Sunday 23 October 2016
  • :
  • :

Test Drive: 2016 Jaguar F-TYPE S Review

Test Drive: 2016 Jaguar F-TYPE S Review

This week I bring you the 2016 Jaguar F-Type S Convertible.  I had the V8 version of this car back in 2014 and really enjoyed it.  What makes this one special is that it has the first manual transmission that Jag has offered in decades, and that always hit me as odd. 

This car can be a competitor to the Porsche 911 and even the Chevy Corvette, but most car enthusiasts like the driving dynamics of a stick shift.  Well, we finally have one.

Let’s start under the hood with a 380-horse 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that will take you to a top speed of 171-miles per hour.   The six-speed manual shifts really well and the clutch is light, so the end result is this Jaguar is not as cumbersome in traffic as many of the sports cars today.

Many of the driving characteristics of the car can be changed through the programmable adaptive suspension system.  Hit the checkered flag button on the console to go to dynamic mode, and the F-Type stiffens up and comes to life.  It also comes standard with a high-performance braking system that works extremely well.

This is an outwardly beautiful car that commands a lot of attention.  It is classic Jaguar from bumper-to-bumper.  My tester is Italian Racing Red with a beige convertible top, and a beautiful set of 19” wheels.  The door handles are hidden until you hit the key fob, and you can raise and lower the rear spoiler with the push of a button, or it automatically rises when you get to 60 miles per hour.

This sportster has an electric fabric convertible top, which will go up or down in a mere 12 seconds. You can put the top down or up at speeds up to 30-miles per hour, which is sort of amazing. With the top down, it folds neatly and leaves you with a decent amount of trunk room for a convertible. That is one of the pluses of a fabric top versus a retractable hardtop.  Once you get the top down, you can crank up the 770-watt Meridian sound system. 

Inside, it is what you have come to expect from a Jaguar; rich, leather performance seats snuggle you when you sit down in the cockpit.  Stitching abounds throughout the interior, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel is terrific, and has finger controls. The center stack is well laid out and has large knobs to operate the dual-zone climate system and heated front seats.

Hit the pushbutton start to unleash the sound of the amazing exhaust system this car has.  A separate button will quiet the exhaust when you are on your Bluetooth.  One cool-but useless-feature is the air conditioning vents that pop up out of the dash when you turn the car on.

At no charge, you get Bluetooth connectivity and navigation system.  Everything that runs off the color touch-screen is really simple to find and operate, right down to the ambient lighting inside this roadster.

You can get the F-Type in three engines, two 3.0 V6 supercharged versions. The base engine puts out 340-horses, my tester is the S model, so the horses get bumped to 380, and then there is a big V8 5.0-liter in the R model that jumps up to 550-horses.  Interestingly, you cannot get the manual transmission in the R Version.

As you could guess on a $90,000 car, just about everything comes standard, but this car does have roughly $9000 in options.  The special color costs you $600, the upgraded performance seats run $1500, and getting the convertible top in the special beige color will set you back $600 more.

The Premium and Vision package runs $3900 and gets you blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, backup camera, heated steering wheel, adaptive intelligent headlights, automatic climate controlled air conditioning, and a rear wind deflector.

The last option is the extended leather package, which adds premium soft grain leather to the seat surfaces, dashboard, door panels and center console, as well as the windshield pillars and sun visors.  It also makes available an increased set of interior color combinations with dual-tone leather or contrast stitching like this one

Not that you buy a Jag for fuel economy, but it does OK actually.  I’ve been getting about 20-MPG in mostly in-town driving.  It does have start/stop technology, so when you stop the car, the engine stops but everything else runs. The first thing I always want to do is turn that off.  I find it annoying, plus I love to hear the purr of the exhaust system.  Should you opt for the 8-speed automatic, it actually gets better fuel economy and is slightly faster.

The F-type S handles fantastic, and the one word that I think best describes it is balanced.  Whether driving normal, or putting it into hard turns, the car just doesn’t waiver, and the manual tranny adds a lot to the feel and control of the car.  This is a car you’ll look forward to driving every time you enter the cockpit, and this car-unlike many sporty convertibles-would make a great daily driver.

MSRP as equipped like this one is $90,320, which puts it in line with other convertibles in its class.

If you decide to get one, step one is to learn how to properly say “Jag-u-ar.”  The good people in the U.K. will be quick to tell you that Jaguar is a three-syllable word.

  • What I liked most:  The exterior and interior looks, and the stick shift!
  • What I would change:  Nothing actually, it is pretty much perfect. 
  • MSRP: Base price $80,400, as equipped $90,320.
  • Fuel Economy:  EPA Rated at 15 in town/24 Highway/18 combined.
  • Fuel Tank:  18.5 gallons.
  • Dimensions:  176” long/74.2” wide/51.5” tall.
  • Weight:  3499 Pounds
  • Trailer Towing:  N/A
  • Miles When Tested:  1500 miles.
  • Final Assembly Point:  Castle Bromwich, United Kingdom
  • 2016 F-Type Jag in a Few Words: A great convertible that is a ton of fun.
  • Warranty:  5-year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance AND free scheduled maintenance.
  • Manufacturer: Jaguar
Photo Credit: Jaguar