2004 X-TYPE New Car Test Drive
The Jaguar X-Type is Coventry's entry-level luxury sedan, designed to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and, to some extent, the Lexus IS 300 and Acura TL. The performance of the Jaguar compares favorably to these cars, while offering a distinct difference in feel and temperament. The X-Type is elegant, comfortable, and fun to drive. Starting at $29,330, it represents a low cost of entry for a Jaguar and a strong value in this highly competitive class. It also gives its owner the distinction of driving a Jag.
The X-Type looks unmistakably like a Jaguar, and that's no small design feat given its relatively compact dimensions. Better still, the X-Type smells and feels like a Jaguar, with all the traditional British ingredients that have defined the brand for seven decades. Yet this $30,000 Jag is more than an inexpensive knock-off because it offers something no other Jaguar has: the benefits of full-time all-wheel-drive. That makes the X-Type a good choice for rain, snow and ice, and indeed it feels very secure in those conditions.
For 2004, Jaguar delivers the first significant changes since the X-Type was introduced two years ago. There are new colors and new, larger wheel designs. Inside, the X-Type gets a new wood veneer that Jaguar calls Sapele, and claims it offers the most powerful premium stereo in the class. Option packages have been re-aligned, and perhaps most significantly, the X-Type's price-value equation has been improved. The less-expensive 2004 X-Type 2.5-liter actually costs $620 less than when the car was launched in the fall of 2001. The high-trim X-Type 3.0-liter is nearly $3,000 less than last year. With new standard equipment, Jaguar says the 3.0 represents a savings of $5,200 compared to 2003.
The Jaguar X-Type is a great alternative to some superb luxury sedans.
Jaguar offers its small sedan in two models: the X-Type 2.5-liter with a 192-horsepower V6 ($29,330) and the X-Type 3.0-liter with a 227-horsepower V6 ($33,330). All-wheel drive, which Jaguar calls Traction 4, comes standard.
Both have standard equipment expected of a Jaguar: glossy Sapele wood trim, Connolly leather-trimmed seating, and power windows, mirrors, door locks and driver's seat. All X-Types are also equipped with automatic climate control, a 120-Watt AM/FM/cassette, remote locking, an auto-dimming interior mirror, tilt/telescope steering wheel and heated door mirrors and windshield washers.
The 2.5-liter model comes with a five-speed manual transmission. Ordering the optional five-speed automatic ($1,650) also adds a single-disc CD player, full-size spare tire and additional wood trim on the doors.
The X-Type 3.0-liter adds even more standard equipment, some of which was optional last year, including a power tilt-and-slide moonroof, a split folding rear seat, automatic headlamps and a wood-and-leather steering wheel. That glossy Jaguar wood is more lavishly applied inside the 3.0. The five-speed automatic is standard, and the wheels are upgraded from 16-inch to 17-inch alloys.
The X-Type 3.0-liter also offers more options than have been traditionally available on a Jaguar. Three packages are popular: Premium, Sport, and Luxury. The Premium package ($875) includes an eight-way power passenger seat and two-way power lumbar support for both front seats, rain-sensing wipers, a trip computer and Homelink-compatible garage door/gate opener.
The Sport package ($2,750) includes gray-stained wood trim, sports seats with extra side bolstering, body-colored exterior trim as opposed to chrome, a rear spoiler, Dynamic Stability Control, a sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels with high-performance tires. It also adds xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps and a premium 320-watt Alpine sound system. The manual transmission is available with this package for the same price.
The Luxury package ($3,500) delivers Jaguar's traditionally high level of luxury, starting with lamb's wool floor rugs, contrasting piping on the seats, burl walnut wood trim and more expansively applied exterior chrome. It includes Reverse Park Aid to warn the driver of hidden obstacles, heated front seats, the Alpine stereo with a six-CD changer (in the trunk), the DSC electronic stability control system, and the contents of the Premium Package.
Individually priced options for all X-Type models include the heated seats ($500), Reverse Park Aid ($325), and DSC ($525). The GPS navigation system ($2,300) includes a seven-inch touch-screen that also provides control for the audio and climate systems and allows subscription to the JaguarNet emergency communication and tracking system. Voice activation for audio, climate control and the navigation system is available as a dealer-installed option.
Safety features include curtain-style head protection airbags for front and rear passenger, dual-stage frontal airbags and front side-impact airbags managed by a sophisticated sensor system. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), pre-tensioning front safety belts with load-limiters and three-point belts for all seats are also standard.