Tuesday, January 16, 2018


GMC TAKES TERRAIN  INTO SECOND GENERATION WITH NEW ENGINE CHOICES


Introduced for 2009 as a companion for its bigger brother Acadia crossover, GMC’s Terrain moves into its second generation for 2018 with three new turbo-charged engines, two different 9-speed transmissions, and many design features that take this compact crossover to a new level for sophistication and performance.

Those refinements come in a package that is slightly smaller than its predecessor (at 182.5 inches it’s 3.2 inches shorter) and lighter (200 pounds or so depending on the model) and with available safety features like a surround vision camera, forward collision alert and low-speed automatic braking, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, and rear cross traffic alert.

Yes, the 2018 Terrain steps up its game and makes it a more attractive option if you are shopping the compact crossover segment.

The Denali trim, which steps up the game in GMC models across the board, even makes it worth a look if you are shopping in the luxury segment.


The 2018 Terrain Denali gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that ups oomph to 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from the 170/203 of the 1.5-liter turbo that is standard in SL, SLE, and SLT trims while still producing decent fuel economy figures of 21 miles-per-gallon in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway with all-wheel drive.

The 1.5-liter’s fuel economy numbers are 24/28 with AWD. The 1.6-liter turbo diesel is rated at 28/38 with all-wheel drive with power figures of 137 hp and 240 lb.-ft. of torque.

The 2.0-liter and 1.5-liter each get its own version of a 9-speed automatic transmission. The diesel gets a 6-speed automatic. One quirk: gear selection is via buttons at the bottom of the center stack with the “L” setting providing the opportunity for manual gear selection. I’ve seen buttons used for gear selection, of course, but not in this location.

The 2.0-liter turbo in the Denali I had certainly boasts enough power for everyday chores, and the torquey diesel probably is up snuff as well. I did not have the opportunity to drive it or the 1.5-liter, though.

As the top-of-the-line offering, the Denali’s interior comes with lots of features that add to the comfort and convenience of occupants. In addition to standard items like perforated leather appointed seats, dual zone automatic climate control, a Bose 7-speak premium sound system, and adjustable lumbar support for both the driver and front-seat passenger, a Comfort Package for $525 (ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, wireless device charging) and Driver Alert Package for $495 (low speed forward auto braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning) ups the luxury ante even further.


Standard technology includes an infotainment system that comes with an 8-inch touchscreen display with navigation, a 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The OnStar system includes a 5-year basic plan plus a limited trial of guidance plan with automatic crash response.

Exterior standard features include 19-inch ultra-bright, machined aluminum wheels, LED headlamps and LED daytime running lamps, LED taillights, power handsfree liftgate, and dual exhaust with bright tips. They give the Terrain a bolder, more aggressive look.


Including the optional packages plus a panoramic Skyscape sunroof with power sunshade $1,495) did add to the final MSRP for my test vehicle but not overly so. Base MSRP was listed at $39,270 and the options plus destination and delivery ran the final tab to $44,470. 

You can get out for less, of course, and still have a Terranin. The base SL with front-wheel drive, however, starts at $25,970 including destination and delivery, and you can get a FWD SLE for $28,795. SLT models start in the low $30,000 range. Diesel versions of the SLE and SLT have MSRPs that are $3,770 (SLE) and $2,845 (SLT) more than gas models.

What I liked about the 2018 GMC Terrain Denali: This is a comfortable vehicle with lots of room in both rows of seating. It provides an overall satisfactory driving experience as well.

What I didn’t like about the 2018 GMC Terrain Denali: A couple of cubic feet of cargo space was lost on the redesign. The Terrain’s capacity of 29.3 cubic feet behind the second row lags behind some competitors, but the 63.3 with the back seats folded is not bad. The placement of the buttons to operate the transmission is odd.

Would I buy the 2018 GMS Terrain Denali? Certainly. The improvements made both in looks and functionality over the previous model make this a viable option for those who don’t want or need a three-row crossover.



Thursday, January 11, 2018

DENALI TRIM TAKES 2018 GMC 

CANYON PICKUP TO A HIGH LEVEL


When I was growing up, pickup trucks were pretty much utilitarian vehicles good for hauling construction supplies and for farm chores, two-passenger conveyances that could squeeze in a third person if they were good friends or the extra person was on the small side. Like a child.

But my how times have changed.

Many pickup trucks today are more like borderline luxury SUVs with an open box in the back behind a second row instead of an enclosed cargo area with a lift gate. They are still good for hauling and towing as they ever were but in a much more comfortable, and efficient, package.

Case in point is the 2018 GMC Canyon with Denali trim that I recently drove for a week. You never would have seen something like this coming when I was in high school. The interior is roomy and features high quality materials and is packed with enough technological features to satisfy all but the geekiest of us. It’s truck on the outside, SUV on the inside.

It’s a more refined version of its nearly identical cousin, the Chevrolet Colorado. How much more refined? Well, for the last four years, Kelley Blue Book has awarded its Brand Image Award for Most Refined Brand to GMC, citing in particular the tweaks and attributes the company has given its top-of-the-line Denali trims.


Though the Canyon is referred to as a “small” pickup in some circles, as far as I’m concerned there is nothing “small” about a vehicle you have to use a running board to pull yourself up to to get into, and there certainly is nothing “small” about the Canyon’s attitude.

With the 2.4-liter turbo diesel delivering 369 pound feet of torque at 2000 rpm, the Denali has a towing capacity of 7,600 pounds and its base curb weight (with 4-wheel drive) is a healthy 4,508 pounds.


Small? I don’t think so. Even the base Canyon is well over two tons.

The Canyon has been around off-and-one since 2004 though it was out of production for a span from 2012 to when it was re-introduced as a 2015 model. GM brought it back as a larger version than its predecessor, though it wasn’t until the next year that the Canyon got diesel power.

Buyers have had a tendency, perhaps fueled by Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” scandal, to shun diesels. But if you want a lot of torque, which is a more accurate measure of pulling potential than horsepower, you have to consider diesel.


Modern technology has made diesels easier to start in cold weather, and they are more fuel efficient, which helps make up for the difference in fuel price at the pump, not to mention increasing your driving range.

Fuel efficiency in the turbo diesel in the Canyon Denali is rated at 20 miles-per-gallon city, 28 highway and 23 overall with 4-wheel drive compared to 17/24 with the gas-powered 3.6-liter V6 and 19/24 with the gas-powered 2.5-liter 4-banger.


The Canyon Denali is packed with many standard features, by the way, but one of them is not the diesel engine. That’s an extra that adds $3,730 to the base MSRP of $43,670, so that’s a pretty big chunk of change.

But you can probably do without the special color (dark slate metallic) that adorned the Canyon I had for a week, and that will save you $395.

The standard features include a 2-speed transfer case (though the Canyon’s off-road capability hasn’t gotten good reviews), a trailering package, power lumbar support for the driver’s seat, steering wheel controls for cruising and audio, leather appointed front seating, heated and ventilated front seats, 4 USB ports, Bose premium audio, and an 8-inch color touchscreen for the navigation system.


The Denali also gets 20-inch wheels, projector headlamps with LED signature lighting, fog lamps, a spray-on bed liner, a cornerstep rear bumper, and a wi-fi hotspot.

Total cost came to $48,190 for my test vehicle, but the Canyon starts at a more affordable $21,100.

What I liked about the 2018 GMC Canyon Denali: The infotainment system is intuitive to operate, and the 8-inch screen is of a size that is easy on the eyes. You can operate both the audio and climate systems with buttons as well. Throttle response is good.

What I didn’t like about the 2018 GMC Canyon Denali: Maneuvering in tight mall parking lots is easier than with a full-size pickup, but that doesn’t make it easy.


Would I buy the 2018 GMC Canyon Denali? I really don’t need a truck, so no, I personally wouldn’t. But it should be on your list if you are shopping for one. If the Denali price tag is too high, the SLT model might fit your budget and includes most of the popular equipment. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

FIAT ADDS PERFORMANCE MODEL TO 500C PORTFOLIO WITH ABARTH CABRIO


Fiat returned to the U.S. market with lots of fanfare and a clever advertising campaign about six years ago after an absence of nearly three decades, but I have to wonder just how far entertaining commercials and cutting prices will carry the Italian automaker this go-around.

Recently released numbers  for 2017 show a steep decline for all three versions of the bell cow of the Fiat fleet, the 500, 500L, and 500X with sales off by 18, 47, and 35 percent from the previous year, respectively. (I use the word “fleet” advisedly; there really is only one other Fiat offered here, the 124 Spider, which showed sales growth of 81 percent over 2016, but you’re talking about only 4,478 vehicles for the year.)


Together, the three models hit the 22,014 sales mark in 2017. By comparison, the number of 500s sold in 2012, its first full year on the market, was 43,772.

This drop comes despite price-cutting across the board. The entry-level 2017 Fiat 500 Pop model carries an MSRP of 14,995, a decrease of $1,000 from when the 2012 model was introduced in 2011.

MSRP for the 2017 Lounge trim was cut $2,000 to $18,395, and the track-ready, top-of-the-line Abarth with its 1.4-liter, turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine was reduced $2,580 to get under $20,000 for the first time at $19,995.

Like some other vehicles that break new styling ground or have an appeal to buyers who like to think out of the box — I’m thinking here of Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, Ford’s Thunderbird, and Chevy’s HHR — perhaps the 500 has hit its saturation point. It’s like everybody who wants one already has bought one and nobody else, or hardly anybody, is interested.

“Perky” apparently only goes so far.


Of course, maybe I shouldn’t be that quick to write it off. My history with predictions frankly isn’t very good. Years ago I remember writing that I didn’t see much of a future for cable TV because all three networks at the time were available over the air. How did that turn out? (At least I wasn’t alone in that. My instructor thought that was an astute observation.)

And the Fiat 500 isn’t without its virtues.

In addition to the three trim levels, the 500 also is offered as a convertible, dubbed the 500c or Cabrio, which adds $1,495 to the price in all three trims. The cloth top retracts to the rear spoiler riding on along stationary rails. It’s more of an extended sunroof really, and can be locked at the halfway point or fully retracted.


The first three years of the Topless in Miami Presented by Haartz convertible competition sponsored by the Southern Automotive Association it won its class rather handily with the 2012 500c winning in 2011, the Gucci edition in 2012, and the Abarth in 2013, its first year on the market.

My recent time in the 2017 500c Abarth showed that the venerable subcompact hasn’t lost any of its charm. It’s certainly not that its showing its age or anything, but the competition is getting tougher and there are some inherent drawbacks common to just about every vehicle in the subcompact genre.

That is, not a lot of room is available in the backseat, and it’s not easy for adults to get back there either. Plus, the luggage compartment is a minuscule 5.4 cubic feet. No, this is not a vehicle made for extended family vacation trips.


But it is one that is good for scooting around urban environs, especially when it comes to parking. It’s only 144.4 inches long, which is two feet shorter than the VW Beetle Dune (another out-of-the-box option in the segment), for example, and the wheelbase of 90.6 inches is nearly 10 inches shorter than the Dune’s 100.1. (I was a little bit disappointed in the 500c’s turning circle diameter of 37.6 feet, however.)

The Abarth’s engine is tuned for 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque when mated with the 5-speed manual transmission and 157/183 with the optional 6-speed automatic. I had the automatic, but would dearly have loved to try the manual to get more out of it.


Fuel figures for the Abarth are 28 miles-per-gallon city, 34 highway with the manual and 27/32 with the automatic. One downside: Premium fuel is recommended, though 87 octane is deemed acceptable.

Remember, the Abarth is oriented toward extra performance. If fuel mileage is your goal, the 500c Pop and Lounge models are rated at 31/40 with the manual and 27/34 with the automatic, but fuel requirements are the same (91 octane recommended, 87 acceptable) and power numbers are 101 hp and 97 lb.-ft.


My test Abarth 500c included as standard features Rear Park Assist, 7-inch color cluster display, a turbo boost gauge, premium sound system, the company’s UConnect 5.0 system for infotainment functions, leather-wrapped instrument panel cluster, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, tilt steering column, driver seat memory, aluminum pedals, dual bright exhaust tips, fog lights, and red brake calipers.

Adding options like a Popular Equipment Package (satellite radio, auto air, and heated front seats), Nero (black) seats, the automatic transmission, GPS navigation, and 17-inch wheels over the standard 16s plus the $995 destination and delivery charge ran the total for my test Abarth to $26,660.

What I liked about the 2017 Fiat 500c Abarth: Driving this car does put you in a good frame of mind. The grille and headlamps give the front fascia a rather impish grin, and the exterior color is carried over to the dash and other interior spots for a nice, clean appearance.

What I didn’t like about the 2017 Fiat 500c Abarth: The 5-inch screen for navigation and other functions is too small for me, and the people at Fiat need to talk to the people at Chrysler about simplifying the operation of the UConnect infotainment functions. Buttons and touch points are on the smaller side and it isn’t as intuitive as the system in Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles.

Would I buy the 2017 Fiat 500c Abarth? As a second car, yes.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

BMW GIVES ‘M’ TREATMENT TO VAUNTED 5-SERIES WITH 2018 M550i xDRIVE MODEL


BMW — which is much easier to remember than“Bayerische Motoren Werke” AG, or in English, “Bavarian Motor Works” — has championed the slogan “The  Ultimate Driving Machine” since the 1970s, and it doesn’t take a long time behind the wheel of just about any of its models to see that that is no idle boast.

Though I haven’t had the opportunity to drive every one of its offerings, I have never been disappointed by the performance of any of those I have. Power and handling is always at the top of its class.

But Teutonic technology can be overwhelming. I find BMWs at times to be over-engineered to the point that all the gadgets and gizmos detract from the enjoyment you get from the overall experience.

German designers and engineers seem to have a knack for taking the most basic of tasks, like changing a radio station or adjusting the scale on the navigation map, and complicating them to the point of frustration.

At times, too, BMW strays from the vehicle’s mission, like cutting down on storage for a crossover SUV. (See my review of the BMW X4 here: www.bit.ly/2p1r5Z1.)

But that was not the case with my week in the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive. Not this time.

The M550i xDrive is a new addition to BMW’s 5-Series lineup, the first time the company has offered an M Performance version of what it calls its business sedan.

Under the hood is a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 that pumps out 460 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 480 pound-feet of torque at only 1800 rpm, propelling the five-passenger vehicle from zero to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds.


It is mated with an 8-speed Sport automatic transmission with Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings with the xDrive system sending all that power to all four wheels, though the bias toward the rear wheels results in more of a rear-wheel drive feel.

 As with the 540i (reviewed here: www.bit.ly/2nhpyZc), the M550i comes with a ton of technological features the operation of which BMW is either dumbing down or I’m getting used to it. I still would like a separate knob to surf the radio dial, but then I’m a techno-Neanderthal.


Among items included in the base MSRP of $73,095 (including destination and delivery) are M Sport brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires, power trunk lid, keyless entry and push-button start, moonroof, automatic climate control, adaptive LED headlights, navigation, aerodynamic kit and rear spoiler, rear-view camera, 20-way power adjustable front seats with 4-way lumbar support, leather and wood interior trim, and BMW’s iDrive 6.0 system with touchscreen, touchpad, and a 10.5-inch display screen.

Adding such extras as a Bowers & Wilkins sound system, NightVision with pedestrian detection, a Dynamic Handling Package (adaptive suspension and active roll stabilization), a head-up display, an Executive Package (soft-close automatic doors, ceramic controls, wireless charging, WiFi hotspot, and enhanced USB and Bluetooth), and a Parking Assistance Package ran the total for my test car to $88,985.


The cabin ambiance is the final touch. Yes, the M550i is a performance vehicle, but it’s also full-on luxury with a smooth, quiet ride to coddle the most finicky of riders. I’ve got to say the interior is pleasing to the eyes as well as well as comfortable for your tush.

What I liked about the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive: Sport+ mode provides a treat for the ears as it adjusts the dual exhaust as well as enhanced performance that makes this midsize sedan a joy to drive.

What I didn’t like about the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive: Operating the infotainment system isn’t quite the task it used to be (maybe I’m getting used to it), but making the simplest of adjustments still requires extra steps that can be a distraction when you are driving. Not everything needs to be operated off the screen.

Would I buy the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive? Yes. You can get into the 5-Series for much less than the M550i’s price tag, but you’ll miss out on getting all it has to offer.



Thursday, December 21, 2017

FEATURES OF BLACK LABEL PACKAGE 

UP THE LUXURY ON 2017 LINCOLN MKZ

After going through a mid-cycle refreshing this year, the Lincoln MKZ will remain basically unchanged for the 2018 model year. which means that unless you are fanatical about having the “latest, newest” of everything, you could get into the entry-level luxury market at some savings by going with the 2017 MKZ.

In fact, you could probably go back to the first year of this, the second, generation (2013) and still get to enjoy the laundry list of features that Lincoln has built into this mid-size family sedan while keeping the MSRP in the mid-$35,000 range.

Or you can go full-blast with the top-of-the-line Black Label edition of the MKZ and get even more.

Black Label is a program Lincoln introduced to dial up the luxury for its top-of-the-line trims, upgrading interiors with higher grade leather and real wood trim and faux suede headliners and offering unique exterior colors and wheels. It was first introduced, appropriately enough for this review, on the 2015 MKZ.


Going with that option does add to the cost, of course, as the 2017 Lincoln MKZ Black Label edition with all-wheel drive that I had for a couple of weeks carried a base price of $50,485 (including destination and delivery) with extras like the 3.0-liter V6 engine, a climate package,and a batch of technological features running the total to $61,765.

That’s not quite the bargain of the basic MKZ, but it’s still under what most of its competitors ask for with their top models.

Though the optional twin-turbo V6 engine delivers up to 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque (in all-wheel drive configuration; front-wheel drive models are limited to 350 horsepower) to enhance the driving experience, the MKZ is not so much about performance as it is cruising comfort. Frankly, that’s probably more in line with what many of us expect from the luxury class to begin with.


The combination of the V6 and AWD mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission results in somewhat disappointing fuel figures of 17 miles-per-gallon city, 26 highway, and 20 combined.

To compensate, it does run on regular 87 octane fuel. So, too, do models with the turbo-4 and the hybrid setup that are rated at 21/31/24 and 40/38, respectively. Many competitors in the segment demand premium fuel. Or at least recommend it.

The list of standard equipment for the MKZ includes that Alcantara headliner, dual exhaust with chrome tips, adaptive headlamps with signature lighting, dual zone electronic auto climate control, heated and cooled 10-way adjustable front seats with lumbar support, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, remote start, rearview camera, leather seats, and a voice-activated navigation system.

That's enough to satisfy most of your needs without even going into options.


I have seen the MKZ referred to as a “Baby Continental” but would take issue with that on a couple of counts.

One, when the MKZ was introduced in 2006 as Lincoln Zephyr, in homage to the Lincoln Zephyr models of the 1930s, the Continental had been out of production for about four years. By the time Lincoln brought the Continental back as a 2017 model, the MKZ was well into its second generation.

Also, though the Continental has numerous merits in its favor, calling the MKZ a “baby” anything demeans it unnecessarily. Yes it is slightly smaller than a Continental — at 193.9 inches long the MKZ is 7.5 inches shorter than the Continental and its wheelbase of 11.2 inches is 5.7 inches shorter — but it has a roomy feel about it.


Legroom in front is a generous 44.3 inches — about the same as that offered by the Continental — though the back is a more snug 37 inches compared to the 41. 3 in its bigger sibling, which can be a factor if you typically have a couple of adults riding back there.

Plus, I’ve never seen a Lexus EX referred to as a “Baby LS.”

What I liked about the 2017 Lincoln MKZ Black Label: Getting the hang of the Sync 3 system for infotainment functions is a snap, and the 8-inch screen is easy on the eyes. Getting into the driver’s seat was easier than getting into the Continental with its front-seat side bolsters getting in the way. Styling is a matter of preference, but I like the MKZ’s exterior look.

What I didn’t like about the 2017 Lincoln MKZ Black Label: A little more in the way of performance might be nice, as well as improved fuel mileage. Guess that’s a conflicting wish there. The trunk is roomy enough in non-hybrid models (15.4 cubic feet) but the configuration to accommodate rear speakers makes arranging storage loads a big tricky.

Would I buy the 2017 Lincoln MKZ Black Label? Yes. If you want a traditional, true luxury car without a luxury price tag the MKZ is worth a look.



Monday, December 11, 2017


JAGUAR INTRODUCES LIMITED PRODUCTION

F-TYPE 400 SPORT FOR 2018 MODEL YEAR


A recent study out of a university in the Netherlands proclaims that there is no such thing as love at first sight. What people often call love at first sight really is just a strong physical attraction, more like lust at first sight.

When it comes to the Jaguar F-Type, both emotions fit for me.

I know that I feel in love with the performance oriented two-seater when it hit the streets as a 2014 convertible (a coupe would follow), and I have lusted after it ever since. For those of you who may argue that “love at first sight” doesn’t last, I will only say that each year Jaguar tinkers with this roadster simply raises the intensity of my feelings for it.


Oh, I realize it’s not a perfect car. It’s technology is a bit cumbersome to operate and is about a half-step behind that of its competitors, but quibbling about that is like demanding that the world’s most beautiful female be able to cook like Betty Crocker. Would Cindy Crawford be Cindy Crawford without her trademark mole?

I think not.

Being Jaguar’s first sports car since the E-Type was discontinued in 1974, the F-Type was not shy on horsepower when it was introduced three years ago or so. The base model’s V6 was rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The V6 in the F-Type S bumped that up to 380/339, respectively, and the F-Type V8 S had numbers of 495/ 460 with a reported zero-to-60 mph clocking of 4.2 seconds.


The F-Type R launched for the 2015 model year upped those figures to 550/502 with a sub 4.0-second zero to 60 time.

Who could want more? Apparently someone, because for 2017, Jaguar launched the F-Type SVR with a supercharged V8 jacking up horsepower and torque figures to 575/516, respectively, with a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.

But the tenths of a second shaved off the zero-to-60 time came with an MSRP of 128,800, nearly double that of the base F-Type. Total cost of the 2017 SVR I drove last spring was $132,283 with extras and destination and delivery included.

For 2018, a new 4-cylinder F-Type joins the lineup as well as a 400 Sport model that I recently had the opportunity — and pleasure — to drive for a week.

A limited production model that will be on sale only for the 2018 model year, the F-Type 400 Sport has all the features of the base model plus distinct design features like special 400 badging at the front and rear, full leather seats and panels, a heated steering wheel and other distinctive cosmetic touches that intensify the roadster’s sportiness.

Under the hood is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that is rated at 400 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are not up to the supercharged V8s in the R or SVR, but unless you really want to shave a second from your zero-to-60 or your name is Lewis Hamilton, you’ll probably going to be satisfied with the 400’s performance over the more expensive SVR and may not even notice the difference.

The only transmission offered on the 400 is an 8-speed Quickshift automatic with paddle shifters. (Sorry, stick fans. If you want a manual, you’ll have to go with a lesser-powered models. Not that that is a bad thing.) You can flick the switch on the center console to dynamic mode for even quicker throttle response and a firmer ride, plus get extra pops from the dual exhaust.


Did I mention fuel mileage? No, I didn’t. The government says you should get around 19 miles-per-gallon around town, 27 on the highway, and 22 combined, which isn’t bad considering the fun you get behind the wheel and the looks of envy from bystanders and parking valets.

The government says you’ll pay about an extra $2,750 in fuel costs over a 5-year period.

Hey, it’s worth it.


Speaking of cost, the Monroney sticker that came with my test 400 Sport had the base MSRP at $0.00 with options like a climate package, premium sound system, and wind deflector adding $0.00 for a total of $0.00 with destination and delivery added in.

I put my bid in for two at that cost — one for me, one for my wife — but I’m still waiting. Later, a company spokesperson reported the MSRP for the F-Type 400 Sport actually is $93,595, including destination and delivery charges.

Options like a Climate Package (dual-zone A/C, heated windshield, and heated and cooled seats), suede visors, a Meridien premium sound system, and blind spot monitor can get the total to nearly $97,000.

But keep in mind that things like a premium leather interior, LED headlamps an taillights, keyless entry with push-button start/stop, Bluetooth, rear parking aid,  premium sound system, an 8-inch touchscreen system with Navigation Pro are all standard. A roll-over protection system is among safety features.

The MSRP range for the 2018 F-Type is $59,900 to $125,000.

What I liked about the 2018 Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport convertible: The performance is breathtaking, even when you aren’t where you are able to push it. Once you’re in it, the ride is comfortable as well (but not especially quiet). Raising and lowering the top is a one-button operation, and it comes with an electronic parking brake.


What I didn’t like about the 2018 Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport Convertible: The infotainment system is on the fussy side. Why have a knob to turn the radio on/off and adjust the sound level (also available on a control on the steering wheel) and not have one to surf the dial?

Would I buy the 2018 Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport Convertible? If it were only in my budget, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But, as with most (if not all) convertibles, this is not for family transportation and may represent the ultimate in automotive indulgence. But, hey! You only live once.