Jaguar F-Type 3.0 V6

S Coupe

Jaguar F-Type, front
Jaguar F-Type, front
Jaguar F-Type, front
Jaguar F-Type, side
Jaguar F-Type, rear
Jaguar F-Type, tail light
Jaguar F-Type, badge
Jaguar F-Type, interior
Jaguar, F-Type, engine

BUYING a new car is usually a decision which is governed by any number of practical considerations.

Is there room for all of the family? Will the boot be big enough to carry all your holiday luggage? How many miles per gallon does it do? Does the manufacturer have a good reliability record?

Such questions are largely redundant for those in the fortunate position of being able to consider buying the Jaguar F-Type Coupe, though.

This flying flagship of the Big Cat fleet is a car that you buy with your heart not your head.

Simply stunning good looks with power and performance to match instantly made the F-Type Coupe one of the most desirable sports cars around when it followed its convertible counterpart into showrooms last year.

And with four-wheel drive options and the manual version I drove added to the range for this year it really has got all the bases covered for the driving enthusiast with deep enough pockets.

The manual gearbox has been introduced in direct response to demand from purists seeking a fully immersive driving experience.

Available paired with the 3.0-litre V6 supercharged power pack in entry level and mid-range S models, it is not quite as crisp as the one in the rival Porsche Cayman, but the combination still offers plenty of adrenaline-fuelled driving thrills.

Acceleration is slightly slower than with the slick eight speed-gearbox in automatic versions - 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds as opposed to 4.8 - but a smooth action and short throw mean the driver feels totally engaged and connected to the car.

And another bonus is the throaty burble from the exhaust, which is more satisfying when changing gear in manual models - especially in sport mode, which also sharpens up the already excellent handling and throttle response as well as turning the instrument dials red.

The extra rigidity of the coupe body over the soft-top increases stability and the sports suspension, although suitably stiff, provides an impressively settled and surprisingly comfortable ride.

The addition of electric power assisted steering also enhances the level of driver engagement, offering just the right amount of feedback whether ambling around in town traffic of pushing the F-Type into sweeping, fast bends on countryside B-roads.

And it is that versatility which is one of this car's great strengths.

De-activate sport mode and exercise a little restraint with the right foot and it is perfectly happy coasting along at 30-40mph and edging along in stop-start urban traffic.

Although it might seem a little superfluous for a car that offers less than 30 miles per gallon on average, the automatic start-stop system works smoothly and there is a gear-shift indicator to help you maximise fuel economy.

All of which makes the F-Type, despite its undoubted performance prowess, a car that is equally easy to use every day.

Better than average practicality for a two-seater sports coupe adds to this everyday usability with a generous glove box, a couple of cup holders and storage bins in the centre console and behind the seats all providing useful storage while the boot, at 315 litres, is more than capable of taking a couple of weekend bags.

Interior quality is all that you'd expected of a luxury performance motor with leather and soft-touch materials in abundance and all manner of creature comforts.

The programmable sports seats with 14-way electric adjustment mean there'll be a comfortable setting for everyone and other standard kit includes an eight-inch touchscreen with sat nav, digital radio, Bluetooth, air con, cruise control and a rear spoiler that rises at the flick of a switch.

There's also an extensive options list - something Jaguar have annoyingly picked up from their German competitors.

Extras such as a panoramic roof (£1,250), keyless entry and ignition (£450) and a powered tailgate (£450) were just a few of the desirables that added an extra £10,000 onto the base price of my test car.

FAST FACTS

Jaguar F-Type 3.0 V6 S Coupe

Price: £60,250

Mechanical: 380ps, 2,995cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:171mph

0-62mph: 5.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 28.8

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 234g/km

Bik rating: 35%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles

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