• Exterior and interior design, V6/V8 engines; balance and handling; exhaust note; uniqueness; technology;
  • Downshifts with ZF transmission; Exhaustive options list; ride quality over bumpy roads;

OUR RATING
8 / 10



Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

The Jaguar F-Type is the most important car the British brand has built for nearly 50 years. It’s the car that will define Jaguar in the years to come and either prove the brand’s ability to attract a new, younger audience, or forever cement its fate as the conservative choice of a passing generation.

The Jaguar F-Type is simply stunning, no matter what angle or colour. It has already won awards for its looks and the man behind it all, Ian Callum, is a superstar as far as car designers go.

Where the Germans have led for decades on technology and efficiency, the British have conveyed their automotive soul through design. Folks like Ian Callum and Marek Reichman (from Aston Martin) have arguably kept the British in the automotive game through design alone.

Thankfully though, the Jaguar F-Type has a lot more to offer than just good looks. It’s the first two-seater sports car Jaguar has built since the iconic E-Type and while many brands have failed to reinvent an icon, the F-Type is almost everything we’d hoped it would be.

With Jaguar having unveiled the car in Europe last year, the wait and build up for its Australian arrival has been huge. The F-Type’s biggest market is North America, where 48 percent of the volume is expected to go, the UK takes 23 percent, Germany 12 percent and Australia fits into the “rest of the world” category at 17 percent. This is the main reason the roadster has taken so long to get here.

Alas, it’s here now and we found ourselves in the heart of Sydney to begin our Jaguar F-Type review. Jaguar Australia is bringing three variants of the F-Type to local showrooms. These include a base model V6, which is eloquently referred to as the ‘foundation’ model, a more powerful V6S and the almighty V8S – all coupled to ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

Before we get into the actual review, it’s important to understand how the range sits in terms of pricing and equipment level.

For $138,645 you’ll get a beautiful two-seater open-top Jaguar with a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 that delivers 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque, which will see you hit 100km/h from a standstill in 5.3 seconds. Without any options you’ll get sports suspension, exhaust, open differential, 18-inch alloy wheels, sports seats with leather and suede cover and a 3-spoke leather steering wheel with plastic paddle shifters.

Then comes the options list, which is rather exhaustive at more than 30 items, some of which you’d expect as standard from a luxury brand such as Jaguar. Heated seats? $1100. Dual-zone climate control? $980. Rain sensing wipers? $510. Stainless steel pedals? $590. Front parking sensors? $1,200. The list goes on.

By the time you tick a few of the options, you may start to think that it might actually make sense to add another $32,400 to the price tag and go for the Jaguar F-Type V6S. This variant uses the same engine but with an extra 30kW of power (280kW) and 10Nm of torque, consequently cutting 0.4 seconds from the 0-100km/h acceleration time.

The benefits of the S are not just a performance bump, but also a proper limited slip differential, active sports exhaust, bigger brakes with red callipers and 19-inch wheels. Though, surprisingly, all the options listed above still apply to the S.

The active sports exhaust is a must (can be optioned on the base model for $5,200) as it opens up the baffles and brings a symphony-orchestra of sound to the F-Type. It’s primarily designed to make the whole driving experience provoke a theatre-like emotion, with crackles on up and down shifts and an exhaust sound that is supercar-like at worst.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

In a true German-like notion, Jaguar has decided to charge an additional $260 to have the button to operate the active sports exhaust. So while you may get the active sports exhaust as standard, the button to manually control it is an option!

The range topping Jaguar F-Type V8S is priced from $201,945. That gets you a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 with 364kW of power and 625Nm of torque. All of which leads to a 0-100km/h time of 4.3 seconds. Additional equipment includes bigger brakes still, 20-inch wheels, an electronic differential, sports seats, quad exhaust pipes and a few other exterior and interior updates.

We started our drive in the base model F-Type V6 heading out of Sydney CBD towards Kulnura, making sure we go through as many tunnels as possible, just for the aural pleasure. The two-seater roadster takes 12 seconds to deploy its roof and can do so at speeds of up to 50km/h.

With the roof down and the weather perfect, we set out to escape Sydney traffic for our drive towards the central coast of NSW. The standard V6 is by all means quick enough for everything you’re ever likely to do. It’s well coupled to the eight-speed ZF gearbox and accelerates with ease.

The steering, which is a hydraulic system unlike that of the electric systems found in modern Porsches, is highly-sensitive at speed but tends to relax as you slow down. It’s dead-accurate but lacks that sense of man-and-machine communication you get from the Germans.

Ride quality over Sydney’s major roads is superb. The F-Type absorbs bumps without any hassle. In some ways, when driven in inner-city, it’s actually more comfortable than some family cars. Yet, as we drove out to the coast, the road quality deteriorated and the ride quality went with it.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

Over poorly surfaced roads the F-Type’s suspension doesn’t handle the corners well, skipping and bouncing over sections of bitumen. A stark contrast to the Porsche Cayman/Boxster, which seem almost at home on any road.

Next in line was the Jaguar F-Type V8S, which with a few options ticked can easily start to approach the quarter of a million dollar mark. This puts in competition with the Porsche 911, Audi R8 and Aston Martin Vantage – a truly superb trio that are difficult to fault.

Behind the wheel the V8S is sensational at nearly any speed. With the active sports exhaust on, the sound is almost Ferrari-like (though not as high-pitched) with crackles and fireworks a standard process.

Acceleration in the V8 is brutal, instant and seamlessly never ending. The additional weight over the front-end is felt through the corners but the enormous grip on offer tends to lessen any problems. With traction control half-off, the rear end will easily come unstuck if need-be, but one should only dare such a feat on a racetrack or private road, with smooth surfaces, as the V8S will bite.

Jaguar kept its best till last, the F-Type V6S is the perfect compromise between power and weight for the F-Type. Around a 5km winding private road we tried to push the V6S to its limit but found own our first, such is the grip and drivability of the beast.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

Although it’s not as meaty as the V8, the exhaust note is still very much a proper sports car. In reality the 0.6 seconds difference in the 0-100km/h time is unnoticeable between the V8S and V6S and for everyday driving, the mid-spec V6 is the best of both worlds.

Engines aside, all three variants suffer from the same issue, the automatic transmission. Although it has eight forward ratios, which are very well tuned to their respective engine requirements, it’s not a sports car transmission in the modern sense. While the Porsche Cayman/Boxster/911 use a dual-clutch transmission that instantly changes gears in either direction, the F-Type struggles on the way down.

One would expect a bliss rev-matched downshift on approach to a corner, instead the F-Type presents a slow and cumbersome change process. But it’s not just the down shifts that are affected, in numerous occasions the gearbox refused to allow an upshift at redline in our V8S test car, choosing to remain in the lower gear and bouncing of the limiter instead.

One would do well to simply leave it in “S” mode and let the transmission do its own thing, but nonetheless, it’s certainly a weak spot for the F-Type.

Moving inside, the interior is a work of art. The high quality materials and overall feel of the cabin is first class. The base model seats can be a tad more supportive but the high end seats are far better. There’s a shortage of cabin space for simple things like phones, wallets and jackets, but it’s a worthwhile compromise for having a sporty and eloquent roadster. The infotainment system with sat-nav is painfully slow, as with all Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.

Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review
Jaguar F-Type Review

Overall the Jaguar F-Type is the sort of car you’d buy just on its looks alone, and you should. It’s likely to the turn heads wherever it goes, which in itself is a differentiating factor to its German rivals. The package is a brilliant blend of style and sophistication with a high quality interior and modern engines to boot. It’s brought down by its exhaustive options list, cumbersome transmission and ride quality over poorly surfaced roads.

  1. Jaguar F-Type V6 – $138,645
  2. Jaguar F-Type V6S – $171,045
  3. Jaguar F-Type V8S – $201,945

Options:

  • Switchable Active Sports Exhaust – $5,200 (on V6)
  • Jaguar Super Performance Braking System with red callipers – $2,560 (on V6 and V6S)
  • Configurable dynamics system with Dynamic-i display – $3,860
  • Front parking aid – $1,200
  • Reverse park camera – $830
  • Blind Spot Monitoring – $1,500
  • Reverse Traffic Detection with BSM – $2,200
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system – $750
  • Premium exterior colours – $2,810
  • Race/Special exterior colours – $5,620
  • Power folding exterior mirrors – $590
  • Auto dimming and power folding exterior mirrors – $1,370
  • Heated windscreen with timer – $1,120
  • Rain sensing windscreen wipers – $510
  • Adaptive front lighting with cornering lamps – $1500
  • Headlamps with intelligence high beam – $865
  • Sports seats with leather facings – $2,730
  • Performance seats with premium leather seat facings – $3,770
  • Premium interior – $3,970
  • Flat bottomed leather steering wheel – $1,140
  • 3-spoke suedecloth steering wheel – $1,710
  • Heated steering wheel – $550
  • Premium carpet mats – $390
  • Dual zone climate control with air filtration – $980
  • Air quality sensor – $100
  • Valet mode – $330
  • Wind deflector – $550
  • Bright stainless steel pedals – $590
  • Heated seats – $1,110
  • Illuminated tread plates – $500
  • Dual-configurable ambient interior lighting with mixing palette – $520
  • Lockable interior stowage with cover – $590
  • Meridian surround sound system – 770W 12 speakers – $6,900
  • Digital radio receiver – $600


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JAGUAR F-TYPE BREAKDOWN

Jaguar F-Type Review
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  • Katman

    I would say the retail price is msleading especially wen almost all features are optional especially ones that should be standard..

    • djh

      Are you vision impaired? Seems like most of the options are for people who have trouble with their vision:

      Illuminated tread plates
      Front parking aid
      Reverse park camera
      Blind Spot Monitoring
      Reverse Traffic Detection with BSM
      Adaptive front lighting with cornering lamps
      Headlamps with intelligence high beam
      Bright stainless steel pedals

      Then some are just plain stupid:

      Dual zone climate control with air filtration – Really? In a 2 seat convertible with a cramped cabin?
      Dual-configurable ambient interior lighting with mixing palette – WTF!

      I’m not seeing a single thing that should be standard. In fact theres plenty of things I’d make optional and bring the total price down a little – the standard auto gearbox for one.

      • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

        I think heated seats in a roadster should certainly be standard, at least in the top of the range. The switch for the active exhaust should also be standard on cars that have the system.

        • Zaccy16

          i agree, the price warrants features like dual zone climate control and heated seats to be standard! a $25,000 mazda 3 maxx sport has standard dual zone air!

  • Katman

    Definitely Alborz. And how about charging for electric folding mirrors for a car that costs this much??
    And dont get me started on the interior lockable stowage which also attracts an extra charge!

  • Pete

    The options are mind blowing, i would avoid this car for these reasons alone.
    Also IMO the front end looks under whelming.

    • hwrth

      So it would be a better car if it had no options and all that stuff was unavailable like a Lotus?

      • Peter

        I suppose that they have to leave something for the XK to cater for, otherwise no-one would buy one. The back seat is a bit of a joke, after all. But Pete, have to disagree on the rear, I reckon it looks pretty awesome and they had to get away from the quasi aston back end which is getting a little tired

  • O123

    Bit rich to charge for dual zone climate, auto wipers and auto mirrors,

  • azlan

    considering the aston martin v8 vantage is priced a lot higher id say the v8s is a bargain even with all the extras you have to pay for… and when your talking this sought of money price isnt much of an issue for the people who can afford this type of car..

  • Adeel

    The comments regarding the clunky transmission are strange because this is the only review that hasn’t been full of praise for it. The Jag uses the much lauded 8 speed ZF box that apparently is smooth as silk yet changes with almost the same speed as a dual clutch box in manual mode. Other reviews of the F Type have actually singled out the box for praise.

    Alborz, seeing as you seem to be the only motoring journalist the world over to have this experience with the car, are you sure it actually was an F Type that you drove :) ?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      Adeel, that’s not true. I have read other reviews criticising the gearbox as well. The ZF8 in the BMWs is superb, in this application it fails to deliver on the downshifts the way a sports car should.

      • Adeel

        I have read many reviews of the car and not found criticism of the box apart from yourself. Never mind, at the end of the day you have driven the car and I haven’t so at the moment I’m just a keyboard warrior! I’ll just have to carry on ‘slumming’ it in my 370z roadster…

        By the way Alborz, I find your reviews on this site excellent and very informative.

        • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

          Thanks Adeel, as I said, the car is still excellent and four stars is worthy praise. The issue with the ZF gearbox in this application is mainly on the downshifts, they are quick… and if this wasn’t an all-out sports car, there would be not mention of it, but if Jaguar wants to put this up against Porsche’s PDK, it’s not in the same league.

      • Zaccy16

        i agree it is a great gearbox in the 3 series but maybe it hasn’t be matched to the engine properly in the jag?

  • StevieP

    It’s absolutely gorgeous, but the options are a joke. Auto wipers are an option on a car that costs $130K-$200K meanwhile almost every other new car in the Aussie market has them standard. Oh so arrogant.

  • john

    If I had the money for a car like this I would take the V8 model but would like the centre exhaust pipes instead of the quads because they look fabulous IMO!

  • Marka

    How on a premium car is a Premium interior (for $3,970!) an optional extra!

  • homer

    What a bunch of whinging comments re options. Hey, the car is beautiful, makes serious noise and I want one. Just pay your money and get on with it. Off to get Powerball ticket.

    • azlan

      exactly! if the base car was $200,000 with the lot standard no one would say anything. walk into the dealer say you want the lot. its not that hard. stop whinging ppl.

  • Zaccy16

    i love this car! i want one! a v6s in black or orange please! but the option list is getting to Porsche standards unfortunately!

  • dazza21765

    correct me if I’m wrong, but this car looks very much like the more superior Maserati Gran Cabrio. I’d take the Maserati any day over the Jag, and I’ve driven both

Jaguar F-Type Specs

V6 : 3.0L SUPERCHARGED MPFI - 8 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 2D ROADSTER
Car Details
Make
JAGUAR
Model
F-TYPE
Variant
V6
Year
2013
Body Type
2D ROADSTER
Seats
2
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
SUPERCHARGED MPFI
Engine Size
3.0L
Cylinders
SUPERCHARGED V6
Max. Torque
450Nm @  3500rpm
Max. Power
250kW @  6500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
156.5W/kg
Bore & Stroke
84.5x89mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.15
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
70
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
9L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1597
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1308mm
Length
4470mm
Width
1923mm
Ground Clearance
116mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.7
Front Rim Size
8.5x18
Rear Rim Size
9.5x18
Front Tyres
245/45 R18
Rear Tyres
275/40 R18
Wheel Base
2622
Front Track
1597
Rear Track
1649
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Automatic Air Con / Climate Control, Sport Seats
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Driver
Cruise Control, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering, Satellite Navigation
Entertainment
Radio Compact Disc Player, Sound System with 10 Speakers
Exterior
Electric Top, Power Mirrors, Rear Spoiler
Interior
Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Side Airbags
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Heated Front Seats
Control & Handling
19 Inch Alloy Wheels, 20 Inch Alloy Wheels
Exterior
Body Kit
Package
Convenience Pack
Other
Service Interval
24 months /  25,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
9-I-8
Country of Origin
UNITED KINGDOM