With its striking good looks and agile handling, the Jaguar F-Type presents an interesting alternative to popular supercars like the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. Surprisingly, you don't see too many of them on the streets, even around the Los Angeles area and the rest of Southern California. Last year, we gushed over the Jaguar F-Type V-8 convertible and its capable handling, dangerous power, sonorous engine sounds, and pretty much everything else. But we wondered, would the V-6 model impress us just as much?
Model and PriceInstead of the 495-horsepower F-Type V-8 S model, we drove the mid-range V-6 S model. Since it is an S model, this version packs a bigger punch than the base F-Type and pumps out 380 horses. Buyers can get their hands on this car for $81,000, but our tester was loaded with a Climate Package ($600), which brought heated seats and steering wheel, as well as a Premium Pack S ($2,000) with 14-way power seat and dual-zone climate control. Sirius and HD Radio added $450, and an Extended Leather Pack tacked on $1,925. The Performance Pack ($3,400) included performance seats, performance brakes, and more while the Vision Pack ($2,400) brought advanced safety features. With all these options as well as standard taxes, the total cost of our model came to a hefty $92,700.
Safety and Key FeaturesUnfortunately, neither the government nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has provided crash test ratings for the Jaguar F-Type. But the model does come with a number of advanced safety features. Front and side airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, Dynamic Stability Control, and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard. The model also comes with Emergency Brake Assist, which increases brake pressure to help shorten stopping distances. Optional safety technologies on our model included Adaptive & Intelligent Front Lighting, front and rear parking sensors, rear parking camera, and blind spot monitor.
Family Friendliness and UtilityNo one buys a convertible for the storage, but just how practical is the F-Type for everyday needs? The convertible has a mere 7 cubic feet of cargo space, so forget about toting your luggage for a weekend getaway. While it may be adequate for a quick grocery run, the trunk is otherwise too small and shallow to warrant much else. But it could be worse. The F-Type beats out the Porsche 911 Carrera and the Mazda Miata, which have around 4 to 5 cubic feet of space.
Comfort and QualityAs you may expect from a sports car, the F-Type has a firm suspension that really helps you feel the road—for better or worse. But the F-Type never feels unstable or uncertain in its path. Overall, the ride is comfortable yet rewarding, offering that perfect balance without making sacrifices.
The interior is much less Spartan and minimalistic as you may expect from a sports car. Inside, seats are comfortable and supportive. Our model came with 14-way power seats with memory. Soft grain leather covers everything from the seats to the dashboard to the windshield pillars, center console, and door panels. Our only complaint? The radio controls are less than intuitive.
How it DrivesOur model was equipped with a 380-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, but to the untrained ear, it may be confused for a V-8. Upon starting the car, the engine roars with unbridled passion, a sound not for the faint of heart. And once you get it on the open road, there is plenty of power to suit almost any driving need. While purists may not give this model a second glance, we felt extremely satisfied with the V-6 model and its power. Some also would argue that the V-6 provides a more agile drive feel than the V-8, as well as improved fuel economy (19/27 mpg).
SummaryOne look at the F-Type and you're instantly hooked. So we really had to dig deep to see if our infatuation was justified.
For buyers with plenty of cash to spare, we suspect this will come down to an emotional decision. But it turns out that the car has plenty of good qualities in its own right. Its smooth power delivery, livable interior, superior handling, and fuel efficiency make it an excellent choice in its class. But there are plenty of other options on the market, and for $93,000, other models may pack a bigger punch per dollar. Still, we would put the F-Type at the top of our wish list among sports cars, right up there with the 911 Carrera S.
Spec BoxPrice-as-tested: $92,700
EPA City: 19
EPA Highway: 27
EPA Combined: 22
Cargo Space: Please.
Estimated Combined Range: 407 miles
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Average