2008 X-TYPE New Car Test Drive
The Jaguar X-Type may be the entry-level model but it looks unmistakably like a Jaguar. 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.
The Jaguar X-Type is elegant, comfortable, and fun to drive. It represents a low cost of entry for a Jaguar and for the class. The X-Type gives its owner the distinction of driving a Jag. It also offers 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.
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. As with the other cars in its class, the X-Type is smaller in size, making it easier to park and maneuver.
A wagon is available that offers great cargo carrying capacity while maintaining Jaguar's unique style. It comes with a tailgate with independently opening rear window, luggage tie-downs, removable luggage cover and cargo net. It features a neat hidden cargo compartment under the rear floor with a 12-volt power outlet as well as a higher level of standard equipment.
Quality has improved considerably since the X-Type was introduced, as evidenced by the J.D. Power & Associates 2005 Initial Quality Study, which also cited Jaguar's Halewood plant in the U.K., where the X-Type is manufactured, for its overall quality performance. The X-Type is certified as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV), meaning its exhaust is extremely clean.
The X-Type has been maligned by the press for sharing its basic structure with the Ford Mondeo sold in Europe and for not being a true Jaguar. Perhaps the X-Type has shown Jaguar the lower limit for stretching its brand. But the X-Type is a good car.
The 2007 Jaguar X-Type comes in just two models: the sedan and the wagon. Both are powered by a 3.0-liter V6 rated 227 horsepower, driving all four wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission. A five-speed manual is no longer available.
The X-Type sedan ($34,330), which Jaguar sometimes refers to as the X-Type 3.0, comes with automatic climate control; leather upholstery; eight-way power driver's seat; 70/30 split folding rear seats; Bronze Sapele wood interior trim; tilt-and-telescope steering wheel; six-speaker, 120-watt AM/FM/CD stereo; power locks; one-touch power windows; a power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof; automatic headlights; and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The Sportwagon ($39,330) is somewhat better equipped, adding a 320-watt premium Alpine sound system, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, 10-way power adjustable seats for driver and front-seat passenger, electrochromic mirrors inside and out, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a programmable garage-door opener, message center and trip computer, Reverse Park Control, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The cargo bay features a retractable security cover, a cargo net, four-spring-loaded tie-downs, and a 12-volt power outlet inside a hidden storage compartment.
A Luxury Package ($2,400) for the sedan adds some unique appearance items, including contrasting piping for the leather seats, burl walnut veneers, bright mirror caps, rear treadplates, and 17-inch wheels (of a different design than the wagon's). It also brings the sedan closer to the Sportwagon's level of equipment, with a wood-and-leather-trimmed steering wheel, eight-way power passenger seat, electrochromic mirrors, memory for the driver's seat and side mirrors, Reverse Park Control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, programmable garage door opener, and a message center and trip computer.
Options include heated front seats ($500), Reverse Park Control ($325), DVD-based navigation ($2,300), Bluetooth wireless connectivity ($500), 320-watt Alpine sound ($800), Sirius Satellite Radio ($450), metallic paint ($595), custom-order paint ($1,000), and 17-inch wheels ($700). Eighteen-inch wheels with 225/40ZR18 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires ($800) are available on Sportwagons and on sedans with the Luxury Package. The wagon can be ordered with black (instead of silver) roof rails for no extra cost.
Safety features for both models include dual frontal, side-impact and side-curtain airbags managed by a sophisticated sensor system; pre-tensioning front safety belts with load-limiters; and three-point belts for all seats. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is now standard as well, and so is antilock braking (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).