2006 X-TYPE New Car Test Drive
The Jaguar X-Type is elegant, comfortable, and fun to drive. 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. Yet this entry-level Jag 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.
A new Jaguar Sportwagon has joined the X-Type line for 2005. Already popular in Europe this estate car, as it's called there, offers great cargo carrying capacity while maintaining Jaguar's unique style. It includes a tailgate with independently opening rear window, luggage tie-downs, removable luggage cover and cargo net. It also includes a neat hidden cargo compartment under the rear floor with a 12-volt power outlet.
The X-Type competes with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and other near-luxury cars. The performance of the Jaguar compares favorably to these cars, while offering a distinct difference in feel and temperament. The Jaguar X-Type is a good alternative to these superb luxury sedans and its quality has improved considerably since it was first introduced, thanks to continuous improvements made by Ford at the factory in the U.K. As with the other cars in its class, the X-Type is smaller in size, making it easier to park and maneuver.
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.
Jaguar has revised the X-Type line up for 2005 by naming models separately rather than just adding optional packages to the basic sedan. Officially Jaguar has dropped the base 2.5 model although some were sold during the first few months of the model year. There are now three sedan models in the lineup and the all-new Sportwagon. All four models are powered by the same 227-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and include all-wheel-drive as standard.
All X-Type models come with standard equipment expected of a Jaguar: leather-trimmed seating, glossy wood trim (except for the Sport), power windows, mirrors, door locks and driver's seat. All X-Types are also equipped with automatic climate control, remote locking, an auto-dimming interior mirror, tilt/telescope steering wheel and heated door mirrors and windshield washers.
The most popular model is the X-Type 3.0 ($34,330), which comes standard with with a five-speed automatic, 17-inch wheels, moonroof, 70/30 split rear seats and a wood/leather steering wheel.
However, there is a an X-Type 3.0 available with a manual five-speed transmission ($30,830). It's in limited supply as few people want a X-Type with a manual transmission. It lacks a moonroof, 70/30 split rear seats and a wood/leather steering wheel, items that are standard on all other models. It also comes with smaller 16-inch wheels.
The X-Type Sport ($37,280) offers more than last year's Sport package as it includes a black mesh grille, a deeper front spoiler and lower side sills as well as a rear spoiler. It has a sport-tuned suspension with 18-inch Melbourne BBS two-piece wheels with Pirelli P Zero high-performance tires. Although there is no increase in engine performance the 3.0 Sport includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Emergency Brake Assist. Inside the Sport includes a full leather steering wheel and sport seats with perforated leather center sections. Carbon fiber trim fascia and gear surround with sporty Alcantara seating surfaces and door panels is offered as an option ($450) on the Sport. It comes with a five-speed automatic. A five-speed manual transmission is available as a no-cost option.
An optional ($1,150) Premium Package is offered for the 3.0 and 3.0 Sport that includes 10-way power driver and front-passenger seats, Homelink-compatible programmable garage door opener, multi-function message center, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and memory function on driver's seat and door mirrors. Also available as an option ($1,275) for these two models is a 320-watt Alpine Premium Sound system with ten speakers in place of the regular 120-watt system.
The new X-Type 3.0 VDP Edition ($38,080) delivers Jaguar's traditionally high level of luxury, starting with more expansively applied exterior chrome, contrasting piping on the seats, burl walnut wood trim and 17x7 10-spoke Andros wheels. It includes Reverse Park Control to warn the driver of hidden obstacles, heated front seats, the 320-watt Alpine Premium stereo system with ten speakers and an in-dash CD change. The VDP also includes the contents of the Premium Package that's optional on the lesser models.
The 3.0 Sportwagon ($36,330) is equipped similarly to the sedan.
Options for X-Type models include heated seats ($500), Reverse Park Control ($325), DSC ($525) and Xenon headlights ($675). 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.
Safety features on all models 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.