Time Well Spent: Jaguar F-Type 2.0 Coupe

At a shade under £50,000 it could hardly be called an “entry level” F-Type model but Jaguar’s coupe in 2.0 flavour is the cheapest version available. Compared to its smooth and supercharged older brothers of 3.0 & 5.0 capacity, this 2.0 turbo is bound to disappoint… isn’t it?

Erm… no actually!

ftypefront
Pretty styling and unmistakably a Jaguar. Smaller engine = lighter nose = nimble handing. Good enough and smooth enough to use as a daily car if need be. Overall the F-Type continues to ooze character and style.

Its a difficult car not to like is the F-Type. Drop dead gorgeous looks, grippy chassis and body engineering which is truly the stuff of cutting edge engineering and technology. Previously, I have had some fun with the 380PS V6 and the 550PS V8 of 3.0 and 5.0 capacity. Both stir the soul, both have a soundtrack to die for – especially the incredible 5.0 V8 that offers either 550 or 575PS. My choice was always going to be the V6 380 version thanks to its manageable fuel consumption – the V8 simply cannot be enjoyed properly on our awful UK roads… unless you have access to a private track that is.

I really did sit up and raise an eyebrow when the 2.0 4 cylinder turbo version was launched. Myself along with many others thought this was bound to… not necessarily disappoint – more like underwhelm when you have been used to V engined offerings with a Banshee wailing supercharger. This really is the rub with the F-Type… get the engines singing and you simply don’t care about stuffing £20 notes into the petrol filler neck, the racket really is addictive stuff.

Surely then Jaguar have simply built an F-Type that’s more at home for trundling down to Truro rather than blazing a trail to St Tropez. You might think so but no – its actually quite good… really good

ftyperear
Looks impressive from every angle but I’m not taken by the huge central exhaust tailpipe – looks a bit Halfords Ripspeed to me.

So… here we have a 2.0 turbocharged four pot engine mated to an electronic eight speed sequential ZF automatic gearbox. Surely then Jaguar have simply built an F-Type that’s more at home for trundling down to Truro rather than blazing a trail to St Tropez. You might think so but no – its actually good… really good. The in-house JLR designed and built ingenium 2.0 turbo develops a credible 300PS of oomph with 400NM of torque – and that’s only 80PS less than the six cylinder 3.0 supercharged! and as Jimmy Cricket would tell us with a beckoning hand gesture… and there’s more.

Performance wise, the figures tell us of a limited maximum speed of 155mph and that all important squirt from standstill to sixty in 5.4 seconds. To use the 3.0V6 as an example once again… this model is barely half a second slower – happy now? Not only that but the figure quoted for carbon emissions is just 163g/km. The 2.0 F-type is pretty convincing on paper enough and yet doesn’t really let you down in practice either. For sure the 2.0 has its limitations in some areas – namely the noise at the front when its ticking over and when you speak the model title out loud in a pub with friends… but all is not lost.

There really seems to be little downside to the 2.0 F. Only when you drive in manual paddle shift mode letting the revs drop a bit too low does any shortcoming in cubics or power delivery become obvious

Thanks to the standard fitment of Jaguars switchable “Active Sports Exhaust” there is a pleasant burble from the tailpipe – artificial of course and in some ways emulating a boxer four from a Subaru. Crack on though and it farts, pops, bangs and burbles akin to its bigger engined brothers as you power through the octave of gears or shift down in manual mode. There really seems to be little downside to the 2.0 F. Only when you drive in manual paddle shift mode letting revs drop a bit too low does any shortcoming in cubics or power delivery become obvious.

Let me tell you now brothers and sisters… I reckon the 2.0 turbo F-Type is quite possibly the best model in the range. Why? well its fast, fun, frugal and thanks to the lighter drive-line there is less weight over the front wheels. The handling is slightly tighter, the feel is of a little more balance and cruising ride comfort is just as agreeable as before. I recently had a clandestine conversation with a Jaguar engineer and he completely agreed with me, going as far as to say as an all round package… its the pick of the bunch to buy.

Perfection is slightly out of grasp however… the interior build quality still lacks behind other premium brands at this price. Lets make no mistake its by no means poor or worrying, it just needs to be better

ftypeint
Good ergonomics and appearance but slightly lacking in real solid quality here and there. Better infotainment is coming soon – thank goodness. Neat little rocker switches below the climate dials look quirky but cool. Comfort and cruising refinement is decent on long journeys.

Perfection is slightly out of grasp however. As I noted in other F-Type models and more recently with the new Range Rover Velar, the interior build quality still lacks behind other premium brands at this price. Lets make no mistake its by no means poor or worrying, it just needs to be better. The centre console feels cheap and the middle air vents that rise up automatically are housed in a wedge shaped binnacle that Audi engineers would roll around laughing from in terms of feel to the touch.

Jaguar still lag behind when it comes to infotainment and features. It lacks Apple Car Play and it lacks a voice activated Sat-Nav too. Its all well and good telling me its coming soon to JLR products… but its already here in mass produced volume cars… at a fraction of the price. That said, what it does have works well. The Meridian produced sound system is impressive and ergonomically speaking the F -Type is an easy and enjoyable car to operate and drive.

To conclude… the 2.0 F -Type is a gem. Great handling, really good performance, pleasing economy and environmental stats, brakes stronger than Atlas and the same pretty looks from that ultra lightweight alloy chassis and bodywork – a hell of a car!

AUTOBRITANNIA RATING: 9/10

THE HUMBLE OPINION

I think you get the gist already surely?

Listen… its not just me. Jaguar Land Rover engineers agree, Jaguar dealer principals and business managers agree that the F -Type 2.0 is the one to go for if you want a smart fast daily driver that still has fantastic performance for less than £50K.

After one week of mixed driving I managed to return fuel consumption figures that not long ago would have been impressive for a five door 2.0 family saloon car. Jaguar claim 39.2mpg – I returned 38.1mpg – hell that is decent!

It looks good, drives well, turns heads and starts conversations at petrol stations – everyone seemed to like its presence wherever it was parked. Little more really needs to be said… or does it?

Well… in my opinion, if Jaguar gave it just a touch more attention in terms of material fit and finish and hurry up with the badly needed in car media software I personally could be writing about my own perfect car.

2.0 doesn’t look on paper or screen as impressive as 3.0V6 or 5.0V8 of course… but all the stats stack up in practice – its a lovely thing.

MODEL TESTED: Jaguar F-Type 2.0 Coupe

List Price: £49,900 excluding options

Engine: 1997cc JLR Group Ingenium turbo petrol 16v

Driveline: RWD via 8 speed ZF electronic auto with torque vectoring

Power: 300PS & 400NM of torque

Performance: *0 – 60 in 5.4 seconds with *155mph max

Economy: *39.2mpg combined (38.1mpg on actual test)

Co2 Output: 163G/Km

* = Manufacturers or Govt claimed data

WHATS GREAT 🙂

  • Achingly pretty styling
  • High Tech body engineering
  • Feels safe and secure at all times
  • Superb handling / ride balance
  • Excellent performance
  • Strong and well engineered brakes
  • Good fuel economy
  • Comfortable and smooth enough for those longer hauls

WHAT GRATES 😦

  • Could feel better to the touch inside
  • Badly needs an infotainment upgrade – but its coming
  • Daft looking exhaust tailpipe
  • Interior cubby storage space is miserly
  • Steering could feel quicker

For more information on the F-Type and other Jaguar products CLICK HERE

 

4 comments

  1. Still a handsome looking machine. May not have the kudos of a five litre badge but those performance figures aren’t shabby at all. Good report Mike

  2. Bound to hold its looks after time better than the rusty old XJS

    I agree it’s lovely to stare at.

    #lotterywinplease

  3. So good to fall upon a website seemingly celebrating our automotive industry.

    You have a very unique, funny and emotive writing style keep it up.

    Jim Rance (former Ford Engineer)

  4. Just test driven the 3 and 2.0 back to back. Honestly there’s little between them apart from the rather useful few thousand pound price difference. I’ll let you know what the outcome is.

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