2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: 500 Miles of Rain and Rear-Drive Reflections
May 21, 2015
I don't usually call anything shy of 1,000 miles a road trip, but after covering half that distance in our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, I'm going for it. When I signed out the Jag for this trip, I was torn. On one hand, I would have to suffer its invasive seat-seams for hours.
On the other hand, it was going to rain and I like RWD + rain.
Turns out I didn't have to worry about the seat. I'm not sure if my physiology has changed or if, after 20,000 miles, the leather on these seats has finally broken in. The seat felt more supple and accommodating, and the giant seam that runs down the center seemed to violate me less. It didn't stop violating me, it just violated me less.
What I hadn't expected was the amount of road noise this thing makes. Yes, it's loud on throttle and it's a sports car with big meaty contact patches, but I drove a 911 cross-country with no hearing loss. I don't think I could say the same if I cross-countried the Jag. There's no real exhaust noise on the highway, just tire and suspension. Roaaaaar. Thunk thunk. WSHHHHHHHHHcrackWSHHHHHH. Can't-listen-to-an-audiobook-loud. For hours.
Steering: On city streets, the Jag tends to feel darty as it hooks into ruts and rain grooves and dives down road crowning like it's high-speed banking. I expected similar performance on the highway and got it. At freeway speeds, the Jag's a two-hander. If you tried to send a text while driving this thing, you'd cross three lanes and be upside down in a ditch before selecting the correct winky-face emoji.
I may be in the minority, but I prefer a car that requires some effort on the highway. It helps to keep me alert, entertained and happy. To this end, I was a fan of the Jag. It needed me just to stay on the road.
Cargo space: Overnight bag. Gym bag. Briefcase-thingy. They all fit. So did my coffee cup. I did, however, want more center console space. Sunglasses, iPod charging cable, parking pass and GoPro took up the whole thing.
Ride: Expectedly stiff. Doesn't like big seams in the pavement. Perfectly fine.
Stereo: Not great. I can't figure out what kind of music this thing is tuned for, but it's nothing I listen to. Even audiobooks and podcasts don't sound right. I wish I could point to a specific flaw, but it's just lifeless.
Rain performance: Weeeeeee! Totally made me forget everything else.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor, 20,580