Jaguar F-Type or E-Type – you decide…

Just taken delivery of a 1971 Jaguar E-Type coupe – on loan from global classic hire company Turo (www.turo.com). Ironic it should arrive as the F-Type goes.

The Series III V12 was one of the last incarnations of the ‘E’ – purists will tell you it was probably the least attractive too. However, who could deny that this isn’t a fantastic looking machine – even in yellow?

With E-Type prices through the roof over the last ten years, both cars are now valued about the same. So where would you spend your £135,000 I wonder?

Well, the only thing for sure is that the F-Type will go down in value and the E will go up. Maybe in 40 years time that will change and our F-Type SVR model will soar. It certainly has the exclusivity that will one day make it collectable.

When I owned mine own 1963 Series I, a dear friend of great stature in the motoring world told me that one of the true pleasures in life was looking down the bonnet of an E-Type.

I just wonder if they will ever say that about the F-Type…

Are you sure you want to drive an orange Jaguar F-Type SVR?

Dubai – home of the craziest-coloured cars on the planet. For some reason, even yellow supercars ‘work’ over there. But in grey England, what kind of person orders an orange Jaguar F-Type?

I must make a disclosure here. One of my first cars was an orange Datsun 120Y. Why indeed, you might ask. Well, it was my father’s motor and although he was as conservative as they come, orange must have been the only choice left on the forecourt.

So I bought it off him for a knockdown price , drove it college for six months and then swapped it for a silly Alfa Romeo GT Junior that rusted to the driveway. I would have kept the Datsun had it been a sensible colour.

Which means I really do struggle with the orange F-Type. A conservative grey would be much more ‘me’ and besides, I simply don’t know anyone these days would would buy an orange car.

Even if Jaguar choose to call the paint Firesand…

A Porsche-beater? The Jaguar F-Type SVR comes pretty close

I’m quite surprised to be writing this but Jaguar has finally built something approaching supercar status with the SVR.

Surprised because as good as the F-Type is, it has never really impressed me as an out and out sports car. Something was missing – namely a very powerful engine.

Well, the SVR has nailed it. This is a seriously quick motor that will test even the most talented of drivers.

It’s not only devastatingly loud – it is sensationallly quick. And with four-wheel drive, well, there’s very little to beat it on a winding country lane.

A Porsch 911 beater? Maybe not but for most people with a passion for motoring it will come mightily close…

 

Le Mans has come to the Cotswolds – Jaguar F-Type SVR

 

Lordy, it sounds like Le Mans has come to the Cotswolds today. The hottest day of the year so far means everybody is out in their polished weekend-mobile.

Me? Well, I’m scaring the Lycra off every cyclist driving the F-Type SVR. If you want LOUD then look no further than this monster of a convertible.

The standard F sounds cool but the SVR is quite simply, awesome. That’s due to a revised exhaust that cackles and pops every time the left paddle is given a tug. Crazy.

And with the top down, well, the soundtrack is memorable. At least around town it’s possible to turn the tubes off to save looking a complete tit.

Oh and it’s orange too…

The best SUV all-rounder? The Mercedes GLC

If you must drive an SUV then you could do a lot worse than the Mercedes GLC. Sure, it’s not the cheapest model on the block but the mid-size GLC is the best all-rounder in this sector.

And I would try and stretch your budget to the 250D – an engine that’s a step above the 2.0D in the Jaguar F-Pace. The Mercedes doesn’t feel stretched when pushed hard.

Combined with a classy interior (apart from the carbuncle infotainment screen!), cool looks and decent handling, the GLC is a match for any other premium brand offering.

Just remember that you need extra long legs to avoid those annoying and rather pointless side steps…

The carbuncle that is a dashboard screen – Mercedes GLC

Mercedes won’t like me for pointing this out but the infotainment screen on the GLC is an absolute eyesore.

Somebody has gone to great effort to ensure the centre console is slick and smooth – somebody else decided to stick an ugly screen in the middle.

It’s like sitting in a beautiful lounge, with every seat facing an ugly black TV screen. What’s that all about?

I recently visited a hotel in Scotland with a large, gilt edged mirror in the bedroom. Turned out to be a TV when you found the on/off button. Brilliant.

It’s not just Mercedes, many cars have the carbuncle problem. Perhaps a unit that simply disappears into the top of the dash when not needed is the answer?

Step One – how to get out of a Mercedes GLC

You might think that after 50 odd years I would have mastered the art of stepping out of a car.

In the sixties, debutants were taught how to step in to a car in the most demure way possible. Not easy in a skirt and high heels I imagine.

Now it seems I need to retrain myself for cars like the Mercedes GLC, which have side steps. For every time I leave the driver’s seat, I can’t stretch beyond the edge of the step itself.

This results in a dirty line down the calf of my trousers – and no end of dirty words coming from my mouth.

So who decided we need steps to get in and out of an SUV? Land Rover nailed it with retractable side steps on the Range Rover but personally, I can;t see the point.

If you can step into a car, you probably shouldn’t be driving it…

The Mercedes GLC – even gives a proper Merc ‘clunk’ when you shut the doors

I think I might have found an SUV that I actually want to buy. Perhaps because the GLC shares its platform with the excellent C-Class – this is the best mid-size SUV I’ve driven in ages.

The GLC isn’t going to set your pulses racing but as an all-rounder it ticks many boxes. Great looks, sensational interior and a very decent engine that pulls well.

It’s also refined and built like a proper Merc – a decent clunk when you shut the doors and oozing quality.

For performance, you need to move up the range but with simple off-road driving aids and enough ground clearance for light off-road use, the GLC is a serious contender…

Mercedes’ first premium compact SUV – the GLC

It’s been a bit of a SUV-fest on Car Couture of late. All that will change shortly but in the mean time, the Mercedes GLC is one of the newest models in this expanding sector of the car market.

And it’s a beauty. Mercedes has been generous by lavishing the GLC with a fantastic, premium interior and good looks. It’s a cut about the blandness of several key rivals – although the rear end is less exciting.

Ignoring the ridiculously quick AMG GLC 43 and the 3.0 V6 350d, the more powerful model most buyers will opt for is our 250d.With 204bhp it is the perfect all-rounder for real-world driving.

For now, I just have to get my head around the workings of the infotainment system. The screen sits like a carbuncle on the dash and there’s a crazy mouse for the left hand. Interesting…

The Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d – a sheep in wolf’s clothing

If I read another review of the Jaguar F-Pace that calls it a ‘sporty’ SUV I may just self combust. Pick one of the 3.0 diesel or petrol versions and maybe so – the 2.0 diesel (which most people will buy in the UK) is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

Tomorrow we have a Mercedes GLC arriving on test and imagine the slightly larger diesel engine will be considerably more refined than the Jaguar unit.

There’s nothing wrong with the Jaguar four-cylinder – except it should be fitted to a hatchback rather than a chunky SUV called F-Pace.

On the plus side, as Jaguar’s first attempt at an SUV, the F-Pace is roomy, well-built and easy on the eye…