2019 Jaguar F-Type Review

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2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz
July 18, 2018

The 2019 Jaguar F-Type blurs the line between sports and touring cars.

The 2019 Jaguar F-Type defines beauty without beastliness. This shapely two-door, available as a coupe or as  a convertible, has an engine and a transmission for nearly everyone and it splits the line between sports car and touring coupe.

We rate the F-Type lineup at 7.0 out of 10 points for its generous customizability, its solid driving dynamics, and of course a shape that we still swoon over even after a few years on the market. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The F-Type lacks the dynamic appeal of the Porsche 911 and even Chevy’s Corvette, but its lower price and its modern British personality curry our favor. This year, the F-Type gets with the times with a new 10-inch touchscreen for infotainment and 4- and 6-cylinder versions badged—P300, P340, and P380—to signify their underhood horsepower.

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Confusingly, the F-Type offers more engines than badges, and those badges actually represented rounded horsepower figures, so things are not necessarily simpler than they were before.

In the F-Type P300, the 2.0-liter turbo-4 that joined the lineup last year with 296 horsepower and an 8-speed automatic returns. P340 and P380 signify 3.0-liter supercharged V-6s that can be paired with manual or automatic transmissions with the option of all-wheel drive, depending on the configuration. Topping the lineup, the F-Type R and SVR feature muscular V-8s rated at 550 and 575 hp, respectively, and they’re matched to all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmissions. Jaguar didn’t feel that their substantial horsepower figures needed to be called out.

Don’t look for a wallflower in this lineup, even the base F-Type with its strong, if gruff turbo-4. Those with more than four cylinders feel like proper sports cars, with flat cornering, a firm ride just the right side of uncouth, and snarling exhaust notes. Our favorite underhood motivation comes from the V-8s—and why wouldn’t it—but the firm-riding F-Type SVR begs for a racetrack rather than a clogged commute.

No rival offers this many permutations, although being spoiled for choice may require placing an order. That’s not such a bad thing given the wide range of optional equipment available. First world problems, these.  

With its decent visibility and tech-laden cabin, the 2019 F-Type makes a reasonable daily driver. Drop the top and the F-Type Convertible goes from confining to sunshine-attracting in just 12 seconds.

9

2019 Jaguar F-Type

Styling

We hope to age as well as the 2019 Jaguar F-Type.

Some of us age gracefully. Case-in-point: the 2019 Jaguar F-Type. We love its shape, regardless of trim or top, and it makes an easy case for 9 out of 10 points here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The F-Type channels its illustrious past, at least a little bit. Some reminders of the classic E-Type and more modern XK8 have made it into its curvy silhouette. The F-Type’s tall front end works well with headlights that curve way back into, but not around, its fenders. The long hood stands in contrast to its truncated tail. Coupes are actually hatchbacks, while convertibles have a standard trunklid.

The F-Type convertible attracts as much attention with its top—available in a variety of shades—erected as it does with the top lowered. That’s not something we can say about many convertibles.
Inside, the F-Type welcomes a new 10-inch touchscreen for infotainment this year, up a pair of inches from the 2018. A sports car theme dominates, prioritizing function with just enough grace and elegance to justify prices that climb into six figures. The F-Type’s cockpit splits the driver from the passenger and gives the latter built-in hand grips that can come in handy.

Though its exterior might hint at its past, the F-Type’s interior discards with the glossy wood trim ubiquitous with Jags of yore. Look instead for carbon fiber and aluminum.

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8

2019 Jaguar F-Type

Performance

The 2019 Jaguar F-Type delights in every configuration, even if some rivals are more precise.

The 2019 Jaguar F-Type’s appeal extends from its rorty turbo-4 base engine all the way through ferocious, V-8-powered R and SVR variants. We appreciate its analog nature, even with some rough edges, and it rates a 8 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

We derive that figure from its excellent steering, its strong brakes, and its lovely handling. If its 4- and 6-cylinder engines were more refined, we’d find room for an extra point.  

This year, the F-Type lineup gains new nomenclature for the 4- and 6-cylinder engines. The F-Type P300 features a 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 296 (eh, close enough to 300) horsepower paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. It performs strongly with minimal lag, but it makes its presence known in uncouth ways at low speeds. The copious synthetic noise simulating a rorty exhaust system piped in through the speakers tries too hard, unfortunately.

A 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 in 340- and 380-hp configurations comes next, signified by P340 or P380 badges. The V-6 is brisk and occasionally coarse, mixing supercharger whine with V-6 grumble. Depending on the trim and body, the V-8s can be paired to either 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmissions and rear- or all-wheel drive. Fit winter tires to your F-Type and it’ll be a hoot to take on a ski trip to Aspen or Mammoth. Yes, a ski carrier is available through Jaguar’s accessory catalog. Ask us how we know.

From there, the lineup splits in two directions: R and SVR with their 5.0-liter supercharged V-8s rated at 550 and 575 hp, respectively. The F-Type R is a brilliant thrill ride matched by a ferocious growl. The F-Type SVR ticks all the right boxes for track use: available carbon-ceramic brakes, an ultra-stiff suspension, and a bolt-on rear spoiler.

Regardless of version, the F-Type is ready to thrill its driver. Brake-based torque vectoring aids in providing a planted feel when pushed hard. Porsche’s 718 Boxster and Cayman feel friskier and more precise, but the F-Type is buttoned-down and hardly a weak performer.

The droptop F-Type bumps around more than the stiffer coupe, but not unduly so. Pop for the optional adaptive suspension dampers and you’ll find a more controlled ride.

One big F-Type asset is its all-wheel drive, which extends the driving season for those in chilly or wet places. Short of the Porsche 911 and Cadillac ATS, most competitors don’t send power to all four corners.

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5

2019 Jaguar F-Type

Comfort & Quality

Comfortable seats and lovely materials beckon drivers and passengers—but not back-seat riders or suitcases—to the 2019 Jaguar F-Type.

The 2019 Jaguar F-Type makes no effort to coddle more than two passengers. This coupe or convertible lathers on luxurious leather and aluminum surfaces that suit its price point, which cancels out its tight cargo area in our eyes.

We rate it a 5 out of 10 for comfort and quality, with far more emphasis on living the good life than bringing friends along. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Up front, leather upholstery is standard and most F-Types are built with full leather trim covering nearly every surface. Aluminum and carbon fiber trim panels vary by model but always look the part. The front seats are firm and supportive, albeit low to the ground.

This isn’t a minivan, after all, which is another reminder why Jaguar didn’t bother to include a rear seat in the F-Type. That is just fine. Instead, coupes have a small cargo area that’s less roomy than its 14.4 cubic-foot capacity. Convertibles shrink that to just 7.3 cubes.

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2019 Jaguar F-Type

Safety

The 2019 Jaguar F-Type checks all the right boxes for its safety gear, but it has not been crash-tested.

Don’t look for a score here any time soon. Federal and independent testers have avoided smacking an F-Type into a wall, which is a shame for safety but no great loss for the world of automotive art.

That’s why we can’t assign it a score for its safety. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

At least the 2019 Jaguar F-Type is available with most of the advanced safety gear we expect from a high-end car—and more than a bunch of its rivals.

Options include forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warnings. Newly optional this year are blind-spot monitors, while active lane control has been made standard.

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2019 Jaguar F-Type

Features

The 2019 Jaguar F-Type spoils buyers with features and customizability.

Plan to spend some time working out just what 2019 Jaguar F-Type you want to order. It’ll be worth the wait, we promise. We give the 2019 F-Type 8 out of 10 points for its feature count, including marks above average for its numerous options and trim levels, its upsized 10-inch touchscreen for infotainment, and an extensive warranty. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Value is a consideration in that score, and even though the F-Type can get pricey when loaded up, it’s well-outfitted even at just $61,000 to start. At that price, you’ll find leather seats, 380-watts of Meridian speakers, memory for the front seats, a rearview camera, LED headlights, and a 10-inch touchscreen with navigation.

Stepping up to the V-6 models nets 19-inch alloy wheels, a useful Dynamic mode for the drivetrain, and a limited-slip rear differential. Our preference is to start with the P340, which strikes a welcome balance between price and performance.

In addition to a V-8 engine, the F-Type R features more aggressively bolstered seats, bigger brakes, and an electronic limited-slip rear differential. The F-Type SVR goes full-tilt with track-ready suspension bits, more power, and a downforce-enhancing spoiler that also happens to spoil the coupe’s lines.

Numerous option packages are on offer, plus the F-Type can be configured in a massive number of paint, interior, trim, and wheel combinations. It’ll be hard to find two that are identical—unless you want one for rainy days and one for sunny days. We do.

This year, Jaguar treated the F-Type to a larger touchscreen with new software, but there’s still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility.

Should things go wrong, Jaguar’s EliteCare warranty covers the car for 5 years or 60,000 miles, which includes maintenance.

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5

2019 Jaguar F-Type

Fuel Economy

Drive gently and the 2019 Jaguar F-Type can be surprisingly fuel-efficient.

The Jaguar F-Type can be a low-guilt sports car—if you want it to be.

The turbo-4 engine that comes standard is EPA-rated at a highly justifiable 23 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined.

On our newly updated scale, that earns it an acceptable 5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For a sporty car, that’s not bad. The supercharged V-6 hasn’t been rated for 2019—we’ll update this space when we know more—but last year’s models weren’t too thirsty, either. Go for the 8-speed automatic and you’ll see 19/27/22 mpg. All-wheel drive drops those figures to 18/26/21 mpg The 6-speed manual guzzles to the tune of 16/24/19 mpg.

This will surprise no one: Jaguar F-Types fitted with the supercharged V-8 have a drinking problem. Both the F-Type R and SVR rate 15/23/18 mpg.

All F-Types require premium unleaded.

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7.0
Overall
Expert Rating
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Styling 9
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 5
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