Jaguar F Type review

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

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4
Out of 5
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  • Pros
  • - Amazing looks
  • - Great performance from all engines
  • - Wonderful handling
  • Cons
  • - Expensive to buy and run
  • - Ageing a little
  • - Pricey options list
  • MPG
    0 - 0
  • CO2
    0 - 0 g/km
Model Review

 

The F-TYPE was introduced in 2013 as Jaguar’s replacement for the XK, but was marketed from the outset as a much more performance-oriented car— a sports machine rather than a grand tourer.

 

At launch, only a convertible was on offer, with it making its UK debut at that year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. A coupe followed in Autumn 2013, revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

 

Two engines were available at launch: a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 and a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 unit in the F-Type V8 S.

 

A 550bhp ‘R’ version of the V8 followed in 2014, with blistering performance and a race-developed chassis; while later that year, Jaguar went one further with the pure performance SVR coupe, which offered supercar performance at supercar money.

 

Following fashions in the car market for reducing engine capacities through turbocharging, a new entry-level F-Type joined the range last year. The 2.0 Ingenium engine still offers almost 300bhp, so it is far from a slouch.

Latest model

 

The launch of the 2.0 engine in 2018 was carefully managed, as the notion of a four-cylinder Jaguar sports car wasn’t on the radar of many of the brand’s customers. A big Jaguar sports car should have a V8 or, at the very least, a V6, they said.

 

In the event, they needn’t have worried. Not only does the 2.0-litre turbo have perfectly impressive performance, but it also has greater agility thanks to the model’s impressive chassis balance.

 

The 2.0-litre turbo offers 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 155mph—the kind of figures that, just a few years ago, most supercar manufacturers would have been happy with, but all from a low capacity engine.

 

Jaguar also updated the F-Type’s infotainment package in 2018, to bring it more into line with the most sophisticated systems on the market.

 

There are two other recent additions to the range as well— the Chequered Flag, which features race-inspired adornments, performance seats, black alloy wheels and red seatbelts, and the 3.0 F-Type 400 Sport - a 395bhp version of the supercharged 3.0-litre V6, with race-specification brakes and a choice of rear or four-wheel-drive.

 

Value for money

 

A Jaguar F-Type isn’t the kind of car you’d buy simply for its value for money, and that’s a good job, as it isn’t cheap.

 

The entry-level 2.0-litre coupe will set you back £51,925, with the convertible costing £5,500 more.

 

Though it is possible to spend a lot more than that. The F-Type R starts at £93,315 for the coupe, with the convertible only just shy of £100k, while the incredible SVR models have a six-figure asking price at over £118,000 for the convertible model.

 

On the plus side, residual values are pretty good, even entry-level 3.0-litres still fetch around £30k at five years old, so the overall cost of ownership is arguably more manageable than cost of purchase.

 

But once you venture onto the options list, value for money falls by the wayside. You can spend over £100k on a car, and easily another five figures speccing it up. 20-inch alloys, for example, cost over £2,600 on cars that don’t have them and you can spend the same again on a carbon-fibre roof, while Meridian surround sound stereo costs a further £1,000. Our favourite option is one of the cheapest. At £350, the switchable sports exhaust allows you to adjust the exhaust note for situations where you want to enjoy the F-Type at full chat, such as a track day.

 

Looks and image

 

If road tests were based on looks alone, then the F-TYPE would get a clear 10/10. It’s a fabulous looking car, whether you go for the sleek and sinewy fastback or the low-slung roadster.

 

Whichever one you choose, you get a stunning car with a long, swopping bonnet and high rear haunches, giving it a huge amount of road presence.

 

It looks best in profile, though the twin exhaust pipes at the rear are large, E-Type inspired headlamps are also a beautiful design detail and stand as clear proof that Jaguar’s engineers and designers had a lot of fun in putting the F-Type together. It’s a car that screams of passion and enthusiasm, and that’s something that runs through every design detail, from the trademark oval radiator grille to the cabin, with its delicate switchgear and chunky three-spoke steering wheel.

 

Interestingly, the only colours available on the F-Type are white, black, silver and red—the design team being very specific about managing the type of shades in which the car is built.

 

Image-wise, the F-Type is very strong. It’s classy and upmarket, whilst at the same time being achingly desirable. It has more class and panache than the likes of a Ferrari or Lamborghini, yet at the same time it still has the same sense of occasion. Think of it as an alternative to Porsche 911 or a discounted Aston Martin, and you’ll hit the F-Type’s image nail right on the head.

Video Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYtgN3quMwk&t=1s
Space and practicality

 

You don’t generally buy a sports car for its practicality, though the coupe version of the F-Type does at least have something of a nod to versatility within its layout.

 

Unlike some of its rivals, it’s a strict two-seater rather than a 2+2, but the lack of a back seat gives it much more versatility when it comes to luggage space. Open the tailgate and there are 310 litres of space one offer for your bags which is about the same as a medium-sized hatchback with the rear seats in place and certainly sufficient for a weekend away’s worth of luggage.

 

The convertible doesn’t fare as well, with 207 litres, as much of the luggage space is eaten-up by the need to swallow the roof when it is folded away.

 

The cabin itself is comfortable, with plenty of legroom for both passengers despite the low-slung seats. It’s also ergonomically beautiful —not only is it well laid out, but all of the car’s switchgear has been designed aesthetically.

 

Engines

 

There are three core engines in the F-Type line-up—a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 and a 5.0-litre supercharged V8.

 

The F-Type’s new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder ‘Ingenium’ petrol engine is surprisingly powerful and, according to Jaguar, offers the ‘highest specific power output of any engine in the F-Type range’ with 148bhp-per-litre. Overall, it produces 296bhp and 400Nm of torque, sending this power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Acceleration takes a claimed 5.4 seconds, while the F-Type’s top speed sits at a respectable 155mph.

 

The 3.0-litre in standard tune has 335bhp via its supercharged induction set up, and takes 5.0 seconds to reach 60mph from a standing start. Again, top speed is restricted to 155mph. The 400 Sport model, meanwhile, will do 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds.

 

Flagship models are powered by Jaguar’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8, which is a real beast of an engine. 0-60 in 4.0 seconds (3.5 for the SVR) is intoxicating, while the flagship SVR model claims to have a top speed of at least 200mph. That’s brutally quick…

 

Things to look for

 

Mechanically, the F-Type has proven itself to be continually impressive, with no reports of major engine or mechanical failures.

 

However, there are a few little glitches you need to be aware of. By far the most common is a failure of the air conditioning system, which unfortunately shuts off power to the dashboard vents. It’s a known issue and there’s a service bulletin with Jaguar dealers to get them to fix it, but only on cars that are still within their warranty period.

 

Rivals

 

The closet car to the F-Type in terms of image and price is the Porsche 911, though the number of cars that are bought (in both cases) by die-hard enthusiasts of the marque means that an obvious comparison isn’t always necessary. The Audi R8 is another direct rival in terms of price and performance.

 

Depreciation

 

The F-Type is a desirable car, and after three years you can expect it to retain around 60% of its new price. While that’s a very good depreciation curve in terms of percentage points, on a car with a £100k price tag, it’s still a large chunk of money to lose. But if you’ve got it, we guarantee you’ll enjoy it…

Summary

  1. Stunning styling
  2. Equipment levels vary wildly from car-to-car
  3. 2.0 model is surprisingly economical
  4. Tyre wear can be heavy
  5. Rear and four-wheel-drive versions available
  6. Convertibles more expensive than coupes by £5k on average
  7. Coupe is more practical
  8. SVR model has fiendish performance
  9. 2.0 is much more fun than it sounds
  10. Great image and handling