2014 JAGUAR F-TYPE REVIEW
Vehicle Style: Performance convertible
Price: $138,645 (plus on-roads) $159,715 as tested
Engine/trans: 250kW/450Nm 3.0 supercharged petrol V6 | 8sp auto
Fuel Economy claimed: 9.0 l/100km | tested: 12.7 l/100km
If you had to pick just one car, just one, which would it be: sports, luxury, or supercar?
Or perhaps you'd lean to something that borrowed enough of the best bits of each - like maybe Jaguar’s F-TYPE.
On the street it gets as many looks as any supercar, yet has a thirst for corners like the best sports cars. Couple those attributes with luxuriant day-to-day livability and you've almost got it covered.
But perhaps, for Jaguar, the toughest ask for any new model is how well it embodies and protects that persistent Jaguar heritage and tradition.
Especially a model that channels the legendary E-Type. There is, then, a lot riding on the shoulders of the F-TYPE.
Fortunately, as 'spokes-vehicles' go, we couldn’t think of a better brand ambassador.
- Electrically operated centre vents
- Three-spoke steering wheel with gearshift paddles
- Leather and suede-cloth sports seats
- 14-speaker, 380 watt Median sound system including two subwoofers
- Electrically operated cloth roof
- Power adjustable steering column and partial-electric seats
Place yourself behind the wheel of the F-TYPE and the surrounds impress, with a wealth of leather finishes, soft-touch plastics, rubberised buttons and gloss black trims.
There are novel touches also, like the start button that pulses like a heartbeat and the centre-vents that rise from the top of the dash on start-up.
While you’d never call it a base model, this version of the F-TYPE is the range opener. And if, for any reason, it isn’t enough, there’s a long list of options that can be added.
Importantly, the driving position is nearly spot on - you’re hunkered low in the chassis, but not so low as the Z4. With the help of electric adjustment, the wheel and seat can be set easily for long country drives.
Drop the roof (with the optional wind deflector in place) and it’s still possible to hold a conversation at freeway speeds with little in the way of draughts or buffeting to mar the journey.
We’d like to know why Jaguar’s engineers couldn’t fit a proper boot in though, at 196 litres most mico-cars have more space. Carry a spare and another 50 litres vanish.
Get a flat and you’ll have to call roadside assist to pick up the full-size tyre, it won’t fit in the boot.
Go away for the weekend and you’re best to pack directly into the boot, sans suitcase, or opt for Jaguar’s available fitted luggage.
ON THE ROAD
- 3.0 litre supercharged V6 250kW/450Nm
- Eight-speed close-ratio Quickshift automatic transmission
- Front and rear aluminium double-wishbone suspension
- Four-wheel disc brakes with silver-painted calipers
- Dual central exhaust outlets, optional Active Sports Exhaust (fitted)
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the F-TYPE in its standard trim, there are some options you must add, and none so critically important (for the car nut) as the active Sports Exhaust.
From there, you can opt for subtlety, or open the exhaust valves for a rich gutteral symphony defining every rev, throttle blip, thumping upshift, and crackling overrun.
Few cars sound this good - this exhaust is like the devil on your shoulder - even just for a quick trip to the store.
The F-FTYPE is so much more than its exhaust though. The other fantastic revelation is steering that is crisp and precise with a nice alive feel. The front wheels go exactly where you point them.
And all, of course, very very quickly should you choose to unleash those 450Nm.
The suspension too is sensational - it’s firm, as any good touring car ought to be, but even with the optional (and dead sexy) 20-inch rollers of our press car, remains supple enough to absorb tarmac joins and speed humps.
Take it out of town and things get even better. Tenacious grip allows you to fire the F-TYPE aggressively into bends with minimal body roll and almost perfect poise.
There’s oversteer on demand, and a rear-end that’s progressive and easy to control. Well tuned ESP will allow some slide but doesn’t shut the whole show down.
ANCAP rating: Not tested
Safety features: Safety systems include traction and stability control, electronic brakeforce distribution, and brake assist.
There’s also an active bonnet to reduce the severity in a pedestrian impact, plus dual front and side airbags and protective roll-over hoops.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
Okay, so how do you construct a sensible, convincing, proposal for the minister of finance to allow for an F-TYPE in the garage? Well, you don’t.
Sure, we’d like basics such as dual-zone climate and heated seats to be standard, but that’s not the measure of this car either.
For scene-stealing good looks the Jaguar takes home the pageant sash every time. Add in the killer optional active exhaust and it’s hard not to be seduced.
Plus, there’s that open-air roadster ‘thing’ (coupe owners just don’t get it). As the quintessential British roadster the F-TYPE fits the brief, except it’s better.
It has more attitude, is modern but traditional in the one breath, and is an absolute joy across any kind of road you’d care to introduce it to.
PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
- F-TYPE 3.0 V6 - $138,645
- F-TYPE 3.0 V6 S - $171,045
- F-TYPE 5.0 V8 S - $201,945