You can now pick up an F-Type for half the new price â€“ but thereâ€™s nothing half-hearted about the way it drives
The Â£60,000 pricetag on Jaguarâ€™sÂ F-TypeÂ seemed a bit on the high side at its 2013 launch. Now, an early 45,000-mile example of the V6 ragtop can be had from just Â£32,000 â€“Â and that makes F-Types very interesting. Weâ€™re talking about a 330bhp supercharged V6 with a 5-second 0-62mph time, after all.
Even the 370bhp S cars can be picked up for the same sort of money, if youâ€™re prepared to forego a full service history. The regular F-Type is attractive enough with its sports suspension, half leather and steering wheel gearshift paddles), but the S is good value for its usual premium of around Â£2000 thanks to its outrageous exhaust, adaptive suspension and mechanical limited-slip diff.
Lift your budget to Â£39,000 and youâ€™re into 481bhp 5.0-litre V8 S convertible with electronic diff territory, while the 535bhp V8 R coupeÌ from 2014-on starts at about Â£46,000 â€“Â or Â£29,995 for a 4000-mile 2016-reg cat N write-off that we saw on ebay.
The default all-aluminium chassis F-Type is rear-wheel driven through a ZF eight-speed automatic. From 2015 there was a ZF six-speed manual V6, but theyâ€™re thin on the ground. You could also go for an all-wheel drive option on V6 S models in 2015. They now start at about Â£40,000.
Convertibles are nearly as refined as coupeÌs thanks to a waterproof Thinsulate layer in the electrically powered fabric hood. The fully adjustable suspension is augmented on S and R versions by Jaguarâ€™s Adaptive Dynamics system, which actively controls body movement. Uneven tyre wear might suggest a problem with that.
Make sure that all the recalls affecting 2014/2015 F-Types have been done â€“Â they include risk of fire and of crashing, high-speed instability and seatbelt pretensioners not deploying.
The V6 has a pretty spotless reputation, but the V8 can develop noisy camchain tensioners and problems with its high-pressure fuel pumps.
Transmission-wise, the ZF auto is beefy, but forget the official â€˜sealed for lifeâ€™ claim and change the fluid every 70,000 miles. Oil can leak from the rear diffâ€™s main seal.
On the suspension front, split rear bushes and tie-bar dust covers can lead to MOT failures, and there is evidence of rust on some rear subframes. Electrics can be affected by an unhealthy battery, generating warning messages, so make sure that everything works, including the V8â€™s inflatable seat bolster function.
â€œIâ€™ve just sold my V6 S coupeÌ,â€ says F-Type expert Tom Lenthall. â€œThe V8 is too much for UK roads, whereas you can nail the V6. I race Jags and in my experience, and that of other racers, the V6 is quicker than the V8. I prefer the coupeÌ version, too. The F-Type convertible is strong but the coupeÌ feels just that little bit stiffer. My car was reliable, but we get F-Types through the workshop with noisy tappets and wheezy superchargers. No car is 100% reliable, of course.â€
There are loads of under-Â£40,000 F-Types for sale online. We reckon you could grab a very nice V6 for Â£35,000.