From £49,9009
Our first chance to try the entry-level F-type coupé in the UK reveals that, even in base form, this is one of the finest driver's cars around

What is it?

The cheapest version of Jaguar's new F-type coupé, the sister car to the F-type convertible and currently one of our favourite driver's cars.

Powered by the same 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine as the more expensive V6 S model, this F-type coupé packs 335bhp and 332lb ft of torque.

That's some way off the 375bhp offered in the V6 S. It, however, costs £60,235 whereas this base F-type comes in at £51,235. The car we tested came with options including special 19-inch alloy wheels (the standard car rides on 18-inch items), cruise control and an upgraded sound system, taking its total cost to £60,963.

If anything, from the outside the F-type coupé looks even better than the convertible. Its fixed roof and rear-end shape work well together. The roof isn't just an aesthetic choice either, as it also endows the coupé with more rigidity than the soft-top car.

Also, because Jaguar has re-tuned the F-type's suspension for more feel and handling prowess, this should – in theory – be an even better drive than the convertible.

First impressions on entering the cabin are familiar. The layout of the controls is almost identical to the convertible, but the cabin itself feels smaller inside thanks to the new roof. That's no bad thing, because this isn't a car that you would buy because you were after large amounts of space inside.

It's supremely comfortable and intuitively laid out. Storage space is a little limited, but the coupé offers a 315-litre boot which should be more than enough for most owners.

What's it like?

Absolutely sublime. From the first time the engine is started and burbles into life, there's a feeling of effortless potential from the F-type coupé.

It doesn't sound as loud as the V6 S or as meaty as the V8 R versions, but it's still a pleasing sound. The throttle sensitivity is excellent, with just the smallest of movements required to quickly pick up speed.

It must be said that we didn't test the car on public roads, instead we were confined to Millbrook Proving Ground's city course, high-speed bowl and hill test route. Between them, these routes simulate the majority of driving conditions.

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During the city course the F-Type coupé's steering proved to be quick, well weighted and accurate. The eight-speed 'Quickshift' gearbox makes excellent use of the engine's power, selecting higher gears quickly for better fuel economy about town. Rather than feeling like a large, heavy, powerful sports car, the F-type coupé feels surprisingly nimble to drive.

On the hill route the F-type coupé made short work of many of the other cars using the same track. Its power delivery isn't explosive - you'd have to look to the £85,000 V8 R version for that - but it's still very quick indeed.

And here's the thing - even at speeds below 70mph, the F-type coupé still feels vastly rewarding to drive. It's well planted on the road and easily controlled. There's also the sensation that the Jaguar's plethora of electronic assistance systems aren't interfering too much with the experience.

There's a choice of driving modes on offer via a flickable switch on the centre console, but the biggest difference we found came with putting the transmission into Sport mode, which meant the engine lingered longer at high revs before changing gear. There's also paddle-shift controls behind the wheel.

The chance to take the coupé on the high-speed bowl enabled us to find out what the entry-level F-type felt like at speed. The answer is comfortable and refined. Even well into triple digits the car rarely feels like it's breaking a sweat, and it settles into a motorway cruise easily.

Even at high speeds the trip computer gave an average of 25mpg. Not bad for a 335bhp sports car.

Should I buy one?

Yes. The F-type was already an excellent sports car, and the coupé helps the Jaguar raise its game even further.

It's comfortable, fast and feels perfectly controlled, even at speed. The hardcore driver might prefer the added aural pleasure of the optional active sports exhaust system, but if you're looking for immediate entry into the F-type club then look no further.

Jaguar F-type coupé

Price £51,235 (£60,963 with options) 0-60mph 5.1sec Top speed 161mph Economy 32.1mpg combined CO2 205g/km Kerb weight 1577kg Engine 2995cc, supercharged, V6, petrol Power 335bhp Torque 332lb ft at Gearbox 8-spd automatic

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Landie 23 May 2014

Adaptive?

I've been thinking about the cruise control, could the word adaptive be missed out somewhere, with standard cruise control being standard so to speck?

And for the chances are, there will have been other options, it does say, options included, all of them may not have been listed although £10 k extra does seem and lot.

It would be interesting to see how this cars standard equipment compares to a standard V6 S that comes out cheaper...

Motormouths 23 May 2014

A £50k car that doesn't come

A £50k car that doesn't come with cruise control as standard? It's been standard on the vast majority of mainstream cars for many years now!
275not599 23 May 2014

Let me ge this right. Cruise

Let me ge this right. Cruise control (standard on my wife's 19 year old mid-range Honda Civic), extra-bling wheels and a better stereo (how bad is the standard one?) adds £10,000? Surely there's something the writer forgot???

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