Archive for March 2017

Lincoln Continental: Lincoln’s Flagship On The Road

Continental Moves Lincoln Forward

We had the opportunity to drive the 2017 Lincoln Continental on Ontario roads for a week.

Continental is not only the new flagship for the Lincoln. With the return of this great nameplate, from 1940’s to sixties, FoMoCo finally gets very serious to build a great future for its luxury brand.
I drove almost every Lincoln which came out in the last five years and may call myself as witness of the rebirth of this brand. I can confidently say that Continental is Ford’s ultimate commitment to Lincoln for a safe and bright future.
Starting from the distinctively beautiful exterior design and every detail within thew cabin tell you that Lincoln is ready to compete with the best of the luxury class, at least in material, craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Creativity on the same platform

Well, the cost considerations are still serious too. Even for its new flagship, Ford did not develop a unique platform for this full-size luxury car, but instead remained loyal (do not tell this to anybody) to the Fusion platform, as it did with the MKZ. But The Continental is significantly different from a Fusion (the platform is wider and longer anyway), so you cannot understand it visually.

With its roadholding and driving dynamics, the Continental represents the luxury of the big American sedan.






Under the hood is a 3.0L V6 engine and AWD which is mated to a 6-speed auto. This vehicle is perfect for silent and luxurious cruising across the continent. Luxury features span from 30-way adjustable leather chairs to natural finished wood to electric door openers. Details such as door handles that mold into the chrome strip going down the belt line, give this car a distinct personality and character. The big panorama sunroof very beautifully complements the sumptuous interior. Push-button shift dials remain as a Lincoln feature, even if this is not for everyone’s driving taste.

Driving Impressions

Even if you cannot (and probaly should not expect the sportiness of a German sedan, Continental is a very comfortable roadmate for long, straight and boring North American highways with speed limits between 100 and 120 kms. I would not have problem to drive this car from New to San Francisco or from Toronto to Montreal. Navigating Italian or Swiss Alps is an entirely different story and Lincoln will most probably never be part of it. My favorite feature








Even in the successful years of Alan Mulally, Ford’s former CEO, Lincoln was largely neglected. (This was probably the right thing to do since the mother company needed and achieved strong recovery before dealing with Lincoln). However, very recently, we witness bolder steps to reestablish the identity of the Lincoln brand. Nevertheless, it will take some more time probably even a model generation to position Lincoln as a truly luxury brand like Cadillac.

Type of vehicle: Fullsize sedan
Engine: 3.0L GTDI, DOHC,
Transmission: 6-speed, select-shift automatic
Price (base/as tested): $60,500 / $76,950
Destination charge: CAD 1,900
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km): 14 city; 9.5 highway; 12.3 combined

Optional features

Luxury Package: CAD 5,500 (premium LED headlamps, single slot CD player, Revel Ultima Audio, 19 speaker,

Twin-panorama moonroof with power shade: CAD 2,200

30-way power multi-contour seat: CAD 750

Technology Package: CAD 3,000 (Auto-dimming rear mirror, Active park-assist, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree camera, Pre-collision assist W/Ped Detec, lane departure warning)

Total Price as Tested: $76,950

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Basak McKars,

Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada (via BHG Media Fleet)

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Jaguar XE to XF and Diesel

Diesel As We Know Today Is Still Very Much Alive

Jaguar and Diesel: These two words do not sound very familiar or match well at first. Diesel has hardly been a popular word in North America when we refer to passenger cars. And what happened after VW’s emission cheating scandal, we all know.

Amid the slow but steady rise of EV’s, or at least the talk of it, Diesel has become more a dirty and sinful word rather than an efficient and advanced version of the internal combustion engine.

This doesn’t change that reality that diesel engines are still a viable alternative for efficient and technologically advanced option also for personal mobility.In the last five to 10 years, premium German brands like Mercedes, BMW and Audi introduced powerful and torqey engines for a pleasurable driving experience. In  Europe, diesel-powered cars and SUV’s reached a high market share (sometimes 50 per cent plus in some segments).

The Engine

Recently, we were able to test two different models of Jaguar sharing the same engine.

Both the compact XE, and the midsize XF that we tested, have the same powerhouse under the hood:

Jaguar’s new Ingenium 2.0L engine has its displacement spread over four cylinders. The compression ratio is a monstrous 15.5-to-1 not surprisingly due to the features of this engine type: There’s no spark plug to initiate combustion, and the 20d relies instead on the heat generated by the compression of air to “spark” the ignition. The result of all this squeezing of crude is 180 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 318 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. This wide torque band makes you feel driving a car with a bigger and more powerful engine than it actually is. And in fact, slightly above this torque band, the engine suddenly becomes a bit sluggish and the joy of driving stats diminishing.

Our first test car, the XE is Jag’s newest sedan and the entry model of the brand competing with the Merc’s C-Class, Bimmer’s 3 Series, Audi A4 and the likes. The XE gives the kind of driving pleasure in a compact luxury car that the British brand lacked since the discontinuation of the unfortunate S-Type under the Ford ownership.

The XE was a bold step for Jaguar to immerse into the compact and volume-rich compact luxury class. Without this market segment, Jaguar could not reach scale of advantages as a global luxury car manufacturer.

The same engine does a very good job under the hood of the midsize luxury XF. In its second generation introduced in 2016, the XF is now a powerful contender against the very established players such as the E-Class from Mercedes and the BMW 5 Series.

Driving each car for one week, we ended up with a very satisfying motoring experience. It reminds us the reality that we should not be in a rush to drive a Tesla for the sake of the environment.

Driving Impressions






With the smaller XE, we reached an average consumption of six liters on a mixed mood both on highway and the city. With the larger XF, our average consumption was just north of 7 liter mark, which was reasonable considering more than 50 per cent of city driving.

Both cars had standard all-wheel-drive system providing a more settled a confident ride on slipperry, slushly and icy surfaces as the weather was like during our test days. The brakes are very good and birng the car to a very quick stop confidently. Although we did not perform an instrumental measurement, I can roughly say that the car stops in about 40 meters from the deceleration of 100 km/h

Realistically, a luxury car manufacturer would do it very hard in Canada without offering AWD.


Under the TATA ownership, Jaguar made a commitment to become a major player in the luxury segment, instead of remaining a niche manufacturer. With the hot-selling F-Pace SUV and the entry-level XE Jaguar is quickly filling the gaps towards a full-model range.The the XF is a more solid model in its second generation with a more mature design. Both test vehicles were fully loaded.

Jaguar XE AWD Diesel R-Sport (in Ultimate Black) starts from CAD 57,500 and, our test vehicle had a MSRP of CAD 64, 650.

The bigger Jaguar XF AWD Diesel R-Sport has a base price of CAD 68,500. Our test vehicle had options worth CAD 9,000 elevating the price to CAD 77,500.
The pricing point is reasonable for this luxury segment.

Even if it sounds a bit unfamiliar for a Jag to have a self-igniting machine under the hood, it works wonderfully well. You have to “see” it, to believe it.

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars, 

Test vehicle was provided by JLR Canada via BHG Media

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

All rights reserved. This article cannot be copied entirely or partially without the prior written consent of the author. Links to the website ( are allowed.