By on October 5, 2015

2016 Jaguar F-Type S Exterior-001

2016 Jaguar F-Type S 6-Speed Manual

3.0-liter AJ126 DOHC V-6, supercharged (380 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm; 339 lbs-ft @ 3,500-5,000 rpm)

6-speed ZF Manual

16 city / 24 highway / 19 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

20.1 (Observed, MPG)

Base Price:
$65,995*
As Tested:
$89,250*

* Prices include $995 destination charge.

Jaguar has long occupied an interesting niche in the luxury segment due to not being a full-line brand. With a few exceptions, the English brand’s primary targets have been the E-Class/5-Series, the S-Class/7-Series and whatever high-end coupe and convertible the Germans are selling at the moment. That is changing now that Jaguar has decided to expand their portfolio with the 3-Series fighting XE and the brand’s first crossover, the F-Pace. (Yes, I know that Jaguar has had SUVs for decades called Land Rovers, but I digress.)

Part of Jaguar’s renaissance has been product based, and part has been returning to Jaguar’s sporting roots. While many folks still think of Jaguar as the brand that makes the “English Town Car” (yes, that is a Lincoln reference) like the 2005 Super V8 that sits in my driveway, my “stuffily” styled Jag was actually the start of the modern Jaguar we’re seeing today. You see, the X350 generation XJ was all-aluminium and as a result it could actually be described as “light and nimble” compared to an S-Class of the era. The F-Type harkens back to the old E-Type Jaguars of yesteryear, but this time Jag skipped ye olde styling and created one of the sexiest looking Jags ever. For 2016, Jaguar has re-tweaked the coupé and convertible adding AWD and a manual transmission.

You heard that right manual lovers: this kitty has a stick.

Exterior
Jaguar’s homage to the E-Type is obvious in the tear drop shaped rear profile, although this Jag’s hatchback opens in a more traditional and practical manner than the classic Jag. If the hatch out back strikes you as odd, Jaguar will happily lop it off and sell you a convertible with a flat rear deck for just $3,100 more. Unlike the 1990s and 2000s Jaguars, the F-Type has just the right amount of retro style without being kitschy.

The muscular haunches and long hood recall the E-Type but don’t mimic it. Instead, we get crisp lines, a large and angry grille and massive tailpipes in the back. Similar to the Tesla Model S, the F-Type’s door handles pop out when you unlock the car and then retreat to a flush position when locked for better aerodynamics. There’s a functional electric spoiler integrated into the rear hatch and the aluminium intensive body has been specifically designed to accommodate insanely large tires, even on our mid-range F-Type S tester.

Courtesy of Jaguar

Interior
I’ll be honest, the Jaguar I knew and loved is dead. You see, I am that guy that loves the style of the mid-2000s Jaguar XJ — the bubble headlamps, acres of wood trim, “old man styling” and the J-gate shifter. Sadly for me, we don’t find any of those things inside the F-Type. Our model contained no dead tree and nothing that could be described as “quirky” or “quaint.” This interior is “all business.” That’s not to say Jaguar has lost their flair for the dramatic. The center HVAC vents rise when cooling is required and descend to the depths of the dash when your royal personage is done with them. Fit and finish is excellent in all F-Type models, but the expanded leather package on our tester had stitched leather glued to just about every interior surface, including the ceiling.

While the front seat proved comfortable for my frame, taller passengers complained that the optional sport seats and their fixed headrest hit them in an odd place in their back. Also on the down side, the F-Type has a cramped footwell in width and height. This doesn’t present much of a problem in the two-pedal version, but toss a clutch in there and things get cramped. For my size 12s, there was nowhere to put my left foot and my right foot rubbed against the transmission tunnel and the brake pedal while driving. Thankfully, there is a little more room between the brake and clutch, but folks with larger feet may have troubles with the manual.

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Infotainment
Jaguar and Land Rover have lagged behind other luxury entries when it comes to snazzy in-vehicle infotainment systems. Like the rest of JLR’s lineup, the F-Type uses a touchscreen LCD instead of a rotary knob/joystick input method. The 8-inch LCD is bright, but positioned somewhat low in the dashboard, which means your eyes are farther from the road when using the system. That’s an important consideration since this system offers no voice command of the traditional features including navigation destination entry. Although 2016 didn’t bring Apple CarPlay, the In Control software goes half way there with smartphone integrated apps and smartphone-based navigation that does support voice control.

Jaguar makes up for a lack of voice command love by allowing you to enter a navigation address in the system while in motion. Also compensating for the older software is an incredible sounding — and completely standard on all models — 12 speaker, 770-watt Meridian surround sound speaker system.

2016 Jaguar F-Type S Engine

Drivetrain
Jaguar loves superchargers almost as much as they love aluminium chassis. For 2016, every F-Type comes from the factory with a blower under the hood. Things start out with a 3.0-liter V-6 (AJ126) that’s actually related to the Jaguar AJ-V8 family of engines and not the Ford Dutarec V-6s that we saw in Jags of the last decade. The 90-degree bank angle may sound unusual for a V6 (60-degree designs eliminate the need for a balance shaft) but there is some logic behind this. First off, the V6 is made on the same line as their 5.0-liter V-8 engine using common tooling. Second, the wider bank angle allows the supercharger to be pushed lower into the “Vee” of the engine, allowing a lower hood line. This design is similar to Audi’s supercharged V-6 engine. Power comes in at 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of twist in base models and the S trim receives a bump to 380 horsepower and 339 lb-ft. If that’s not enough power (and why would it be enough?) there’s always Jaguar’s 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 good for 550 ponies and 502 lb-ft of torque.

The big mechanical changes for 2016 start off with electric power steering (boo-hiss), available AWD to satisfy shoppers up north and a standard manual transmission in base V-6 models. The 6-speed unit is a ZF transmission, but I have to say I was somewhat disappointed by the clutch feel. It wasn’t as linear as I would have liked and the engagement was somewhat vague. The now optional ZF 8-speed automatic would be my transmission of choice since you get better performance and better fuel economy if you let the kitty row the gears for you. The high performance R model gets standard AWD and is available topless for 2016.

2016 Jaguar F-Type S Exterior

Drive
The lord giveth and he taketh away, and so it is with the F-Type. The 6-speed manual’s throws are very short and engagement is sheer perfection. However, it is not available with the fire-breathing V-8, nor can it be had with AWD. The clutch pedal isn’t the team player I had hoped it would be and selecting it means giving up both fuel economy and acceleration. Manual transmission F-Type S shoppers (like our tester) should know that the base 340-horsepower F-Type with the automatic transmission at the stop light next to you is faster than you. And he’s getting better fuel economy. Slushboxes have come a long way. Progress has also exacted a toll on the F-Type’s driving dynamics. The 2015 model’s hydraulic power steering was practically the only port in the storm of electric power steering and now it has been swapped for an electric unit that’s more efficient. The high-performance model’s tail happy RWD dynamics have been swapped for an AWD system that can actually apply all the ponies to the tarmac.

On my favorite winding road I have to say that the only change that made me shed a tear was the steering. (Although the clutch came close.) Otherwise, the F-Type’s behavior is sheer perfection. Turn in is sharp as a razor, braking distances were a scant 111 feet, just one foot longer than the carbon fibre Alfa Romeo 4C. Jaguar’s dynamic suspension provides a near perfect balance of a good ride and limited body roll, and the slight rear weight bias (49/51 front-rear) makes sure that neutral handling is just that — neutral.

2016 Jaguar F-Type S Exterior-017

Manual transmission and infotainment quibbles aside, the F-Type is the kind of car to which you develop an emotional attachment. This is quite different in my mind to the BMW Z4 or the Mercedes SLK, both of which I like but some across as more sterile driving machines. The BMW Z4 is the better value, starting just under $50,000 for the four-cylinder version and just under $58,000 with BMW’s smooth inline 6. However, the BMW’s dual-clutch transmission isn’t as smooth as the ZF 8-speed unit Jaguar uses and the BMW feels less connected and less emotional.

On the flip side, the driving dynamics of rear heavy Porsche models seem a little too emotional for my tastes. At-limit Porsche driving takes more skill and more precision than the Jaguar, something I respect and understand I will never possess. (I’ve spun more times than I care to remember in a RWD 911.) Step up to the F-Type R and comparisons start to get hard to come by. At over $100,000, the R naturally competes with the likes of the 911, the AMG GT S and a scattering of exotics. In this company, the Jaguar seems like a steal being some $20,000-$30,000 less than the German options. Although the F-Type isn’t quite as flashy as the AMG and not quite as polished as the 911, the Jag’s head turning sheet metal gets more looks than either, it’s less expensive than the Mercedes and easier to live with than the 911.

2016 Jaguar F-Type S Exterior-019

The F-Type isn’t the E-Type reimagined. The F-Type is too comfortable, too isolated, and, despite the manual transmission, it is also too modern. Modernity has made this kitty a little less fun, a little more practical and, at the same time, explains the manual transmission. Journalists like myself long complained about the lack of a stick in the F-Type. We claimed that such an addition would make the perfect sports coupé, but the truth of the matter is we were wrong. Adding the manual to an existing platform caused compromises that include the electric power steering and the cramped footwell. Although the 2016 F-Type is an amazing machine, I am sad that “progress” has intruded here. My advice would be to pick up a 2015 F-Type S for the superior steering feel while you can, or just go with the AWD F-Type S and its smooth automatic transmission. It’s not as emotionally satisfying as the F-Type once was but it still has far more feel than the competition.

Jaguar provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review. 

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.3 Seconds

0-60: 5.5 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 14.2 Seconds @ 101

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48 Comments on “2016 Jaguar F-Type S Review – Row Your Own Kitty [w/ Video]...”


  • avatar
    energetik9

    Look and sound on the F-type are fantastic. Jaguar has done well. I’ve never understood why this car isn’t faster. A supercharged, almost 500hp car with a 5.5 0-60 seems slow in comparison to its competitors.

  • avatar

    0-60 in 5.5???

    My 300SRT is faster than that!

    No thanks.

    Manual???

    No thanks again.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    What makes the 911 more difficult to live with?

    This is a nice car. Good looking, good power but to me it seems priced a bit high. Does anyone know how depreciation has been on the F-Type? If it’s typical Jaguar, just wait 24-36 months and pick up a lightly driven one at a steep discount.

    That said, at the above OTD price, there’s no way I’d choose this over a Cayman GT4.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Not as much as you’d think.

      MY14 Jaguar F-Type V6 CONV (non S)

      09/16/15 DFW Regular $59,997 621 Above Black 6GT A Yes
      09/01/15 ST PETE Regular $54,500 5,559 Avg RED 6GT A Yes
      09/24/15 RIVRSIDE Regular $54,000 6,670 Avg WHITE 6GT A Yes
      09/01/15 ORLANDO Regular $52,800 12,270 Avg GRAY 6GT A Yes
      09/09/15 SEATTLE Regular $52,600 13,480 Avg WHITE 6GT A Yes
      10/02/15 NEVADA Regular $50,250 18,286 Below RED 6GT A Yes

      MY14 Jaguar F-Type S V8 CONV

      08/27/15 RIVRSIDE Lease $55,000 7,132 Below BLACK 8G A No
      09/10/15 PALM BCH Regular $68,000 7,617 Above BLACK 8G A Yes
      09/24/15 RIVRSIDE Lease $68,000 7,969 Above WHITE 8G A Yes
      08/27/15 RIVRSIDE Regular $65,000 9,789 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
      09/30/15 DALLAS Regular $63,000 14,259 Avg WHITE 8G A Yes
      09/08/15 OHIO Lease $66,000 17,651 Avg ORG 8G A Yes
      09/09/15 PALM BCH Regular $55,200 18,304 Below BLACK 8G A No

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      “What makes the 911 more difficult to live with?” – nothing and no idea what the author meant by this. The 911 is a better all around car in my opinion, and usually bests the F-type in any comparison I’ve read. Performance or otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      @28

      I think the V8 stickered for around 97K w/o options. I haven’t a clue what transaction prices were but just going off of a 97k sticker, those cars in the mid 50s to mid 60s look typical of Jaguar depreciation.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Damn I didn’t realize it touched near $100K. WTF.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It’s ludicrous to charge that much for a Jag. The SL400 is $84.

          (Not to say that an SL should even -have- a V6 option, because it shouldn’t. But it’ll be a better ownership proposition and have superior resale.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Jaguar might have had something if it could have remained competitive with things like the SL.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            When you’ve got people like Clarkson saying a Jag is too loud and uncomfortable – you know it’s really too loud and uncomfortable.

            I really think they should have gone with an XK replacement. Most of Jag’s buyers aren’t too into something this small and rough.

            That being said, any smaller Jag should cost less than an EPIC nameplate MB SL.

          • 0 avatar
            meefer

            Apples to apples please. The $84K for the SL is the base price. The base price for the V6S couple is $66K. Yes you can get $20K in options on the Jag, but you can on the SL as well.

            I’m an F-type owner and my V8S MSRP was $106K.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Why did you go with F-type?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s fine to say, but I’m just throwing out there that I -bet- the SL comes with lots more as standard.

            Base Jags do not have lots of equipment.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ok the F-type R V8 msrps just over 100K for MY16. The next one down is V6 “S” in AWD for 84.

        http://www.jaguarusa.com/all-models/f-type/f-type-models/f-type-r-coupe.html

  • avatar
    JD23

    The 1/4 mile time and trap speed are impossibly high for a car with 480 hp. Either the driver could not shift properly or the car was in limp mode.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      I think that’s a typo; elsewhere in the article, power output’s listed at 380 hp. (For which 5.5 still seems improbably high.)

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, Jaguar’s own website indicates 380 hp. My 2008 Corvette has 56 hp more (and, yes, heaps more torque) but the Jaguar seems very slow in comparison. Might this be due to gearing? I am also surprised by the weight of the Jaguar as well at 3400 lbs, or more than 200 pounds over the Corvette in spite of the aluminum chassis. In spite of being longer than the Corvette as well it has a cramped interior, to say nothing of greater fuel consumption. Looks very nice, though, as it should for this kind of money.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “The 90-degree bank angle may sound unusual for a V6 (60-degree designs eliminate the need for a balance shaft) but there is some logic behind this. First off, the V6 is made on the same line as their 5.0-liter V-8 engine using common tooling.”

    Interesting. I wonder if GM or Chrysler have ever thought about doing something like this?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Buick was the first to do this, back in 1962. Mercedes-Benz also built 3/4 V8s starting in 1998, marking their forfeit of the mantle of engineering excellence.

    • 0 avatar
      ptschett

      After the Buick, there was also the Chevy 4.3L V6 based on the small-block.
      From Chrysler there’s the 3.9L V6 based on the LA-series V8, which was followed by the 3.7L based on the 4.7L V8.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      Sure, they have done it lots. Back when gas was cheap and V8’s dominated the markets and V6’s were the exception rather than the rule it was common practice to do this. A good example was the classic Buick V6 engine. The introduction of 60° V6’s in the 80’s really signaled the sea change that would see the V8 become the exception rather than the rule.

      And even in recent years you still see companies doing this trick now and then. The Chrysler 3.9L and 3.7L V6s for their trucks were 90° designs. The GM 4.3L V6 used in trucks today is also a 90° design.

  • avatar
    ventdiver

    Alex, have you ever written up your ownership impressions of your Super V8? I’ve been looking at the X350 chassis as a good used car buy; probably an XJR as they are more common and I don’t need the extra rear seat room of the Super V8. It seems like they are more reliable than the general public expects, with the exception of the air suspension.

    Thanks!

    • 0 avatar
      naterator

      The X350 is an outstanding used car buy. Had an ’04 for many years and it was a wonderful car and surprisingly easy to work on. The air suspension, while inevitably a problem item, is not a difficult or expensive DIY fix.

  • avatar
    focal

    Instead of the 911, I think a Cayman GTS would have been a better comparison for similar money.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “the 2005 Super V8 that sits in my driveway”

    Needs used car review!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “This is quite different in my mind to the BMW Z4 or the Mercedes SLK”

    That’s good, because at this tested price, it’s in SL territory(!). For a smallish Jag!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m just very torn about the F-Type.

    +Looks very sexy, modern
    +Is tasteful
    -Is too small
    -Is too expensive
    -Is not a GT
    -No wood
    -Not styled in an elegant way
    -Is not suitable replacement for XK

    Guess I’m not that torn. I’ll have an SL.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Ford bought Jaguar in 1989. Ford bought Land Rover in 2000. “Yes, I know that Jaguar has had SUVs for decades called Land Rovers, but I digress.”, states the author. I see. Which decades would that be? The only shared part would be the AJ V8 during Ford’s tenure which ended in 2008.

    Meanwhile, this V6 manual Jag is no quicker in the quarter mile than Baruth’s V6 manual Accord Coupe which features 100 nominal hp less and a better shifter. It does look much nicer and probably handles better, but for three times the price it’s a bit of an underwhelming proposition for the value buyer seeking the snickety-snick manual V6 experience, better mileage and three hundred or more pounds less weight. Is there $55K’s more chick-pulling allure?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’m not interested in it unless I can get it in a DIESEL.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    FYI C/D published their road test of the F-Type S Manual today, with a 0-60 run at 4.9 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 13.4 seconds at 105mph, even with what they described as a slipping clutch at launch. Maybe Alex was on a wet track or at altitude, or the car wasn’t broken in yet?

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    What I want to know is: What’s up with the flying buttress on the passenger side of the center console? And what’s the point in dual-zone climate control when the passenger can’t reach her knob?

    I can’t imagine it being required structurally, but I also can’t imagine anyone thinking it was a good idea ergonomically…

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Helps a very short child or hamster pull themselves up into this tall vehicle! One thing I noted is that it’s covered in suede, which will get marks/discoloration/flattened nap on it if it gets used anyway.

  • avatar
    craiger

    Come here, kitty kitty. Nice kitty.

  • avatar
    Gedrven

    So the manual is slower using the increasingly obsolete 0-60 metric, and the somewhat more relevant 1/4 mile time, because shifts take longer, duh. I assume it’s faster in-gear than the auto?

    I would expect it to be, because if it’s less efficient, the only explanation is that its top gear ratio (times rear axle ratio) is significantly higher, likely unnecessarily so.

    And if it isn’t, that is if it’s slower *and* less efficient, someone at Jaguar who wears pocket protectors, or the person they report to, simply doesn’t know how to do their job.

    Side-rant about modern 6-speed manuals: why oh why with so many gears do manufacturers hamstring them with ultra-short final drives? Having driven a number of European cars (mostly Porsche and BMW) with 3 pedals and 6 gears, 5th is always way too close to 4th and 6th, which in turn is too short. I don’t need to be pinned in my seat in any gear; what’s wrong with having to downshift? The only well-designed 6-speed I’ve driven was an S60 D3 diesel; with power, not just torque, peaking at 2500, it needed to be, and it was. (I admit I’ve never driven a car with a T56)


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