Jaguar F-Type review
The Jaguar F-Type combines striking looks, fine handling and strong performance in a sports car package that is sure to tempt buyers
Despite being on sale for around a decade, the F-Type is still a thrilling sports car that handles superbly. Available either in coupe or convertible form, it has enough dynamic talent to stand toe to toe with rivals from the likes of Porsche, BMW and Mercedes, while buyers also have the choice of lighter, four-cylinder models or the bombastic V8 versions which feel every inch the super car.
The 2020 facelifted F-Type model not only looks sharper, but drives much better, too, with sweeter steering, a crisper chassis, a mildly improved interior and, in 575 R guise, thundering performance to match. If you're looking for one last hurrah to celebrate the combustion engine, along with plenty of driving fun, the Jaguar F-Type might be just the ticket.
About the Jaguar F-Type
When it first appeared in 2013, the F-Type quickly showed itself to be the perfect flagship sports car for Jaguar. Whichever version you chose, it gave a thrilling driving experience and was almost universally acclaimed as one of the best-looking sports cars on sale. Together, these two points explain the F-Type’s success, as it satisfied the demands of driving enthusiasts and the style-conscious in one package.
But, the rate of progress in the car industry has always been fast-paced, to a point where the F-Type was starting to feel dated. In order to catch up with its rivals from Germany and America, Jaguar unveiled a heavily revised model at the beginning of 2020.
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With the F-Type range priced to take sales from both the Porsche Boxster S/Cayman S and the larger 911, higher-spec F-Types provide more value for money, although you wouldn't be making a mistake if you picked the entry-level F-Type over one of its German rivals.
At the bottom of the range, the four-cylinder engine brings a welcome extra dimension to the line-up. And, if you’re thinking of a V8 F-Type, you can pick up a 4x4 version for around £5,000 more than the rear-drive version. The upgrade is worthwhile, because it makes the car safer and more secure without sacrificing any driving thrills.
Priced at more than £100k, the massively powerful 567bhp R flagship model is a serious investment, but in its favour it does have a top speed approaching almost 200mph. Previously, it didn't have the sharpness to beat the best of its rivals on the road, but the refreshed line-up feels much more honed, far lighter on its feet, and has a level of agility to its handling that was simply not there before.
Whether it's in coupe or convertible form, there aren't many cars for sale that can beat the Jaguar F-Type for head-turning looks. The 2020 revised model remains a striking piece of design that echoes the classic E-Type, while still delivering a contemporary feel. Previously available in F-Type, R-Dynamic, R-Dynamic Black or R specs, it's just the R-Dynamic and new 75 edition now included on the price list, with the performance R model sitting at the top of the range.
Power comes from a variety of engines. The entry point is the P300, which uses a 296bhp version of Jag's Ingenium 2.0-litre turbo, four-cylinder engine. The range then jumps to the P450 and P575, which both use Jaguar's powerhouse 5.0-litre supercharged V8 unit, making 444bhp and 567bhp, respectively.
The F-Type P300 is only offered with rear-wheel-drive, whereas the P450 V8 versions come with a choice of either AWD or rear-wheel-drive. The top-of-the-range P575 manages its monstrous 567bhp output by rather sensibly putting its power through all four wheels. All models use a revised version of Jaguar's great eight-speed auto transmission.
With price tags ranging from around £62,000 to more than £100,000, the F-Type has a lot of coupe and convertible rivals. Alongside competitors such as the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, buyers could look to more expensive versions of the Audi TT, BMW Z4 or Alpine A110, with cars like the Ford Mustang and BMW M2 also holding much appeal. At the top end of the range, the V8 F-Type is a cheaper (but still worthy) alternative to the Aston Martin Vantage, while the convertible version will have to face down the likes of the new Mercedes SL.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Jaguar F-Type combines striking looks, fine handling and strong performance in a sports car package that is sure to tempt buyers
- 2Engines, performance and driveSupercharged engines and a brilliant chassis mean the F-Type delivers performance to match its looks
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsYou get a lot of bang for your buck with an F-Type, but it’s still a major financial commitment
- 4Interior, design and technologyThat stunning bodywork wraps up a cosseting interior, and the F-Type is full of neat and elegant touches
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA comfortable cabin makes the F-Type a great long-distance choice, but the tiny boot might put buyers off
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe F-Type is safe enough, although some advanced active systems will cost you extra from the options list