The most practical F-Type is also the best looking. Still mega fun to drive
The ride's a touch firm, the car's a touch wide, and the four-cylinder lacks drama
What is it?
The hard top version of the Jaguar F-Type Convertible, which bucked the usual trend and launched first. You can blame America: it’s the biggest Jaguar F-Type market and they demanded the drop-top first. So got it.
The Coupe launched in 2014, looking more like a modern-day E-Type than the roadster F does. Which is to say it looks absolutely belting. It received a light update in 2017, with an oh so subtle restyling and a new engine option.
That’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo – yep, even big lairy Jags aren’t safe from downsizing – and if you spec no options at all, means you can buy an F-Type for less than £50,000.
Happily, the four-cylinder doesn’t arrive at the expense of the F-Type’s bigger, more characterful engines. So there are supercharged V6 engines with 335bhp, 375bhp or 395bhp, which get two round central exhausts to visually differentiate them from the four-cylinder and its single central pipe.
See an F-Type with four exhaust pipes, though – two at each end of the bumper – and it’s running a V8. You’ve two to choose from: the 542bhp F-Type R and the 567bhp F-Type SVR. They’re all-wheel drive only, and all the better for it, finally able to put their power to use in a way earlier, RWD V8 F-Types couldn’t. And the SVR is the first Jag since the XJ220 to officially top 200mph, too.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
One of the prettiest cars on sale is also one of the most charismatic. Phew. If you love the looks, and you don’t mind the width or lack of rear seats, this would be a brilliant everyday sports car. Especially if you winter-proof it by speccing all-wheel drive.
The F-Type is ageing particularly well, and Jag’s constant additions of tech and engines mean it’s now a car with broader appeal than ever, rivalling everything from a Cayman S to a 911 Turbo, depending on which engine and spec you go for. In each like-for-like comparison the Porsche will be a sharper, more serious driving tool, but on the flipside, the F-Type will always have a better sense of humour than its Stuttgart equivalent.