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2016 Jaguar F-TYPE REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/3/2017

Con: Underwhelming V6 acceleration; outdated infotainment system; limited passenger and trunk space; noisy cabin.

Interior: Slide into the F-Type's driver seat and there's no mistaking it for anything but a sports car. Even in base trim, there are plenty of cues telling you that this car means business, with racy stitching, well-bolstered seats and a beefy passenger grab handle on the center console. It's still a Jaguar, though, which means top-notch materials. Such finishing touches as central air vents that rise from the dash and the "Ignis" orange start button and shift paddles (for S and R models) further increase the cool factor.

The F-Type's interior looks great and is finished in high-quality materials. The touchscreen interface disappoints, though.

For 2016, some of the F-Type's interior tech has been updated and all trim levels get the 12-speaker Meridian sound system as standard. The system also includes an 8-inch touchscreen and Jaguar's InControl Apps, which allows for expanded smartphone connectivity and use of third-party apps. Unfortunately, these upgrades do not change the touchscreen's slow response times, unintuitive menu structure and unappealing graphics that are extremely outdated compared to most rivals.

At highway speeds in the convertible, top-down motoring is calm, with buffeting kept to acceptable levels. If you suddenly remember you forgot your hat and sunscreen, though, the top goes up in just 12 seconds and it can do so at speeds up to 30 mph. The coupe provides a slightly more confined feeling inside, but there's still plenty of headroom and the now-standard panoramic sunroof offers a much airier feel.

Road trips in the Jag may be a bit of a hassle. The padding in the full-leather seats is stiff and unyielding, so the more forgiving suede upholstery is a very attractive alternative. Those long of leg will find the seat doesn't move far back enough, and trunk space is notably limited whether you're in the coupe or the convertible. The convertible provides just 7 cubic feet of space, while the coupe offers a more usable 11 cubes. Medium-size suitcases will be a tight squeeze (a golf bag is iffy), and the oddly shaped space and awkward liftover make luggage loading even more difficult.

Body: The 2016 Jaguar F-Type is a two-seat sports car available as a fabric-top roadster or a hardtop coupe. Both the coupe and the convertible are available in base, S and R trims.

Jaguar offers the F-Type as both a coupe and convertible.

Standard features on the base trims include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights with washers and LED running lights, automatic wipers, power-folding heated side mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, single-zone automatic climate control, leather and simulated suede upholstery, simulated leather interior trim, eight-way power seats (with four-way power lumbar and power side bolsters), driver memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch touchscreen display, navigation and a 12-speaker Meridian audio system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack, a USB/iPod interface, smartphone app integration, and HD and satellite radios. The convertible has a fully powered retractable soft top, while the coupe has a panoramic glass roof. On the base model, an active sport exhaust is standard on models equipped with the manual transmission, but optional with the automatic transmission.

Upgrading to the F-Type S will get you a more powerful engine, 19-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, larger front brakes, a mechanical limited-slip differential, selectable dynamic driving modes (controls throttle, steering and transmission responses), the active sport exhaust, a flat-bottom heated steering wheel and multicolor ambient lighting.

At the top of the range, the F-Type R adds the supercharged V8 engine, 20-inch wheels, red brake calipers and larger rear brakes, an electronic active differential with torque vectoring, quad exhausts, auto-dimming mirrors, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated sport seats, full leather upholstery and interior trim, a heated steering wheel and metal pedals. The coupe also includes a power hatch, while the convertible has a wind deflector. Most of the R's standard items are available on lower trim levels in packages or as stand-alone options.

All trims are optional with extended leather interior trim, simulated suede upholstery and interior trim, and a heated windshield. There is also the Vision pack, which includes adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, rear cross-traffic detection and a blind-spot warning system. All but the base model can be had with high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes, while a carbon-fiber roof is available on all coupe models.

Driving: If you're looking for ultimate straight-line performance, the lightning-fast F-Type R is the way to go, especially because now you can utilize all 550 horses from a stop thanks to traction-enhancing all-wheel drive. Just stomp the gas and the F-Type R rockets ahead, with the active exhaust producing one of the most outrageous soundtracks that an internal combustion engine can offer. Some driving enthusiasts will miss being able to light up the rear tires like you used to be able to do on the previous rear-drive F-Type R, but on the whole, the all-wheel-drive R is a more versatile car.

Three words: Get the V8.

As for the V6, it's underwhelming. It doesn't sound nearly as memorable, and acceleration is below par. It's nice that Jag offers a six-speed manual for it, but it's not a particularly smooth or enjoyable transmission to shift. The eight-speed automatic is the way to go, and it certainly didn't keep us from thoroughly enjoying a year-long test of a 2015 F-Type R coupe. It shifts nearly as quickly as many of the automated manual transmissions in competitors, executing smooth gearchanges in everyday driving situations and quick rev-matching downshifts when you're driving with a bit more enthusiasm.

As for handling, the 2016 Jaguar F-Type delivers, big time. All models in the range perform on a very high level, though the V6 models feel marginally more responsive in the handling department than the heavier R. The F-Type's traditionally stiff ride quality has been softened somewhat, especially on the S and R models with adjustable adaptive dampers. At speed on the highway, the F-Type is mostly comfortable, but the cabin can get pretty noisy with wind, engine and road noise. On broken city pavement, the firm suspension has trouble soaking up rougher road imperfections. It's especially noticeable with the 19- or 20-inch wheels.

What’s New: For the 2016 F-Type, Jaguar adds a six-speed manual transmission option, available all-wheel drive and enhanced technology features. All F-Types now have electric-assist power steering (replacing the former hydraulic power steering). Also, Jaguar has made some changes to the F-Type's trim levels and options packages, including making the previously optional 12-speaker Meridian sound system standard on all F-Types. The V8 S model has been discontinued.

The base 2016 Jaguar F-Type is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 340 hp and 332 pound-feet of torque. A standard six-speed manual transmission or optional eight-speed automatic send power to the rear wheels. Jaguar estimates the base F-Type will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds with the manual and 5.1 seconds with the automatic. For fuel economy, the EPA estimates that the base F-Type will return 22 mpg combined (19 city/28 highway) with the automatic transmission. With the manual, estimates drop to 19 mpg combined (16/24).

The midrange F-Type S uses the same V6 but increases power output to 380 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. It has the same transmission choices as the base engine, but is offered with all-wheel drive paired only with the automatic. In Edmunds testing, a V6 S coupe with the automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive went from zero to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, while a manual-equipped V6 S coupe made the same run in 5.2 seconds. Both are respectable times but still slower than many rivals. Jaguar estimates that all-wheel drive adds an estimated tenth of a second. The F-Type S with rear-wheel drive and the automatic transmission is rated by the EPA at 22 mpg combined (19/27). These lower by 1 mpg each with the automatic and all-wheel drive. The manual transmission knocks estimated fuel economy down to 18 mpg combined (15/24).

The F-Type R receives a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. You can only have the R with all-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds testing, an R Coupe accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0.3 second quicker than the rear-drive 2015 model. The F-Type R coupe is rated by the EPA at 18 mpg combined (15/23), while the convertible's city rating is 1 mpg higher.

Safety: Standard safety features on the 2016 Jaguar F-Type include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, seat-mounted side airbags and rollover protection bars (convertible only). Rear parking sensors are standard on the R model and as an option on all other trims. Front parking sensors, a rearview camera, a blind-spot monitor and a rear cross-traffic warning system are optional on all trims.

During Edmunds testing, an F-Type V6 S with rear-wheel drive took 106 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, an average stopping distance in this class. An all-wheel-drive F-Type R with optional carbon-ceramic brakes fared marginally better, stopping in just 104 feet.

Pro: Stirring and occasionally flamboyant V8 performance; capable handling and braking; finely crafted cabin.

Edmunds Say: With a new manual transmission and all-wheel drive both available, the Jaguar F-Type has broadened its appeal in 2016 and continues to be a lust-worthy blend of style, performance and luxury.

Introduction: Gorgeous styling, a luxurious interior and thrilling performance all combine to make the 2016 Jaguar F-Type one of the most desirable sports cars on the road today. And that would probably be the case even if the F-Type were completely unchanged from last year. Yet Jaguar has decided not to rest on its laurels, instead making some big changes to further the F-Type's appeal.

Compared to other established sports cars, the 2016 Jaguar F-Type is still a rare sight on the road.

Headlining are the mechanical additions of a new six-speed manual transmission and available all-wheel drive. Though it's only available with the V6 engine, the manual will undoubtedly appeal to driving purists who want a three-pedal setup, although we found it difficult to engage the clutch smoothly, and the rubbery shift action was a disappointment. The availability of all-wheel drive should interest buyers who live in inclement-weather climates and/or appreciate the added security of increased traction in wet or dry conditions. Under normal driving conditions, the new all-wheel-drive system sends all power to the rear wheels. But when hustling the F-Type on a curvy road, a track or in slippery conditions, the system can shift 50 percent of engine power to the front wheels for improved grip and handling.

There are some downsides, though. The Jag isn't especially practical, even by sports car standards, with a cramped and noisy cabin and a paltry amount of cargo space -- especially in the convertible. We've also been disappointed by the V6's performance. If such concerns resonate with you, the Porsche 911 is much better suited for daily driving and road trips, while boasting impeccable driving manners and a wide selection of variations. Porsche's less expensive and superior handling Cayman and Boxster are also worth considering. And if you want something a bit less expensive but just as capable, the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette is in many ways the Jag's American spiritual cousin in terms of its brash character and aggressive performance. But when it comes to satisfying the emotional side of driving, the evocative 2016 Jaguar F-Type is one of the best sports cars available today.

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