From £49,9008
With changes limited to cosmetics, technology and new nomenclature, can the facelifted F-Type still compete with less expensive, younger rivals?

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.

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.

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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.

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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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Comments
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hulahoop 2 November 2018

Fabulous car

Imo best looking car on the road
wheelman 4 November 2018

hulahoop wrote:

hulahoop wrote:

Imo best looking car on the road

Cant disagree on how it looks. I had two of these and they certainly were very pleasing to both the ear and eye, especially the roadster. It was unfortunate that I never felt they'd stay reliable, service was rubbish, build quality shocking and JLR customer experience beneath poor. My car was in the shop for months; paint peeling, dodgy electronics, terrible hifi and other failures that became amplified by dealer incompetence and manufacturer denial. 

There are some really great cars at this price with none of the drawbacks.

AHYL88 2 November 2018

Rodester, you ARE predictable

You keep on creaming yourself when a British car gets reviewed or mentioned.

Rodester 2 November 2018

AHYL88 wrote:

AHYL88 wrote:

You keep on creaming yourself when a British car gets reviewed or mentioned.

And you're stupid enough to get sucked in. Come back Roadster...

Right, time to think up a new persona.

à la revoyure...

AHYL88 4 November 2018

Rodester wrote:

Rodester wrote:
AHYL88 wrote:

You keep on creaming yourself when a British car gets reviewed or mentioned.

And you're stupid enough to get sucked in. Come back Roadster... Right, time to think up a new persona. à la revoyure...

Or, you should just get a life.

bol 2 November 2018

The most beautiful new car I can think of

What a pity that it’s too big, too heavy and too expensive to really work as a sports car. I’d love one on my drive to look at, but would choose to drive something else. 

Cobnapint 3 November 2018

Have to agree

Looks and sounds the part, but is flawed on several fronts. I'd still have one over the A110 though, that looks pants.