Jaguar XF & F-PACE/Land Rover Defender 90

Jaguar Land Rover is being reimagined. Starting in 2025, the goal is to turn Jaguar into an all-electric luxury brand while Land Rover is scheduled to debut 6 pure EVs beginning in 2024 culminating with all JLR vehicles being available in full electric form by 2030.
For now, the XF is the only sedan that Jaguar still offers. As compared to the previous XF, everything but the glove box has been redesigned. This is the model with a more performance-focused look and is equipped here with the Dynamic Handling Package with adaptive damping to complement the torque vectoring all-wheel drive and 8-speed auto with paddle shifters. MSRP as tested is $62,295.
Jaguar’s mid-size SUV is the F-PACE. New this year is the more luxurious cabin, a freshening of the front and rear end styling, and a big powertrain shakeup. I have to say that I’m really enjoying the driving dynamics of this R model. But at over $82,000 I’m not so sure.
And, the new Defender 90. This is the 2-door Defender following the 110 – the 4-door – which went on sale last year. And as Land Rover describes it, this is the one meant for you. It has some improved off-road chops and even this optional middle seat up here so you could seat 6. It is a spectacular vehicle both off- and on-road. The 2022 model year will offer a familiar 3rd engine to the Defender 90 and 110 lineup – the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 – with a starting price of near $100,000.

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2021 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 TEST DRIVE

If you’re like me, the slog of daily driving is enough to send you to therapy. It’s not fun, you’re surrounded by hostiles and more often than not the car is standing still. But a cabriolet such as this will adjust your attitude in a heartbeat. Small, nimble, precise and oozing with emotion, the Boxster – with the top down and the 6-speed in your hand – is the perfect antidote to commuting madness. And this isn’t just any Boxster – it’s the new GTS, positioned above the S and below the Spyder. So what’s the cost for this type of weekend pleasure? Well, it’s not cheap – surprise-surprise – the GTS starts at $26,900 more than a base 718 Boxster at about $91,000. This one – with a shockingly small list of options for a Porsche – checks in at $100,600. One of those extras is the Aventurine Green paint which mostly looks gray until the sun hits it and one of options not here which I would certainly get is Entry and Drive because I’m not into keys anymore.

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2022 KIA CARNIVAL TEST DRIVE

We all know the stigma that minivans carry and for some that’s simply enough to deter a purchase even though deep down we know they’re more comfortable and versatile than SUVs. So Kia decided to design one that flips the script on what’s cool and what isn’t. This is the first-ever 2022 Carnival MPV. The Carnival does distinguish itself mainly in its SUV-like styling. And the other aspect that’s been throwing people off is this new KIA badge, making its debut on the Carnival. No one has any clue what it is and for some reason even the mysterious logo has attracted lots of attention. I like it and so does everyone else that sees it. Until now the Pacifica had cool design firmly in its back pocket but now the Honda Odyssey is really the only one left out of the cool kids’ club. If you take the Carnival all the way to the top like this one you’re looking at a $47,770 MSRP or a $582/month lease. That’s cheaper than a range-topping, front-wheel drive Odyssey and Sienna and about the same as a Pacifica. It’s powered by a 290 horsepower V6 and an 8-speed auto. So what are the Carnival’s shortcomings versus the few other available minivans?

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2022 NISSAN PATHFINDER SL TEST DRIVE

I do love the new styling; the rugged look is back; and the 3rd row access is really brilliant. In a segment dominated by the Highlander and Explorer with others like the Pilot, Atlas, Telluride and Palisade also raking in the sales, the Pathfinder has a lot of work to do to climb back into the 3-row fray. And it’s safe to say this redesigned model is poised to rejoin those heavy hitters. It’s got the look, the size, the tech and the price to bring families back to a storied nameplate with 35 years of heritage. Two- or 4-wheel drive, V6 power, 7- or 8-passenger seating, prices ranging from under $35,000 to just over $49,000 – these are the foundations of just about every SUV in this segment. And now that the Pathfinder has swapped out its CVT for a geared transmission, increased interior volume, dialed up its off-road credentials and significantly raised its tech level and cabin appeal – it should definitely make it onto your shopping list.

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2021 VOLKSWAGEN ID.4 TEST DRIVE

The ID.4 is ready for primetime and is the genesis of VW’s all-electric intentions. The ID sub-brand is VW’s name for a family of electric cars that, at least in here in the U.S., is expected to spawn 2 new models over the next 3 years. It’s built upon a dedicated electric vehicle platform that VW calls Modular Electric Drive which essentially gives them one basis for every EV going forward. It closely possesses the passenger volume of VW’s Tiguan just in a smaller wrapper benefitting from the highly efficient EV packaging. It feels wide inside with adult-friendly and nicely sculpted rear seats and a foot-activated hatch that opens to more standard cargo room than VW’s new Taos compact SUV. With an agreeable lift over height, split fold rear seats, an adjustable cargo floor that can be lowered for a little more space or left as is to stow the charge cable, the ID.4 presents itself as a versatile errand companion with which owners will quickly connect. The car I have is the ID.4 1st Edition and it’s priced at $45,190 including destination…but before you run down to your VW dealer you should know that it’s already sold out. However, you can still build and reserve the ID.4 Pro online which is priced at $4,000 less. And if it’s an all-wheel drive ID.4 you’re after, those are coming later this year with a $3,680 premium attached. You can lease an ID.4 for $379/month and all trims qualify for the $7,500 Federal tax credit. The ID.4 is an impressive effort by VW and has proven to be worth the wait.

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