Jaguar F-Type S Coupe: PH Fleet

The newly updated F-Type range stretches from £49,000 four-cylinder to £110,800 V8 mentalist SVR, and since the car first launched we in the motoring media have desperately tried - and failed - to find where it intersects with the Porsche range. Dammit it's just so tempting though. England v. Germany is a clickbait dream. The target audience for something on the sportier side of the GT equation would seem to be similar. And yet it's still unclear whether the F-Type is an expensive Cayman rival, or a 911 chaser on the cheap.

Funnily enough the looks still appeal
Funnily enough the looks still appeal
By the time I'd finished on the configurator (OK, not quite finished given I forgot to black out the chrome bits...) 'my' F-Type was over £70K. So seemingly in the 911 realm. Yet it's not really a fair contest - the 911 is a much more expensive car and feels it too. But as OV66 EUH returns to the fold and, eventually, a Jaguar dealer's forecourt somewhere, the comparisons get a little more interesting. Because used six-cylinder F-Types are something of a bargain.

Cars barely into four-figure mileages are plentiful at less than £50K, many of these (like mine) specced as £70K-plus cars. The fact these are pre-facelift cars will depress pricing further but at this price point you're thick into the realm of used Caymans, at which point the idea of a characterful Jaguar coupe with a charismatic six-cylinder engine all of a sudden has powerful attraction.

There are just three manual F-Type Coupes in the PH classifieds as I write, the sole S up for £47K with under 3,000 miles on the clock. And an equivalently aged six-cylinder Cayman GTS carries twice the miles and costs another £15K. An S manual is closer at £52K and there are many ways to skin this cat but it's safe to say that a 380hp V6 F-Type presents itself as a compelling used alternative to an equivalent Cayman at this kind of money.

Retrofitted Black Pack helped too!
Retrofitted Black Pack helped too!
Even as something of an F-Type fan I'd never pretend the Jaguar would see which way a well-driven Cayman went on the road or track. But in that more nebulous realm of status and image I'd argue the F-Type is a more prestigious car. It's also a very pleasant thing to live with, as I feel qualified to say having covered best part of 13,000 miles in it since last October. I'll come to some of the detail quibbles I've uncovered shortly, but fundamentally the F-Type scores very highly as a feel-good car. Other people like it too, even those who'd profess to be 'not that into cars' - it's one of those designs that plucks heartstrings of a broad cross section of folk.

I like the design of the Coupe and the boot has proven itself properly useful, capable of carrying a handy amount of luggage, a new exhaust for my Forester and even a Christmas tree. Sort of. When I put my bike on the roof with the Sea Sucker rack there was plenty of room for the front wheel and all my kit, and on a gentle mooch I regularly saw over 30mpg. Which I think is pretty respectable for a supercharged V6 in a heavy car of this nature.

It's a comfy and stylish car to be in too, so long as you ignore the crummy infotainment interface (now updated) and enjoy the fundamentals rather than fixate on some of the details. It's a very driver-centric car though, the round steering wheel (a novelty in this day and age), cowled dials and low-slung driving position informing you of the old-school character.

PH in 'likes V6 manual RWD sports car' shocker
PH in 'likes V6 manual RWD sports car' shocker
I dialled into the slightly busy ride (springs and dampers are well matched but there's seemingly not a huge amount of wheel travel) and the pointiness of the steering, enjoying an enthusiastic response to corner entry even a standard Cayman can't match. For EPAS the steering is very nice too, the weight and feedback pretty decent. A proactive and early use of the throttle maintains that willingness to turn in. And without the manic power delivery of the V8 or the snatchiness of its electronic locking diff the mechanical LSD gives the S a lovely balance. Aggressive use of the right pedal could unleash oversteer - and quite a lot of it even with the systems on - but a more progressive approach revealed a 'softer' rotation than you'd get in the more fighty V8 versions.

And though the manual shift's throw and the clutch pedal's vagueness made the transmission less pleasurable than it could have been, the flexibility of the engine and control over proceedings was always involving. The need to rev and slip the clutch to overcome the automatic release of the electric handbrake and some cruise control wobbles are hints the calibration isn't perhaps as polished as it is in the automatic, but I was happy with my 'old school' spec. You won't find many - if any - like this either. My Firesand Orange paint has been discontinued, manuals are rare and my choice of a carbon roof extremely unusual. And I have to thank Jaguar again for sparing my blushes on the chrome window surrounds and replacing them with the black pack I forgot to spec originally - the change absolutely transformed the looks.

On its way to a Jag dealer near you soon!
On its way to a Jag dealer near you soon!
Intermittent cruise control, errant shifter gate stitching and a centre console carpet fault would all have been sorted under warranty if I'd got around to taking the car to a dealer. However, I think they count as pretty minor foibles given the use the car had.

My only disappointment was not getting a proper go on track to finish off the rear tyres, which after 13,000 miles were getting close to their wear limiters. I squeezed in a couple of laps of Anglesey the other week and, as expected, the weight was impossible to ignore. It was, however, beautifully balanced, richly interactive and rewarding to drive 'properly' before temptation got the better of me and I did a couple of luxuriant skids for good measure. Not its natural environment, but I did at least get it out of my system before they took it back.

It'll be interesting to track F-Types as the market matures too. My suspicion is that six-cylinder Caymans and Boxsters will hold their money while the Jaguars will remain excellent value. And once you start comparing the Jaguar's more inspiring engine note with the fast but farty 718-model Porsches I think those chasing a more romantic driving experience will find the F-Type a more attractive proposition. It deserves to be.

: Jaguar F-Type S Coupe
Run by: Dan 
On fleet since: October 2016
Mileage: 13,216
List price new: £71,880 (Basic list of £60,775 plus Firesand Orange paint £715; Jet leather facings and Firesand stitch £0; Jet/Firesand Interior £0; Dark Hex Aluminium centre console £0, 20-inch Cyclone wheels in black £1,785; High Performance Brake System with black calipers £310; Visibility Pack inc. heated windscreen and Auto High Beam Assist £1,100; Premium Leather Interior with Performance Seats £2,495; Parking Pack inc. front parking sensors and rear view camera £515; illuminated metal treadplates with Jaguar script £255; Meridian 770W Digital Surround Sound System £1,380 and Carbon Fibre Roof £2,550)
Last month at a glance: There's a Jaguar-shaped hole in Dan's life

Previous reports:
If PH built F-Type Coupes...
Spec blushes averted with de-chroming
Hang on, another spec cock up?
Jaguar + bike = happy Dan
Back to driving school in the F-Type
Past 10,000 miles and the noise is still invigorating



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Comments (15) Join the discussion on the forum

  • DPSFleet 18 May 2017

    Just sold my convertible V6S after nearly 3 years and was sad to see it go but hey, what depreciation! Mine was over £80k new and I trousered less than £43k two weeks ago. Meanwhile my 2011 997 GT3 remains static in price. Different cars, yes of course but in more ways than one. Great noise though from that V6 - so much so I bought a V6 Range Rover Sport so I do not miss it!.

  • RobDown 18 May 2017

    The depreciation looks (and is heavy). But keep in mind there are big discounts to be had on new ones that slightly soften the blow

  • Triple7 18 May 2017

    Pre-face lift cars tended to have £10k thrown at them towards the end, but those early adopters, ouch. The difference in forecourt price and part ex price is another more than £20k loss in 6 months. Bonkers....

    Not a fan of the V6S, but I would like to reserve final judgement until after I have driven the 400 Sport. SVR I would love! ❤️

  • swisstoni 18 May 2017

    I've tried but I just can't like these things. The styling is heavy handed somehow.

    Edited by swisstoni on Thursday 18th May 07:09

  • tonker 18 May 2017

    So, as we all said, it was hugely overpriced. Which is reflected in painful residuals for early buyers, and presumably fat discounts for everyone else are making a mockery of the attempts to paint it as a 911 rival (excellent. Car though it no doubt is)

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