Search

The Review Garage

Rating the best and worst in cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, tools and accessories.

Category

Jaguar

2019 Jaguar I-PACE: Driving the Future

by Tod Mesirow

The Future of the Automobile is electric.

The gasoline powered car will battle it out with electrics until all the ice on earth melts and we’re just scrabbling as a species to find food and shelter.

That could happen. If there is a future.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But for now, billions and billions are being spent by every major automobile manufacturer on electric cars. Think of all that investment like a ship-destroying iceberg. Even if the icebergs are melting, that’s not the kind of momentum you turn around for hydrogen, or diesel. Unless Tony Stark lets everybody in on his super-secret glowing blue power source, we’re looking at an electric wheeled future for all our mobility options.

Sure the purists will hold on to gasoline-powered cars the way Charlton Heston held on to his guns. But he’s gone, and soon, so will the majority of the gasoline-powered vehicles.

And really – what’s to be missed?

Well, I will admit, plenty. The throaty grumble turned to a roar as small explosions power the piston – say, eight of them – up and down as the gears are manually engaged one at a time through the power curve, the wind whipping in the windows or over the windshield, the peripheral view a blur as the world is altered with a sense of certain power and the sensation of speed. I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy those moments in spectacular cars, and hope to have more such experiences before it becomes completely out of reach for the non-billionaire.

An apparent 180 from those rarefied gasoline infused realms, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a 2019 Jaguar I-PACE all-electric SUV.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the early challenges to Tesla’s dominance from a major manufacturer of the upper echelons of electric vehicles – with a nod to the Leaf, and the Bolt, and others – the I-PACE from Jaguar looks like a car, by which I mean a gasoline powered car, unlike the Teslas, which feel more like high end display booths at a technology trade show, or the cockpit of a shuttle one might find on the starship USS Enterprise. The Teslas are wide open, with minimal controls, and a massive touch screen – like a computer tablet – that replaces every knob and dial on an old-fashioned car.

And that’s part of the appeal. Tesla owners embrace their journey to the future every time they open the door and climb in to their cars. More power to them. But their numbers after the initial stampede seem to have plateaued, and the brass ring of a giant best-selling all electric vehicle has yet to be grasped by any company riding the scary not merry go round. Huge fortunes have to be committed to bring about the electric vehicle future, and there is no way that everyone in the car manufacturing world is not terrified and consistently tense about when the future will arrive.

Meanwhile, the I-PACE.

I walked to the NY garage where I was to pick up the car. It was parked on the street in front of a garage. Passersby stopped and gawked, a few inquiring about it. Being orange helped it stand out from the other cars, but the design was the major factor. It looks sleek, with the signature Jaguar nose, scoops to either side, low to the ground, powerful haunches over the rear wheels. Appealing slope to the roof line, which becomes glass, leading to straight rear, 90 degrees from the ground. Overall, a successful first impression, of refined aggression, that looks commanding and potentially fast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The instructions from the representative were brief but thorough – the interfaces all very intuitive.

I was ready to hit the road.

My destination was Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

As I sat in the car, and the display told me I had a full charge, and 231 miles of range, I wondered how much of a fool I was.

Rehoboth was 210 miles. That gave me a 21 mile cushion. Or so I thought.

My friend Brett Burke, automotive writer, gave me some helpful advice. Download the apps, he said, that will tell you where there are charging stations. You’ll need them.

He was right.

Jaguar included a small piece of plastic attached to the key chain with an RFID and their account. Radio Frequency Identification. It was linked to a Charge Point account. Which was one of the apps that Brett suggested I download.

Off I went. My iPhone linked easily with the I-PACE, not just because they both use the “I” naming architecture. I had my route plotted.

jipace19mystudioimage01031814Helpfully, the map also displayed Charge Point stations along the route.

One thing that everyone says about electric cars is that there is no power curve. All of the energy is immediately available.

What this means is that when you put your foot on the gas, and press it to the floor, the acceleration is fantastic. Rocket launch amazing. The battery sends all the power the wheels can handle to them in an instant, and that’s why electric cars routinely get to 60 from zero in 4.5 seconds. With a weight close to 5,000 pounds that’s impressive. The lowest priced level I-PACE, the S, has an MSRP of $69,500. Which is part of its appeal.

The First Edition I-PACE I drove has an MSRP of $85,900.

But all that speed comes at a price. The faster you drive, the faster the batteries are drained.

Which is why of the Mode choices, I chose Economy. My goal wasn’t speed, as much as I enjoy speed whatever the power source, my goal was to arrive at my destination without stopping.

Good luck with that, I can imagine some of you saying. And you would be correct.

Because the modern electric cars – there were actually many electric cars built and sold and happily owned by Americans from the late 1890’s through the 19-teens but they lost out at that time to gasoline powered cars – are new, the calibration of power, and speed, and distance, and battery life are not an exact science.

jipace19mystudioimage01031817Which means that as I’m driving south from New York to Delaware, I’m watching the number of miles I have left – my range – reduce at a rate greater than the miles traveled.

In other words – when the display indicated I had 183 miles left, and I drove ten miles, which would, in a perfectly calibrated world, result in 173 miles of range left on the display – the display instead said 161 miles. I was losing energy faster than the display had indicated that I would.

And – this is based on highway driving, in Economy mode, with Cruise Control engaged, so I wasn’t using energy in a reckless, foolhardy or fun manner.

This was serious. I wanted to avoid a charging stop.

Driving the I-PACE is superb. It’s quiet inside, comfortable, all the elements one expects to find in a luxury car. But less the Starship Enterprise and more what all modern cars have become – sleek with touch screens – but with some functions performed by buttons knobs and dials, and not just the touch screen. Awesome sound system. Huge panoramic moonroof.  Seats with many adjustable areas. The automatic systems function well, and are easy to turn on and off. The lane reminder includes haptic feedback – the steering wheel shimmered when the car went over a lane line without signaling first. Super handy for these days of distracted driving. The cruise control includes an automatic braking system that reads cars in front of you, and adjusts speed and braking accordingly. The I-PACE will stop itself when the car in front stops. And the distance from the car in front – when following someone on the highway – can be adjusted depending on the driver’s preferences.

jipace19mystudioimage01031818But range anxiety is real. I’m not the first, and won’t be the last, to experience the concern of running out of power.

“What happens if you run the battery down to zero?” someone asked me.

The car stops, I told them. Time to call the Three A’s. As my Mom calls them.

So running out of power, out of charge, out of energy, is something to be avoided.

The Charge Point app has a location function built in, among other helpful tools, so it knew where I was. And I knew where I was going. I searched along the route and found a Level 3 charger at a Royal Farms in Smyrna Delaware.

Royal Farms are like 7 Elevens for people who have not been to one, but better in my opinion. The sell gasoline, and all manner of food and snacks. And they sell giant drinks for $1.00. Including unsweetened iced tea. Or if you want a sugared fizzy soda beverage – they have that too, of course. They also had two chargers, and both were available.

Entering the Royal Farms at a destination and doing some elementary school level math I figured I had 40 miles to spare. Which felt like a big enough cushion. I wasn’t trying to run the car to zero. That would not be pleasant.

But from the time I realized I had to make that stop, and actually arriving at the Royal Farms, with less than the 40 mile buffer, I was a tad anxious.

IMG_4910Electric car chargers cost money. The price differs from station to station. The amount of charge per time on the charger varies as well. Level 3 chargers are the fastest. The app said in an hour it would yield 180 miles of range. More than enough.

So I put the car on charge, and went for a walk around Smyrna.

Which is an interesting many hundreds of years old town. Brick sidewalks. 19thand 18thcentury houses. A great small public library. And a really delicious falafel at a small restaurant that seemed to be run by a husband and wife in a shopping center named Freedom Plaza. Every now and then America can still offer up surprises.

Back at the car, all was well, and the display indicated many more miles of range than I needed.

Because the Level 3 charging stations seemed to be a bit scarce, and because I had to return to New York in a few day’s time, I used the I-PACE sparingly around Rehoboth, mindful every time I turned it on, I was using energy, and of my upcoming trip.

Why not plug it in to the house current? The rate of energy gain from the 110 outlets available were not worth buying or finding the long extension cords. Again – the infrastructure, out on the road and at home – needs to be built out to reduce or remove the range anxiety.

IMG_4815When it was time to head back to NY, I had more than enough range to reach my Smyrna charger – mine, because it had served me well before, and therefore was my friend – and with a full charge there, more than likely enough range to reach the garage where I was to drop it off.

Pulling in to the Royal Farms, I was happy to see the Charge Point available. Even though the app indicated it was free, part of the modern world is that technology is often less than reliable – it fails us in unpredictable ways, which is worse, and why range anxiety falls under an entire umbrella of technological dread – not just fear of Terminators, but fear of internet connected toasters and microwaves, of all of IoT in general, and the people or robots watching everything we do.

I plugged the I-PACE in, used the RFID, heard the buzz of electricity flowing into the car, saw the % start to climb, and headed out on another walking tour of Smyrna.

When I returned after an hour plus I was confronted with the unhappy fact that for whatever reason the charging had not happened as it had before. Or as I had wanted it to. I was 4% more charged than when I had arrived at Royal Farms. Not good.

There was no need for immediate panic – no one was injured, it wasn’t a disaster – but it wasn’t ideal. I called the Charge Point people, and a nice woman on the line was able to link her system up to the car, and the Charge Point station, and confirmed that what I was seeing was correct – the charge hadn’t happened as planned. She didn’t know why. We both came to the genius conclusion that I should move the car to the other Charge Point right next to the one that had failed – which luckily was unoccupied – and try again. She stayed on the line as I moved the car, and plugged in the other charger. Again I heard the buzz, the charge started, and it seemed as if all would be well. I waited a few more moments with her on the line, as the battery began to fill up, and after passing 4% gain, was assured enough to thank her for her help, hang up, and head out for more walking around Smyrna.

IMG_4826Happily – luckily? – upon my return after another hour – I found the batteries had reached 98% charge. The range stated was quite a bit more than the number of miles from Smyrna to NY – a good 50 or so – and I thought if I had to stop again I would, but that 2% more wouldn’t make much of a difference. So off I went.

As I drove past all the rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike – and stopped at one for coffee, where I saw wild mushrooms growing next to the parking lot trash can – why do these not have charging stations? None of them do.

And that’s the big problem with electric cars – today – and was the problem around the turn of the 20thcentury when they were battling it out with gasoline engines. The infrastructure just isn’t here yet. Why haven’t state governments taken steps to combat greenhouse gasses by mandating more electric charging stations? One positive aspect of the horrific illegal and deeply evil scheme promulgated by Volkswagen to cheat everyone on the planet by rigging their emissions testing of diesel engines – for which they were caught and prosecuted – is that as part of the settlement they’re required to spend two billion dollars to install fast charging stations nationwide that work for all electric cars over the next decade. But that’s probably not enough to eradicate the range anxiety that almost any owner of an all-electric vehicle has felt, especially for now.

And yet.

The I-PACE is amazing to drive. It won’t be alone for long among major manufacturers – there are a bunch on the way. The Audi e-tron SUV is due this year, with a base MSRP of $74,800, the Mercedes EQC Crossover arriving in the U.S. supposedly after the start of 2020, has a price for its UK release this July, at £65,640, or $83,625 give or take a few based on currency fluctuation, and the Aston Martin Rapide E with no announced price but a 2020 sale date projection.

IMG_4825Electricity generation itself is not always a climate change plus. If the electricity comes from burning coal, then in all likelihood there is no net gain over gasoline. But if the electricity comes from renewable resources like solar wind or hydroelectricity then bring it on. California is faced with a glut of renewable energy – and storage is becoming the key issue.

We’re facing a future that in some ways looks exactly like the past. And in other ways, looks and feels a whole lot better.

I will miss the visceral pleasure of gasoline powered internal combustion engines, but I will enjoy the crisp clean and pleasingly shocking speed of electric cars.

The 2019 Jaguar I-PACE is a nice entry point.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Specifications:

  • Zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds
  • 90 kwH battery
  • 234-mile maximum range

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photos (c) Tod Mesirow

I-PACE interior photos (c) Jaguar USA

Advertisements

2019 Jaguar E-Pace and I-Pace: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer

You’re forgiven if you haven’t figured out the 2019 Jaguar E-Pace and its sibling, the I-Pace.

Contrary to initial knee-jerk reactions, the E-Pace is not electric, and the I-Pace is not the ghost of past BMW i cars. Nope, in this case the I-Pace is the 100% electric and the E-Pace is merely the little brother of the F-Pace.

jagepace18myfirsteditiononroaddynamic13071702
2019 Jaguar E-Pace

In a sense, they are the offspring of the F-Pace, in 2017 the first luxury crossover sport utility from the storied British sports car manufacturer. Now they are three. Next thing you know Jaguar will come out with a big three-row SUV.

Wait. That likely won’t happen because Jaguar is the conjoined fraternal twin of Britain’s Land Rover, which specializes in luxury SUVs. Both are now owned by Tata of India.

Jaguar could hardly have done differently. Truck-based SUVs and car-based crossovers have become so popular across the board that even Bentley and Rolls-Royce build them.

jaguaripace19mysyulongwhite138
2019 Jaguar I-Pace

With these crossovers, the affinity of Jaguar with Land Rover becomes more obvious. The center-screen infotainment systems in both the E-Pace and I-Pace are similar in befuddlement to those in Range Rovers and Land Rovers. Also, the nomenclature of HSE for certain models now is common to both the Land Rover and Jaguar brands.

Because the E-Pace was introduced as a 2018 model, the I-Pace electric is the new kid in the family. It also is the most interesting, exciting and expensive of the three, and the less expensive main competitor to Tesla’s Model X75D crossover.

Jaguar I-PACE Global Drive, Portugal, 2018
2019 Jaguar I-Pace

The I-Pace’s power comes from two electric motors — one each for the front wheels and rear wheels, giving it automatic all-wheel drive. In easy cruising, it switches to rear drive for economy. The all-wheel drive is mainly important for foul weather than actual off-roading. There are numerous Land Rovers for customers interested in that sort of thing.

The two electric motors combined make 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque, or twisting force. Because electric motors deliver maximum torque instantly, the I-Pace rewards the driver with an exhilarating jump off the line, reaching 60 mph in slightly more than four seconds with its single-speed automatic transmission.

jipace19mystudioimage01031815
2019 Jaguar I-Pace

Of course, doing that habitually will cripple the manufacturer’s claimed range of 234 miles and a city/highway/combined consumption of 80/72/76 MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent. But it might be worth it for some hot-shoe owners.

The I-Pace uses regenerative braking to help keep the batteries topped up. It is so aggressive in slowing the vehicle that it should enable so-called one-pedal driving, as with the BMW i3. But it cuts out at about six mph, so the driver still must use the brake pedal to stop.

Handling is sharp and the steering responsive, abetted by an air suspension system and brake-induced torque vectoring. But the emphasis on handling compromises the ride on rough roads.

jipace19mystudioimage01031817
2019 Jaguar I-Pace

Front seats are supportive but not plush and the outboard rear seats have plenty of head and knee room. The center-rear position is compromised by tight space, a hard cushion and big floor hump. Because of the sloped roof, there’s only 26 cubic feet for cargo, which expands to 51 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

A negative comfort note: There’s a full panoramic sunroof that does not open and does not have a sunshade. It darkens in bright light but on bright sunny days the glass gets so hot it radiates heat uncomfortably into the cabin and defeats the air conditioning in some areas.

With a bottom-line sticker of $88,840 on the test car, the I-Pace is uncommonly well equipped with state-of-the-art safety and convenience equipment.

jagepace18myonroaddynamic13071714
2019 Jaguar E-Pace

But if you don’t hanker to sample the electric future and still crave a Jaguar experience, there’s the E-Pace, which has a $53,845 price tag and a sportier personality. It is a subcompact crossover, 14 feet 5 inches long and a shade over 5 feet tall.

Surprisingly, despite a tight back seat, it offers nearly as much passenger and cargo space as the I-Pace — a total of 117 cubic feet versus 122 cubic feet.

jagepace18myinterior13071701
2019 Jaguar E-Pace

Power comes from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a configuration that is taking over the motoring world. In this installation,  it delivers 246 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.

Well-equipped, the E-Pace has the entertaining handling expected of a Jaguar, though its aggressive and erratic lane-keeping assist  should be simply turned off.

Oh, and by the way, it bucks the luxury cliché of perforated cheesecloth in favor of an effective, opaque sunshade for the sunroof.

jagepace18myonroaddynamic13071713
2019 Jaguar E-Pace

Specifications

  • Model: 2019 Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic HSE four-door crossover sport utility vehicle.
  • Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged; 246 hp, 269 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Nine-speed automatic with manual-shift mode and all-wheel drive.
  • Overall length: 14 feet 5 inches.
  • Height: 5 feet 5 inches.
  • EPA passenger/cargo volume: 93/24 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 4,225 pounds.
  • Towing capability: 1,653 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 21/27/13 mpg (premium fuel).
  • Base price, including destination charge: $53,845.
  • Price as tested: $53,845.

 

HyperFocal: 0
2019 Jaguar E-Pace

*    *   *

  • Model: 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400HSE four-door crossover sport utility vehicle.
  • Motors: Twin electric-powered; combined 394 hp, 512 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Single-speed automatic with all-wheel drive.
  • Overall length: 15 feet 4 inches.
  • Height: 5 feet 1 inch.
  • EPA passenger/cargo volume: 96/26 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 4,790 pounds.
  • City/highway/combined fuel consumption: 80/72/76 MPGe.
  • Range: 234 miles.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $81,495.
  • Price as tested: $88,840.

Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided the vehicle used to conduct this test drive and review.

Jaguar I-PACE Global Drive, Portugal, 2018
2019 Jaguar I-Pace

Photos (c) Jaguar Land Rover

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S AWD: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer

When you buck the automotive tide, like the classy 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake does, you’re either in the vanguard of a fruitful pursuit or on your way to a flop.

That’s because the Sportbrake is a station wagon — also called a hatchback by some — a body style that was long ago rejected by American buyers after the introduction of the minivan in the mid-1980s and, later, the advent of the sport utility vehicle and its car-based variant, the crossover.

jxfsb18myrsport20dsiliconsilver161017002-resize-1024x682SUVs and crossovers threaten to take over the market across the board, from economy to luxury. Ford announced recently that it was dropping conventional sedans to concentrate on those two configurations and its hot-selling pickup trucks.

Even ultra-luxury manufacturers are getting into the game. Bentley markets its Bentayga and Lamborghini has its Urus, both crossover SUVs with price tags starting around $200,000. And even Rolls-Royce reportedly will introduce a crossover starting at around $700,000.

Jaguar sells its compact two-row F-Pace crossover at a price just shy of $50,000, with options. But the Jaguar/Land Rover company has expertise in SUVs, large and small, so a bigger Jaguar crossover or SUV is likely.

jxfsb18myrsport20dsiliconsilver161017041-resize-1024x682A note about nomenclature: Generally, an SUV is a tall body-on-frame vehicle with rear- or four-wheel drive. Crossovers are built like cars, with unit bodies and front- or all-wheel drive. Most manufacturers (and the buying public) like to lump them together as SUVs.

The new Jaguar Sportbrake wagon — the S trim with all-wheel drive — is an outlier along with a few other marketplace entries: the new Buick Regal TourX, the Audi A4 Allroad, the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon and a few others.

In Europe, station wagons are often regarded as a step up from a standard four-door sedan. Enthusiasts like them, especially the sport-oriented models like the new Jaguar Sportbrake, because they look great, are practical and, best of all, handle like sports sedans. Most crossovers and SUVs, though they deliver satisfactory handling in daily driving, have higher centers of gravity that can make them feel tippy when pushed hard.

jxfsb18myrsport20pfirenzered161017067-resize-1024x670The Jaguar Sportbrake name is derived from what the British, back in the mid-20thcentury, called a Shooting Brake — usually a small two-door hatchback like a Volvo P-1800 or an MG-B GT.

With a stylish and streamlined profile, the tested Sportbrake S with all-wheel drive is impressive at first sight. It is 16 feet 3 inches long with ample interior room: 107 cubic feet of space for passengers with a cargo area of 22 cubic feet that expands to 67 cubic feet with rear seatbacks folded.

Comfort is first-class for the driver and three passengers, with good seatback bolsters in front to hold the torso in spirited driving. However, with a large center hump and a hard cushion, a fifth passenger in back gets disrespected. Outward vision to the rear is restricted by big back headrests and fat rear pillars, so outside mirror adjustment is critical even with the blind-spot warning.

jagxfsportbrake18my140617104accipadlargelowres-resize-1024x970The tested Sportbrake S with all-wheel drive gets its power from a 380-hp supercharged V6 engine that delivers 332 lb-ft of torque. The muscle gets to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted with paddles on the steering wheel. EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy is rated at 18/25/21 mpg.

Acceleration to 60 mph arrives in a claimed 5.3 seconds, with a top speed of 121 mph. There’s some minor hesitation off the line unless you keep the revs up before releasing the brake.

But the beauty of the Sportbrake lies in the precision steering and handling. Despite its stretched length, it responds quickly to driver inputs and changes direction like a smaller sports sedan.

jagxfsportbrake18my140617111acclowres-resize-1024x810Contributing to the handling is a rear air-suspension system and automated torque vectoring, which judiciously applies the inside brakes to move the Sportbrake more smoothly around corners and curves.

With a starting price of $71,445, this Jaguar is up in nosebleed price territory. But it includes full safety equipment, leather seating and such equipment as a panoramic glass sunroof, though the sunroof shade is one of those trendy, cheesecloth-like perforated fabrics that admit too much sunlight. Sun shades should be opaque.

Options included adaptive cruise control, Wi-Fi hotspot, surround-sound audio system, four-zone climate control and other luxury touches that brought the price up to $84,245.

jagxfsportbrake18my140617074acclowres-resize-1024x822Specifications

  • Model: 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S AWD four-door station wagon.
  • Engine: 2.0-liter V6, supercharged, 380 hp, 332 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual-shift mode and all-wheel drive.
  • Overall length: 16 feet 3 inches.
  • EPA passenger/cargo volume: 107/22 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 4,045 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 18/25/21 mpg.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $71,445.
  • Price as tested: $84,245.

Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided the vehicle used to conduct this test drive and review.

jxfsb18myrsport20dsiliconsilver161017031-resize-1024x682Photos (c) Jaguar Land Rover.

2017 Jaguar XE 20d AWD: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer

The most compelling thing about the 2017 Jaguar XE 2.0 diesel is that it’s a Jaguar. That means it has style, emotion, a stiff structure, accurate steering and a hefty price tag.

JagLAMotorShow2015Image18111518-resize-1024x683But because it’s a diesel, even turbocharged, its orientation is toward fuel economy. Acceleration, not so much. Yet it works capably for both chasing around and highway cruising without undue spending at the fuel pumps.

That’s the point of a diesel, of course, and the XE delivers with a city/highway/combined fuel consumption rating of 30/40/34 mpg. You decide for yourself whether that’s enough of a return from a base price of $46,395 and, as tested for this review, $55,485.

JagXE17MYAWDDetailImage18111510-resize-1024x1536The monkey wrench in the gears is the current disenchantment with diesel engines, thanks to the scandal in which Volkswagen cheated on emissions tests for nearly 11 million diesel-engine vehicles world-wide, including about 500,000 in the United States.

If that’s not a concern, and you value the cachet of a British luxury sedan with superb handling, okay drivetrain performance, and exceptional fuel economy over blistering acceleration and autobahn no-limit cruising, the Jaguar XE 20d is worth a test drive.

It scores on styling, with clean lines outside and an unmistakable Jaguar look, as well as inside where there are luxury appointments and supportive comfort on seats covered in quality leather. Though it has seatbelts for five, figure on carrying only four medium to small adults.

Because of a smallish door opening, it takes effort to squeeze into the back seat, where there’s barely enough head and knee room for an average-sized human. Forget about the center-rear position, which is negated by a giant floor hump and a high, hard cushion.

JagXE17MYAWDDetailImage18111511-resize-1024x652Up front is way better, where power seats deliver a multitude of adjustments and the seatbacks have prominent bolsters to hold the torso in place during cornering.

Not all is well with the XE 2.0d. It has two shortcomings that should never be seen on a car in this price and performance category: a flimsy translucent cloth sunshade that allows too much sunlight through the sunroof and sun visors that do not extend to block sunlight from the side. Also, the tester lacked adaptive cruise control, common now on less expensive machinery.

Instruments and controls are highlighted by the characteristic Jaguar automatic transmission shifter, a yeasty knob that rises like a small cake from the center console. It works intuitively once you get used to it, and features both “drive” and “sport” modes. The latter mode recalibrates the eight-speed automatic transmission to shift at higher rpms.

JagXE17MYAWDDetailImage18111512-resize-1024x1536If manual shifting is your choice, paddles are mounted on the steering wheel. However, as with many of these units, the Jaguar version doesn’t trust the driver. If you hold onto a gear too long, the transmission will shift for you. That’s not necessarily bad. You’d hit a rev limiter in any case; otherwise you could trash the engine.

With some turbo lag, the best you can do with the XE 2.0d in the 0-to-60-mph sprint is in the mid-eight seconds, according to independent instrumented tests. Though the engine delivers 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque, the Jag’s nearly two-ton weight cannot be overcome.

Interestingly, the Jaguar XE 2.0d compares with the 2017 Subaru Impreza Sport, which at $23,615 costs less than half the money. They are both about the same size, within inches of overall length and a few cubic feet of interior space.

JagXE17MYAWDLocationImage18111508-resize-1024x397The Impreza is 15 feet 2 inches long — three inches shorter than the Jag. Passenger/trunk space is 100/12 cubic feet compared to the XE’s 92/15 cubic feet. But the XE weighs 3,945 pounds; the Impreza checks in at 3,179 — 766 pounds lighter.

That’s likely why the Impreza’s 0-to-60 acceleration time is nearly identical to the XE’s, despite the fact that its 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed gasoline engine is rated at 152 hp, 28 less than the Jag’s. But the Impreza lags in a comparison of fuel economy at 27/36/30 miles to the gallon.

Subaru likes to think of its vehicles as the low-calorie versions of Audi’s all-wheel-drive cars and crossovers. Every Subaru model comes with all-wheel drive standard. Likely it also could now compare its Impreza Sport with the Jaguar XE diesel.

But there are intangibles. The Jaguar XE 20d exudes that indefinable heft and feel common to quality luxury/sports sedans. You pay for it, but for some people that’s the clincher.

JAGUARXEGRAHAMBELL01-resize-1024x684Specifications:

  • Model: 2017 Jaguar XE 20d AWD Prestige four-door sedan.
  • Engine:0-liter four-cylinder diesel, turbocharged, 180 hp, 318 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode and all-wheel drive.
  • Overall length: 15 feet 5 inches.
  • EPA passenger/trunk volume: 92/15 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 3,945 lbs.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 30/40/34 mpg.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $46,395.
  • Price as tested: $55,485.

Disclaimer: This test drive was conducted at a manufacturer-sponsored press event. The manufacturer provided travel, accommodations, vehicles, meals and fuel.

jagxemostbeautifulcarawardimage28011501Photos (c) Jaguar.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer

In comedy, politics, vehicles like the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace, and a host of other human endeavors, timing is everything.

The all-new F-Pace, the first ever crossover sport utility from the British manufacturer of performance sedans and sports cars, comes at an opportune time. It is a compact, two-row crossover—a body style that is rapidly eclipsing midsize and compact sedans.

You’d think Jaguar might not need a crossover SUV. After all, the company—now owned by India’s Tata Motors—also produces a full lineup of Land Rover and Range Rover SUVs.

But the two divisions attract different buyers. Land Rover customers, even though they may never take their expensive machines off road, cultivate an image of outdoorsy individualism. Jaguar buyers lean more toward tuxedoed performance on the highway.

The modern Jaguar enterprise has hewed to the performance line, now with three models: XF and XJ sedans, and the exciting F-Type sports car in convertible and coupe versions. For 2017, they are joined by the new F-Pace and XE compact sedan.

It doesn’t take a two-by-four to the backside of any automobile executive to discern that customers can’t get enough of crossovers. Across the price board, they are taking over.

Porsche, the storied German maker of ultra performance sports cars, is a prime example. Its current best sellers are both crossovers: the Macan in the compact category and the Cayenne midsize. Jaguar executives expect that before long the F-Pace will become the company’s best seller.

jagfpacegoodwoodfosimage24061619The F-Pace is aimed directly at performance crossovers from other luxury manufacturers, including the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Lexus NX, Acura RDX, Volvo XC60, and even the Porsche Macan and oddly-shaped BMW X4.

At the introduction, Jaguar started with two models: F-Pace 35t, with a starting price of $43,385, and F-Pace S, which starts at $57,695. Both numbers include the $995 destination charge. A diesel model with a 180-hp, 2.0-liter diesel engine will be introduced this fall.

There are five trim levels, including Premium, Prestige and R-Sport types.

The gap between the 35t and S versions is a whopping $14,310, with the difference accounted for by equipment and engine power. Though the 35t delivers 340 hp from its supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and the S makes 380 hp, the perceived performance is similar.

According to Jaguar’s specifications, both models have a top speed of 155 mph. The S accelerates to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and the 35t gets there in 5.4 seconds. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic that can be shifted manually.

On the road, with either of the gasoline engines, the F-Pace delivers a quiet cabin, comfortable ride, responsive handling, good steering feel in a straight line and competent braking. Though road-oriented, it has some boondocks chops as well, including an off-road cruise control called “progress control” from Land Rover that maintains speeds up to 19 mph.

JAGUARFPACELESStudio01-resize-1024x769Jaguar expects the 35t to account for about 60% of sales, with the diesel at 15% to 20% and the S taking the remainder. The diesel should be a decent performer, but test models were not available initially.

Driven for this review was a 35t Premium version with a bottom line sticker of $49,495. That covered a modest list of options, including a navigation package, satellite radio, 19-inch alloy wheels and metallic paint in British Racing Green. Also driven: an S model with $13,740 of extras and a $71,435 price tag.

Even with all the technology, driver assistance, comfort, convenience and luxury upgrades, the F-Pace exudes an aura of simple, understated elegance. Surroundings are crafted in high quality leather and wood, with comfortable, supportive seating and controls that are easy to use. However, the navigation system requires a good bit of instruction to use easily.

For all of its luxury orientation, the F-Pace delivers practicality as well. The area behind the second row delivers 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space with tie-downs built into the floor. A compact spare tire resides under the floor. Drop the rear seatbacks and the cargo volume increases to 63.5 cubic feet.

There’s decent back seat comfort for two average-sized adults. But despite five seatbelts, the F-Pace is a four-passenger vehicle. The center-rear position is hopelessly compromised by a large floor hump, hard seat cushion and the intrusion of the center console. Other shortcomings: flimsy sunroof shade and sun visors that don’t slide on their support rods.

Overall, the F-Pace merits serious consideration among its competitors.

JaguarFPACELA010-resize-1024x768Specifications

  • Model: 2017 Jaguar F-Pace 35t Premium four door crossover sport utility vehicle.
  • Engine:0-liter V6, supercharged, 340 hp, 332 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
  • Overall length: 15 feet 7 inches.
  • EPA passenger/cargo volume: 99/34 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 4,015 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 18/23/20 mpg.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $46,595.
  • Price as tested: $49,595.

Photos (c) Jaguar Land Rover North America

2017 Jaguar XE: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer

We live in an era of automotive excellence, so to conclude that the 2017 Jaguar XE is a worthy competitor in its class amounts to high praise.

Its particular drawback is the current direction of the automotive marketplace, in which crossover sport utility vehicles are conquering traditional midsize and compact sedans. So the XE appears to be rolling onto a cluttered and confusing stage.

Still, Jaguar needed to complete its sedan lineup, which was limited to the midsize XF and, at the top of the line, the superb XJ luxury sedan—especially in its limousine-like long wheelbase L version.

The XE is not Jaguar’s first foray into the compact sedan territory. From 2001 to 2009, when the company was owned by Ford, it sold the X-Type, which was based on the same platform as the European Ford Mondeo.

JAGUARXEAWDLocation09Now Jaguar is owned by Tata Motors of India, which has had the good sense to bolster financing while leaving the British company’s designers and engineers to their own competences. The results have returned Jaguar to the forefront among luxury and sports cars, though it remains a small player against BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

Some critics carped that the old X-Type cheapened the Jaguar brand. It competed against the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series and Audi A4. But sales never met the company’s expectations and the X-Type was consigned to museum duty.

Now there’s a new small Jaguar sedan. Marketed with rear drive or optional all-wheel drive, the XE sits right on the line between the compact and midsize categories with 110 cubic feet of total interior space—95 cubic feet for passengers and 15 cubic feet in the trunk.

There’s adequate room for four adults, although as usual in most cars these days, the middle seat in back disrespects a fifth passenger.

There are 19 XE variations using three engines: 180 hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, 240 hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine, and 340 hp, 3.0-liter supercharged V6 gasoline engine. Transmissions are eight-speed automatics with manual shift modes.

Prices start at $35,895 for the 25t with the four-cylinder gasoline engine—not available at introduction—and top out at $58,995 for the 35t First Edition AWD V6 model. The lowest priced 20d diesel has a base price of $37,395.

An all-wheel drive 20d R-Sport diesel was tested at the introduction, though fuel economy ratings were not finalized. It performed smoothly and quietly on the road. With 318 lb-ft of torque to augment its 180 hp, it had strong acceleration, rated by Jaguar at 7.5 seconds to 60 mph. Its price tag, with options, was $56,345.

The focus here is the most powerful XE. Jaguar says its 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque deliver a 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds, with a top speed of 120.

JAGUARXEAWDStudioInteriorEquipment included automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats with driver’s memory settings, motorized sunroof, heated steering wheel, pushbutton starting, navigation, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, and HD and satellite radio.

The test car also carried extras that included 19-inch black alloy wheels, cooled front seats, heated rear seats, Wi-Fi and a head-up display, all of which brought its suggested delivered price to $61,385.

Developed on the same platform as Jaguar’s new F-Pace crossover sport utility vehicle, the tested XE AWD R-Sport exhibited a fraternal kinship. The simple and functional instrument panel was similar to that of the F-Pace and, of course, the power train was a duplicate of the F-Pace’s 340-hp model. Interior surroundings also bore a resemblance to the ambiance of the F-Pace, with uncluttered design and quality materials.

The XE also shared a few of the F-Pace’s shortcomings. The sun visors do not slide on their support rods to fully block sun from the side. And the shade for the motorized glass sunroof is made of a thin, perforated cloth that admits too much sunlight. Sunshades should be opaque—as they are on Jaguar’s flagship XJ L sedan.

On the road, the XE is a silent runner with minor intrusion of mechanical, road and wind noise. The powerful V6 triggers a quick jump off the line and the eight-speed automatic shifts crisply.

Augmenting the power on the test car was a sport tuned suspension system and steering, along with Jaguar’s full-time all-wheel drive, which kept the tires planted in aggressive cornering. Though it has a luxury persona, the XE earns sports sedan credentials.

JAGUARXEAWDLocation07Specifications

  • Model: 2017 Jaguar XE 35t AWD R-Sport four door sedan.
  • Engine:0-liter V6, supercharged, 340 hp 332 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode and all-wheel drive.
  • Overall length: 15 feet 4 inches.
  • EPA passenger/cargo volume: 95/15 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 3,795 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 20/29/23 mpg.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $52,695.
  • Price as tested: $61,385.

Photos (c) Jaguar Land Rover North America

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑