When the Jaguar F-Type appeared in dealer lots, it was supposed to bring the iconic British luxury car maker back into the mix in the two seat sports car market. The F-Type was the spiritual successor to the E-type and proved so popular it managed to upstage the Jaguar XK. But Jaguar is navigating rough waters as it prepares to morph into an all-electric luxury brand. Can the aging 2023 F-Type still be a top feline in the sports car ranks, or is its age finally beginning to catch up with it?
F-Type’s Added Lipstick Can’t Hide Wrinkles
The F-Type received a styling update a few years ago, but buyers can still choose from either a coupe, or a droptop roadster like our tester. The front fascia has a sinister vibe to it and when compared to the older look, it allows the F-Type to have a strong sense of maturity to its lines. The flowing lines and bulging hips also do a good job showing off how muscular the car is.
That said, the rear styling is largely carried over from what we saw back in the mid 2010s albeit with new taillights and the quad-exhaust tips still make a good exclamation mark on the look as a whole. While this still makes the Jag a very expressive representation of Jaguar’s design language, it also serves as an unwelcome reminder of just how far ahead its key rivals have leapt with their respective styling cues. The Porsche 911 for example has had several updates, while the Chevrolet Corvette has also gotten a new suit of clothes and has even gone the mid-engine route too. That will do little to stop Jaguar’s legions of loyalists but it will turn away prospective buyers that might be cross-shopping the F-Type with other models.
Driver Centric Interior Balances Out Beauty With Flaws
Slip inside the interior and it becomes apparent that the F-Type is trying to appeal to a wide range of customers at once. The interior boasts an interesting mixture of materials and Jaguar’s latest iteration of its Infotainment system is along for the ride. However, unlike older XKs, the interior is more cramped and as a result, taller passengers (despite assurances from your local sales rep) will have a hard time finding ample leg room in this feline. The trunk is also on the small side, but it can still hold several golf bags or even a moderate amount of luggage.
Our convertible tester also did a good job showing that even with the roof down, the trunk doesn’t lose too much space in its attempt to accommodate the roof assembly. However, the exposed cabin also reveals that the F-Type is still pretty lousy at being a convertible when pressed to do so. There was excessive wind buffeting with the top down, and the screen was regularly washed out by even moderate sun glare. That latter item is a glaring omission especially since a Mazda MX-5 that happened to be staying with us at the same time had no such issues with glare when faced with the same amount of autumn sunlight with its top down.
Thankfully, the luxury on hand does do a good job distracting you from some of these flaws with the sport seats in our tester doing a good job of providing balanced amounts of support and comfort. The infotainment system itself (when not being blotted out by the sun) was a fairly responsive unit and menus and control placement is very good.
V8 Still Makes Wonderful Noises, Highlights Simplified Engine Lineup
It wasn’t too long ago that the F-Type had a trio of engine options with the model having a V6 and a four-cylinder to go along with its fire-breathing V8. These days, only the supercharged 5.0 liter V8 is left but it still manages to deliver the goods in either of its two tunes. The range-topping R model makes 575 hp but P450 models like our tester are limited to 444 hp. Both of these engines deliver plenty of noise with enough pops and crackles to make you feel that you are in something truly special.
An eight-speed automatic continues to be the only transmission on hand for the F-Type (the manual was axed sometime ago) but it still delivers crisp shifts and it allowed our P450 grade example to make the sprint to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds flat. That’s pretty fast but it’s not as fast as the Corvette or the 911 which have more power and faster sprint times. The F-Type makes up for it by offering good amounts of handling. While the heavier V8 robs the car of some of the neutral balance that made the V6 version this author’s favorite blend of tea, theirs’s still enough in the steering to make this roadster a hoot to throw through switchbacks and other curvier sections of tarmac. The engine does exert a price though for all of this fun with our fuel mileage averaging a rather paltry 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg in freeway driving.
Pricing for the 2023 Jaguar F-Type reflects the segment that its in with a base convertible model starting at $77,975. Our tester had a light sprinkling of optional extras which helped push the final price to just over $85,000. That’s noticeably less expensive than the Porsche, but is still more expensive than the Corvette with a base 1LT convertible starting at $73,395.
But if your a Jaguar enthusiast who doesn’t mind some of the wrinkles and your looking for a two seater that can still deliver plenty of thrills, chills, and a soundtrack to match, few can match the 2023 Jaguar F-type. It also doesn’t hurt that the F-type’s clamshell style hood makes the perfect visual enticement for observers looking to see the supercharged V8 lurking underneath.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.