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Jaguar F-Type Review

Find out more about the Jaguar F-Type in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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8
Out of 10
Average Price £60,077
Model review

After a long-awaited arrival, the F-Type was finally unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Heavily based on the C-X16 concept revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the F-Type entered production in 2013. A coupe version would be revealed later in 2013, starting production in 2014. Both body types would launch with a 3.0-litre V6 engine – available in standard 335bhp form or in 375bhp ‘S’ form. A monstrous V8 ‘R’ model was also available from new.

Keen not to lose customers to Porsche, who has its own ‘4’ range in the 911, in 2016 Jaguar announced it would offer all-wheel-drive in the F-Type. The same tech was borrowed from the XF and XJ, both of which could already be chosen with all-wheel-drive. It was adapted to cope with the F-Type’s increased performance.

With Jaguar Land Rover setting up its Special Vehicles Operations (SVO) division in 2015, it was unsurprising that soon after being set up, the F-Type would get the divisions’ treatment. The F-Type SVR was released the Geneva Motor Show in March 2016. It featured the same V8 as in the ‘R’ model, but tuned to have 567bhp and was capable of 200mph (Coupe). The SVR is available both as a coupe and a roadster.

Latest Model

For 2017, Jaguar made the surprising decision to fit a 2.0-litre engine in the F-Type. Announced at the New York Motor Show, the 2.0-litre is now the base model in the F-Type range, slotting the car under the £50,000 threshold – just. Powered by an Ingenium engine, it is exclusively available with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

While performance differences are not all that noticeable over the standard V6 model, it is significantly more economical than the thirsty V6.

Jaguar have also released a limited edition ‘400 Sport’ edition for 2017 only. Along with a raft of minor revisions. Full LED headlights are on all models and the daytime running lights also now double up as indicators. Numerous other revisions include new, lighter seats as well as an eight-inch touchscreen now available across the range.

 

Value for money

Value probably does not rank as the most important factor on cars of this value, but needless to say it is still important. The variety of models available in the F-Type makes it fit into various segments in the coupe and sports car market.

As you would expect from a car starting at £50,000, it is laden with equipment. Eighteen-inch wheels come as standard, as do xenon headlamps, sat-nav, a Meridian sound system and electric leather and suede seats.

Looks and image

This category is certainly where the F-Type comes into its own. Ian Callum (Jaguar’s head of design) created one of the best-looking cars ever– both as a coupe and as a roadster. Even after four years in production, the F-Type is still as striking to look now, as it was at launch – mainly thanks to proportions which are not far off being perfect.

The F-Type has an ability to look good in all forms, in less vibrant specs it can be classy and directed for Jaguar’s traditional pensioner market, and in a racy spec it wouldn’t look out of place being driven by someone in their 20s. Subtle tweaks to the lights, bumpers and interior keep the F-Type looking as fresh as ever for 2017.

The interior is improved too, with new infotainment and an eight-inch touchscreen helping to bring some modern flair to the F-Type as well as the quality which Jaguar are now known for.

The driving experience is excellent too. While it does not quite have the dynamic capability of a Porsche Boxster, because the F-Type was designed as a convertible from the offset, it has a strong body shell, meaning there is very little movement unlike what you get in cars turned into convertibles as an afterthought.

50:50 weight distribution and excellent grip only adds to the agility the F-Type has. It is poised, and both the manual and automatics are both excellent gearboxes.

If you opt for four-wheel-drive, it only adds to the F-Type package, adding more grip and instant acceleration. In short, there is very little to criticise in terms of driving ability, only the fact it just does not have as much dynamic capability as rivals from Porsche.

Space and practicality

Unsurprisingly, this is where the F-Type is at its weakest. The F-Type’s focus is clearly on style rather than practicality, which means that unfortunately it is only available with two seats, and particularly with the convertible, it has particularly limited rear space.

The saving grace for the F-Type is the cabin, which is fantastically comfortable and refined, easily capable of comfortable long-distance journeys. The cabin is easily roomy enough meaning tall drivers and passengers will have no problem getting comfy thanks to a brilliant seating position, which is particularly flexible. Rear visibility is not all that good ether, particularly on motorways and when parking, the optional parking camera is a worthwhile to choose for this reason.

Boot space for the coupe is surprisingly good too. 407 litres should be easily enough for carrying luggage on European trips as well as golf clubs for those Jaguar owners who have not yet managed to shake off any stereotypes.

The convertible does not cope as well - only having a somewhat disappointing 200-litre boot. It doesn’t help that it’s awkwardly shaped either. In fact, there is even more boot space in a Porsche Boxster, as luggage can be stored in both the front and rear, thanks to its mid-engine layout.

 

Engines

In the F-Type, Jaguar only offer petrol units. The cheapest engine option is the 2.0-litre i4 engine which has 296bhp, a new introduction for 2017. The 3.0-litre V6 engine is available with two outputs, with 335bhp and 375bhp in the ‘S’ model. It is only these two variants which are available with a manual gearbox. Jaguar have also for 2017 released a 395bhp F-Type 400 Sport model using the 3.0-litre V6 engine also.

The V6 S engine is the pick of the F-Type range, combining an excellent mix of performance with everyday usability and affordability. Two variations of the 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine are available. The first is the ‘R’ model which has 542bhp. The range-topping SVR model has 567bhp. All models are available as both coupes and roadsters.

 

Running Costs

This is certainly the category which Jaguar wished we would glance over. Luckily, if you are looking to buy an F-Type, running costs should not be too much of a worry. The 2.0-litre 4-cyclinder engine is definitely the pick of the range for those who are concerned by running costs. While the figures could hardly be described as impressive, 39.8mpg is not too bad for a car with this performance.

The V6 and V8 engines are notoriously poor on fuel. Also, because all F-types cost over the £40,000 tax threshold, unfortunately you will pay over the odds in VED, regardless of which engine you choose. However, the V6 and V8 engines will both cost huge amounts to tax in the first year. While the SVR and R models cost £2000 to tax in their first year, which is a significant cost which you need to bear in mind.

Insurance costs will be high too as the F-Type is such a performance orientated vehicle. The V6 S, R and SVR model all fit into the top insurance group of 50 – meaning they are going to be expensive to insure. Depreciation should not be too much of a worry though, all F-Types have proven they hold their value well, providing you don’t spend too much money on options initially.

Things to look out for

Like most modern Jaguars when they are first released, the F-Type suffered from multiple early problems relating to its electronics. Software issues did largely remove these problems, and you should have no reliability worries concerning these, but it is always worth considering if you are buying a used example.

While the F-Type has come out well in most surveys, reliability and build quality are often the lowest scoring areas, which may be a bit of a concern for such a premium vehicle.

The F-Type has been subject to several official recall notices. The most prolific being issues relating to the F-Type’s stability and loss of control, although these recalls did not affect too many cars. There were also minor recalls which affected 2017 MY SVR models and a few other isolated models, so it is always worth checking to see if a vehicle has had recall work carried out – or needs work carrying out - if purchasing a used vehicle.

 

Rivals

Because of the complexity of the F-Type range, it really does depend on the model as to what its rivals are.

The four-cylinder and V6 engine’s most direct rival is the Porsche Boxster/Cayman. Mid-range F-Types rival the Porsche 911, although that is much pricier – starting at just under £80,000.

Rivals for F-Types at the top of the range include the Nissan GT-R, Mercedes AMG GT and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

 

Trims explained

The F-Type comes in five trim levels, which are largely assigned depending on the engine – F-Type, R-Dynamic, 400 Sport special edition, R and SVR.

With the standard model, imaginatively named F-Type, the car comes with 18-inch wheels, an active sport exhaust, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running headlamps, electric leather and suede sports seats, a Meridian sound system and a navigation pro system. This trim starts at £49,990.

For the R-Dynamic spec, Jaguar adds 19-inch wheels (20-inch on the F-Type V6 S), a switchable active sports exhaust, a design black featuring gloss black accents, adaptive LED lights, an aluminium centre console and R-Dynamic tread plates. The R-Dynamic starts at £53,600.

The special edition F-Type 400 Sport starts at £70,665. This spec features 20-inch dark satin wheels, a sport design pack, a premium leather interior, performance seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with aluminium paddles. This model also includes lots of 400 Sport branding.

The F-Type R, available only with the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, comes with 20-inch wheels, all-wheel-drive, an electric active diff with torque vectoring and R-Performance seats. The F-Type R is a big jump in price, starting at £90,860, although it goes up against cars bordering on supercar territory including the Mercedes AMG GT.

The range-topping F-Type SVR comes in at a costly £110,880. This model is available only with the 567bhp output of the 5.0-litre V8. It comes with 20-inch forged alloy wheels, a lightweight titanium and Inconel exhaust, a carbon fibre wing and an SVR branded interior.

All prices for the above trims are for the coupe variant of the F-Type. Expect to pay a premium between £5,000 and £6,000 to get the F-Type in convertible form.

Which F-Type to Pick

Trims Explained

The F-Type comes in five trim levels, which are largely assigned depending on the engine – F-Type, R-Dynamic, 400 Sport special edition, R and SVR.

F-Type

With the standard model, imaginatively named F-Type, the car comes with 18-inch wheels, an active sport exhaust, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running headlamps, electric leather and suede sports seats, a Meridian sound system and a navigation pro system.

This trim starts at £49,990.

R-Dynamic

For the R-Dynamic spec, Jaguar adds 19-inch wheels (20-inch on the F-Type V6 S), a switchable active sports exhaust, a design black featuring gloss black accents, adaptive LED lights, an aluminium centre console and R-Dynamic tread plates.

The R-Dynamic starts at £53,600.

400 Sport Special Edition

The special edition F-Type 400 Sport starts at £70,665. This spec features 20-inch dark satin wheels, a sport design pack, a premium leather interior, performance seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with aluminium paddles.

This model also includes lots of 400 Sport branding.

R

The F-Type R, available only with the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, comes with 20-inch wheels, all-wheel-drive, an electric active diff with torque vectoring and R-Performance seats.

The F-Type R is a big jump in price, starting at £90,860, although it goes up against cars bordering on supercar territory including the Mercedes AMG GT.

SVR

This model is available only with the 567bhp output of the 5.0-litre V8. It comes with 20-inch forged alloy wheels, a lightweight titanium and Inconel exhaust, a carbon fibre wing and an SVR branded interior.

What to look out for

  1. Good range of engines
  2. Stylish to look at
  3. Available in both coupe and convertible form
  4. Limited boot space
  5. No rear seats
  6. Fantastic to drive
  7. Interior is a great place to be
  8. VED prices are a concern
  9. Good used examples available
  10. V6 S is our pick of the range

Review Rating

"This handsome-looking thing is the Jaguar F-Type Coupe – a hard-top version of the simply stunning convertible sports car.... Read More"