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2018 Jaguar F-Type Review

2018 Jaguar F-Type Review
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The 2018 Jaguar F-Type is a thrilling sports car with style to match.

This year, there’s officially a 2018 Jaguar F-Type for every sports and touring car shopper’s needs. Although neither as dynamically sharp as the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette, nor as stately as a traditional GT car, the F-Type strikes a nice balance and becomes more attainable this year thanks to a new base turbo-4 engine.


Overall, the F-Type lineup scores 8.0 out of 10 points. It drips with character and style, and it’s available in enough configurations that each one built is practically a one-off.

For 2018, the F-Type range adds Jaguar’s new turbo-4 engine. Rated here at 296 horsepower, the turbo-4 is paired exclusively to an 8-speed automatic and it sends power rearward. Thrashy but strong supercharged V-6s are available in 340-, 380-, and 400-hp configurations paired either to a 6-speed manual or the 8-speed automatic and with the option of all-wheel drive. The F-Type R and SVR dive head first with V-8s of 550 and 575 hp, respectively, shuttled to all four corners via an 8-speed automatic.

Though the V-8s are rarer than hen’s teeth, they’re worth seeking out for their signature engine notes.

F-Types with the 6- and 8-cylinder powertrains are fleet of foot and precise, like proper sports cars. The F-Type SVR eggs on a track membership with its optional carbon-ceramic brakes and retuned suspension. At the opposite end of the spectrum, this year’s new turbo-4 fulfills the grand-touring dimensions the F-Type always seemed to dance around. The base engine is lighter and thriftier, but it’s hardly short on power. Refinement is not its forte, however, and the synthetic exhaust note piped in through the audio system doesn’t exactly thrill.

The F-Type is a proper two-seat sports car inside with form-fitting seats that get more bolstered as underhood power rises. Its tiny trunk will swallow a couple of small duffel bags. At every step of the way, the F-Type can be ordered as a convertible with a power-operated top that tucks away in just 12 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph. All the better to enjoy the exhaust note, we say.

Styling
The seductive 2018 Jaguar F-Type hints at the brand’s sports car past without a deluge of retro kitsch.

The 2018 Jaguar F-Type wastes little sheetmetal. Its taut exterior is as eye-catching today as it was nearly half a decade ago when it was first introduced, even when dressed up in track-ready F-Type SVR guise. This coupe’s interior is just as attractive, if not quite as imaginative.

Overall, the 2018 F-Type rates a 9 out of 10 on our styling scale.

Squint and it’s easy to see that the F-Type was inspired by Jaguar’s illustrious past. There are hints of vintage E-Type and modern classic XK8, but the F-Type looks forward rather than falling into the retro trap.

Its front end sits tall, with headlights that sweep back, but not around the fenders. From the side, its long hood is all the more evident, while the rear window cascades gently into wide rear haunches that hint at the available power underneath. There’s beauty in the details, too: the F-Type’s door handles pop out when needed and hide away when not in use.

The F-Type Roadster is one of few droptops that looks as good with its top up as it does down, too. The fabric top is available in a wide array of shades to help ensure that your F-Type looks nothing like your neighbor’s.

Inside, the F-Type’s sports car theme remains, with a function over form feel belied by luxurious leather draped throughout. The cockpit separates driver from passenger with a built-in hand grip that says as much about the F-Type’s mission as it does about the single-driver demographic it chases. As a reminder that this is a modern Jaguar, and not one held back by the brand’s past, interior trim bits range from aluminum to carbon fiber. There’s no glossy wood in sight.

Performance
There are better true sports cars than the 2018 Jaguar F-Type, but this one’s a real thriller in any guise.

The 2018 Jaguar F-Type packs thrills for any driver. This year’s new base turbo-4 only widens the appeal of a sports car lineup sure to put a grin on any driver’s face. There are more precise sports cars and roomier grand tourers, but the F-Type is an analog gem of a car well worth its 9 out of 10.

We get to that heady figure by giving it points above average for its excellent steering, its great handling, its massive engine lineup, and a pair of terrific transmission choices.

This year’s new addition is a 296-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4. Although it’s paired exclusively to an 8-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, the new base F-Type is a strong performer. It’s a little buzzy at low speeds and the copious synthetic exhaust sound pumped into its cabin through the audio system feels like cheating, but the engine’s power output and its light weight work well with this two-door’s chassis.

Next up, a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 is available in 340-, 380-, and 400-hp configurations. The lower two outputs can be paired to either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional with the automatic and either the 380- or 400-hp setup.

Yep, you’ll probably need a spreadsheet. Regardless of output, the V-6 provides brisk acceleration with soundtrack that pairs a coarse rumble with the whine of the supercharger.

Topping the line, the F-Type R and SVR models use a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. If it’s sound you’re after, there are few cars with a more ferocious growl than these two. The R’s 550 hp helps it sprint to 60 mph in under four seconds, while the SVR is even more buttoned-down and does the deed in 3.5 seconds before topping out at 200 mph.

The F-Type SVR is really a track-day star. It’s punishing around town and its available carbon-ceramic brakes can be unwieldy. For most sports car fans, the F-Type R hits the sweet spot. Its suspension is firm without being stiff and its steering is simply sublime. Base turbo-4s with their standard 18-inch alloy wheels ride the softest of the group and they make great daily drivers.
All F-Types include brake-based torque vectoring that aids in providing a nimble, planted feel in hard cornering.

Overall, the F-Type lacks the precise feel of a Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman, at least up to the R and SVR. With its top removed, the F-Type hops around bumps more than its hardtop brethren but is hardly sloppy. Selecting the optional adaptive dampers helps considerably.

Against the Porsches and other traditional sports cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, the F-Type has one four-season asset: available all-wheel drive. It’s mandatory on V-8 models and optional with most V-6 configurations.

Comfort & Quality
Comfortable for two and finished to a level that suits its price tag, the 2018 Jaguar F-Type is a proper sports car inside.

Kudos to Jaguar for not making a pretense of including pint-size rear seats in the 2018 F-Type. This is a driver’s car and it shows as soon as you step inside. We’ve awarded the lineup an extra point for its fabulous front seats and another for its upscale feel, while dialing one back for its limited cargo capacity.

The F-Type’s standard sports seats are upholstered in a beautiful leather trim that, for an extra cost, can be repeated on its dash and doors. With more power in R and SVR variants comes form-fitting front seats that can be tight for wider drivers.

You won’t find glossy wood adorning doors and dash here. Instead, the F-Type’s interior can be outfitted with aluminum and carbon fiber. Jaguar does a great job of making pricier versions like the R-Dynamic, R, and SVR stand out with synthetic suede accents and color combinations that border on gaudy (ahem, pimiento-hue leather).

Despite its sporty positioning, the F-Type’s interior is quiet in both convertible and coupe guise and its ride quality doesn’t disturb its sense of serenity.

Coupe versions hold 11.7 cubic feet of cargo, but the oddly-shaped bay and rear hatchback glass mean that big suitcases are a no-go. The convertible’s folding top reduces that to just 7.3 cubic feet, which is less than a Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Safety
Although it hasn’t been crash-tested, the 2018 Jaguar F-Type is available with some trick safety gear.

The 2018 Jaguar F-Type is a pretty car and it would be a shame to see one crashed into a wall in the interest of vehicle safety. Federal and independent testers seem to agree, which is why it hasn’t yet been crash tested—and it’s not likely to be any time soon. As a result, we can’t assign it a score here.

Still, the 2018 F-Type comes standard with a wide array of safety gear and even more is on the options list. This year, it’s newly available with a host of driver assistance gear like forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and active lane control.

The same stereo camera system that helps avoid objects also reads traffic signs. An adaptive speed limiting system can speed up or slow down the F-Type to comply with speed limits based on information from the cameras.

Features
The 2018 Jaguar F-Type offers a wide range of customizability, something we love to see in high-end sports cars.
The 2018 Jaguar F-Type reminds us that an exceptionally wide lineup with a massive degree of customization potential is as much a sports car must-have as anything these days.

The 2018 F-Type gets points for its high level of standard equipment, its array of options, its custom-tailored design options, and its extensive warranty. It’s an easy 9 out of 10 here. It’s not really a bargain, but the F-Type represents a good value for a sports car.

This year’s new base model with its turbo-4 engine doesn’t skimp on features for its $61,000 price of entry. You’ll find leather upholstery, LED headlights, a 380-watt Meridian-branded audio system, power front seats with memory, navigation, and a rearview camera. Options are mostly grouped into packages. Extended leather dresses up the interior for about $2,200, but heated seats are part of a pricey $1,400 package.

Adding the supercharged V-6 bumps the price by about $8,000. Another $10,000 nets the R-Dynamic with a power increase, active sports exhaust, 20-inch wheels, and adaptive dampers making it feel like something of a bargain.

The F-Type S includes those adaptive dampers plus 19-inch wheels, ambient lighting, a driver-configurable Dynamic mode, and a limited-slip rear differential. The F-Type R has its own sports seat design, performance brakes, upsized wheels, and an electronic limited-slip rear differential.

The SVR’s subtle looks are matched by unique, track-oriented suspension tuning and 25 additional horsepower. 
All versions use an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment that runs the automaker’s InControl Touch software. In addition to 3-D maps, InControl is compatible with some smartphone apps like Spotify and Pandora. However, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capability yet.

The F-Type line includes the automaker’s EliteCare, which covers five years of standard maintenance.

Fuel Economy
The 2018 Jaguar F-Type’s fuel economy runs from mild to wild, depending on power output.

Sporty coupes usually aren’t bought for their fuel-efficiency numbers, but the 2018 Jaguar F-Type could change that.

The new turbo-4 base engine is rated at 23 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined. That’s enough for a 7 out of 10 on our scale.

Regardless of power output, F-Types with the V-6 aren’t as thrifty. Stick with the 8-speed automatic and you’ll see 19/27/22 mpg, according to the EPA. All-wheel drive lowers those figures to 18/26/21 mpg. The 6-speed manual comes in at just 16/24/19 mpg.

Predictably, F-Types with the 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 guzzle more. They come in at 15/23/18 mpg, and again the EPA rates the F-Type R and F-Type SVR the same even though the latter is more powerful.

All F-Types require premium unleaded.

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