Automotive

2018 Jaguar F-Type P300 Convertible

He said/She said

by: Jag Dhatt and Candy Chung

I’m happy to introduce that for certain vehicles, we’ll be doing a He said/She said section. I’ll be joined by Candy Chung, one of our team members who loves everything automotive.

This week we looked at the new 2018 Jaguar F-Type Convertible. Nope, it wasn’t the SVR edition; rather, it was quite the opposite in terms of power. We drove the P300, Jaguar’s 4-cylinder powered sports car. And based on our experience with the car, if you want decent power, good fuel economy, and sexy looks, this might just be your cup of tea. So, let’s get on with it.

Looks:

She said: Jag, there’s one word to describe the Jaguar F-Type i4 P300 convertible – stunning. Let’s start with the front; the nose is long and has aggressive design lines. The headlights look sharp and the Daytime Running Lights nicely resemble the letter ‘J’. The side profile of the F-Type speaks traditional sports car appearance with a long nose, large rims and a shorter rear. The side profile with the top down looks even sexier. Worth mentioning is the large rectangular exhaust, located at the center of the rear bumper, rather than on the sides.

He said: Candy, you’re absolutely right. I’ve loved the F-Type since the day it was introduced. It carries the beautiful lineage of the Jaguar, sharing cues with the legendary E-Type. In addition to the sexy lines, the optional black pack, featuring 20” gloss black wheels, black grille, and black side vents really complete the package. The active rear spoiler looks really sharp when it deploys at higher speeds. And yes, the centered exhaust is beautiful and distinct. Hands down, this is the best-looking sports car in this category, and by a landslide.

Interior Design and Space:

He said: The great looks on the outside extend to the interior of the F-Type convertible as well. Seating position is great – low and deep, the way it should be. They’re nicely bolstered and can be customized 12 ways. The only (minor) gripe I had is that they don’t recline as much as I would like for them to, but that’s just me being picky. Our test vehicle was equipped with the optional Windsor leather package, wrapping almost anything you could touch. The steering wheel is spot on and has an adequate number of controls on it. But here’s something surprisingly odd – there’s no button for voice control. Any sports car, where the focus is on driving, HAS to have voice control. With this car, you had to use your fingers on the center screen to even make phone calls.

She said: You’re right Jag. I was also surprised that there was no button for voice control. I don’t know why it wouldn’t be included. Speaking of the infotainment system, the 10” touchscreen is fairly responsive and pretty easy to use. The standard Meridian sound system is good, but I would personally opt for the higher end system for sure because when you’re driving with the top down, you want to have those tunes on loud. Everything else about the interior defines a luxury sports car. There’s a minimalist theme, so there’s no redundant buttons or switches. I really liked how the temperature and vented/heating seat controls are integrated into one button. Smart design! Equally chic is how the center vents raise and lower, depending on interior temperature setting. Space is good for a sports car of this nature and size, but don’t expect to put any large suitcases in the trunk. Save that for a carry-on and other smaller items. But really Jag, when you’re driving this sexy beast, who cares about trunk space.

That Top:

She said: I’m amazed at how fast and easy the roof operation is. Just press the button and the top can go up or down in about 8 seconds, which is pretty quick. And what’s really convenient is that the top can be operated while driving at speeds under 50 km/h. The F-Type really comes to life when the top is down because it just looks better and feels like it drives better. Why? Because you can hear the exhaust, and since our test vehicle had the switchable active exhaust, just press a button for a slightly throatier sound. I found that driving around town with the top down was very enjoyable; it’s a great sense of freedom, especially with the wind blowing in your hair.

He said: You nailed it Candy. Having the ability to raise or lower the top while driving is a huge bonus. A few times I used it while driving in traffic and it’s seamless. The exhaust note is slightly louder, but it’s not quite fitting for an F-Type. Yes, I do realize that it’s a four-cylinder, but it just sounds slightly off for a car as beautiful as this. Visibility is surprisingly good as well with the top down, but with the top up, you lose some valuable visibility where the B-pillar should be. But there’s blind spot monitoring so you shouldn’t have too much trouble. And one thing that really needs to be pointed out – don’t try to have any conversations using Bluetooth with the top down, even at low speeds, because the call quality is pretty mediocre. And even with the top up, call quality is subpar at best.

Performance:

She said: The F-Type i4 P300 is equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine capable of producing 296HP and 295lb-ft of torque, with all power going to the rear wheels. This engine comes standard with ZF 8 speed automatic with paddle shifters. The F-Type i4 P300 can go from 0 to 100km in just 5.7 seconds. You might think the turbo 4 engine is odd as Jaguar has never fitted a 4 cylinder into an F-Type but I can tell you that the turbo 4 engine is very capable, fast and fun. With our tester being a RWD sports car, the nose is light and lively; it basically goes wherever you point it to go. It is a different feeling compared to AWD or FWD, with the difference most noticeable when getting out of a corner; I can definitely feel the rear wheels pushing the car forward. Obviously, an AWD is better in wet and slippery road conditions.

He said: Candy, I drove the P300 the week after I drove the F-Type SVR, so I’m sure you know how I felt initially about the power, or lack of, in this four-cylinder Jaguar. So, coming out of a 575-horsepower car and going to one that has 296 was quite a different feeling. That being said, the four-cylinder has a good amount of power. Turbo lag is negligible, and this F-Type gets moving pretty quickly. It’s pretty impressive the amount of horsepower and torque that four-cylinder engines can put out nowadays. Suspension is stiff and you can feel the road, fitting for any sports car. And you’re right Candy, the steering is great and really connects you to the road. I really like that this F-Type has different driving modes – Dynamic setting is the way to go and use those paddle shifters for more spirited driving. And finally, the brakes performed much better than I had expected. Just stomp on them and you’ll come to a halt pretty darn quick.

Value:

She said: The F-Type i4 P300 starts at $72,500 and our tester came with $12,370 worth of options, for a total selling price of $86,370. It’s a lot of money! But hey, you get a luxury drop-top sports car that is sexy and sleek, with an interior that is classy and worth showing off. There’s a good amount of performance that put a smile on my face every day. For the average earner, this is a dream car.

He said: You’re right, Candy, this is not an inexpensive car. But what you get is the Jaguar name and heritage, a design that has won numerous awards, and of course, a convertible sports car that provides an abundance of joy and thrills to any driver and passenger. In my opinion, this might just be the perfect model for most buyers who don’t need the extra power of a V6 or V8.

Shortcomings:

She said: What’s there to criticize other than the fact that I can’t afford one? Perhaps the fact that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not supported. Or the fact that there’s no voice control button. These minor shortcomings are overlooked once you open the roof and just drive.

He said: It is a beautiful car indeed, but there are a couple of things that I noticed. You mentioned a couple of them already, Candy so I won’t dwell on those. I do find that Jaguar’s infotainment system is not up to par with other luxury makers. In addition, for a car of quality, Bluetooth definitely needs to be improved. Also, even though the F-Type P300 is comfortable when sitting in it, getting into and out of the car can be a challenge. A few times I hit my head while the top was up. It’s one of those things you get used to, or rather, pay attention to with experience.

Final Thoughts:

The F-Type i4 P300 Convertible is a very competent sports car that will satisfy most people who don’t want or need more horsepower. Clearly it’s one of the best looking sports cars out today and if you’re in the market for one, take a serious look at the F-Type.

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