UK Car Road Test

Jaguar X-Type 2.5 SE 2004

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Cost New 24750    Residual @ 3 years N/A
Produced from  Jan 1 2002 to Apr 1 2004

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a Jag? Is it a Ford?

It's an X type Jaguar based on the second-generation Ford Mondeo.

 

Well, it certainly looks like a Jaguar or at least a homage to the XJ range of Jaguars. It's been updated and modernized but am I alone in thinking that a little of the elegance was lost in translation? The styling cues are all there but the beauty seems to have been lost.

It's still a nice looking car but it lacks the impact of the old XJ ranges. I don't know whether the fault lies at the feet of Ford  and its corporate car bins or the Euro legislators and their ever tighter rules but somewhere along the line grace went out of the window.

That said, it's still a preferable profile to  the 5 series or a Mercedes or even the A6 even if it would be hard to describe it as "GRACE".

Inside it would be harsh to describe it as anything but neat, stylish and comfortable. The late model XJ  saloons seem to sit a little uneasily with the ever-updated electrics of modern cars and its classic design got rather flustered with all the digital fripperies. The X type has taken a clean drawing board approach and then tried to mould in some key design elements. 

It does not quite work for me with the dash seemingly dominated by air vents rather than a row of clocks but it's typical of modern cars and no worse than anything else. The amount of black plastic which finds its way in is rather poor though. Would it not look much better in brushed alloy? Or even more of that very realistic Ford walnut?

Whilst the trim is good and the leather as good as any competitor's, it lacks the thick feel of old and a few too many pieces have been lazily trimmed/moulded in colour-matched plastic.

The beige/off white  is very airy and exaggerates  internal space but it's not really the thing if you have messy kids/animals.

Space is good in the front (bigger than that of the 3 series or the C-Class) but the rear is not quite so. It's a little cramped and you sit low with little thigh support and  the transmission tunnel makes the legs of the fifth passenger a little splayed. So, Jaguars still have "SPACE" in the front at least.

Clocks retain classic Smith style black and white simplicity with alien green glow.

 

In terms of equipment, you can see that it has all the main features that have you ticking the columns of the catalogues.

And, frankly, you would not expect anything less from a marque of distinction  like Jaguar and a modern car. However, you can't help feeling that it's like a top-of-the-line Audi A6 with a few little bits and pieces and nice touches left off to keep the price down.
Comfort Features
Adjustable Steering Column
Adjustable Steering Column
Centre Arm Rest Front
Centre Arm Rest Front
Centre Arm Rest Rear
Centre Arm Rest Rear

Cup holders
Cup holders
Drivers seat Lumbar Support
Drivers seat Lumbar Support
Electric Height Adjusting Drivers Seat
Electric Height Adjusting Drivers Seat
Front Door Bins
Front Door Bins
Head Rests (front & rear)
Head Rests (front & rear)
Height Adjustable Seat Belts
Height Adjustable Seat Belts
Pollen Filter
Pollen Filter
Time Clock
Time Clock
General Features
12 V Accessory Power Point
12 V Accessory Power Point
Chrome Grille
Chrome Grille
Colour Coded Bumpers
Colour Coded Bumpers
Colour Coded Mirrors
Colour Coded Mirrors
Digital Odometer
Digital Odometer
Heated Rear Window
Heated Rear Window
On Board Computer
On Board Computer
Tinted Windows
Tinted Windows
Luxury Features
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette Lighter
Climate Control
Climate Control
Electric Mirrors
Electric Mirrors
Electric Windows (front & rear)
Electric Windows (front & rear)
Heated Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Leather Steering Wheel
Leather Steering Wheel
Leather Upholstery
Leather Upholstery
Radio Cassette
Radio Cassette
Trip Computer
Trip Computer

Sure, it ticks all the right boxes but then so do Volvo, Saab, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Lexus.  There is really nothing here that makes the Jaguar stand out from the crowd and that's a shame.  

It is difficult for Jaguar to achieve this now as cars have improved so much that what used to seem special is now just average. Somehow, the X-type has lost that aura of luxury when you sit in it. I cannot quite put my finger on what it is but it still lacks that something special. 

Perhaps it has not got as many foibles as the old XJ but perhaps the foibles were what gave it character.  

Correct me if I'm wrong or just looking through rose tinted glasses but the old XJ6 was a special place to sit. Somewhere to just sit and appreciate before you even turned the key. 

 

 

Service Interval Insurance Group Safety Rating Smog Rating
10000 15 Band (D)
Engine BHP CC Fuel Inj.
V6 24 Valve DOHC 194 2495 Yes
Cyl Camshafts Valves/cyl Compressor
6 Quad 4 None
Top Speed 0 to 60 BHP per Tonne
140mph 7.9seconds 126
MPG@Urban MPG@Cruise MPG@Speed Fuel Type
20.7mpg 39mpg 29.5mpg Unleaded
Kerb Weight Tow Weight Length Width Height
1555kg 1500kg 467cm 200cm 139cm
Boot Seats/up Boot Seats/Down Seats
453 Litres 0 Litres 5

Despite the anathema of a Ford-derived V6 stuck up the front, the Jaguar goes very well, thank you very much.

Jaguar, given free reign over the Ford parts bin, gives us the Mondeo-derived engine and gearbox albeit modified to the traditional Jaguar J pattern.

It's easy to mock the V6 for its Ford heritage but when it was dumped into the Mondeo every one thought it was the dogs. 

And it still is. 194bhp is not to be sniffed at and, combined  with a most unjaguar-like kerbweight, gives decent (if not electric) "PACE", though there is a  3.0 litre for those of you who need more.

One plastic cover does not a Jaguar make

J for Jaguar

The gear box is top quality, responding well to the demands of your right foot and even has noticeably differing sharper performance  in Sport mode. In Cruise mode it suppresses revs at low speed  but still jumps to command on kick down. In Sport mode it changes gear more eagerly and holds it for longer around the rev range.

The machine never sounds "happy", but that's only a function of the V6 as opposed to the super smooth straight sixes of old.

Horsepower: 194 @ 6,800 rpm

Torque: 178 ft.-lbs. @ 3,000 rpm

The rust, dirt and oil above give a clue to the answer to the next question.

Where the hell has the ride gone?

What are Jaguars famous for?

Rusting, guzzling fuel,  cheap speed, Sweeney car chases, straight six engines, V12s for the common man,  elegant looks,  yes, yes, yes and yes again.

But surely the one thing that has set them apart has been the balance between handling and ride quality. Even the XJS supposed sportster had a ride better than your average Citroen.

So what the hell's going on here with hard, Audi-esque crunchy ride? Well Audi's the clue and 4-wheel drive seems to be the answer. The only question now is WHY?

Sure, it handles great, very sure footed, especially in the wet but at the expense of ride. In my opinion they have gone way too far down the handling side of the equation and ruined the ride.

Okay, I'm being a bit harsh as it's not the worst ride in the world but, hey, old Jaguars were some of the best and that's what I expect with all that Ford development money behind it.

A quick peek at the pictures reveals much simplified suspension over older Jags and, whilst that may be great for production and costs, it does nothing to improve the dynamics of the car. The 4x 4 may help endow it with great grip but 99% of the time I'm more worried about ride than outright grip.

Sure, I know it's based on a front driver but once they had arranged drive to the rear wheels could they not have lost the drive to the front? Or is that simplifying it too much?

I suspect prototypes were probably front drive only but didn't give the handling required of a Jaguar so the rear wheels were hooked up too and sod the ride. As neither Ford nor Jaguar have ever been big on 4x4 I can't see any other reason for doing it.

At least the rest is good - sharp steering (most un-Jaguar) and powerful brakes. 

The X feels quick on its feet and the all-wheel drive directs more gas to the rear wheels so there's no torque steer even at full throttle pushing  out of a corner. The tyres grip well and the steering is somehow Jaguar light at highway as well as parking-lot speeds (a signature of Jags) and precise when handling country roads.

Steer/Susp/Tech Features
Alloy Wheels
Alloy Wheels
Catalytic Converter
Catalytic Converter
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
External Temperature Gauge Fitted
External Temperature Gauge Fitted
Front Fog lamps fitted
Front Fog lamps fitted
Halogen Head Lights
Halogen Head Lights
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Independent Suspension
Independent Suspension
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Power Assisted Steering
Power Assisted Steering
Rev Counter
Rev Counter
Service Level Indicator
Service Level Indicator

Front: Independent MacPherson strut type with L-shaped lower control arms, liquid-filled bushings, coil springs, gas charged twin tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. 

Rear: Independent torsion control link (3-link per side with coil springs), gas-charged mono tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.

 

The big shocker for me was a mere 15 for the insurance group.  Seems almost reasonable given the badge. Though decent security probably helps pull the costs down as well as lower spares cost due to the use of cheaper Ford bits.

Remote stereo controls 

 Sorry guys, looks like my Mondeo

Safety is good and, whilst it does not feel as solid as an old XJ, you are still better off in one of these should the worst happen.

I must note the roof pillars here - whilst, again, not as fine as the XJ models, they are positively anorexic compared to the slabs of vision-killing steel lobbed into many a new car.  

Safety/Security Features
Alarm
Alarm
Antilock Braking System
Antilock Braking System
Child Locks
Child Locks
Deadlocks
Deadlocks
Engine Immobiliser
Engine Immobiliser
Front Side Air Bags
Front Side Air Bags
Front Side Curtain Air Bags
Front Side Curtain Air Bags
Front Twin Airbags
Front Twin Airbags
High level brake Light
High level brake Light
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Fuel Cap
Remote Central Locking
Remote Central Locking
Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Protection
Three Rear 3 Point Seat Belts
Three Rear 3 Point Seat Belts
Visible Identification Number
Visible Identification Number

 

 

 

Decent boot at last for a Jaguar.

Minor complaints include:

 

Alloys so-so

 

Chrome touches give retro feel

 

All in all it's a nice car - fast, mobile, grippy and well finished but (and it's a big but) it won't become a legendary Jaguar like those that have gone before because it's just not special enough methinks.

If you want an X-Type, then it's not a terrible decision but there are most certainly smarter ones.


 

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UK Car Road Test Jaguar X-Type 2.5 SE 2004

UK Car Road Test Keywords: 4*4 Saloon Auto X-Type 2.5 SE