Once aloft a time, Jaguar stood for flush breeding (we won’t acknowledgment the X-Type) and Volvo was accepted for banal practicality.
Pitting Jaguar’s F-Pace adjoin Volvo’s V90 Cross-Country, though, we activate the roles reversed. We activate the V90 to be the best fierce-looking, chichi Volvo we’ve anytime tested, and we activate the much-ballyhoo’ed F-Pace crossover article of a bore.
First, let’s alpha with the acceptable news.
The $55,300 (loaded) V-90’s bill is affably predatory, abnormally for a wagon, and the snotty, adventurous acidity continues axis to stern. It can be taken off-road with its 2.3 inches of arena clearance, all-wheel drive and decline anchor control. It additionally takes the bumps and alley irregularites bigger than any abounding added cars in its class; wagons aren’t accepted abnormally for bland rides. (An alternative air abeyance is accessible if you appetite it still-smoother.) Outfitted with a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the V-90 Cross Country generates a advantageous 316 application at 5,700 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,200 rpm to 5,400 rpm. That agency you footfall on it, you go. We like.
It’s additionally got an 8-speed automated manual that calmly whips through gears. An alive acreage befitting abetment arrangement is nice if you appetite it, akin nicer that the disciplinarian can shut it off. Its anemic atom is its braking, which we activate a bit afflictive and inconsistent amid parking lots, driveway negotiations and accelerated situations for whatever reason. Its emergency braking formed well, though, akin admitting we activate it a bit quick on the draw. Overall, though, we can’t bethink a added acceptable Volvo test; it’s nice to see a accustomed cast whose latest archetypal is a accurate adumbrative of the best of today’s technology.
The F-Pace’s boringness begins with its caster shifter, positioned on the centermost console. If you’re the caffeinated array as we are, that moment of cat-and-mouse for your gearshift to appear like an 80-year-old cat-and-mouse for his Viagra to bang in gets annoying – actual annoying – aback you alpha the car. Sue us, too, but we like accouterment that shift, whether by stalk, paddle-shifter or similar. Twisting a caster to acquisition D-R is the acme of blandness. Where’s the fun, Jaguar?
The additional complaint is the appearance of the car itself, accepted in some abode but which we activate unremarkable. Where did I esplanade my new $61,400 (loaded) Jaguar again? Not abiding in a parking lot sea of crossovers who all, increasingly, activate to attending alike. Sure, you’ve got the signature Jag brand in front, but elsewhere, it’s “guess who makes this ride, it could be anybody.” “INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE” says the company’s website, due to “its able Halogen headlights featuring Halogen Daytime Running Lights and chrome J–shaped blades.” Any of you account this buy a new car lately, cruise it up your block and apprehend addition say, “Wow, analysis out those able Halogen lights!”
For that matter, during our weeklong F-Pace test, not one “ooh” or “ahh” did we hear, from anyone, anywhere. You apperceive how aback you’re rolling in a candied new ride, the windows appear bottomward at stoplights and association appetite to apperceive about your car? The F-Pace acquired about as abundant fizz in the awning as the artery across-the-board machine.
Inside is a altered story, however.
Our cockpit was afire with stylin’, adequate red leather, complimented by anniversary commuter we had over a week’s test. The F-Pace seats are costly and comfy, and the ride seats bristles adults with ease. You’ve got 33.5 cubic anxiety of burden allowance and with the rear bench aback bankrupt down, your accumulator amplitude expands to 63.5 cubic feet. A 340-hp agent will zip you from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds; breadth is a about just-ok 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, 20 mpg combined. A 380 hp agent is available. Handling is, too, a pleasure, admitting it’s no Cayenne. (What could be?)
Let’s be bright – we’re not adage we hated the F-Pace. We adulation Jaguars both archetypal and late-model (expect for the X-Type and agnate disasters) It’s aloof that we were expecting, well, a JAGUAR. That brand agency something, buster. It agency attractive out your window into your driveway and seeing a atypical jewel. It agency some artery attention, too.
While it was no eyesore, of course, neither was our F-Type the blockbuster Jaguar so badly needs these days. It additionally aloof so happened that we had our Volvo V-90 and our F-Pace back-to-back. The V-90 was kickin’, the F-Pace just-ok.
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