May 2016


Jaguar F-Pace vs. Porsche Macan S
by The Car Family
For more reviews go to https://www.motorists.org/tag/the-car-family/

There are both essentially luxury oriented crossover SUVs with an attitude. Outside of gas mileage, all wheel drive, getting about 20 mpg on premium in mixed driving, and similar sized V6 engines there is little they have in common as small sport utility vehicles. The Macan is quieter, handles better, and its engine sounds more refined when challenged. The F-Pace has a better monitor, more interior room, a better spare tire set-up, and an appearance that is more appealing to some. The Macan is turbocharged and the Jaguar is supercharged

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Jaguar F-Pace

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Porsche Macan S

Both vehicles have bigger brothers offering more horsepower, but at considerably more money and both have options that can add tens of thousands to the base price. We recommend the F-Pace Prestige model and the Macan S as best values. However, don’t even think about buying one without doing your homework as the option lists are extensive and expensive. For example, a high end Porsche audio Burmester High-End Surround Sound System costs $5700.

Where Jaguar has an advantage, and a huge one, is in pricing. You can get a base 340 horsepower F- Pace for $45,000 while Porsche only offers a four-cylinder Macan for around that amount. The Jaguar gives your 340 horsepower and the Macan 252. If you decide to get the Macan S, our choice, you get the same 340 horsepower as the F-Pace, but it could cost you around $7000 more. How much you get back of that difference is uncertain, but after three years Porsche indicates 61 percent. Jaguar has not released residual values, but usually 50 percent has been the average.

Jaguar provides a five-year, 60,000 mile warranty and Porsche a four year, 50,000 mile warranty. In either case it is whichever comes first, mileage or months.

The Jaguar interior is more traditional, but has a great monitor and some features that are exceptional such as a backup camera you can keep on even when driving on the road. The GPS is easy to use and, as the Macan, the map can be seen on the instrument panel. Albeit the F-Pace’s version is much larger and easier to read. There are more storage areas in the Jaguar, but the seats don’t hold you as firmly.
Road noise and engine noise on all but the smoothest roads are tiring in the Jaguar. The Macan is very quiet.

Both vehicles are fairly heavy despite Jaguar’s claim of an extensive use of aluminum. The Macan being slightly heaver by about 100 pounds with both tipping the scale just north of two tons. We didn’t test a Jaguar F-Pace diesel, but the starting price on this is listed at $40,000 which makes it for attractive. Another item we noticed is that Porsche dealers are starting to deal on Macans. Jaguar dealers have said, and we are waiting for more details, that there are doing to be some very attractive lease deals probably to make inroads in this lucrative segment.

2015 Porsche Macan _8_
Porsche Macan

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Jaguar F-Pace

Acceleration is nearly the same with the supercharged Jaguar engine responded a bit quicker to input, but both can reach 60 mph in a little over five seconds. Be warned that the F-Pace acceleration in Dynamic Mode can be abrupt. The Porsche torque arrives earlier, around 1500 rpm compared to 4500 in the F-Pace. Jaguar uses an eight-speed sequential shifter and Porsche has the tired and proven seven speed PDK double-clutch unit. The F-Pace unit is more gentle when prodded, but the Macan is quicker, if a bit more abrupt. Jaguar continues to use a circular shift selector knob which takes time to master. It also has some small arrow buttons that allow you to pursue Dynamic, normal, or Eco modes. Porsche has a sport mode with an upgrade to sport plus for more thrust. In the real world we found both cars could accelerate instantly when asked, but if you like cornering, the trimmer Macan is easily the better choice.

Bottom line: Porsche has the edge in quality at this point, but Jaguar is improving. Jaguar has the edge in cost, interior room, monitor, and traditional styling appeal. The Macan S has the edge in driving feel, overall performance, and comfort. The Jaguar pricing is going to challenge the four-cylinder Macan for those looking to enter this segment of the market. We highly recommend you drive these cars back-to-back to develop an appreciation for their differences. Our choice is the Macan simply because it more fun to drive. The Macan is easier to park, nifter on its feet, not as large, and more muscular looking. On the other hand, the F-Pace provides a bit more panache and driving appeal for those coming out of American SUVs and is fairly close to the Infiniti QX70. It is more laid-back and relaxed. As close as the Macan and F-Pace are in many regards, one you drive them they are world’s apart. You just have to decide what world that is going to be.

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BMW X1 vs Lexus NX Hybrid
by The Car Family
for more reviews go to https://www.motorists.org/tag/the-car-family/

Family oriented compact utility vehicles are the hottest segment of the industry now with the emphasis on compact. The BMW X1 xDrive 28i and Lexus NX hybrid fit this description well with both falling in the $40,000 plus range when well equipped and offering seating for five. The main difference between the two in terms of driving is that the X1 has a sports car feel to it and the Lexus offers a more cushy ride. The NX gets superior fuel mileage the BMW offers more fun for those miles. One caveat and that the theses two are not as spacious as their big brothers, the BMW X3 and Lexus RX, but cost thousands less.
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lexusnx

As vehicle manufactures move to find better ways to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), four-cylinder are becoming more popular as they offer more efficiency with nearly the same performance. Both of these vehicles have these engines although our Lexus NX was a hybrid with additional electric power that adds nearly $5000 to the price, but has more features as well as averaging nearly 32 miles per gallon in daily driving. What sets them apart is everything else. The Lexus is more refined, quieter, and has a more upscale interior. The BMW is sportier, friskier, and handles better.

Mother’s view: The BMW X1 xDrive28i was more rough and ready. The interior noise was significant with the optional run-flat tires, but it was quite agile and simple to park. The Lexus was a bit more portly, but the interior was nicer. Both cars have nearly identical interior space with the X1 getting a slight nod for room. The BMW X1 comes standard with stability and traction control, airbags nearly everywhere, an emergency communication system and more. Make sure to order such options as frontal collision warning and lane departure warnings among other life saving devises. The Lexus offers similar safety features and has excellent crash safety ratings. My choice would be the NX for its nicer interior although the BMW’s navigation and axillary controls were easier for me to master.

Dad’s view: The BMW X1 comes with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated at 228 horsepower and uses an eight-speed automatic transmission with a standard all-wheel-drive system. The engine is noisy, but productive and I could get 30 mpg in highway driving. The Lexus hybrid gets even better mileage from its 2.5 liter engine with hybrid boost. There are enough option packages for both vehicles to muddle the differences between wants and needs. I would strongly suggest you do your homework once you have narrowed down your choice as options can quickly add $10,000 to the bottom line. My selection would be the Lexus NX hybrid for daily use, but if you enjoy a vehicle that handles the BMW ranks just below a Porsche in fun per mile.

Working woman’s view: The BMW has some nice standard features such as a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, driver memory settings, BMW’s iDrive interface with a touchpad controller, 6.5-inch screen, navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, HD radio, CD player and a USB input. The Premium package adds keyless ignition and entry, hands-free control for the power liftgate, adaptive LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, power-folding mirrors, four-way power lumbar for the front seats and interior ambient lighting. The Technology package offers BMW’s integrated smartphone apps, navigation and an upgraded 8.8-inch display screen. The NX has similar standard features with a larger display screen and a rearview camera. Lexus options include wireless phone charging, navigation with a touchpad controller, voice recognition, a 10-speaker audio system, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning. You can also add the Lexus Enform Remote that allows you to control certain vehicle functions from your smartphone. My choice is the Lexus NX, but not the hybrid version. I don’t drive enough to justify the additional cost of the hybrid. One kudo for the BMW was its smaller turning radius making it easier to maneuver, a larger cargo area and its maintenance free four years or 50,000 mile program.

Young working man’s view: Both vehicles are loaded with electronic goodies such as the BMW iDrive with an integrated touchpad on the main control that lets you draw number inputs and has to be experienced. Lexus Enform remote is handy. The Lexus is fairly quick off the line when its two electric motors kick-in. Both the BMW’s and NX engines shut down at stop lights or when stuck in traffic to save fuel. The NX’s regenerative brakes can be a bit abrupt whereas the X1’s were excellent. The Lexus NX is very car and handles well and is comfortable. The BMW is just plain fun all the time.

Family conference: These two vehicles offer buyers an interesting choice based on their driving habits. The BMW is athletic and never lets you forget that. The optional run-flat tires provoke a lot of road noise and the energetic engine can be raucous. On the other hand the X1 gets excellent fuel mileage and has superior handling and braking. The NX has a distinctive exterior that may be off-putting and gets exceptional gas mileage and provides a cushy ride. With the new Porsche four-cylinder Macan coming to market priced nearly identical this is going to be an even tougher choice.