2016 Jaguar XF
Jaguar has been on a roll lately, whether you’re talking about setting the pace in the F Pace or building our type of thrill ride with the F Type. Now they turn their efforts towards the more traditional XF midsize sedan. So, let’s see if they can continue to set their type of pace.
While the Jaguar F-type and F-Pace have certainly drawn lots of attention to the brand, its cars like this 2016 Jaguar XF that will truly have much more of an impact on the brand’s long term success.
Like most recent Jags and the trend of cars in general, this 2nd generation XF has dropped some pounds, riding on a new aluminum structure.
But it’s the powertrain options that are the biggest talking points about this new XF. That being the F-type’s supercharged 3.0-liter V6 available in two levels; base 340-horsepower and in upgraded S version with 380.
Both variations get an 8-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel-drive. A diesel option will follow shortly.
Our early drive time in Arizona was mostly spent in the more powerful XF S; and we found plenty of get up and go, no matter where we got up and went. Still, that muscle is delivered in a more civilized fashion than with brute force.
Like most vehicles, the XF has made the switch to electric power-assisted steering; and here we loved it. There’s plenty of feedback, along with a nice and direct feel. BMW take note!
We expected to see some improvement in handling, but we got even more than we anticipated. That lighter and stiffer chassis, along with the F-type inspired double-wishbone front and integral link rear suspension, provides a very agile feel, and should be just what was needed to make the XF much more competitive with its German rivals.
Ride quality equally falls on the firm side of things; not harsh, but surely stiffer than the typical American buyer will anticipate.
The ZF 8-speed is still good as it gets, delivering smooth and fast shifts no matter your driving style. Jag puts 0-60 right at 5.0-seconds. JaguarDrive Control offers a typical range of driving modes.
And, during our drive we did not find an extreme level of isolation, or disconnect. Still it was very quiet inside. The throttle is very aggressive, especially in sport mode. But unlike the boisterous F-Type, a fairly tame exhaust note reveals the XF’s clearly luxury character.
That theme is really played out inside where the cabin is top drawer in both look and feel. Material quality has climbed exponentially; and there is plenty of space and comfort to be found at all seating positions.
Base gauges have a familiar look to them, but a configurable 12-inch TFT virtual gauge panel is also available. A new InControl Touch Pro system takes over the duties for infotainment, and worked well enough in our limited exposure.
The trunk area is well-finished, and holds a very generous 19.1 cubic-ft. of goods.
There are certainly more F-type notions to the updated exterior, but clearly the XF is its own cat.
The front end does wear a more aggressive look, with larger intakes and a more vertical grille, but in profile the same basic coupe-inspired shape of the previous car remains.
From the rear, things have been tidied up with cleaner lines and sharper fit to all of the pieces; which include LED taillights that are the most overt homage to the F-Type. Standard wheels are 18s, with the S rolling on 20s.
All of the expected safety systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking are available.
So while this new XF has improved across the board and perhaps gotten a little more accessible, we think it’ll still appeal most to the buyer who’s looking for something other than a ubiquitous German sport sedan.
The lighter weight and more efficient powertrain has improved the XF’s Government Fuel Economy Ratings to 20-City, 30-Highway, and 24-Combined. For an average Energy Impact Score of 13.7-barrels of oil consumed and 6.2- tons of CO2 emitted yearly.
Pricing starts at $52,895 for a 35t Premium, with the XF S beginning at $63,695.
The 2016 Jaguar XF was certainly due for an update, as the previous gen had been around since 2009. But, this thorough redesign does much more than just carry on business as usual in the midsize luxury sport sedan segment. With huge gains in both posh and performance, much like the F-type, it’s primed to have a major impact on its segment. This cat is on the prowl.
- Engine: 3.0 liter V6
- Horsepower: 340 / 380
- Torque: 332 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 5.0 seconds
- EPA: 20 mpg city/ 30 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 6.2 tons/yr
2024 Mazda CX-90
A Force To Be Reckoned With
If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.
Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.
Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.
There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.
It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.
At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.
Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.
There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.
Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.
As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.
Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.
Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.
- Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
- Horsepower: 340
- 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 369 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
- EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
- Starting Price: $40,970