If you haven't been in a Jaguar dealership lately, things are going to look a lot different than they did just a few years ago. That's mostly because Jaguar has finally succumbed to pressure—or evolved, depending on your perspective—to the SUV and crossover craze.
The company's F-Pace is its first-ever crossover. It's a decidedly sporty five-door with all-wheel drive that's not really meant to go off-road but performance quite well on the pavement. Even more shocking is that the F-Pace is actually a good value against its compact crossover rivals like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. A high-value crossover with a Jaguar badge. Who would have expected that?
Elsewhere, the XE heralds Jaguar's return to compact sedans, a segment the brand quietly exited after the flop that was the X-Type. But the XE is totally different, a rear-wheel drive sedan with a lightweight aluminum body and a choice of gas and diesel engines. It's a little cramped inside and lacks some of the brand's traditional interior finesse, but it's well-priced and particularly good to drive... kind of like the way BMWs used to be.
The brand's F-Type, its performance flagship, gets a little sportier for the new year with the introduction of the 575-horsepower SVR. It's a track-oriented model and it's the fastest Jaguar since the rare XJ220 more than two decades ago. And Jaguar continues its diesel renaissance in an effort to lure disgruntled Audi owners by offering a turbodiesel engine on its XF for 2017 (in addition to the new XE and F-Pace).
2017 Jaguar XJ
Here's a more comprehensive look at what you'll find in a Jaguar showroom this year:
- Brand's first crossover/SUV ever.
- Available with a turbodiesel inline-4 or a supercharged V-6.
- Standard all-wheel drive.
- Lots of ground clearance, but definitely intended for paved roads.
- New SVR model boasts 575 horsepower and a track-oriented suspension.
- SVR is the fastest Jaguar since the brand's vaunted XJ220 supercar.
- All-new compact sedan designed to square off against Cadillac ATS, BMW 3-Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
- Rear-wheel drive.
- Choice of same engines in F-Pace—plus a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline inline-4.
- Turbodiesel engine now available (take that, Volkswagen).
- All-wheel drive added to options list.