Review: 2016 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible Amazes
A week behind the wheel of in the 2016 Jaguar F-Type - a $110k, 550HP, 2-door luxury/sports car convertible - brought about a lot of emotions like joy, exhilaration and amazement. Yet, one emotion stood out among all others. Happiness. Pure, unbridled happiness and the smile it brought lasted all week. This car, nah, mood changer really hits all the right marks.
The 2016 Jaguar F-Type convertible has been out for a while now and there has been plenty written on how it handles on the track, 0-60 times and its cockpit-like cabin. While these articles all describe how well the F-Type is a race car, they all seem to miss on the practical side of matters. How is it for daily driving? Can it be more than a track/Sunday car? The answer is complex.
As an automotive journalist, I have a different take on luxury and sports car vehicles. While sure, they are a lot of fun on the track, they have to be useful as well. As a consumer myself, I can’t imagine spending $110k+ for a car that isn’t practical to own nor operate.
Spending a week with the F-Type, two things become immediately clear when thinking about practically. First, with the top down and the windows up, the wind noise is quite minimal and one could drive for hours without feeling beaten down by the elements. In fact, the elements are kept away so well, the top can be dropped in less ideal temperatures as well with the heater compensating for the lack of sunlight. For example, I drove it for a considerable distance with only a light jacket in 50 degree temps with no problems.
Second, cargo room is really non-existent. The rear trunk space can maybe hold a case of wine and some groceries, yet big grocery trips and/or large suitcases, just don’t fit. I did attempt to put my golf clubs in the trunk and found they fit as long as I didn’t leave the driver and fairway woods in the bag. With them out, you can angle them to fit into the trunk. However, I can only imagine one golf bag fitting. Instead of fighting with the trunk, I simply strapped my golf bag into the passenger seat which held them really well and dropped them down almost out of sight.
In its defense, the lack of cargo space is a trade-off for buying a 2-door convertible and its cargo space is pretty consistent with other convertibles I have driven. The fact is you can work around the cargo space issue with planning and making it part of your lifestyle - keep an SUV for groceries or transporting multiple passengers.
While the cargo space maybe the “con,” the “pros” far outweigh them. These pros become immediately clear after one push of the start button. Roaring to life, the 5.0L supercharged V8 has an exhaust sound like no other. This deep, rich exhaust sound temps you to push the car to its limits and really becomes alive over 45 mph. Keeping it below this speed seems sacrilegious and the desire to hear it roar makes the speed limit signs more of a suggestion than the law.
Dropping the hammer and letting it run brings such joy, the landscape of early Spring Nebraska farm fields becomes a blur. Not that you’d want to pay attention to the passing fields when the luxury interior is laid out before you with a slew of seat features like a personal favorite - adjustable seat bolsters for long trips and hot laps at the track. The material choice and stitching throughout is amazingly well done and the various computer systems respond quickly to inputs. Plus, the 14-way driver’s seat and sitting position feels more like a fighter jet than a car with every need at less than an arm’s reach. It is simply put - perfect. I struggled to find anything I could change or move slightly.
Flying past those fallow fields, the all-wheel-drive Jaguar responds to every steering wheel input quickly, in normal mode, and the suspension gives the car a feeling that it is simply gliding at speeds over 75+ MPH. Quite often, I was simply shocked at the speed I was driving at since the F-Type seemingly felt better as it gained speed. If there is a sweet spot with this car it is surely not at 25 MPH, rather it enjoys when it is pushed well over 65 MPH.
Incredibly, even with those higher speeds, the Jaguar F-Type feels safer than most typical sedans on the highway today in just about every driving situation. I tried to put it in difficult spots and it responded by making my attempts look futile. Now, sure, you can really push it in the advanced sport mode, yet why you would escapes me since the normal mode is more than enough for the average driver.
If you think this “review” is not quite a review and rather it is just a writer gushing over the car, you would be correct. The only real problem with the 2016 Jaguar F-Type is it makes you want to research buying options and pushes you to figure out how you can possibly make it a part of your budget. I’ve done the math myself and that says it all.
Model: 2016 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible
Engine: 5.0L Supercharged V8
HP/Torque: 550 HP @ 6500 RPM, 502 @ 2,500-5,500 RPM
Fuel Economy: 15/23/18 city/highway/combined
0-60: 3.9 seconds
Top Speed: 186 MPH
- Extended Leather Pack - R - $1,100
- Vision Pack (Adaptive & Intelligent Front Lighting, Front Sensors & Rear Parking Camera, Blind Spot Monitor) - $2,100
Price as Tested: $110,645 with $995 delivery fee