Not everything in life has to be rational or practical. Such is the case with the 2017 Jaguar F-Type, which is one of our favorite sports car indulgences. First off, it's drop-dead gorgeous, with flowing and graceful shapes mixed in with aggressive edginess and taut proportions. It's a compact plaything that fits like a custom-tailored garment. Sure, you may have to give up some comfort and convenience, but for performance-oriented drivers, those sacrifices are easily ignored.
For 2017, the F-Type lineup grows on each side of the budget spectrum. A more affordable base model debuts, surrendering some features in the process but still delivering all of the style. There's also a new SVR model that pushes the performance parameters even higher than the already stunning F-Type R.
Of course, there's hasn't been a shortage of competing sports cars to consider against the F-Type's price that now ranges from $60,000 to well over $100,000. It's most direct rivals include the Porsche 911, Audi R8, Acura NSX and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. Other less conventional alternatives like the Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche Cayman/Boxster and Nissan GT-R may also be worth consideration.
The good news is, there's not a bad choice in the bunch. So go ahead, loosen your tie or let your hair down and just get out there and have some fun behind the wheel. After all, what are you more likely to remember, practicality or how good you feel behind the wheel?
Standard safety features on all 2017 Jaguar F-Type models include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, seat-mounted side airbags and rollover protection bars for the convertible. A rearview camera, rear cross-traffic alerts and front and rear parking sensors are standard on the British Design Edition and SVR trims and optional on all others except for the base model. Rear parking sensors are also included with the F-Type R.
In 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.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Jaguar F-Type is a two-seat luxury sports car that is available in either coupe or convertible body styles. Available trim levels include a new base model, Premium, F-Type S, F-Type R and SVR.
Standard features for the base F-Type include 18-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights with washers, automatic wipers, LED running lights, heated mirrors, an auto-deployed rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, a selectable sport exhaust system (for models with a manual transmission) and keyless ignition. Convertible models add a power-folding three-layer fabric top and rollover hoops for added safety.
On the inside, you get automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, textured aluminum and synthetic leather interior trim, leather and synthetic suede seating surfaces, six-way partially power-adjustable seats, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, Jaguar InControl Apps (infotainment, remote control and emergency telematics), an eight-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio and a 12-speaker Meridian audio system with a CD player, USB/iPod input and Satellite/HD radio.
The Premium trim adds keyless entry, power-folding mirrors, a panoramic sunroof (for coupe models), adaptive headlights with automatic high-beams and 14-way power-adjustable seats with driver memory functions.
The F-Type S increases power output and adds 19-inch wheels, additional body louvers and accents, adaptive and selectable suspension dampers, high- performance brakes, a mechanical limited-slip differential, driver-configurable drive settings (ride stiffness, exhaust volume and engine/transmission response), alloy pedals (for the automatic transmission only), configurable interior ambient lighting and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
The F-Type R upgrades to a V8 engine along with 20-inch wheels, upgraded performance brakes, an active electronic differential, a power rear hatch for coupes, a wind deflector between the convertible roll hoops, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated performance seats with premium leather, a heated steering wheel, contrasting interior upholstery stitching and a universal garage door opener.
A new British Design Edition adds many of the F-Type R features to the F-Type S model along with unique flourishes to celebrate the car's origins. Also included are front parking sensors, a rearview camera, a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alerts.
At the top of the range, the SVR trim builds upon the F-Type R with a more powerful V8, a lightweight titanium exhaust system, a permanent active rear spoiler, a synthetic suede headliner, quilted leather seat surfaces and the electronic driver aids from the British Design Edition.
Many of the premium features are available as options on supporting trims. Other notable options include carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber coupe roof, a heated windshield, various black and carbon fiber exterior trim and additional interior leather surfaces.
Both the base and Premium F-Type trims are powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through either an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The F-Type S increases output to 380 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is available as an option but must be paired with the automatic transmission.
The F-Type R receives a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that is good for 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. The SVR ups the ante with 575 hp and 516 lb-ft. The eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are mandatory for all V8 models.
In Edmunds testing, a rear-drive F-Type S reached 60 mph in 5.2 seconds with the manual transmission while the automatic bested it with a 5.0-second result. Jaguar estimates that adding all-wheel drive will add another tenth of a second. As respectable as these times are, they're still as much as a full second slower than some rivals. The F-Type R blasts through 60 mph in only 3.5 seconds and we expect the SVR to be a few tenths quicker.
The EPA estimates for the base V6 are 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city/28 mpg highway) for the automatic and 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway) for the manual. The rear-drive F-Type S models drop by only one mpg overall while the all-wheel drive is rated at 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway). The F-Type R and SVR are estimated at 18 mpg combined (15 city/23 highway).
There are two main traits that draw people into the Jaguar F-Type: style and performance. The V8-powered models deliver both. Acceleration is breathtaking, accompanied by an epic roar from the engine and exhaust. In Dynamic mode, the sound is even more fierce, with smile-inducing crackles when lifting off the gas pedal.
The V6-powered F-Types are much more sedate, but not what anyone would consider slow or underpowered. Engine response is still praiseworthy but much of the V8's raucous theatrics are gone. For less performance-oriented drivers, that's a good thing. We do caution shoppers to avoid the manual transmission in favor of the automatic, though. The manual's clutch suffers from an awkward engagement point and occasionally slips under hard acceleration, emitting an acrid burning smell. The automatic further earns its mettle with quicker acceleration and better fuel economy.
Handling with any of the F-Types is commendable. The immediacy of the steering response, coupled with confidence-inspiring levels of grip make it one of the most entertaining cars you'll ever drive. All-wheel drive adds even more cornering ability, though we do miss the tail-happy antics of the rear-drive F-Type R that was discontinued a few years ago.
The F-Type benefits from excellent interior materials and craftsmanship. As the first sports car in the company's lineup in decades, the F-Type snugly wraps around the driver and passenger. Rather than feeling as though you're sitting in the driver seat, it feels more like you're wearing the car. Taller occupants will have just enough headroom but they may not have enough legroom.
Visibility is also limited, with rather thick roof pillars that may obstruct the view through tighter turns and the coupe's small rear hatch window. That small hatch also limits cargo capacity with a narrow opening and only 11 cubic feet of cargo. Most golf bags will not fit, but a few overnight bags will. The convertible is even smaller at 7 cubic feet.
In addition to space, the sports car focus also sacrifices some comfort in exchange for performance. The ride quality is firm enough to cause some fatigue on longer road trips and there is also an abundance of road and engine noise. Most won't mind the engine noise as much, however, since all of the engines sound great. Of greater concern is the firmness of the seats which will likely cause uncomfortable hard points.
As stylish as the F-Type's cabin is, it lacks some of the technological sophistication of rivals. The infotainment system lags behind competitors with slow responses to inputs, unintuitive menus and screen graphics that look outdated. On the plus side, the 12-speaker Meridian stereo delivers strong and clear tones and is standard on even the base model.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.