Jaguar never has been in the conversation about fuel economy, at least in a good way. But the British automaker now has three of the industry's most fuel-efficient nonhybrid vehicles, according to the EPA's just-released preliminary 2017 Fuel Economy Guide.
A combination of lightweight aluminum bodies, eight-speed automatic transmissions and a new family of ultraefficient diesel engines has given Jaguar its first vehicles to crack 40 mpg highway. The XE and XF -- including all-wheel-drive versions -- have at least 40 mpg highway ratings. Jaguar's F-Pace diesel crossover has an EPA rating of 26 city/33 highway and 29 combined.
Another surprise in the report: Last month, the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu sedan with the first application of General Motors' nine-speed automatic arrived in dealerships with a fuel economy rating of 22 city/33 highway and 26 combined. That added just 1 mpg highway while the combined rating was unchanged from the 2016 Malibu that was equipped with an eight-speed automatic.
GM spokesman Tom Read says the new transmission increases refinement and offers "seamless" shifts. The 1.5-liter Malibu with a six-speed automatic is rated at 27 city/36 highway and 30 combined.