Sporty SUV showdown: Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan face off in the eagerly anticipated battle of the performance 4X4s. So who wins?
Power, prestige and practicality. The Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan both offer plenty of all three, not to mention excellent on-road dynamics and a healthy dose of off-road ability too.
We've been waiting some time to pit them head-to-head in the ultimately battle of the 4X4s with sporting pretenses. But which of these top SUVs is best for you?
That depends on exactly what you’re looking for. We tried them in high-spec 3.0-litre V6 diesel form with four-wheel drive to find out.
Sporty SUVs: The Porsche Macan (right) was first to hit the market in 2014 and set the benchmark for performance 4X4s. Now the Jaguar F-Pace (left) is here to apply some pressure
The 0-62mph dash is the universal performance benchmark, and it’s particularly pertinent for such powerful yet bulky models.
Only 0.2 seconds divides them, at an impressive 6.6 seconds for the 254bhp Porsche and 6.8 seconds for the 295bhp Jaguar.
The former achieves this with more aural refinement than the Brit machine, but its revs take a little longer to reach maximum torque.
Despite their high-speed and off-road credentials, these cars will be mainly consigned to urban work and commuting.
Here, the Macan requires super-smooth footwork to get the most from its sometimes abrupt braking, while the surprisingly clunky stop-start set-up can be a little frustrating at lights and junctions.
We’d vote for the F-Pace in town, especially wearing standard 20-inch alloy wheels; our test car’s 22-inch rims harden the ride.
At cruising speeds, the Jaguar (left) is our pick of the two...
But get onto some twisty roads and put your foot down and the Porsche Macan (right) is the one we'd have
The Jag’s positive feeling continues on fast rural roads, thanks to sharp steering and plenty of front-end grip, yet ultimately the Porsche is more rewarding when fast cornering.
Its sports car-like dynamics belie its size, helping it change direction with speed and precision. If you're really after the last word in sporty SUVs, the Macan is it.
But for some buyers, they want more than just outright performance.
When high-speed cruising the F-Pace seems more leisurely than the Macan, with a relaxing vibe that’s enhanced by the spacious, comfortable and well styled interior.
The only disappointments are slightly more cabin noise and a little less luxurious feel than you might expect from such an expensive model.
Meanwhile, the Macan feels more car-like from behind the wheel, thanks to the lower driving position. The cabin quality seems better than in its rival, but its boot isn’t as large.
The Jaguar F-Pace is the bigger car, and that's felt in the back with more rear leg room than the Porsche. Up front, it's classy and comfortable
From the driver's seat, the Macan feels very much like the rest of the Porsche range - compact, involving and focused around the person behind the wheel. There's plenty of room in the back, just not as much as the Jaguar
Standard equipment on both models includes climate and cruise control, parking sensors, Bluetooth, auto wipers and lane-departure warning, yet to spec the Porsche to Jaguar levels would cost at least a further £5000.
However, that makes up for the F-Pace’s £6000 initial premium, and the Brit will depreciate more quickly as well.
The Jaguar is the more conventional looking SUV, with boxier proportions and a high stance
The Porsche Macan feels like a sports car jacked up onto an SUV chassis. That might be why it feels so accomplished in the corners
Both cars are currently so popular that showroom discounts are virtually impossible to find, but factoring in the likes of leasing costs or PCP finance enhances the Macan’s position as the cheaper purchase.
This, along with the Porsche’s lower depreciation and more sports car-like feel, may well make it the more appealing choice for luxury SUV newcomers.
Yet the Jaguar is larger inside and out, and better exhibits genuine SUV capabilities on-road and off.
If this kind of ability is what you‘re looking for, this is the model for you.
JAGUAR F-PACE VS PORSCHE MACAN: FACTS & FIGURES
JAGUAR F-PACE 3.0D V6 S AWD
Engine: 3.0-litre, V6, diesel
List price: £52,300
Torque: 516lb ft
0-62mph: 6.8 seconds
Top speed: 150mph
Fuel economy (average): 47.1mpg (claimed)
CO2 emissions: 159g/km
PORSCHE MACAN S DIESEL
Engine: 3.0-litre, V6, diesel
List price: £46,182
Torque: 428lb ft
Top speed: 142mph
Fuel economy (average): 46.3mpg (claimed)
CO2 emissions: 159g/km
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