2008 Jaguar X-TYPE Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
July 2, 2008

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 editors of TheCarConnection.com researched road tests from around the Web to produce this comprehensive review of the 2008 Jaguar X-Type. TheCarConnection.com's car experts also drove the 2008 Jaguar X-Type and have added driving impressions and details where relevant, and they offer advice to help you decide which reviews to believe when other reviews have contrary opinions.

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.

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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.

7

2008 Jaguar X-TYPE

Styling

The 2008 Jaguar X-Type's shape reminds reviewers of the larger Jaguar XJ—when it doesn’t remind them of a Ford.

The 2008 Jaguar X-Type’s traditional exterior shape and leather-and-wood-grain-infused interior garnered positive, if lukewarm, marks from reviewers around the Web.

The 2008 Jaguar X-Type's exterior has smooth lines that hark back to the Jaguars of old, although it's certainly not as seductive as some of the brand's other offerings. The overall exterior design cues on the Jaguar X-Type refer to its larger siblings, giving the impression of a diminutive XJ. MyRide.com notes the illusion created by the 2008 Jaguar's body lines, saying that "this is a ground-loving vehicle that makes the eye believe it is longer and lower than it is, and bigger as well." Kelley Blue Book agrees, relaying that the "2008 Jaguar X-Type partially resembles the full-size XJ, especially when viewed from the front." Cars.com finds that although Jaguar decided to go with a higher tail on the Jaguar X-Type than on older models, the "X-Type's styling themes are familiar to Jaguar aficionados." Not everyone is a fan of the 2008 Jaguar's hind end, however, with Kelley Blue Book complaining that "the rear quarter looks more Ford than Jaguar."

Kelley Blue Book was pleased with the Jag's interior styling, gushing that "The X-Type's seats, door panels and headliner are all beautifully put together; the fine leathers and elegant stitch patterns on the seat faces are truly lovely." They aren't as impressed by the dash, however, complaining that it "has the outline of a Jaguar's panel, but the gauges, climate controls and audio controls just don't look or feel like they belong in a car of this distinction." MyRide.com has positive things to say about the Jaguar X-Type's inside accoutrements, noting "people of all body types will find a comfortable home in the X-Type."

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2008 Jaguar X-TYPE

Performance

The 2008 Jaguar X-Type has sporty handling, but its powertrain and fuel economy lack the enthusiast spark.

The 2008 Jaguar X-Type has responsive steering, class-competitive acceleration, and enjoyable handling, according to road tests reviewed by TheCarConnection.com and the editors’ own driving experiences.

While most reviews read by TheCarConnection.com consider the Jag's street manners to be adequate, Edmunds is quick to point out that its V-6 engine is "less powerful than those found in many current family sedans," a tough blow for any Jaguar. Kelley Blue Book is similarly unimpressed by the Jaguar X-Type's powerplant, calling it "a more-than-capable engine for a family sedan such as the new Fusion, but it roars loudly at full throttle and feels out of place in a Jaguar." ForbesAutos agrees: "The engine must be revved hard for serious thrust."

The Jaguar X-Type's standard five-speed automatic transmission received mixed reviews, with MyRide.com gushing, "The X-Type somehow feels more powerful than it really is because there is never a questing need for more oomph at a critical moment." ConsumerGuide, on the other hand, was not enamored with the five-speed, complaining that "the transmission's tardy downshifts frustrate response in the 40-55-mph range."

Fuel economy has not traditionally been a Jaguar strong point, and the 2008 Jaguar maintains the status quo, with ConsumerGuide estimates reporting an average 19 mpg city/highway driving, and 21.4 mpg in mostly highway travel. After all, it takes fuel to haul so much leather around. EPA estimates are slightly less encouraging, coming in at 16 mpg city, 22 highway, and 18 mpg combined.

It seems that what the X-Type loses in engine performance, it makes up for with handling and ride quality. Cars.com raves, "the ride is sheer pleasure." Edmunds finds the ride quality to be acceptably pleasant, but remarks, "it can be harsh over bumps and ruts." Cars.com calls the Jaguar X-Type "confident and surefooted at all speeds." ConsumerGuide loves the stability and grip offered by the Jaguar's standard all-wheel drive, mentioning that the X-Type "maintains outstanding grip, even when powering out of wet corners." MyRide.com also enjoys the driving experience offered by the Jaguar, calling the car's steering "sharp and precise."

7

2008 Jaguar X-TYPE

Comfort & Quality

The 2008 Jaguar X-Type sports ample room in front and plentiful cargo room in the Sportwagon, but rear-seat passengers will be cramped.

The four-door Jaguar X-Type scores comfort and style points with its leather interior, but while the front seats are fan favorites (MyRide.com: "we had no trouble staying in them while flinging the car around"; ConsumerGuide: "The front seats are narrower and softer than the European norm but have good support"), the backseat accommodations are not as popular. Regarding the rear seat, ConsumerGuide balks because the "seat cushion is too soft for best support, and narrow doorways compromise entry and exit."

Cargo space is fairly abundant, with 16 feet of trunk space for the 2008 X-Type sedan. ConsumerGuide says it has as "much usable space as any direct rival." Both the sedan and Sportwagon models have fold-down rear seats, boosting the Sportwagon's usable cargo room to 50 cubic feet with the seats folded. MyRide.com loves the hidden storage area under the Jag's rear floor, "which can be used to stash cameras and other valuables in a molded compartment with dividers." They are also impressed with the 2008 Jaguar's hidden 12-volt power outlet, which "allows recharging of a laptop computer or digital camera while totally hidden from prying eyes."

While cargo and trunk space are high points for the 2008 Jaguar X-Type, Edmunds is not overly enthusiastic about some elements of the interior, remarking that "materials quality is unimpressive, particularly the plastic central control pod, which is also not particularly ergonomic," a knock that only adds to fears about the 2008 Jaguar's Ford heritage. ConsumerGuide is similarly unimpressed with the Jaguar X-Type's parts quality, remarking, "standard leather and wood strive for an upscale cabin ambience, but some of the plastics disappoint." Kelley Blue Book notes a discrepancy between materials used, complaining "the rich wood appliqué only serves to highlight the flat black plastic faceplates."

The cabin of the 2008 Jaguar X-Type is quiet and comfortable, and it drew rave reviews from experts consulted by TheCarConnection.com, although ConsumerGuide notes "road noise intrudes with the 18-inch tires." However, the Jaguar X-Type's optional 18s seem to be the only squeaky wheels in a quiet platform. According to MyRide.com, "Exceptionally quiet, the X-Type exhibits evidence of solid, careful construction."

8

2008 Jaguar X-TYPE

Safety

Safety features on the 2008 Jaguar X-Type are numerous and modern, although crash-test scores aren’t the best in class.

TheCarConnection.com found that standard safety features abound in the 2008 Jaguar X-Type luxury sedan.

Rollover and crash-test data for the Jaguar X-Type are fairly encouraging, although there is a discrepancy between the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) side-impact crash-test rating (IIHS: "marginal") and the results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA: "four stars out of a possible five").

According to Kelley Blue Book, standard safety features on the 2008 Jaguar include "four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Dynamic Stability Control, ... front and rear head-curtain airbags, front side-impact airbags, [and] a front-knee airbag." The 2008 Jaguar X-Type's standard Dynamic Stability Control system acts to keep the car under control in all but the hairiest on-road situations. While the driver is able to switch off the DSC, the Jaguar X-Type's system will automatically re-arm the next time the car is started. The experts at MyRide.com have good things to say about the system, describing it succinctly: "DSC minimizes skidding by applying the brakes at selected wheels, something no driver can do." Combined with Jaguar X-Type's Traction-4 all-wheel-drive system, the DSC is sure to keep the most skittish drivers headed down the road in comfort.

Visibility on the Jaguar X-Type is adequate, as ConsumerGuide notes: "Smartly sized mirrors contribute to fine outward visibility, despite a tallish cowl."

8

2008 Jaguar X-TYPE

Features

With good standard features and optional prestige-adding packages, the 2008 Jaguar X-Type is dressed to impress.

The 2008 Jaguar X-Type comes standard with plenty of goodies, but offers extras to tempt those with a weakness for luxury and gadgets.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the standard features new to the 2008 Jaguar X-Type include "a tire pressure monitoring system, ten-way power seats, memory driver's seat, rain-sensing wipers, electrochromic rearview mirror, automatic headlights and a trip computer." Other standard features offered on the Jaguar X-Type are four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated power mirrors, "power moonroof, 120-watt AM/FM stereo with CD, ... leather seats, tilt/telescopic steering wheel and 16-inch cast-alloy wheels."

Satellite radio is a $450 option also available on both the sedan and Sportwagon models, allowing the driver to enjoy their favorite stations wherever they take their 2008 Jaguar. At $2,300, the optional navigation system probably isn't the best value out there, but it works fairly well.

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July 25, 2015
2008 Jaguar X-TYPE 4-Door Sedan

It does what it is supposed to do.

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The stylish all wheel drive sedan is a very well rounded vehicle with plenty of performance that just completed a two thousand mile trip cruising at 80 + and getting about 23 mpg. Not great mileage but a very... + More »
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