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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

Our Verdict

Jaguar F-Type

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

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.

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

Join the debate

Comments
14

22 May 2014
That is an eye catching car! plus 50kish is not bad for a car like this. You probably get that power for less cash, but only at detriment of that look!

3 June 2014
Nice car, looks lovely and good to see Porsche get a proper challenge at last. But how on earth does "special 19-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and an upgraded sound system" equate to £10k of options - what a joke!

rxl

22 May 2014
this F-Type is an absolute joy to look at it! what a car...

22 May 2014
To me, this seems like the F type to buy. Its still plenty fast enough and not outragously priced like some of the more powerful models.

22 May 2014
In the words of Altabani; "preety car"


TS7

22 May 2014
... there's a hint of Masser meets Mazda to the styling. But it IS a good looking car.

22 May 2014
As if we needed telling but the latest edition of Autocar finally confirms that the Jaguar F-type coupe is the finest sports car, with the R version toppling the 911 Turbo, Nissan GTR and Audi R8 V10. It's probably a safe bet that the R dominance is replicated throughout the coupe range, while those who have been dissing the Jag and underestimating its ability may well eat their words. Considering the R8 is a rival to a Huracan and Ferrari 458, who'd bet against the Jag beating those two cars either?

22 May 2014
..not you again....

22 May 2014
Roadster wrote:

As if we needed telling but the latest edition of Autocar finally confirms that the Jaguar F-type coupe is the finest sports car, with the R version toppling the 911 Turbo, Nissan GTR and Audi R8 V10. It's probably a safe bet that the R dominance is replicated throughout the coupe range, while those who have been dissing the Jag and underestimating its ability may well eat their words. Considering the R8 is a rival to a Huracan and Ferrari 458, who'd bet against the Jag beating those two cars either?

Haha...Brilliant! I was having a bit of a crap day at work today, but this has put a smile on my face. You should take this material onto the comedy curcuit, your audiance would be bereft of ribs after your slot

22 May 2014
I agree for £50k to £60k for the basic or the s, has to be the best looking and sounding car , never mind the driving experience .I like the Boxter and Cayman, but now I would go F type .

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