Review: 2019 Jaguar I-PACE

Announced just last year, the all-new Jaguar I-PACE has already been named the European Car of the Year and the World Car of the Year, among other numerous accolades. Not bad for the brand’s first stab at an EV. Read on for our review.

AJAC finalists for Canadian Car/Utility Vehicle of the Year announced

This year, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) chose the Montreal International Auto Show to announce its finalists for the Canadian Car of the Year program. The vehicles chosen, below, were among many 2018 models across multiple segments that have been thoroughly tested by nearly 100 journalists — scored on factors like performance, technology, fuel economy and much more — over the last several months. Here is more on some of the notable category winners.

2018 Volkswagen e-Golf white

Best City Car in Canada for 2018: Volkswagen e-Golf

It’s easy to see why the electric version of the legendary Golf was bestowed with this honour — a massive 35.8-kilowatt-hour battery gives the zero-emissions hatchback a 200-kilometre range, and the motor outputs 134 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of near-instant torque for guaranteed fun, fuel-free driving.

2018 Mazda3

Best Small Car in Canada for 2018: Mazda3

The current-generation Mazda3, featuring the head-turning KODO design and efficient SKYACTIV engineering, has garnered no shortage of accolades, and now chalks up one more on the list. The agile car returns with a truly class-leading looking and feeling interior, full suite of i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies and an affordable starting price tag of $15,900.

2018 Honda Accord

Best Large Car in Canada for 2018: Honda Accord

What a year for the ’18 Accord, already having been named the North American Car of the Year and now the Best Large Car in Canada. Rebuilt from the ground up, the sedan is lighter and more rigid than before, touts a more streamlined body shape, runs on a one of two turbocharged VTEC engines and introduces a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is a world’s first for a front-wheel drive vehicle.

2018 Jaguar F-TYPE

Best Premium Sports-Performance Car in Canada for 2018: Jaguar F-TYPE

Anyone who has laid eyes on the beautiful Jaguar F-TYPE can tell the sports car is award winning without even having to do any research. To be specific, the coupe/roadster, available in both supercharged V6 and V8 form, has netted 160 awards worldwide since the original 2012 launch, according to the company. Small improvements have been made for the latest edition such as a new Touch Pro fast response infotainment system, full-LED headlights, refreshed front bumper and lightweight “slimline” seating.

2018 Range Rover Velar

Best Small Premium Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2018: Range Rover Velar

The forth member to join the Range Rover family, the Velar brings a level of elegance and minimalism never quite seen before from the brand (just look at those flush-deployable door handles). From a capability standpoint, however, it’s business as usual. The mid-size SUV boasts a 558-litre luggage compartment, Terrain Response 2 traction aids, Advanced Tow Assist functionality and a choice between a 180-horsepower diesel and 380 horsepower gasoline engine.

Jaguar shows true mettle with Art of Performance Tour 2017

There are a lot of lofty claims being made by automakers these days of what their products are capable of, especially in the luxury segment where performance and comfort are paramount. The issue is, most of the time a potential customer will never be able to really evaluate the former on a standard test drive — that’s where the Jaguar Art of Performance Tour comes in.

jaguar art of performance tour 2017 tent

The traveling free event has stops in key Canadian cities, most recently visiting the west in Richmond B.C. The idea is simple: give vehicle shoppers some actual seat time in the most popular and fun models including the F-PACE crossover, compact XE sedan and of course, the F-TYPE sports car.

“In full transparency, here’s what we hope as a manufacturer this event does: we hope that we take the first 25 minutes to geek out about the brand so we get some baseline understanding of what it is we’re here to look at. And then we take the next two hours and we put you in a situation where you get exposure to what we feel like are the best vehicles that we have,” said Jaguar facilitator Brett Bogart.


His preliminary history lesson covered topics like the company’s early roots as a motorcycle sidecar builder, then known as Swallow Sidecar; the sales struggles faced a decade ago; and the current scenario where the brand has been churning out hit after hit. Bogart even touched on the forthcoming E-PACE, which was brought along for display purposes, a hotly-anticipated turbocharged 2.0-litre mini SUV arriving in stores shortly.

In the meantime, enthusiasts are getting their crossover fix in the F-PACE. Jaguar wanted to prove the point that the 340-horses under the hood weren’t just for show through a tight slalom set up in the parking lot. People paired up and took turns feeling out how the SUV behaved weaving around cones and sweeping turns, and the answer is so well some occupants couldn’t believe they were in a utility vehicle.  

jaguar art of performance tour 2017 f-pace

“Most markets are gravitating towards SUVS and crossover SUVs, but we want you to hold us accountable for is whether we’ve built you a vehicle that still lives up to your grand expectations of what you feel like a Jaguar should be. Which is why we’ve put you in the largest SUV we have and we put you out in an autocross course to kind of hold our feet to the fire of whether we’ve been able to do that,” said Bogart.

Similarly, to demonstrate the handling prowess of the newest and smallest sedan in the lineup, the XE. Rather than plain orange cones such as the ones used in the other exercise, Jaguar set up a series of proprietary “Smart Cones” equipped with LED lights designed to fire off in a randomized pattern alerting drivers where to head next in the course. Not only keeping participants on their toes, it showed the car was fully capable of easily making sudden emergency-like manoeuvres, helped no doubt by the body made from three-quarters lightweight aluminum.

jaguar art of performance tour 2017 f-type

The cherry atop the performance tour was the activity centered on the F-TYPE. Professional drivers were employed to pilot a pair of SVRs — the fastest production offering in the lineup making 575 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque via a supercharged V8 mill — with a passenger alongside for the ride. The in-house Special Vehicle Operations-tuned rocket ships on wheels could be heard a mile away as they performed hot laps for gleeful guests, almost all of whom exited with silly grins and weak knees.

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jaguar art of performance tour 2017 logo

Jaguar adds 575-horsepower XJR575 to 2018 lineup

The XJR575 is not your regular luxury sedan.

Get ready Jaguar fans — as part of the 2018 model year updates to the flagship XJ, the lineup is getting the addition of a new range-topping performance trim.

Sounding like the codename for a ballistic missile rather than a luxury sedan, the XJR575 — the last three numbers denote its horsepower — features two unique colours mixed up by the folks at the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) as well as body aero enhancements, upsized wheels, interior flourishes and a more powerful engine.

2018 Jaguar XJR575 rear

“The Jaguar XJ has a number of roles to fulfill. It must remain exciting to drive but also be incredibly compliant and comfortable,” said design director Ian Callum. “This all starts with the way the vehicle looks. Our advanced Lightweight Aluminum Architecture means we are able to create a vehicle that has an authoritative yet elegant stance. Inside, absolute precision is a prerequisite — exceptional craftsmanship ensures all occupants experience the feeling of ultimate luxury and refinement.”

2018 Jaguar XJR575 mountain road

Doing away with all the chrome accenting on the front bumper, the XJR575 instead uses a gloss black treatment for the grille and air intake surrounds for a cleaner and meaner appearance. The trunk features a subtle lip spoiler and below, quad tailpipes. Other differentiators include the gloss-black split-spoke alloys and red brake calipers. Behind the wheel, drivers enjoy diamond-quilted-covered sport seats featuring extra bolstering for extra support, and 575 is branded underneath the headrests as well as the dashboard and brushed aluminum door sills.

2018 Jaguar XJ575 interior

Start up the car, and the familiar Jaguar Land Rover supercharged 5.0-litre powerplant, mated to an eight-speed automatic ZF transmission, rumbles to life. Engineers have done some tinkering to boost the output to 575 horses and 517 lb-ft of torque, good for a 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.2 seconds and a dizzying top speed of 300 km/h.

Also standard on the XJR575 is electric power assisted steering and a bundle of safety technologies like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and assist and a system that monitors driver fatigue.

2018 Jaguar XJR575 overhead