2003 X-TYPE New Car Test Drive
Jaguar has introduced an all-new sedan for 2002 called the X-Type. Starting at $29,950, the X-Type is a major step downward in price for a Jaguar, and a big step upward in mass appeal. It's elegant, comfortable, and fun to drive.
A new competitor in the tough foyer of compact luxury sedans, the X-Type is designed to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, and, to some extent, the Lexus IS 300. The new Jaguar compares favorably to these highly competent cars in performance figures, while offering a distinct difference in feel and temperament. No question, the Jaguar X-Type is a serious player. After driving it, we feel it's a great alternative to these other superb sedans.
Jaguar offers two models: the X-Type 2.5-liter with a 194-horsepower V6 ($29,950) and the X-Type 3.0-liter with a 231-horsepower V6 ($35,950).
Both have as standard something that is expected of a Jaguar: bird's-eye walnut trim, Connolly leather-trimmed seating, and power windows, mirrors, door locks and driver's seat. And both have something unexpected: Traction 4, which is Jaguar's name for its viscous-coupling full-time all-wheel drive, the first four-wheel-drive system ever on a Jag.
The 2.5-liter model comes with a five-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic is a $1275 option.
The 3.0-liter X-Type offers a no-cost choice of either manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Both models offer more options than have been traditionally available for a Jaguar. Three packages are offered: Premium, Sport, and Weather.
The Premium package ($2500) includes one-touch electric tilt and slide glass moonroof, an eight-way power passenger seat, two-way power lumbar support for both front seats, 70/30 split folding rear seat, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dim electrochromic rearview mirror, automatic headlamps, Reverse Park Control, trip computer and message center, and Homelink-compatible garage door/gate opener.
The Sport package ($2000) includes gray-stained bird's-eye maple wood trim, special Connolly leather seating with sports seats (extra side bolstering), body-colored exterior trim, a rear spoiler, Dynamic Stability Control (yaw control), sport-tuned suspension, and 17-inch alloy wheels with high-performance tires. (You know what Babe Paley said: 'You can neither be too rich or have wheels that are too large.' Or something like that.) The Sport package requires the Premium package.
The Weather package ($1000) adds heated front seats, headlight washers, and Dynamic Stability Control (pricing is adjusted if ordered with the Sport package).
Other options that can be tagged on to the Premium group include a navigation system, an emergency messaging system with integrated digital cell phone, a premium sound system with 6-CD auto changer (alas, in the trunk), and high-intensity discharge headlights.
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