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With changes limited to cosmetics, technology and new nomenclature, can the facelifted F-Type still compete with less expensive, younger rivals?

Our Verdict

Jaguar F-type coupe

The Jaguar F-Type has given the big cat back its roar, but can the 2017 updates keep at bay its closest rivals including the masterful Porsche 911?

2 November 2018

What is it?

This handsome devil? Why it’s the 2019 model year update of the Jaguar F-Type. And if you’re thinking that it looks remarkably similar to the last F-Type you came across – bar the very fetching (and very expensive, at £3,500) new Madagascar Orange paint – then you’d be absolutely right.

Because, cosmetically, this F-Type is unchanged from previously. If it ain’t broke, after all...

Instead, the latest revision to Jag’s sports car focuses elsewhere; the styling has been bob on since day dot, with some other areas less convincing. So for 2019 the F-Type now receives JLR’s latest 10-inch InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, a new range of colours and wheel designs, standard torque vectoring for all models and a refresh of the naming structure: the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder car is now the P300, the entry-level V6 the P340 and the car that was the V6 S – and as tested here – is now to be referred to as P380.

It was tested in R-Dynamic guise, the only derivative of more powerful V6 on offer, though there is the choice between coupe and convertible bodystyles, manual or automatic gearboxes, plus rear- or four-wheel drive powertrains.

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What's it like?

Nobody will be surprised to learn that, given the modest overhaul that the F-Type has been subjected to, the car still feels broadly similar to the F-Type we’ve come to know and (mostly) love. It’s very far from a new car now though, having first been launched in the summer of 2013, and even in isolation there are a few flaws apparent.

Chief among those is the F-Type’s sheer size; combined with less-than-perfect visibility it remains a tricky car to place on the road. And how does a car this physically large boast such mediocre interior space?

Furthermore, despite precise, satisfying steering and largely impressive body control, there’s no escaping the considerable weight the Jaguar has to contain. It does a good job, but even a quick drive in a four-cylinder car shows what potential there is for a more enthralling F-Type with a few kilos lost. It’s no coincidence that our favourite sports cars at this price point, cars like the Alpine A110 and Porsche 718 Cayman, are considerably lighter.

That said, although age isn’t exactly on its side, the F-Type still makes for entirely pleasant and agreeable company on the right road. Words like ‘charismatic’ and ‘charming’ are typically euphemistic terms for flawed yet exciting cars, though they’re hard to avoid with the big Jag. Top down in the autumnal sunshine, heaters on and exhaust blaring, there aren’t many more enjoyable sports car experiences.

It can be precise without being too serious, entertaining yet not gratuitously silly, and brisk without being dangerously so. The F-Type never loses sight of the driver’s amusement, and that’s rather endearing.

There’s an argument to say the four-cylinder is the pick of the F-Type range, boasting as it does sweeter dynamics and more than adequate performance – the 42 per cent of buyers who opt for the 2.0-litre car would back that up, too. But the extra emotional charm – that word again – of a supercharged V6, combined with the traction benefits of a proper locking differential (everything beneath a P380 uses an open diff) and what felt like a sharper calibration of ZF automatic makes it worth the extra outlay.

Front-engined, rear-drive sports car aren’t exactly the trendiest of car types right now, but the F-Type proves that, when done well, there’s little more entertaining to drive.

Should I buy one?

Honestly? These new F-Types are an awful lot of money for cars that are only very slightly changed from before.

Of course, if you must have a jazzy new colour or the very latest infotainment technology, then the 2019 model year car is the one to go for. Moreover, as long as you’re not expecting the very sharpest, most immersive sports car experience out there, the F-Type remains immensely likeable. But only as likeable as it ever has, truth be told.

Trouble is, there are alternatives out there that can show the Jaguar up a tad. While only a coupe for now, the smaller, nimbler Alpine A110 really is a revelation for the market. Those wishing to play the six-cylinder hooligan will be well served by the BMW M2 Competition, and the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman – especially as GTS models – should never be discounted.

For now, though, nothing else quite delivers the same combination of V6 brawn, show-stopping good looks and engaging dynamics. Accept its limitations and this F-Type update keeps it an appealing, if expensive, option.

Jaguar F-Type V6 Supercharged P380 R-Dynamic

Where Chipping Norton Price £71,725 On sale Now Engine V6, 2995cc, supercharged petrol Power 375bhp at 6500rpm Torque 339lb ft at 3500rpm Gearbox 8-spd auto Kerb weight 1614kg Top speed 171mph 0-62mph 4.9sec Fuel economy 28.8mpg CO2 223g/km Rivals Porsche 718 Cayman GTS, Mercedes-AMG C63

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2 November 2018
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2 November 2018

I'd buy this over the new V8 Vantage from Aston Martin.   Especially the SVR version.   Just so much better looking.


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2 November 2018

Like this car it does look and sound as good as any rival  but it does seem expensive. A silly v8 second hand looks like the way to go.

2 November 2018

The F Type has a lot going for it - looks great, not too big and sounds lovely. However, too slow, too expensive and too heavy. Needs replacing but they are likely to ruin it by taking it further upmarket as is JLRs current way. They need a serious look at their pricing as it’s getting silly.

2 November 2018

Why despite their use of aluminium all Jaguars are so heavy. It appears to be a technology deficit in the DNA of the company and they need to sort it. Think they need a completely new platform - certainly for their SUVs, the smaller currently being heavier than the larger!


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