2007 S-TYPE New Car Test Drive
A cat flows like dark liquid in moonlight, and so do the lines of a Jaguar S-Type. You can buy other mid-size luxury sedans with similar performance, but you won't find another that looks anything like this. And that, really, is the point of any Jaguar. If you are charmed by its looks, then there is no alternative.
But even from a more objective point of view, we like the Jaguar S-Type. It's a comfortable car, it handles well, and it makes a statement when it pulls up to a five-star hotel.
The base 3.0-liter V6 delivers responsive performance, thanks partly to the superb six-speed automatic transmission. Opt for the 4.2 model and you get thrilling performance from its powerful V8 engine. If that isn't enough, you can spring for the high-performance S-Type R, which boasts a supercharged engine, adaptive sports suspension, and bigger front brakes.
The S-Type sedan is certainly a better car now than when it was launched in 1999. Even then we praised its beautiful exterior and rich interior, and enthused over its sporty handling. Jaguar re-engineered the S-Type for 2003 and revamped its styling for 2005 when the wonderful ZF six-speed automatic transmission became standard across the range. Additional refinements arrived with the 2006 models. The premium-level 4.2-liter V8 was re-tuned just slight to deliver even 300 horsepower in its naturally aspirated form and 400 horsepower with a supercharger. At the same time, both the base 3.0-liter V6 and the normally aspirated V8 achieved ULEV emissions status. A new Conti-Teves braking system promised more stopping power.
For 2007, Jaguar has focused on interior refinement. All S-Types now come with the same grade of leather, the premium grade. And there is no more Premium Package for the base model because all of the features it added are now standard.
Another more gradual but no less significant change: Jaguar's quality has been dramatically improved over the past few years and recent buyers report being very happy with their new S-Types.
The 2007 Jaguar S-Type includes three models, distinguished primarily by their engines. Each comes with rich leather upholstery and all the other features associated with a premium luxury car. All models come with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The S-Type 3.0 ($48,335) is powered by a 235-hp 3.0-liter V6. Standard equipment includes premium leather upholstery with contrasting piping on the seats; automatic dual-zone climate control; burl walnut interior trim; heated front seats with multiple power adjustments for the driver and passenger; power adjustable wood-and-leather steering wheel; power-adjustable pedals; memory system for seat, pedals, outside mirrors and steering column; split folding rear seat; 140-watt AM/FM/CD stereo; one-touch tilt-and-slide power glass sunroof; power windows; remote central locking; electrochromic mirrors inside and out; rain-sensing windshield wipers; Reverse Park Control; programmable garage-door opener; and 17-inch alloy wheels. The 3.0-liter models can be upgraded with a Navigation/Bluetooth Package ($2,800), auto-leveling xenon headlamps ($675), and Front Park Control ($250).
The S-Type 4.2 ($55,335) comes with a 300-hp 4.2-liter V8 plus a 320-watt Alpine premium stereo with six-CD changer; DVD-based satellite navigation; Bluetooth connectivity; xenon headlamps with automatic leveling; Front Park Control; additional seat adjustability; burl walnut gear selector knob; electric rear sunblind; and foot well rugs embroidered with the Jaguar logo.
The high-performance S-Type R ($63,335) gets a 400-hp supercharged version of the same 4.2-liter V8 and most (but not all) of the standard 4.2's amenities. Chassis upgrades include Jaguar's enhanced Computer Active Suspension (eCATS), bigger brake discs up front, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside are performance-style seats and gray-stained bird's-eye maple in place of walnut burl. The shift knob is leather-covered and there's no wood on the steering wheel. Stainless exhaust tips, a trunk lid spoiler, a body-color (instead of bright) molding around the grille, and a unique three-scoop motif below the front bumper. A Luxury Package ($3,000) adds Adaptive Cruise Control and reverts to a more traditional walnut-burl interior theme. It also includes an electric rear sunblind; premium foot well rugs; and bright exterior trim on bumper blades, grille surround, mirror caps, and side window frames. Adaptive Cruise Control is optional ($2,200) on the R.
Optional across the range is Sirius Satellite Radio ($450). Eighteen-inch wheels with Continental ProContact all-season tires ($800) are offered on 3.0 and 4.2; while R buyers can choose 19-inch wheels ($1,200). Special-order paint and trim ($1,000) are available for any S-Type.
Safety features on all S-Types include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with traction control; Emergency Brake Assist; frontal airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and side-curtain airbags; Jaguar's Adaptive Restraint Technology System which uses ultrasound (in addition to the usual sensors) to collect data on the size and position of front-seat occupants before deploying the airbags with appropriate force.