What Car? says...
If you want to buy a new V8-engined sports car then time is running out – especially if that car happens to be a Jaguar F-Type.
The F-Type will end a decade in production in early 2024, and its demise will mark the end of 75 years of combustion-engined Jaguar sports cars, stretching all the way back to the XK120 of 1948.
To celebrate that milestone, all V8-powered versions of the F-Type are now special edition 75 models, featuring unique paint colours and lots of standard luxuries. However, if you’ve fallen for the F-Type’s looks and want to pay as little as possible, there’s still an entry-level 2.0-litre petrol (called the P300).
As always, you can choose between the hard-top F-Type Coupé and the drop-top F-Type Convertible. So, is the Jaguar F-Type still worth buying and, if it is, which version should you choose?
Over the next few sections, we’ll tell you everything you need to know, including how the F-Type squares up against its key rivals, including the Alpine A110, the BMW 8 Series and the Porsche 718 Cayman in the areas that really matter to sports car buyers.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The cheapest engine for the Jaguar F-Type is, unsurprisingly, the least powerful. Badged P300, it’s a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol that’s offered exclusively with rear-wheel drive.
It’s powerful enough to make the car feel quick, but needs working pretty hard to deliver its 0-62mph time of 5.9 seconds (some hot hatches can show it a clean pair of heels).
Despite the odd pop and crackle from the exhaust when you lift off the accelerator pedal, and an augmented engine note piped through the speakers, there’s not much theatre. All in all, the P300 has too many excellent rivals in its price range to really stand out.
Our favourite engine is the P450. The supercharged 5.0-litre V8 has 444bhp and is noticeably quicker and more muscular than the 2.0-litre.
There’s enough acceleration to pin you back in your seat (0-62mph takes 4.6 seconds) and a snarling exhaust note that turns into a guttural roar as you chase the red line – especially if you switch the exhaust to its loudest setting in Dynamic drive mode, or by pressing a button by the gear lever.
The P450 is available with rear or four-wheel drive and is significantly more expensive than the P300, but feels significantly more special too.
The P575 – exclusive to the F-Type R – is a version of the same 5.0 V8 engine, but has even more power. With 567bhp, it gives you enough acceleration to match the pace of some supercars, sprinting from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds. To help tame all that power, four-wheel drive is fitted as standard.
So, why isn’t the P575 our favourite F-Type? Well, it’s just too much of a financial leap from the P450, and finds itself up against tougher competition, including the Porsche 911.
The manual gearbox option was killed off a few years ago, meaning every F-Type is fitted with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that shifts smoothly when you’re driving gently, but punches through the gears aggressively (especially in the R) when you’re pushing hard.
It responds quickly enough to manual shift requests when you pull a paddle behind the steering wheel, though not as obediently as the PDK auto gearbox in Porsche’s sports cars.
The F-Type is heavy by sports car standards, and you feel its weight under braking and through tight twists and turns. That's less of a problem in the lighter P300 version and the stiffer range-topping R, but no F-Type changes direction like a Boxster or Cayman, a 911 or an Alpine A110.
It’s more fun than a BMW 8 Series or Toyota GR Supra though – particularly in rear-wheel-drive form. The steering is precise and, for the most part, well-weighted, which certainly helps. That said, you don’t get the same response or feedback as with rival Porsches or the A110.
Four-cylinder F-Types have conventional suspension, which gives you a ride that’s sports-car firm but not overly bumpy. Progress never becomes uncomfortable, but you’re always aware of undulations in the road as the wheels pass over them.
The V8-powered models come with adaptive suspension as standard, which improves ride comfort while helping to counteract body lean in corners when required. Things are pretty smooth on motorways and flowing A-roads, although you’re still very aware of road scars in town – especially in the R.
There’s less road noise than in Porsche’s rival sports cars, but the F-Type isn’t as peaceful a long-distance cruising companion as the 8 Series. Meanwhile, the standard wind deflector in the convertible version, which sits between the rear rollover hoops, ensures that wind bluster isn’t excessive with the top down, even at motorway speeds.
Strengths Punchy engines; roaring exhaust sound; fun to drive, yet reasonably comfortable
Weaknesses Not as agile as the best sports cars
The interior layout, fit and finish
The entry-level P300 version of the Jaguar F-Type comes with decent sports seats, featuring six-way electronic adjustment and a heating function.
The 75 special edition cars (all V8 models) have upgraded 12-way adjustable leather seats with a memory function, which are more comfortable and supportive and are also ventilated to stop you getting sweaty in the summer.
The interior is suitably driver-focused, with a wraparound dashboard and a central grab handle dividing the cockpit into distinct driver and passenger zones. The digital display behind the steering wheel shows vital driving information with helpfully large, clear fonts and graphics. The low seating position is suitably sporty but does restrict visibility slightly.
Front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are standard on all F-Types, as are automatic Pixel LED headlights, which can shape their beam to light as much of the road ahead as possible without dazzling other drivers.
Also standard is the Jaguar Touch Pro infotainment system. Its 10.0in touchscreen can be tricky to read in sunny conditions and doesn't respond to prods as snappily as the touchscreens in Porsches. It’s also nowhere near as easy to use on the move as the brilliant iDrive system in the BMW 8 Series.
The F-Type's dashboard is pleasingly uncluttered. You get central air vents that rise dramatically from the top of the dash when required, and most of the heating and ventilation functions are controlled via three simple dials. You do have to pay for dual-zone climate control, though – otherwise you and your passenger will need to agree on a temperature.
The quality of the materials used is acceptable at the lower end of the range, but harder to excuse in the eye-wateringly expensive R models.
You can pay extra for an extended leather upgrade that covers more of the interior surfaces, but the BMW 8 Series and the Porsche 911 feel much more upmarket inside. Even the cheaper Porsches (the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman) feel more solidly screwed together.
Strengths Comfortable seats; plenty of kit
Weaknesses Interior quality could be better for the price
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Despite the Jaguar F-Type’s low roofline, you’d have to be seriously tall to find your head brushing the roof because the seats are mounted low down in the car. They move back a long way too, so leg room shouldn't be a problem.
The broad centre console makes the interior feel quite cosy, even though the driver and passenger actually sit quite far apart. Unlike some rivals – including the BMW 8 Series and the Porsche 911 – the F-Type is a strict two-seater.
Stowage space is limited to a small glovebox, a couple of cupholders and a shallow storage bin between driver and passenger, which is big enough for a wallet and a phone, but that’s about it. The door bins aren’t very deep, either – a 500ml bottle of water is about all each can hold.
On paper, the boot in the F-Type Coupé would seem to be a decent size, but in reality the load bay is shallow and the opening narrow. Hardtop versions of the 8 Series and 911 are more versatile because they have bigger, more usable boots – and also small rear seats that you can use to throw bags and coats on.
The F-Type Convertible has an even smaller boot, although it’s actually comparable with the luggage space offered by the Porsche 718 Boxster. You won’t fit really large items in there, but there’s enough space for some golf clubs or a couple of carry-on suitcases.
Luckily, you don’t lose any of that boot space when the roof is down: Jaguar decided against fitting a bulky folding metal roof, and has instead used a fabric hood. It can be opened or closed electrically in just 12 seconds while you're driving at speeds of up to 30mph.
Strengths Decent front space
Weaknesses No rear seats; limited storage and boot space
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
How expensive the Jaguar F-Type seems depends on which version you're looking at and what you’re comparing it to. For example, the cheapest model in the range – the P300 – is much more expensive to buy than its closest rivals, the Alpine A110 and the Porsche 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster (even after discounts).
The P450 is more expensive still, but with its V8 engine and much stronger performance it's a closer match for the BMW 8 Series and the Porsche 911. In that company, the F-Type seems reasonably priced given how much equipment and performance you get as standard. Check our Jaguar F-Type deals for the latest prices.
The version we find hardest to recommend is the range-topping R. It’s considerably more expensive again, to the point you could probably afford the superior 911 Carrera S.
Unsurprisingly, insurance and road tax costs will be high on any F-Type and depreciation is likely to be heavier than on a rival Porsche model.
The four-cylinder model is the best for fuel economy, but still won't be cheap to run. It sits in the top 37% benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax bracket, and you’ll be lucky to see 30mpg in the real world. Unsurprisingly, the V8 cars are even thirstier.
The P300 R-Dynamic comes with plenty of standard kit, including 20in alloy wheels, a sports exhaust, cruise control and automatic wipers.
The V8 engines are only available with the 75 special edition trim, and that comes with gloss-black 20in alloys, additional ambient lighting, more adjustable leather seats and bespoke paint colours, including Giola Green. A heated steering wheel is an option on all models.
The Jaguar F-Type was reported to be one of the more dependable sports cars in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing mid-league in the class and above the Porsche 911.
Jaguar as a brand finished a more disappointing 29th out of 32 manufacturers in our overall reliability league table. It comes with a three-year unlimited-mileage warranty as standard and three years’ roadside assistance.
The F-Type hasn’t been safety tested by Euro NCAP but comes with the safety equipment you’d hope for. Like most rivals, it's fitted with a tyre-pressure monitoring system, lane-keeping assistance, driver condition monitoring (to warn of tiredness), traffic-sign recognition and automatic emergency braking (AEB).
You also get an active bonnet, which pops up to cushion the impact in a collision with a pedestrian. Blind-spot monitoring is part of an optional package.
Strengths Mid-range P450 seems relatively good value against high-end sports cars
Weaknesses Not many options
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
Yes, the 2024 model year F-Type will be the last. Production is expected to finish in early 2024 and there won’t be a petrol-powered replacement.
You’ll need to decide this one for yourself. The F-Type is generally considered a very pretty design, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
|RRP price range
|£58,420 - £134,925
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|MPG range across all versions
|26.2 - 30.1
|Available doors options
|3 years / No mileage cap
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£4,203 / £9,816
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£8,406 / £19,632