’t lost out on any of the characteristics we liked about the original. It’s still higher-riding than many of its opponents, affords better visibility and 4×4 capability than many, and feels more like a traditional SUV to drive than some while still handling in an impressively tidy fashion. It has a practical interior – a huge selling point in this segment – that has now been given a much needed lift in premium appeal.
Its petrol and diesel engines are now supplemented by 48V mild-hybrid architecture in a bid to improve fuel economy and a plug-in hybrid version is in-bound, too. Those engines might still want slightly for refinement and outright performance, but if you want a family SUV with more offroad ruggedness than the class average, the Discovery Sport delivers that with very few associated compromises. An impressively slick new plug-in hybrid model means there’s a more tax-friendly option in the range, too.