- Nimble handling
- Standard all-wheel drive
- Wagon versatility
- “It’s a Ford Mondeo”
- Fuel economy
The 2008 Jaguar X-Type hasn't won many fans in the United States, but its exceptional handling and usable cargo room probably leave Jaguar execs wondering why.
The 2008 Jaguar X-Type finishes its final year on the market in the United States with its strong handling and V-6 performance still dulled by complaints that it's only a Ford in Jaguar clothing.
The Jaguar X-Type, you see, is a version of a European Ford, with a unique set of Jaguar sheetmetal and an interior outfitted with wood and leather trim. The perception of it being a gussied-up Ford, however, is more a problem of image than of reality.
Both models feature standard all-wheel drive and a 227-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 working through a five-speed automatic transmission. The drivetrain is enjoyable to play around with, particularly since the X-Types come with standard all-wheel drive. The fuel economy is disappointing, though; at 16/22 mpg, it isn't as good as the large XJ sedan, and almost the same as the supercharged XJ. The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering delivers exceptional tracking and high-speed stability, and the ride motions are clean and controlled. The X-Type's handling is among the best of its kind, thanks to well-tuned suspension settings and the traction offered by the standard all-wheel-drive system.
The front seats are firm and supportive, but the backseats are strictly for short people. Seating capacity is technically five but realistically four. There's minimal rear-seat legroom if a tall driver is positioned ideally at the controls. Features include a rear-seat entertainment system, a moonroof, 17-inch wheels, and a Luxury package, as well as a navigation system, Bluetooth, and Sirius Satellite Radio.
The wagon back adds a good amount of usable space to the compact X-Type body. With the 70/30 rear seats folded forward, maximum interior volume is 50 cubic feet. With the rear seats in use, it still has 15.7 cubic feet of luggage volume to the bottom of the window level and 24.2 cubic feet to the roofline.
Both models get driver and front seat passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side-impact head protection curtain airbags. Stability control and anti-lock brakes are also included. The 2008 Jaguar X-Type gets a four-star rating for rollover and for side impact, but front-impact crash scores are not available from the NHTSA.