2003 Jaguar S-TYPE Review

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TCC Team TCC Team
March 17, 2002

World Report: Front-Drive Jag X (3/17/2002)


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The Jaguar mythos has always been larger than life, even if some of its products didn’t quite live up to the loftiest of expectations. Consider what happened when Ford Motor Co. took over the British brand, a little more than a decade ago, desperately hoping to capitalize on that cachet to transform Jaguar from a modest niche player into a major luxury brand.

The S-type, introduced to much fanfare three years ago, was supposed to herald Jaguar’s entry into the big league of high-volume luxury marques. The midsize sedan certainly did yield a big boost in sales. But it also drew a sharp rebuke from skeptics who felt it’s Ford roots were showing like a bad bleach job. There were clearly some compromises forced by the sharing of platform and many key components, the instrument panel looking all too much like the Lincoln LS, rather than the work of Coventry’s heralded craftsmen.

Yet there’s been a positive side to Jaguar’s recent sales gains. Emboldened, the British company has set out to right such wrongs, and in surprisingly short order. The 2003 remake of the S-Type doesn’t get it all resolved, but the “saloon” car that will be hitting the streets in the coming weeks is a markedly truer Jaguar in both style and substance.

Tailing history

To get a sense of what the changes mean, TheCarConnection set off for several days of driving through the mountains and valleys of Spain’s Costa Brava.

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