In the market for a new sports car? The 2021 Chevy Corvette and Jaguar F-Type provide high performance and amenities that make them attractive options. Each offers distinct strengths and weaknesses that differentiate them from others in the segment and each other. But a recent comparison shows the Corvette is clearly a better buy than the F-Type.
The 2021 Chevy Corvette
The mid-engine Chevy Corvette comes as a coupe or convertible hardtop. You can purchase a 2021 model in two new colors — Red Mist Metallic and Silver Flare Metallic — along with the traditional paint hues. You can also add red, yellow, or silver racing stripes to the exterior. The base Stingray trim, the 1LT, starts at $58,900, though you can upgrade to the souped-up Z51 for an extra $6,000 or so. However, the middle Stingray trim, the 2LT, starts at $68,295, while the top-trim 3LT will run you at least $72,945.
The base model packs a 6.2-liter V8 engine (located behind the passenger compartment), producing 490 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a lightning-quick 3.3 seconds. You can control the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with a push-button control or steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Fuel economy is 15/27 mpg city/highway. And though the Corvette can use only four cylinders for regular city or highway use, chances are you’ll a bit less concerned with cargo space or technology than performance if you buy this vehicle. Add the Z51 Performance Package to hit 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and gain an extra 5 hp, 5 lb-ft of torque, enhanced brakes, suspension, tires, and other features.
As is typical with vehicles in this segment, cargo space is limited, but you can pack luggage in the front and rear trunks that give you a combined 13 cubic feet of space. It also has an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The 2LT adds a wireless charging pad, head-up display, heated steering wheel, and a 14-speaker sound system, among other features. For Nappa leather seats, a larger touchscreen, and other interior upgrades, get the 3LT.
The 2021 Jaguar F-Type
Like the Corvette, the 2021 Jaguar F-Type comes in coupe ($62,750) and convertible hardtop ($65,850) body styles. They both come with 18-inch wheels and more than two dozen color options. The base-model P300 has a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Producing 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, the P300 also gets 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. But you can also purchase the R-Dynamic P380 AWD, with a 3.0-liter V6 getting 380 hp, 339 lb-ft of torque, and 18/26 mpg city/highway. Or, for the most power, you can nab an R P575 AWD with a 5.0-liter V8 for a whopping 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque (though fuel economy decreases to 16/24 city/highway mpg).
The coupe offers 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space, though the convertible provides only 7.3 cubic feet in the trunk. Each model and trim gets a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assistance come standard, as do front and rear parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers.
However, for $82,950, the R-Dynamic coupe comes with 20-inch wheels and an R-Dynamic body kit, coupled with a limited-slip differential and adaptive dampers, along with its 3.0-liter V6. The R-Dynamic convertible will set you back $86,050. And for the top-of-the-line F-type, you’ll pay $107,050. But it gives you that powerful V8 plus keyless entry, performance seats, interior ambient lighting, and other perks.
Vette vs. Jag: The better buy is clear
Though both the 2021 Chevy Corvette and Jaguar F-Type are top-shelf sports cars, each has its drawbacks. For instance, the Vette’s steering declines at the upper limits of acceleration. It also doesn’t offer as many driver assists as its competitors. And it comes with only an automatic transmission, which is disappointing if you’d prefer a manual.
Meanwhile, the F-Type suffers from a snug, almost cramped interior and a lack of storage space relative to its competitors. Sudden or hard braking doesn’t immediately stop the car, and when it does, the back of the vehicle writhes quite a bit. It’s also more expensive than similar cars, such as the Corvette, and competitors like the Porsche 718 Cayman and Porsche 718 Boxster. Its touchscreen is also pretty finicky, and it has fairly poor reliability, U.S. News reports.
However, the Corvette needs only minor adjustments to please critics. The F-Type’s multiple areas of improvement indicate you’re better off buying a 2021 Vette if you’re looking for a high-performance sports car at a reasonable price point.