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William Maley

Comments: 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show: Jaguar Is Done With the Teasing, Reveals 2017 F-Pace

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It has been a long two years since Jaguar revealed the C-X17 concept crossover at Frankfurt Motor Show. Since then, Jaguar has been teasing us with F-Pace mules wrapped in some interesting camouflage. But on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show, the British automaker has finally pulled the covers off the production model.

 

From the transition of concept to the production model, the F-Pace looks largely the same aside from minor changes to the trim. The body is comprised of aluminum, high-strength steel, magnesium, and composites. This allows the F-Pace to have the same torsional stiffness numbers as the new XF. The interior features seating for five people and dashboard similar to the one used in the new XE. There will be two versions of Jaguar's InControl infotainment system; an 8-inch with optional SD navigation and a 10.2-inch version with an 825-watt Meridian 17-speaker stereo.

 

At the launch of the F-Pace next spring, there will be two versions of the supercharged 3.0L V6. The base version will produce 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, and a more potent version will make 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Following sometime after is a 2.0L Ingenium diesel four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque. All engines will come with an eight-speed automatic and a torque vectoring all-wheel drive system.

 

Jaguar has also pulled some tricks from its sister brand, Land Rover for the F-Pace. The model offers 8.4 inches of ground clearance and wade through 20.7 inches of water. There are also a number of off-road systems such as Adaptive Surface Response, All Surface Progress Control, and Low Traction Launch. We're wondering how many F-Pace owners will actually take their car off the beaten path.

 

Pricing for the Jaguar F-Pace for the U.S. breaks down like this,
2.0 Ingenium diesel: $41,985
Supercharged 3.0 V6 (340 HP): $43,385
Supercharged 3.0 V6 (380 HP): $57,765

 

Prices include a $995 destination charge.

 

Source: Jaguar

 

 

Press Release is on Page 2


 

The All-New 2017 Jaguar F-PACE

  • F-TYPE-inspired form that delivers on the promise of the breakthrough Jaguar C-X17 concept
  • Spacious cabin and large 23-cu.ft. luggage compartment
  • Strong and stiff Lightweight Aluminum Architecture delivers agility, refinement and efficiency
  • Optional Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system featuring a 10.2-inch capacitive touch-screen, a virtual 12.3-inch HD instrument cluster with full-screen navigation display, supplemented by laser head-up display
  • Available InControl Wi-Fi™ capable of hosting up to eight devices
  • World debut of Activity Key: an optional waterproof, wearable vehicle access technology, allowing the keys to be securely locked inside the vehicle while engaging in outdoor activity
  • Double-wishbone and Integral Link suspension for exceptional handling and ride comfort
  • F-TYPE-derived chassis technologies including Torque Vectoring, Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Dynamics offer a rewarding, tuneable driving experience
  • Optimized aerodynamics deliver low drag and high-speed stability
  • Supercharged 380hp V6 gasoline engine delivers 0-60mph performance in 5.1 seconds
  • Intelligent Driveline Dynamics enables all-wheel drivability and rear-wheel drive character
  • All-wheel drive delivers reassuring levels of grip in a variety of conditions, and can be further enhanced with traction technologies including available Adaptive Surface Response
  • All-Surface Progress Control designed to enable smooth drive-away on low-traction surfaces such as grass, snow and mud
  • Pricing starts from $42,390 for V6 gas engines and $40,990 for 4-cyl diesel 6 engines including Jaguar EliteCare, a best-in-class ownership package4
  • On sale beginning Spring 2016


(MAHWAH, N.J.) - September 14, 2015 - The all-new 2017 Jaguar F-PACE is a medium luxury SUV designed and engineered to offer the agility, responsiveness and refinement that Jaguar cars are renowned for, together with the exceptional dynamics and everyday versatility of an SUV.

 


DESIGN
Designed by the same team as the C-X17 concept vehicle, the F-PACE remains true to the aesthetic of the award-winning concept. Thanks to the flexibility of the Jaguar Lightweight Aluminum Architecture, designers could work hand in hand with the engineers to determine key dimensions such as the wheelbase and track, delivering the proportions and elegant lines that distinguish it instantly as a Jaguar vehicle.

 

"We designed the all-new F-PACE to be first and foremost a Jaguar. That's why it has exciting proportions, a dynamic stance, pure surfaces and a beautiful sensuality about it. Its progressive, purposeful appearance has clearly been influenced by the F-TYPE. Every Jaguar car should draw your eye from 200 meters away and I believe the presence of the all-new F-PACE on the road is second to none in this class. The Lightweight Aluminum Architecture gave us the design freedom to create a car with latent poise - a svelte car with attitude," said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar. "It looks assertive yet not aggressive. But it's also versatile and equipped with real-world answers to everyday questions. The all-new F-PACE is an all-weather Jaguar sports car, life-proofed for five people and their belongings."

 

The influence of the F-TYPE is instantly apparent at the rear of the F-PACE, from the design of the LED tail-lights to its muscular rear haunches. The rakish angle of the rear window belies the load space behind it. Jaguar design cues extend to the silhouette of the F-PACE, with a sleek roofline as well as short front and rear overhangs that reflect the vehicle's agile response. The vehicle's stance is further emphasized with the fitment of optional 22-inch diameter wheels.

 

Outside, the taut surfaces and clean lines of the bodysides are formed from a single sheet of aluminum - building upon the brand's decades-long expertise in designing, engineering and manufacturing vehicles using this lightweight material. The bold, upright front grille is assertive, but also contributes to the aerodynamic efficiency of the performance SUV. The Jaguar signature power bulge extends the full length of the aluminum hood emphasizing the vehicle's performance capabilities. Altogether, the exterior design cues from the bodyside, hood, front and rear help underscore the vehicle's athleticism as a performance SUV.

 

The sleek headlights, available with adaptive full-LED technology2, feature daytime running lights with the signature Jaguar 'J' Blade design. The slender LED fog lights available on R-Sport trim levels were developed in-house and use TV screen optics and light tubes to deliver compact packaging, as well as an exceptionally smooth, homogeneous light source.

 

The F-PACE is a five seater and features a spacious, luxurious interior which utilizes premium materials, craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail that gives every Jaguar vehicle its unique sense of occasion.

 

The 'Sports Command' driving position in the F-PACE provides authoritative, confidence-inspiring outward visibility2, while retaining the Jaguar-specific sports car feel; the dramatic curve of the front door top is incorporated into the dash fascia enhancing the cockpit-like feel.

 

The vehicle's available leather sports seats are shaped to provide exceptional comfort and support; they are available with 14 different adjustments plus heating and cooling functions. A range of contemporary trim options are also available, including authentic metal finishes such as Meshed Aluminum and beautiful crafted veneers such as Satin Grey Ash.

 

The instrument panel, similar to those found in the new XE and XF, features two large, deeply-hooded analogue dials and a central TFT display, or an optional 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster featuring the choice of four visual themes and full-screen navigation9. Ambient lighting, especially with the 10-color option, further enhances the sense of luxury.

 

The long, 113-inch (2,874mm) wheelbase makes ingress and egress to and from the rear seats easy, while the seat base itself was designed to allow passengers to sit further outboard; resulting in more space for three occupants to fit in the second row. The positioning of the seats, together with the height of the beltline, means that even small children enjoy a good view out. The available four-zone climate control system with B-pillar vents and the electric recline function of the rear seats adds to the passenger experience.

 

Driver and front seat passengers will also enjoy a center console that offers a 12V socket and up to three USB ports. The rear console can feature up to two more 12V sockets or two additional USB ports.

 

The focus on package efficiency also means that the F-PACE has a loadspace volume of 23-cu.ft. (650-liters) with a width of 49.4-inches (1,255mm). The 40:20:40 split rear seats allow through-loading and when folded flat, the luggage compartment offers up to 61.4-cu.ft. (1,740-liters) of space. Packaging is further enhanced by the low loading height and flat floor. The floor itself is reversible: one side is carpeted, the other rubberized - making it ideal for sports equipment or pets. The lightweight composite tailgate benefits from power opening and closing functions, and optional gesture control for hands-free operation.

 

ARCHITECTURE AND BODY STRUCTURE
The F-PACE is the latest Jaguar model, alongside the XE and XF, to benefit from the brand's expertise in designing and manufacturing aluminum monocoques. In fact, the F-PACE features the largest amount of the Jaguar-developed RC5754 aluminum alloy yet; one third of the vehicle features this lightweight material which comprises up to 75 percent recycled material.

 

In conjunction with the brand's Lightweight Aluminum Architecture, new features such as the composite tailgate, magnesium cross-car beam and front-end carrier contribute to its outstanding driving dynamics.

 

Advanced high strength steels in areas such as the rear floor, are joined using more than 2,600 self-piercing rivets, 238.8-ft (72.8 m) of structural adhesive and more than 560 spot-welds. The resulting torsional stiffness matches that of the all-new XF and, together with the advanced suspension systems, are key to the exceptional blend of ride, handling and refinement of the performance SUV.

 

The high-pressure diecast aluminum front suspension turrets, have been engineered to accommodate additional ground clearance and suspension travel of the vehicle. The front crossmembers are large; making them stiff to support the vehicle's elevated, Sports Command driving position. The subframes and subframe mounting points have been engineered to contribute to greater overall stiffness without the weight and packaging penalties that come by simply adding body reinforcements. In fact, wherever possible, every bracket in the body has been optimized so that it contributes to body stiffness, as well as performing its primary function.

 

CHASSIS
The F-PACE has been engineered to deliver the same outstanding driving experience which sets all Jaguar vehicles apart from the competition. Using the long wheelbase of the Lightweight Aluminum Architecture helped keep the center of mass between the axles, while the chassis high stiffness benefits not only ride, but responsiveness.

 

"We develop every Jaguar vehicle to offer an unrivalled combination of agility and responsiveness with exceptional ride and refinement - and the all-new F-PACE is no exception," said, Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar. "Applying all of the learning from F-TYPE, the steering reacts immediately, giving a truly connected feel. The double wishbone and Integral Link suspension offers the ideal balance of precise handling and body control, making the all-new F-PACE as rewarding to drive as it is comfortable to be driven in."

 

Double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension, as well as a sophisticated Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system2, deliver exceptional capability on varying road surfaces. Extremely stiff in camber, the double-wishbone suspension allows the front tires to develop lateral force more quickly resulting in sharper turn-in and quicker steering response from the drivers input. The suspension is also tuned to allow the tire to maintain its contact patch throughout the full range of suspension travel, enabling the tires to generate more grip; contributing to enhanced steering feel and control.

 

Aluminum is used almost exclusively to make the suspension as light as possible, most notably the front knuckles. The intricate, ribbed design is achieved by forging the component from cast blanks; enabling maximum stiffness for minimum weight. Among the other enhancements are bonded bushings for the tubular anti-roll bar - as well as better NVH properties, the bushing design prevents dirt ingress, improving reliability.

 

The result of years of advanced research and development, Integral Link is the most sophisticated and capable rear suspension system ever put into a Jaguar vehicle. Separating lateral and longitudinal stiffness, the Integral Link allows the suspension to provide the best possible comfort without compromising dynamics.

 

The bushings which manage longitudinal loads can be made much softer than would otherwise be possible with conventional multilink suspensions, enabling excellent energy absorption and therefore a smoother, quieter ride. At the same time, lateral stiffness can be far higher, making the vehicle more responsive. Caster stiffness has been increased over other Jaguar models, which is felt by the driver as improved stability when braking.

 

The upper links are aluminum forgings, while the lower arm is hollow-cast aluminum - the optimum lightweight solution for this complex part. The springs and dampers are mounted separately, allowing each to be ideally positioned for the forces acting on the suspension and contributing even more to the dynamics and refinement of the F-PACE. This design is also highly space-efficient, minimizing intrusion into the luggage compartment.

 

Every Jaguar vehicle is designed to provide a responsive, connected steering feel. The all-new F-PACE is no exception, as this target drove the development of every single component between the steering wheel and the tire contact patch in order to achieve the precision, response and linearity which define Jaguar steering DNA.

 

Among the measures taken to achieve this include adding a fifth mounting point for the steering rack, and increasing the rotational stiffness of the subframe-to-body connections. High lateral stiffness in the rear axle also helps with initial turn-in because lateral forces at the tire contact patches build very quickly. Aerodynamics have been developed to give a front:rear lift balance closer to that of a sedan than an SUV, contributing to improved feel and stability during high-speed cruising.

 

The Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system2 in the F-PACE benefits from the addition of closed-loop control. Specially-developed algorithms calculate the forces coming back from the road and use this information to further refine the level of assistance, making the steering even more intuitive.

 

The EPAS system also features a variable steering ratio - as standard. This is achieved using variable pitch gears on the rack bar and fixed pitch gears on the pinion. By changing the contact point with the rack's gear teeth from the valleys on-center to the peaks at full lock, the more the driver turns the wheel, the more responsive the steering becomes2.

 

Meticulously engineered and exhaustively tested at locations around the world, each available wheel and tire combination offers an excellent balance of grip, low rolling resistance, comfort and durability. F-PACE offers a variety of different wheel and tire options; from 18-inch wheels designed specifically to reduce aerodynamic drag to 22-inch wheels which complement the performance and design of the vehicle.

 

The range of 22-inch wheels was developed for the F-PACE by the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations division. Produced from forged aluminum to make them lighter and stiffer, they not only help to deliver the concept-car look of the C-X17 but also contribute to the high levels of on-road dynamics and traction of the F-PACE.

 

Another technology first developed for F-TYPE and now applied to the F-PACE is Torque Vectoring by Braking. Designed to make the vehicle even more agile, the system can apply finely-metered braking to the inner wheels to mitigate understeer during corner entry, helping the driver to keep the vehicle on the ideal line through a turn2. The system works predominantly on the inside rear wheel to avoid any corruption of steering feel, and as a result, system intervention is virtually transparent to the driver.

 

All models feature monotube dampers as standard. Not only do they contribute to a reduction in unsprung mass but they are also more responsive than conventional twin-tube dampers, and therefore offer greater ride control.

 

The available Adaptive Dynamics takes this to the next level. By monitoring body movement 100 times a second and wheel movement 500 times a second, the system is designed to provide continuously variable damping to suit the conditions2, delivering a comfortable ride at lower speeds and even better handling at higher speeds3. Linked to Adaptive Dynamics, Configurable Dynamics, first developed for the F-TYPE, enables the driver to tailor the vehicle's character by individually selecting dynamic or normal modes for the throttle mapping, transmission shift strategy, steering feel and adaptive damper setting, all using the central touchscreen.

 

For models equipped with the Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system1, drivers also gain the Dynamic-i feature, which displays a stopwatch, g-meter and a map of accelerator pedal response.

 

POWERTRAIN
At launch, U.S. buyers will have their choice of a 3.0l 340hp or 380hp supercharged gasoline V6 mated to an 8-speed transmission with power being routed to all four wheels via a torque-on-demand all-wheel drive system. Later in 2016, a 180hp four cylinder Ingenium diesel engine will also be added to the model lineup.

 

Supercharged V6 gasoline engines
The 340hp and 380hp variants of the supercharged gasoline V6 engine are shared with the F-TYPE sports car. These all-aluminum engines are characterized by their immediate throttle response, linear power delivery and unique intake and exhaust sound.

 

The 90-degree cylinder bank angle enables the roots-type supercharger to be neatly packaged within the vee. Together with direct injection and variable intake and exhaust valve timing, the supercharger helps the engine generate a high torque output throughout the rev range, delivering strong acceleration at all times.

 

Both variants are matched to eight-speed automatic transmissions and all-wheel drive. The 380hp engine is exclusive to the F-PACE S models, and can launch the performance SUV from 0-60mph in only 5.1 seconds, on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph3.

 

Ingenium diesel6: Low fuel consumption, high torque
Available later in 2016, the clean, responsive, Ingenium diesel uses state-of-the-art technologies including selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to cut NOx and CO2 emissions.

 

Designed and manufactured in-house, this state-of-the-art, all-aluminum 2.0-liter engine produces 180hp and 317 lb.ft. of torque; delivering strong acceleration whenever the driver demands it3. It's highly efficient too, achieving excellent fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.

 

Ingenium is one of the first diesel engines to feature variable valve timing: a phaser to the exhaust camshaft enables the after treatment system to reach operating temperature as quickly as possible, reducing emissions. The engine warms up very quickly from cold thanks to a split-cooling system featuring a variable flow coolant pump and a mapped thermostat.

 

The 1,800bar common rail system and highly efficient variable geometry turbocharger enable clean, quiet, efficient combustion. Using cooled low-pressure EGR in addition to high-pressure EGR reduces pumping losses and therefore improves efficiency still further. Just as importantly, it reduces peak combustion temperatures and reduces the formation of NOx.

 

ZF® Transmissions
The transmission in the F-PACE was developed with ZF® to deliver exceptional shift quality and efficiency. All six-cylinder engines are paired with the same 8HP70 transmission also found in the Jaguar XE, XF, XJ and F-TYPE models.

 

While the automatic transmission models have been developed to select the right gear at the right time depending on the mode chosen in the JaguarDrive Control™ system and according to driving style, enthusiasts will make the most of manual shift control using the steering wheel-mounted paddles. S models feature standard satin chrome-finished paddles.

 

ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Like the F-TYPE AWD, the F-PACE features a torque-on-demand AWD system2. Under normal driving conditions, all of the engine torque is sent to the rear axle, maintaining a rear-wheel drive character, while minimizing parasitic losses in the drivetrain. Whenever greater traction is needed, Jaguar Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD)2 is designed to ensure that precisely the right amount of torque is transferred to the front axle. This process takes no more than 165 milliseconds and is virtually transparent to the driver.

 

These technologies ensure that the F-PACE delivers the connected steering feel and rear-wheel drive character inherent to Jaguar dynamics DNA, together with handling and performance which fully exploits the benefits of extra traction when required. This could not be realized with a conventional, full-time AWD system.

 

At the heart of the system is a compact transfer case featuring a multi-plate wet clutch and chain drive to the front axle. The all-wheel drive system is incredibly quick; making the transition from 100 percent rear-bias to a 50:50 torque split in just 165 milliseconds. If there is already a proportion of torque being sent to the front axle, additional torque transfer can take as little as 100 milliseconds.

 

Torque distribution is controlled by the IDD module, which is integrated into the transfer case. Taking data from the vehicle's yaw rate, lateral acceleration and steering wheel angle sensors, IDD continuously estimates not only the friction between the tires and the road surface, but also how much of the available grip is being exploited at each contact patch.

 

This intelligence, coupled to the extremely fast-acting transfer case, enables IDD to employ both pre-emptive and reactive control strategies, maximizing dynamics and traction. If IDD predicts that the rear axle is approaching the limit of available traction, torque will be transferred to the front axle. Torque can also be fed forwards to help mitigate oversteer by providing yaw damping. IDD is also networked to Jaguar Drive Control and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system so that torque distribution can be even further optimized.

 

Adaptive Surface Response
The AWD system in the F-PACE is enhanced further by the Jaguar Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR) technology. AdSR automatically adapts the maps of the throttle, transmission and DSC system according to the type of surfaceto maximize traction in a variety of conditions2.

 

Replacing Winter mode in the JaguarDrive Control system, AdSR operates throughout the vehicle's entire speed range and is designed to enable finer optimization of the vehicle's systems to make the most of the available traction, helping the driver to make smooth progress on challenging surfaces2.

 

AdSR debuted in the new XF and is further enhanced in the F-PACE, featuring three modes, one for low-traction surfaces such as snow and ice, one for medium-traction surfaces such as wet tarmac or gravel and a third mode for high-drag conditions such as deep snow and deep gravel to further exploit the vehicle's inherent ability. The system automatically switches modes to suit the conditions, leaving the driver free to concentrate on driving2.

 

So whereas on ice, for example, a very progressive throttle map will be selected, a much more aggressive map is used for deep snow because the engine has to build up torque very quickly to help the vehicle to maintain momentum.If, for example, the road surface changes from a thin layer of snow to a gritted section and then to a section covered with a thick layer of snow, AdSR will select different modes for each surface2. The transition takes place quickly - around four seconds - and seamlessly.

 

Inherent ability
Designed to be as light and rigid as possible, the monocoque structure also delivers the short overhangs which are not only essential to the vehicle' outstanding proportions, but also to the maximum approach and departure angles of 25.5-deg and 25.7-deg respectively.

 

The ground clearance of 8.4-inches (213mm) is another advantage and one made all the more effective by the smooth underfloor which reduces aerodynamic drag. Similarly, when the architecture was developed, ECUs and other electronics modules were packaged as high up as possible to aid the remarkable 20.7-inch (525mm) wading depth of the F-PACE2.

 

AWD Testing
The F-PACE has been developed to offer exceptional driving dynamics but its performance on tarmac is just one of its strengths. To ensure that it also delivers in adverse road and weather conditions, the vehicle has been subjected a demanding test program, in locations including the searing heat of Dubai and the freezing cold of Northern Sweden.

 

More than a quarter of a million test miles were accumulated in these two regions alone, where ambient temperatures can fall as low as -40°F (-40°C) and reach as high as 122°F (50°C). Going to such measures ensures that everything from tires to climate control systems to the infotainment touch-screens function perfectly in extreme conditions.

 

Among the features at the Jaguar Land Rover winter proving ground in Arjeplog, Sweden are 37-miles (60km) of purpose-designed handling tracks, loops, inclines and split-friction straights. Testing in Dubai included graveled mountain passes and dry river beds known as wadis - the F-PACE is the first Jaguar to be tested in these particularly challenging environments.

 

This is also the first time that a Jaguar has been evaluated in the mud and ruts of the legendary Eastnor test facility in the UK; until now, only Land Rover vehicles have been developed here. It's fitting too that the F-PACE was not assessed using existing sedan car test requirements; instead, tests were derived from the uniquely demanding standards set by the Land Rover brand.

 

This process meant that the engineering team could perfect the calibration of technologies such as IDD and AdSR in the most difficult and demanding conditions. The result of this exhaustive development is a luxury SUV which is designed to be capable on varying road and weather conditions including ice, deep snow, dirt roads and wet grass2.

 

ADVANCED DRIVER ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS
The F-PACE offers all of the technologies needed to make journeys more convenient, from traction systems to get drivers moving on low friction surfaces, to an emergency braking system.

 

All Surface Progress Control (ASPC)
Leveraging knowledge built up over decades of Land Rover experience in off-road technologies, ASPC delivers a step-change in capability by controlling the throttle and brakes, allowing the driver to concentrate more on the steering2. Functioning like a low-speed cruise control, ASPC can operate between 2.2mph (3.6km/h) and 19mph (30km/h). After activating the system by pressing a button on the center console, the driver uses the cruise control switches on the steering wheel to set the maximum speed. After that, the system does the work. As well as finely controlling the throttle, ASPC uses the brakes in opposition to the throttle so that from a standstill, only very low engine torque is applied to the driven wheels. The result is smooth, controlled progress with little or no wheel spin.

 

Low Traction Launch
While ASPC makes the most of the vehicle's traction capability by taking control of the throttle, some drivers want to achieve similar results while operating the throttle for themselves. The Low Traction Launch function has been designed to do this when the driver selects Low Traction Launch using the touchscreen. Once activated, it changes the throttle map to one which results in a very progressive torque response from the engine, enabling the driver to pull away smoothly2. Like ASPC, Low Traction Launch is standard on all engines.

 

Stereo Camera Technologies
The F-PACE features a forward-facing stereo camera at the heart of many of its advanced driver assistance systems. Providing a highly accurate 3D view of the road ahead, the stereo camera is ideal for Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems2. The F-PACE is the first Jaguar to offer an AEB system with a pedestrian detection function. If the system's controller determines that a collision with a vehicle or a pedestrian is imminent, it is designed to initiate full braking automatically2.

 

The stereo camera also provides the intelligence for the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) systems2. By monitoring the vehicle's position relative to lane markings either side, LDW can help to prevent drivers from drifting out of lane by triggering a visual warning in the instrument panel and a haptic warning through the steering wheel rim. LKA can guide the driver back towards the center of the lane by applying a small amount of counter-steering through the electric power-assisted steering system. The torque applied to the steering wheel can be easily over-ridden by the driver.

 

Failure to stay in lane is often due to a lack of concentration but driver fatigue can also be a factor. Such tiredness may be characterized by periods of little or no steering activity followed by sudden or excessive inputs. The Driver Condition Monitoring system is designed to recognize these patterns, and, by also checking the usage of the brake and accelerator pedals, the direction indicators and various buttons on the instrument panel, will show a multi-stage warning in the instrument cluster and give audible warnings to prompt the driver to take a break2.

 

The Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) system available on the F-PACE uses the stereo camera to keep the driver informed of the speed limit - including temporary limits which apply in road construction sites, for example, variable limits on highways, or reduced limits when towing2. The limit is displayed in the instrument cluster and if fitted to the vehicle, in the head-up display, and camera data is always cross-referenced against GPS data for maximum accuracy. If the driver selects the over-speed warning function, the ring around the sign graphic flashes whenever the limit is exceeded, giving an unobtrusive prompt to slow down.

 

Further support for the driver comes from the Intelligent Speed Limiter (ISL). This system can use TSR data to adjust the set point and can automatically increase or decrease the vehicle's maximum speed while the accelerator pedal is pressed. If the TSR system recognizes a higher speed limit ahead, the ISL system is designed to notify the driver and the vehicle can accelerate smoothly up to the new limit. If the speed limit is lower, the vehicle can be slowed down accordingly2.

 

Laser head-up display
The laser head-up display (HUD) available on the F-PACE can put information such as vehicle speed, turn-by-turn navigation instructions and speed limits right in the driver's eye line, minimizing the amount of time spent glancing down at the instrument cluster2. The color images are exceptionally sharp and are adjustable both in height and in brightness; the HUD can also be switched off if desired.

 

Laser technology offers several advantages over conventional TFT systems including excellent color saturation and higher contrast, so they remain clear even in bright sunlight.

 

Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist
As well as reducing driver workload when cruising on the highway, the Adaptive Cruise Control system (ACC), when equipped on the F-PACE, can also help to relieve the monotony of driving in heavy traffic, thanks to the queue-assist function. The long-range radar will maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, all the way down to a standstill2. Press the accelerator again, and the F-PACE will pull away again and track the vehicle in front, at a distance, all the way up to the chosen speed setting.

 

Blind Spot Monitor and Reverse Traffic Detection
By monitoring the area behind the vehicle, optional radar can assist the driver in other scenarios too. Medium-range sensors warn the driver of other vehicles approaching fast from behind. As they approach the blind spot, a flashing icon appears in the side mirror to alert the driver of the potential danger. As the vehicle enters the blind spot, the icon becomes solid2.

 

The same medium-radar sensors can help the driver at lower speeds too. When reversing out of parking spaces, other vehicles approaching from either side - which may not be visible to the driver - are detected by the radar. If they present a potential hazard, the driver is given audible and visual warnings.

 

Park Assist
To assist the driver with parking in small spaces, the F-PACE is available with semi-automated park assist functions for parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers. The vehicle's ultrasonic sensors first measure the space, and, if the system decides that it's suitable, will enable the vehicle to steer itself in - the driver just has to control the accelerator and the brakes2. The system can also steer the vehicle out of parallel spaces.

 

INFOTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY
The F-PACE is equipped with the Jaguar InControl® Touch™ infotainment system as standard1. Featuring an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen, intuitive user interface and crisp clear graphics, it supports smartphone and tablet gestures such as 'swipe' to move from one page to another, and 'drag' to scroll through maps.

 

With navigation fitted to the vehicle, entering addresses is quicker and easier than with previous systems and routes are calculated faster thanks to SD card storage of navigation data. Maps are rendered in 2D and 3D graphics, making directions simple and intuitive to follow.

 

Turn-by-turn instructions can also be shown in the optional head-up display, leaving the driver free to concentrate on what matters most - the road ahead2.

 

Also available as an option, is the Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro infotainment system1. Designed and developed in-house around a quad-core processor, a high-speed 60GB solid-state drive (SSD) and an ultra-fast Ethernet network, InControl Touch Pro™ delivers truly world-class performance and an outstanding user experience.

 

The Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro infotainment system features a 10.2-inch touch-screen. Like a tablet, there are no buttons; all controls are integrated into the bottom section of the touch-screen, making interaction smooth and seamless. The home screen can be customized and widgets can be added - users can even add additional home screens if they wish1.

 

InControl Touch Pro has been designed to make every journey easier and more enjoyable. Navigation data stored on the high-speed SSD can be accessed in a fraction of the time required with conventional hard drive technology, making the graphics incredibly responsive. Users can zoom in and out of maps using 'pinch' and 'pan' gestures1.

 

Even when there's no GPS signal the system can still help drivers to stay on track with dead-reckoning functionality which analyzes data from the vehicle's sensors to accurately predict the vehicle's location.

 

Using the data connection to access location-based features adds another dimension to the system's capability. Search for a destination and the system will check if there's sufficient fuel to complete the journey. If not, this will be flagged and filling stations on the route that are within range are shown on the map: tapping on one of them is all it takes to add it as a waypoint.

 

It's also possible to share destination, current location and estimated time of arrival (ETA) with others via email or text message1. If your ETA slips, the system can automatically follow-up with an update.

 

Commute Mode learns an owner's daily drive so that it can offer alternative routes to avoid congestion using historical and real-time traffic information. Approach Mode adds a 360-deg interactive view of your destination alongside the map display when you're approximately 656-ft (200m away) - it can even show you where the nearest available parking lots are and then direct you to them. A dedicated companion app for iOS® and Android™ devices enables true door-to-door route planning and guidance and can help you to complete your journey on public transport or on foot.

 

InControl Touch Pro™ is offered in conjunction with a Meridian® 17-speaker, 825W surround sound system which delivers ideal sound reproduction with benchmark low levels of distortion.

 

The experience is enriched with Gracenote images stored on the SSD drive -- and functions such as 'Play more like this' which automatically compiles playlists, or Music Queue, which makes it easy to search for and add songs, albums or artists to a music queue the current track is still playing.

 

The modules within InControl Touch Pro are connected using ultra-fast Ethernet. This advanced network technology is more than five times faster than competing conventionally wired technologies. Jaguar is one of the very first vehicle manufacturers to use it.

 

Ethernet's main advantage is its incredible bandwidth: up to 1Gb/second. The potential to carry such massive amounts of data, together with the performance of the quad-core processor and the solid-state drive means that InControl Touch Pro will be able to offer even greater functionality in the future.

 

The all-new F-PACE also brings the world debut of Jaguar's Activity Key. A waterproof, shockproof wristband with an integrated transponder, this wearable technology supports active lifestyles because it allows the keyfob to be securely locked inside the vehicle - invaluable, for example, if you're going surfing or kayaking.

 

Locking the all-new F-PACE using the Activity Key will disable any keyfobs left inside the SUV. Activity Key works on the same RF frequencies as the other keys and is used to lock and unlock the vehicle by holding it in close proximity to the J of the Jaguar lettering on the tailgate. Activity Key has no battery, so owners never have to worry about changing it.

 

InControl suite of technologies
Jaguar InControl® Apps™ enables drivers to access apps on Android™ and Apple® smartphones using the InControl Touch™ and InControl Touch Pro™ infotainment systems1. After connecting the device using a USB cable and the dedicated port in the center console, compatible apps will be shown on the vehicle touch-screen. Optimized for in-vehicle use to reduce driver distraction, the range of approved third-party apps is growing constantly.

 

The F-PACE can be equipped to also function as a Wi-Fi hotspot, hosting up to eight devices simultaneously8. With a paid data plan, the integrated SIM card and the vehicle's antenna are used to provide a stable, reliable signal.

 

Jaguar InControl® Remote™ functionality allows users of iOS® and Android™ smartphones to connect to the car remotely to control car functions, including deactivating the alarm, locking or unlocking the doors, and remote heating or cooling the cabin through engine start.

 

If the vehicle is involved in a collision which triggers the airbags, InControl Protect™ will automatically notify the emergency services and provide the GPS location. The occupants can also manually trigger an emergency call by pressing a dedicated button in the roof console.

 

First Edition: Concept car design for the real world
To celebrate the launch of the all-new F-PACE, a special model called the First Edition will be available in limited numbers, in the first year of production only.

 

Powered exclusively by the 380hp supercharged V6 found in the F-PACE S, the First Edition includes unique interior and exterior design enhancements that pay homage to the original C-X17 concept car unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show as well as sports car-derived performance technology including Adaptive Dynamics2.

 

Outside, the First Edition F-PACE will be available in Rhodium Silver paint finish set against 22-inch Double Helix 15-spoke wheels with Grey finish and contrast inserts. Red brake calipers, full-LED headlights with LED 'J' blade Daytime Running Lights, Gloss Black fender vents, a sliding panoramic roof and the S model body kit complete the enhancements found on the First Edition F-PACE.

 

Inside, Windsor soft-grain leather seats featuring twin-needle stitching and an embossed houndstooth pattern influenced by the award-winning interior from the C-X17 concept compliment the configurable 10-color ambient lighting, state-of-the-art Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system1 and the 12.3-inch high definition virtual instrument cluster.

 

Pricing and Range Summary
The all-new F-PACE range will consist of: F-PACE, F-PACE Premium, F-PACE Prestige, F-PACE R-Sport, F-PACE S and F-PACE First Edition. The powertrain range will consist of a 180hp 2.0-liter Ingenium diesel as well as 340hp and 380hp 3.0-liter V6 gas variants priced from $40,9907, $42,3907 and $56,7007 respectively.

 

BEST-IN-CLASS COVERAGE
From the 2016 model year forward, all Jaguar models sold in the U.S. will feature Jaguar EliteCare, a new 5-year/60,000 mile ownership package4 that includes:

  • 5-Year/60,000 Mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty
  • 5-Year/60,000 Mile Complimentary Scheduled Maintenance
  • 5-Year/60,000 Mile 24/7 Roadside Assistance
  • 5-Year/Unlimited Mile Jaguar InControl®Remote & Protect™


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It looks pretty good on the outside, looks sporty and the rear end looks good  The inside seems nice, but also looks sort of boring and plain.  I think it is very well priced, I like that the diesel is the cheapest model and the 340 hp V6 is more than most of these other crossovers have, plus this has a rear drive chassis. 

 

I am curious about two things though.  First is how big is the F-pace?  Is this like BMW X3 size or is this a midsize vehicle? If it is mid-size they have really good pricing.  Second question is why is it $14,000 more for 40 more hp?  I hope the 380 hp model has every other option of the 340 hp model as standard equipment.  Because $14,000 for 40 hp is a rip off even by Porsche standards.

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It looks pretty good on the outside, looks sporty and the rear end looks good  The inside seems nice, but also looks sort of boring and plain.  I think it is very well priced, I like that the diesel is the cheapest model and the 340 hp V6 is more than most of these other crossovers have, plus this has a rear drive chassis. 

 

I am curious about two things though.  First is how big is the F-pace?  Is this like BMW X3 size or is this a midsize vehicle? If it is mid-size they have really good pricing. 

 

From Jaguar's press release, they say its a midsize.

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This thing could sell well by Jaguar standards.  Being built on the XE/XF aluminum chassis you figure it has to have decent handling, and you get a 340 hp V6 for $43k.  That is a lot more engine than you get in a Lexus RX, and it is $10,000 cheaper than a BMW X5.  And the diesel will probably get like 35 mpg, compared to all the 25 mpg mid-size gas crossovers, it will look like a stand out.  I think they could sell 1,000 a month, they should sell 500 a month at least.

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I don't see SUV buyers having any real reason to look to Jag for SUVs. It's like the question no one's asking, never mind being a decade plus late. Hell, no one's asking for Jaguar sedans….

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I don't see SUV buyers having any real reason to look to Jag for SUVs. It's like the question no one's asking, never mind being a decade plus late. Hell, no one's asking for Jaguar sedans….

 

 

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    • By William Maley
      The three-row full-size crossover has taken the place of large SUVs as the vehicle of choice for growing families. Crossovers offer the tall ride height and large space, but not at the cost of fuel economy and ride quality. Recently, I spent a week in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. These two models could not be any different; one is focused on providing driving enjoyment, while the other is concerned about providing enough space for cargo and passengers. Trying to determine which one was the best would prove to be a difficult task.
      Exterior
      There is no contest between these two when it comes to design as the CX-9 blows the Atlas out of the water. The overall look balances aggressive and elegance traits. For the front, Mazda has angled the clip to give off a sporting profile while a large grille and a set of slim headlights accentuate this. Move around to the side and you’ll notice the CX-9 has quite a long front end and the rear roof pillars are angled slightly forward. These design cues help make the CX-9 look slightly smaller than it actually is.
      Someone once described a Volkswagen vehicle as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” That’s how I would sum up the Atlas’ design; it is basically a box on wheels. There are some nice touches such as the LED headlights that come standard on all models and chunky fenders. The 18-inch alloy wheels that come with the SE w/Technology look somewhat small on the Atlas, but that is likely due to the large size of the vehicle.
      Interior
      The Atlas’ interior very much follows the ideals of the exterior, which are uncomplicated and utilitarian. While it does fall flat when compared to the CX-9’s luxury design, Volkswagen nails the ergonomics. Most of the controls are within easy reach of driver and passenger. One touch that I really like is the climate control slightly angled upward. Not only does this make it easier to reach, but you can quickly glance down to see the current settings. There is only a small amount of soft-touch material used throughout the Atlas’ interior, the rest being made up of hard plastics. While that is slightly disappointing as other crossovers are adding more soft-touch materials, Volkswagen knows that kids are quite rough to vehicles.
      If there is one benefit to Volkswagen’s plain styling on the outside, it is the massive interior. I haven’t been in such a spacious three-row crossover since the last GM Lambda I drove. Beginning with the third-row, I found that my 5’9” frame actually fit with only my knees just touching the rear of the second-row. Moving the second row slightly forward allows for a little more legroom. Getting in and out of the third-row is very easy as the second-row tilts and moves forward, providing a wide space. This particular tester came with a second-row bench seat. A set of captain chairs are available as an option on SE and above. Sitting back here felt like I was in a limousine with abundant head and legroom. The seats slide and recline which allows passengers to find that right position. The only downside to both rear rows is there isn’t enough padding for long trips. For the front seat, the driver gets a ten-way power seat while the passenger makes do with only a power recline and manual adjustments. No complaints about comfort as the Atlas’ front seats had the right amount of padding and firmness for any trip length.
      The cargo area is quite huge. With all seats up, the Atlas offers 20.6 cubic feet of space. This increases to 55.5 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and 96.8 cubic feet with both rows folded. Only the new Chevrolet Traverse beats the Atlas with measurements of 23, 58.1, and 98.2 cubic feet.
      As a way to differentiate itself from other automakers, Mazda is trying to become more premium. This is clearly evident in the CX-9’s interior. The dash is beautiful with contouring used throughout, and a mixture of brushed aluminum and soft-touch plastics with a grain texture. If I were to cover up the Mazda badge on the steering wheel and ask you to identify the brand, you might think it was from a German automaker. Ergonomics aren’t quite as good as the Atlas as you have to reach for certain controls like those for the climate system.
      The CX-9’s front seats don’t feel quite as spacious when compared to the Atlas with a narrow cockpit and the rakish exterior are to blame. Still, most drivers should be able to find a position that works. The seats themselves have a sporting edge with increased side bolstering and firm cushions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and didn’t have issues of not having enough support. Moving to the second row, Mazda only offers a bench seat configuration. This is disappointing considering all of the CX-9’s competitors offer captain chairs as an option. There is more than enough legroom for most passengers, but those six-feet and above will find headroom to be a bit tight. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough. Like the Atlas, the CX-9’s second row slides and tilts to allow access. But space is noticeably smaller and does require some gymnastics to pass through. Once seated, I found it to be quite cramped with little head and legroom. This is best reserved for small kids.
      Cargo area is another weak point to the CX-9. With both back seats up, there is only 14.4 cubic feet. This puts it behind most of the competition aside from the GMC Acadia which has 12.8. It doesn’t get any better when the seats are folded. With the third-row down, the CX-9 has 38.2 cubic feet. Fold down the second-row and it expands to 71.2 cubic feet. To use the GMC Acadia again, it offers 41.7 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and rises to 79 with both rows. Keep in mind, the Acadia is about six inches shorter than the CX-9.
      Infotainment
      All CX-9’s come equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The base Sport comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, while the Touring and above use a larger 8-inch screen. A rotary knob and set of redundant buttons on the center console control the system. Using Mazda Connect is a bit of a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look a bit dated with the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Trying to use the touchscreen is an exercise in frustration as it is not easy to tell which parts are touch-enabled and not. On the upside, moving around Mazda Connect is a breeze when using the knob and buttons. Currently, Mazda doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Thankfully, this is being remedied with the 2019 model as Touring models and above will come with both.
      For the Atlas, Volkswagen offers three different systems. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on the S. Moving up to either the SE, SE w/Technology, or SEL nets you an 8-inch screen. The top line SEL Premium adds navigation to the 8-inch system. All of the systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The current Volkswagen system is one of the easiest to use thanks in part to intuitive menu structure and quick responses. Moving through menus or presets is easy as the system reacts to the swiping gesture like you would do on your smartphone. There are a couple of downsides to the Volkswagen system. One is there is no haptic feedback when pressing the shortcut buttons on either side of the screen. Also, the glass surface becomes littered with fingerprints very quickly. 
      I did have an issue with the system when trying to use Apple CarPlay. At times, applications such as Spotify would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to get the apps unfrozen until I shut the vehicle off. After resetting my iPhone, this problem went away. This leaves me wondering how much of this problem was with my phone and not the infotainment system.
      Powertrain
      Both of these crossovers are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The CX-9 has a 2.5L producing either 227 or 250 (on premium fuel) horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Atlas has a 2.0L producing 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An optional 3.6L V6 with 276 horsepower is available for the Atlas. For the Mazda, power is routed to a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen makes do with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive only. If you want AWD, you need the V6.
      Thanks to its higher torque figure, the CX-9 leaves the Atlas in the dust. There is barely any lag coming from the turbo-four. Instead, it delivers a linear throttle response and a steady stream of power.  NVH levels are noticeably quieter than the Atlas’ turbo-four. The six-speed automatic delivers seamless shifts and is quick to downshift when you need extra power such as merging.
      The turbo-four in the Atlas seems slightly overwhelmed at first. When leaving a stop, I found that there was a fair amount of turbo-lag. This is only exacerbated if the stop-start system is turned on. Once the turbo was spooling, the four-cylinder did a surprising job of moving the 4,222 pound Atlas with no issue. Stab the throttle and the engine comes into life, delivering a smooth and constant stream of power. The eight-speed automatic provided quick and smooth shifts, although it was sometimes hesitant to downshift when more power was called for.
      Fuel Economy
      Both of these models are close in fuel economy. EPA says the CX-9 AWD should return 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined, while the Atlas 2.0T will get 22/26/24. During the week, the CX-9 returned 22.5 mpg in mostly city driving and the Atlas got 27.3 mpg with a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The eight-speed transmission in the Atlas makes a huge difference.
      Ride & Handling
      The CX-9 is clearly the driver’s choice. On a winding road, the crossover feels quite nimble thanks to a well-tuned suspension. There is a slight amount of body roll due to the tall ride height, but nothing that will sway your confidence. Steering has some heft when turning and feels quite responsive. Despite the firm suspension, the CX-9’s ride is supple enough to iron out most bumps. Only large imperfections and bumps would make their way inside. Barely any wind and road noise made it inside the cabin.
      The Atlas isn’t far behind in handling. Volkswagen’s suspension turning helps keep body roll in check and makes the crossover feel smaller than it actually is. The only weak point is the steering which feels somewhat light when turning. Ride quality is slightly better than the CX-9 as Atlas feels like riding on a magic carpet when driving on bumpy roads. Some of this can be attributed to smaller wheels. There is slightly more wind noise coming inside the cabin.
      Value
      It would be unfair to directly compare these two crossovers due to the large gap in price. Instead, I will be comparing them with the other’s similar trim.
      The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology begins at $35,690 for the 2.0T FWD. With destination, my test car came to $36,615, The Technology adds a lot of desirable features such as three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane departure alert. The Mazda CX-9 Touring is slightly less expensive at $35,995 with destination and matches the Atlas on standard features, including all of the safety kit. But we’re giving the Atlas the slight edge as you do get more space for not that much more money.
      Over at the CX-9, the Grand Touring AWD begins at $42,270. With a couple of options including the Soul Red paint, the as-tested price came to $43,905. The comparable Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is only $30 more expensive when you factor in destination. Both come closely matched in terms of equipment with the only differences being the Grand Touring has navigation, while the SEL comes with a panoramic sunroof. This one is a draw as it will come down whether space or luxury is more important to you.
      Verdict
      Coming in second is the Mazda CX-9. It may have the sharpest exterior in the class, a premium interior that could embarrass some luxury cars, and pleasing driving characteristics. But ultimately, the CX-9 falls down on the key thing buyers want; space. It trails most everyone in passenger and cargo space. That is ultimately the price you pay for all of the positives listed. 
      For a first attempt, Volkswagen knocked it out of the park with the Atlas. It is a bit sluggish when leaving a stop and doesn’t have as luxurious of an interior as the CX-9. But Volkswagen gave the Atlas one of the largest interiors of the class, a chassis that balances a smooth ride with excellent body control, impressive fuel economy, and a price that won’t break the bank.
      Both of these crossovers are impressive and worthy of being at the top of the consideration list. But at the end of the day, the Atlas does the three-row crossover better than the CX-9.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-9
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,361 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $42,470
      As Tested Price: $43,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Soul Red Metallic - $595.00
      Cargo Mat - $100.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Atlas
      Trim: 2.0T SE w/Technology
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/26/24
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN
      Base Price: $35,690
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The three-row full-size crossover has taken the place of large SUVs as the vehicle of choice for growing families. Crossovers offer the tall ride height and large space, but not at the cost of fuel economy and ride quality. Recently, I spent a week in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. These two models could not be any different; one is focused on providing driving enjoyment, while the other is concerned about providing enough space for cargo and passengers. Trying to determine which one was the best would prove to be a difficult task.
      Exterior
      There is no contest between these two when it comes to design as the CX-9 blows the Atlas out of the water. The overall look balances aggressive and elegance traits. For the front, Mazda has angled the clip to give off a sporting profile while a large grille and a set of slim headlights accentuate this. Move around to the side and you’ll notice the CX-9 has quite a long front end and the rear roof pillars are angled slightly forward. These design cues help make the CX-9 look slightly smaller than it actually is.
      Someone once described a Volkswagen vehicle as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” That’s how I would sum up the Atlas’ design; it is basically a box on wheels. There are some nice touches such as the LED headlights that come standard on all models and chunky fenders. The 18-inch alloy wheels that come with the SE w/Technology look somewhat small on the Atlas, but that is likely due to the large size of the vehicle.
      Interior
      The Atlas’ interior very much follows the ideals of the exterior, which are uncomplicated and utilitarian. While it does fall flat when compared to the CX-9’s luxury design, Volkswagen nails the ergonomics. Most of the controls are within easy reach of driver and passenger. One touch that I really like is the climate control slightly angled upward. Not only does this make it easier to reach, but you can quickly glance down to see the current settings. There is only a small amount of soft-touch material used throughout the Atlas’ interior, the rest being made up of hard plastics. While that is slightly disappointing as other crossovers are adding more soft-touch materials, Volkswagen knows that kids are quite rough to vehicles.
      If there is one benefit to Volkswagen’s plain styling on the outside, it is the massive interior. I haven’t been in such a spacious three-row crossover since the last GM Lambda I drove. Beginning with the third-row, I found that my 5’9” frame actually fit with only my knees just touching the rear of the second-row. Moving the second row slightly forward allows for a little more legroom. Getting in and out of the third-row is very easy as the second-row tilts and moves forward, providing a wide space. This particular tester came with a second-row bench seat. A set of captain chairs are available as an option on SE and above. Sitting back here felt like I was in a limousine with abundant head and legroom. The seats slide and recline which allows passengers to find that right position. The only downside to both rear rows is there isn’t enough padding for long trips. For the front seat, the driver gets a ten-way power seat while the passenger makes do with only a power recline and manual adjustments. No complaints about comfort as the Atlas’ front seats had the right amount of padding and firmness for any trip length.
      The cargo area is quite huge. With all seats up, the Atlas offers 20.6 cubic feet of space. This increases to 55.5 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and 96.8 cubic feet with both rows folded. Only the new Chevrolet Traverse beats the Atlas with measurements of 23, 58.1, and 98.2 cubic feet.
      As a way to differentiate itself from other automakers, Mazda is trying to become more premium. This is clearly evident in the CX-9’s interior. The dash is beautiful with contouring used throughout, and a mixture of brushed aluminum and soft-touch plastics with a grain texture. If I were to cover up the Mazda badge on the steering wheel and ask you to identify the brand, you might think it was from a German automaker. Ergonomics aren’t quite as good as the Atlas as you have to reach for certain controls like those for the climate system.
      The CX-9’s front seats don’t feel quite as spacious when compared to the Atlas with a narrow cockpit and the rakish exterior are to blame. Still, most drivers should be able to find a position that works. The seats themselves have a sporting edge with increased side bolstering and firm cushions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and didn’t have issues of not having enough support. Moving to the second row, Mazda only offers a bench seat configuration. This is disappointing considering all of the CX-9’s competitors offer captain chairs as an option. There is more than enough legroom for most passengers, but those six-feet and above will find headroom to be a bit tight. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough. Like the Atlas, the CX-9’s second row slides and tilts to allow access. But space is noticeably smaller and does require some gymnastics to pass through. Once seated, I found it to be quite cramped with little head and legroom. This is best reserved for small kids.
      Cargo area is another weak point to the CX-9. With both back seats up, there is only 14.4 cubic feet. This puts it behind most of the competition aside from the GMC Acadia which has 12.8. It doesn’t get any better when the seats are folded. With the third-row down, the CX-9 has 38.2 cubic feet. Fold down the second-row and it expands to 71.2 cubic feet. To use the GMC Acadia again, it offers 41.7 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and rises to 79 with both rows. Keep in mind, the Acadia is about six inches shorter than the CX-9.
      Infotainment
      All CX-9’s come equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The base Sport comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, while the Touring and above use a larger 8-inch screen. A rotary knob and set of redundant buttons on the center console control the system. Using Mazda Connect is a bit of a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look a bit dated with the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Trying to use the touchscreen is an exercise in frustration as it is not easy to tell which parts are touch-enabled and not. On the upside, moving around Mazda Connect is a breeze when using the knob and buttons. Currently, Mazda doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Thankfully, this is being remedied with the 2019 model as Touring models and above will come with both.
      For the Atlas, Volkswagen offers three different systems. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on the S. Moving up to either the SE, SE w/Technology, or SEL nets you an 8-inch screen. The top line SEL Premium adds navigation to the 8-inch system. All of the systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The current Volkswagen system is one of the easiest to use thanks in part to intuitive menu structure and quick responses. Moving through menus or presets is easy as the system reacts to the swiping gesture like you would do on your smartphone. There are a couple of downsides to the Volkswagen system. One is there is no haptic feedback when pressing the shortcut buttons on either side of the screen. Also, the glass surface becomes littered with fingerprints very quickly. 
      I did have an issue with the system when trying to use Apple CarPlay. At times, applications such as Spotify would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to get the apps unfrozen until I shut the vehicle off. After resetting my iPhone, this problem went away. This leaves me wondering how much of this problem was with my phone and not the infotainment system.
      Powertrain
      Both of these crossovers are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The CX-9 has a 2.5L producing either 227 or 250 (on premium fuel) horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Atlas has a 2.0L producing 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An optional 3.6L V6 with 276 horsepower is available for the Atlas. For the Mazda, power is routed to a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen makes do with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive only. If you want AWD, you need the V6.
      Thanks to its higher torque figure, the CX-9 leaves the Atlas in the dust. There is barely any lag coming from the turbo-four. Instead, it delivers a linear throttle response and a steady stream of power.  NVH levels are noticeably quieter than the Atlas’ turbo-four. The six-speed automatic delivers seamless shifts and is quick to downshift when you need extra power such as merging.
      The turbo-four in the Atlas seems slightly overwhelmed at first. When leaving a stop, I found that there was a fair amount of turbo-lag. This is only exacerbated if the stop-start system is turned on. Once the turbo was spooling, the four-cylinder did a surprising job of moving the 4,222 pound Atlas with no issue. Stab the throttle and the engine comes into life, delivering a smooth and constant stream of power. The eight-speed automatic provided quick and smooth shifts, although it was sometimes hesitant to downshift when more power was called for.
      Fuel Economy
      Both of these models are close in fuel economy. EPA says the CX-9 AWD should return 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined, while the Atlas 2.0T will get 22/26/24. During the week, the CX-9 returned 22.5 mpg in mostly city driving and the Atlas got 27.3 mpg with a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The eight-speed transmission in the Atlas makes a huge difference.
      Ride & Handling
      The CX-9 is clearly the driver’s choice. On a winding road, the crossover feels quite nimble thanks to a well-tuned suspension. There is a slight amount of body roll due to the tall ride height, but nothing that will sway your confidence. Steering has some heft when turning and feels quite responsive. Despite the firm suspension, the CX-9’s ride is supple enough to iron out most bumps. Only large imperfections and bumps would make their way inside. Barely any wind and road noise made it inside the cabin.
      The Atlas isn’t far behind in handling. Volkswagen’s suspension turning helps keep body roll in check and makes the crossover feel smaller than it actually is. The only weak point is the steering which feels somewhat light when turning. Ride quality is slightly better than the CX-9 as Atlas feels like riding on a magic carpet when driving on bumpy roads. Some of this can be attributed to smaller wheels. There is slightly more wind noise coming inside the cabin.
      Value
      It would be unfair to directly compare these two crossovers due to the large gap in price. Instead, I will be comparing them with the other’s similar trim.
      The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology begins at $35,690 for the 2.0T FWD. With destination, my test car came to $36,615, The Technology adds a lot of desirable features such as three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane departure alert. The Mazda CX-9 Touring is slightly less expensive at $35,995 with destination and matches the Atlas on standard features, including all of the safety kit. But we’re giving the Atlas the slight edge as you do get more space for not that much more money.
      Over at the CX-9, the Grand Touring AWD begins at $42,270. With a couple of options including the Soul Red paint, the as-tested price came to $43,905. The comparable Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is only $30 more expensive when you factor in destination. Both come closely matched in terms of equipment with the only differences being the Grand Touring has navigation, while the SEL comes with a panoramic sunroof. This one is a draw as it will come down whether space or luxury is more important to you.
      Verdict
      Coming in second is the Mazda CX-9. It may have the sharpest exterior in the class, a premium interior that could embarrass some luxury cars, and pleasing driving characteristics. But ultimately, the CX-9 falls down on the key thing buyers want; space. It trails most everyone in passenger and cargo space. That is ultimately the price you pay for all of the positives listed. 
      For a first attempt, Volkswagen knocked it out of the park with the Atlas. It is a bit sluggish when leaving a stop and doesn’t have as luxurious of an interior as the CX-9. But Volkswagen gave the Atlas one of the largest interiors of the class, a chassis that balances a smooth ride with excellent body control, impressive fuel economy, and a price that won’t break the bank.
      Both of these crossovers are impressive and worthy of being at the top of the consideration list. But at the end of the day, the Atlas does the three-row crossover better than the CX-9.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-9
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,361 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $42,470
      As Tested Price: $43,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Soul Red Metallic - $595.00
      Cargo Mat - $100.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Atlas
      Trim: 2.0T SE w/Technology
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/26/24
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN
      Base Price: $35,690
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      The next-generation Land Rover Defender has had quite the lengthy development with various changes taking place. We have reported that the new Defender will not look like the DC 100 concepts shown earlier this decade. There is another change afoot.
      According to Autocar, Land Rover has decided to make the new Defender to debut the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). Previously, the Defender was expected to use the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) - what underpins the Discovery and a number of Range Rover models. But MLA will be replacing PLA as it will be lighter and offer more flexibility to be used in more models. Using the Defender makes sense as its being redone from the ground up, and may explain the lengthy delay in development.
      One other interesting tidbit is the Defender will be built in Slovakia, not Great Britain like the previous model. Autocar says the Defender will begin production in 2020.
      There are some other tidbits concerning other Land Rover and Jaguar models in Autocar's report
      The next-generation Range Rover Evoque is said to be debuting later this year at the LA Auto Show, with sales beginning in the new year. It will use a heavily reworked version of its current platform that will be known as Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA). This will allow a new plug-in hybrid model that will use a new three-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine - don't expect to see it here. Jaguar's large crossover, known as J-Pace will go into production in 2020. It is understood it will use MLA. Another rumor about the Ingenium straight-six. Reportedly, JLR will use a high-performance version with electric turbochargers to replace their V8 engines. Source: Autocar

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The next-generation Land Rover Defender has had quite the lengthy development with various changes taking place. We have reported that the new Defender will not look like the DC 100 concepts shown earlier this decade. There is another change afoot.
      According to Autocar, Land Rover has decided to make the new Defender to debut the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). Previously, the Defender was expected to use the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) - what underpins the Discovery and a number of Range Rover models. But MLA will be replacing PLA as it will be lighter and offer more flexibility to be used in more models. Using the Defender makes sense as its being redone from the ground up, and may explain the lengthy delay in development.
      One other interesting tidbit is the Defender will be built in Slovakia, not Great Britain like the previous model. Autocar says the Defender will begin production in 2020.
      There are some other tidbits concerning other Land Rover and Jaguar models in Autocar's report
      The next-generation Range Rover Evoque is said to be debuting later this year at the LA Auto Show, with sales beginning in the new year. It will use a heavily reworked version of its current platform that will be known as Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA). This will allow a new plug-in hybrid model that will use a new three-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine - don't expect to see it here. Jaguar's large crossover, known as J-Pace will go into production in 2020. It is understood it will use MLA. Another rumor about the Ingenium straight-six. Reportedly, JLR will use a high-performance version with electric turbochargers to replace their V8 engines. Source: Autocar
    • By William Maley
      I need to get something out of the way before diving into the review of the 2018 Toyota C-HR. Originally the C-HR was to join Scion’s lineup, but the C-HR would become a Toyota as the Scion brand would shut its doors in late 2016. With this change of brands, does this leave the C-HR with an identity crisis?
      The C-HR is short for ‘Coupe High Roof’ and the design makes that very clear. Proportions are very similar to a coupe with a long front and stubby back. Other coupe details to be aware of are a set of wider fenders, a sloping roofline, and a rear spoiler. It makes for a very polarizing design that many will agree catches your eye for better or worse
      Toyota’s designers must have been infatuated with diamonds as you’ll notice this shape throughout the C-HR. Key examples include the pattern on the cloth seats and arrangement of buttons on the steering wheel. The center stack is slightly angled towards the driver to emphasize a sporty nature. Material quality is about average with a mix of soft-touch plastics on the dash, and hard plastics for the door panels and center console. The C-HR’s ergonomics are excellent as controls are laid out logically and easy to use.
      I found the front seats are lacking in lower-body support. I’m 5’9” and after driving the C-HR for an hour, I found my thighs and legs started to ache. This comes down to a short bottom cushion. Shorter drivers will likely not run into this issue. ‘Claustrophobic’ is the word to describe the C-HR’s back seat as the small rear windows make it feel small. Not helping is the limited amount of legroom as I found my knees touching the backside of the front seat. CH-R’s cargo space is in the middle of the class when the rear seats are up at 19 cubic feet. To give some perspective, the Mazda CX-3 is the smallest at 12.4 cubic feet, while the Honda HR-V has the largest at 24.3. Fold the rear seats and the C-HR is at the bottom of the class with 36.4 cubic feet. The Mazda CX-3 has 9.1 cubic feet more space when its rear seats are folded.
      All C-HRs come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with the basics; AM/FM, Bluetooth, and inputs for USB and aux cords. While I found the system to be intuitive to use with a simple menu structure and decent performance, I did find myself wishing Toyota had included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto or the option of a larger system with navigation.
      Powering the C-HR is a 2.0L four-cylinder with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is nowhere to be found despite the C-HR offering it in markets outside the U.S. Driving in town, the C-HR feels lively thanks to a responsive throttle. But above these speeds, the C-HR reveals a major weakness; put your foot down and the engine takes its sweet time to get up to speed - taking over 11 seconds to hit 60 mph. This makes certain tasks such as passing a slower vehicle treacherous. Under hard acceleration, the CVT is quite loud. Toyota does offer other engines for the C-HR elsewhere, including a hybrid. Reading through various test drives, the hybrid is slightly quicker; recording a 0-60 time of 11 seconds.
      Fuel economy figures for the 2018 C-HR are 27 City/31 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the week landed at 28.1 mpg.
      Like most new and redesigned Toyota models, the C-HR rides on the modular TGNA platform. I have praised this platform on both the Prius and Prius Prime as it makes them feel playful on a winding road. This extends to the C-HR. Despite a higher ride height, body motions are kept in check when cornering. Steering feels precise and has ample weight when turning. Ride quality is on the firm side, but it will not beat up passengers. A fair amount of tire and wind noise comes inside when driving on the expressway.
      The Toyota C-HR is quite expensive for a subcompact crossovers. The base XLE begins at $22,500. My XLE Premium tester begins at $24,350 and with some added accessories, the final price was $25,633. That’s without leather seats, navigation, or a sunroof. Toyota is quick to point out that the C-HR does come equipped with a number of active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist as standard. That only helps the base XLE when it comes to arguing value. The XLE Premium has a tougher time since you can get into a well equipped Hyundai Kona Limited FWD with a sunroof, leather seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; and 18-inch alloy wheels for only $53 more. You do miss out on the active safety features since as you can only get those on the top-line Ultimate, but the Kona presents a better value than the C-HR when you compare features bit by bit.
      The Toyota C-HR left me very frustrated as the week came to a close. The crossover has some charm with sharp driving dynamics and a very willing chassis. But it is clear that the C-HR feels more like a Scion than a Toyota as it was built to be cost-effective as it doesn’t offer any options. What you see is what you get. The problem is that competitors offer more equipment for similar money. The C-HR also trails competitors in terms of cargo capacity and performance. I do believe there is a crossover that can stand out from the growing field of subcompact models, but Toyota needs to think of the C-HR as one of their own models, not as a Scion.
      Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the C-HR, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Toyota
      Model: C-HR
      Trim: XLE Premium
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder with Valvematic
      Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 144 @ 6,100
      Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/31/29
      Curb Weight: 3,300 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Arifiye, Sakarya, Turkey
      Base Price: $24,350
      As Tested Price: $25,633 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floormats and Cargo Mat - $194.00
      Mudguards - $129.00

      View full article
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