Quick Review: Jaguar F-Type V6S – Pleasure at a Premium

Much has been made of the spiritual successor to Jaguar’s iconic E-Type, largely because it’s taken so long for one to surface.

Nevertheless, the Callum-designed roadster has finally reached the market and the little Jag has been making quite the name for itself. We managed to snare one for a while and made acquaintance on a varied test route around the West Midlands.

I’m going to commit a bit of automotive heresy here and admit that I’m just not sold on the F-Type’s looks. The overall shape is superb – the Bo Derek-esque perfect 10 from above – and the rear haunches are sublime, but the details are just a little squiffy in the metal. If you see one coming towards you on the other side of the road you’ll spot it, something just not quite right – and the rear lights put me in mind of a suspicious cartoon dog.

Overall it lacks a little of the road presence that the other fast Jags – the XFR, XKR and XJ Supersport – have, but that does engender a slightly less daunting feeling when you approach one having been handed the keys.

But what it may lack in visual road presence it makes up for aurally. On test we had the 380hp 3.0 supercharged V6S model with the optional active sports exhaust and from the moment you fire it up with that copper starter button, you know you’re in for a loud time.

The F-Type is, in short, childishly loud. It bellows briefly when you start it up, it growls on part throttle and at anything over 5/10ths attack it pummels all other noise aside. Only you can’t drive it at 5/10ths attack because the noise is intoxicatingly puerile and you will want to pin it wide open for as long as you think you can get away with it.

Louder still are the gearchanges. For each shift you make up the box – and in the close-ratio 8 speed automatic there will be many – you’re treated to a guttural bang through the exhaust. This is equally intoxicatingly puerile.

Lest we forget, the V6S is the middle car too – there’s an even more powerful V8 above, but at no point on the drive did I wish I had a different engine in front of me.

But should you be capable of restraining your infantile urges, the F-Type is a very pliable and docile car. The seating position is minutely adjustable (though the controls are, oddly, on the door card) as is the steering column, so it’s only a matter of a couple of minutes’ fiddling to find an ideal seating position.

The controls are all easily accessible and logical and, thankfully, there isn’t an overdose of them. It’s relatively clean and comfortable in the cockpit, with about the only niggle being the bolster on the right side of the satnav occasionally getting in the way of my hand when going for the light stalk.

It even rides well. Even over slightly pocked Midland B-roads and set to Dynamic mode (a little copper coloured switch with a chequered flag on it) the V6S didn’t transmit much of the unevenness through the wheel or seats – not so accomplished as the larger Jaguars certainly, but no bone-shaker.

Much has been made of the relative dearth of space in the F-Type’s boot and it’s certainly not a roomy place even without an (optional) spare wheel. However, I’ve spent much of the last few years relying on a Mk1 Mazda MX-5 for daily duties and the Jaguar’s boot is ample as far as I’m concerned – beating the Mazda by more than a half again.

196 litres is more than you get in the back of many 7 seaters, so while you may have to forego a set of golf clubs (though it could be a close call) in the F-Type, you could certainly fit a weekend’s camping gear in without a bother.

Price as tested: 79,230

Verdict

Though I’m not convinced on the looks, the F-Type V6S is a remarkably complete package. It drives brilliantly, goes well, stops well, sounds terrific and is happy to dial back into a relatively serene cruiser. Until you reach the price.

79,000 is a genuinely ridiculous amount of money to spend on this car. Even the 67,000 asking price without the options loaded onto this press car is fairly barmy – if I walked into a Jaguar dealership with 67,000, I’d be driving out in an XFR, with 500hp, four seats and a boot big enough to fit the F-Type into. Or the XK8 if the convertible mood forced me roofless.

Make no mistake, the F-Type V6S is a great car and you finish every journey sorry that it has ended, but it is just a 2 seat, V6 convertible and I’d struggle to justify at least ten grand of that sticker price.


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