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Month: July 2018

2019 Ford F-150 Limited, 2019 Cadillac ATS-V, Nissan Leaf battery tech: What's New @ The Car Connection

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2019 Ford F-150 Limited2019 Ford F-150 Limited: more power, more luxury A new engine option for the 2019 Ford F-150 Limited makes the luxo-truck a hot-rod among pickups. Ford to spend $11B on its operations to reboot itself, won’t say how Ford said Wednesday during a call with investors that it will pump $11 billion to restructure itself over the next few years as it…



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2019 BMW X3 Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos

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The 2019 X3’s forte is its features but none of them come cheaply. Like other cars with a roundel in the hood, it’s possible that the BMW really means “Bring My Wallet.”

Starting from an average score, we give the X3 points above average for its base content—including newly standard automatic emergency braking—and exceptional list of features but bring it back down to earth with a plan for smartphone compatibility that we still can’t understand. It earns a 6. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Base X3s get 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, power adjustable front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, USB charging ports, and a 6.5-inch display for infotainment for $41,995, including destination.

Want any color other than black or white? That’ll be $550 more, please.

Interested in all-wheel drive? It’s $2,000 more. Leather? It’s $1,700.

And so on, until you’ve reached nearly $66,000 like our X3 M40i tester that was equipped with nearly every option including leather hides, Harman Kardon premium audio, 20-inch wheels, wireless smartphone charging, adaptive suspension, a 10.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and blue metallic paint.

A patient hand can keep the 2019 BMW X3 near $50,000 with navigation, all-wheel drive, premium paint, the larger touchscreen, 19-inch wheels, and leather—if that’s what you’re into.

An M Sport package at $5,300 adds 19-inch wheels (or 20s for an additional $950), a sport-tuned suspension (with adaptive dampers for another $1,000), a panoramic roof, a soft-touch dash, aluminum interior or matte wood trim, LED headlights, satellite radio, gray exterior trim and aero add-ons, a sport steering wheel, and keyless entry. Its value is debatable, but will be a popular pick for many buyers.

Apple CarPlay compatibility is also available, but we say skip it for several reasons.

First, BMW offers the first year of Apple CarPlay compatibility free, but charges $80 per year thereafter.

Second, using Apple CarPlay on the big BMW touchscreen isn’t seamless. The wide BMW screen crops the edges of the smartphone user interface and creates “dead zones” on the edges that are useless and unattractive. (Anyone who’s watched an old TV show on a new widescreen TV will know our pain.)

Third, BMW’s native infotainment system is powerful and can be used for a wide range of functions including navigation, making restaurant reservations, calendar notifications, even texting friends or family when the car is set to arrive.

Review continues below



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2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake review update: let’s get wheel

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Our last drive of the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake kept alive the dream that Americans would reject crossovers and flock en masse to gorgeous wagons.

We said dream.

A longer look at the Sportbrake rekindled that dream, but tempered it slightly. We can’t say that the XF wagon will be any more than a rounding error for Jaguar sales—at least, for now.

But we did see some promise.

Our initial rating for the 2018 Jaguar XF is based on the sedan because more buyers will opt for that model. We gave the four-door a 7.2 on our overall scale thanks to its solid performance and good features—on its own the five-door wagon would only do better. The Sportbrake is only available on top S trim, which offers better interior materials and a supercharged V-6 performance, to go with better looks than the sedan.

We took the Sportbrake for a second spin for one week to reassess our initial score, our bank accounts, and priorities in life.

MORE: Read our full review of the 2018 Jaguar XF

Hit. Looks that could stop traffic: It took us a while after driving the XF sedan recently to notice what had changed after a full-scale redesign in 2016. The wagon separates itself from the crowd not only because of its long hood, but also because of its distance from the rest of the Jag lineup. The XE and XF share similar styling cues, but the XE isn’t available as a wagon—the XF even shares some styling cues with other luxury makes that aren’t from Jaguar. The XF Sportbrake is different, but not for different’s sake. By our eyes, the XF Sportbrake is an adaptation of what makes Jaguars special and unique from every other car on the road.

Miss. Where’s the light? Our weeklong tester 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake boasted a dark interior that belied the wagon’s luxury. Although the fit and finish was on par for a wagon that starts at more than $70,000 (our weeklong tester rung the bell at more than $80,000), the dark color schemes close the cabin and hide a lot of the XF’s better side. Only one lighter color combination is available for the XF’s interior (a high-contrast red is available, but doesn’t help much), and there are no optional dash finishes or complementary color schemes. Where’s the famed Jaguar glitz and glamour?

Miss. The numbers don’t tell the whole story: It’s true that the Sportbrake’s more than 31 cubic feet of cargo space is better than the sedan’s trunk, but the cargo opening and low height make it feel smaller than that. Ambitious runs to the home improvement warehouse dictate that the second row is folded—even still, it won’t lie flat. We don’t imagine many will confuse the wagon with a pickup, but the wagon is only mildly more useful for hauling than the sedan.

Hit. Performance doesn’t take a back seat: The only engine available for the XF Sportbrake is Jaguar’s 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. Its 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque offer plenty of push for the all-wheel-drive wagon. According to the spec sheets, the XF Sportbrake makes the 0-60 mph dash in 5.3 seconds (compared to 5.0 seconds in the sedan), but the wagon feels quicker than the tale of the tape. Credit the 8-speed automatic, which when tipped into Sport mode, is near telepathic in its shifts and motivation for the big wagon.

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2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Base price: $71,445

Price as tested: $83,555

Fuel economy (EPA est.): 18 mpg city, 25 highway, 21 combined

Hits: Impressive performance, good cargo space, great looks.

Misses: Low roof, wildly expensive, dimly lit cabin.

The bottom line: Low, long, and also luxurious, the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is a cure for the common crossover. 



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