The Car Connection Jaguar X-TYPE Overview
The Jaguar X-Type was a compact prestige sedan sold from 2002 through 2008 by the British luxury marque. The smallest and least expensive sedan that Jaguar had offered since the 1960s, the X-Type was intended to expand the company's footprint into the much higher-volume small luxury market by providing a less expensive entry into the Jaguar brand.
In the U.S., the X-Type went on sale for the 2002 model year with a choice of two six-cylinder engines and standard all-wheel drive (hence the "X" in its model name). From 2002 through 2004, only the four-door sedan was available; in 2005, an X-Type Sportwagon model was added, which lasted through the final 2008 model year--albeit in very small numbers--and offered 50 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.
The two engines used for the X-Type were a 194-horsepower 2.5-liter V-6 and a 227-hp 3.0-liter V-6, both driving all four wheels, usually through a five-speed automatic transmission. The two models were known, logically enough, as the 2.5-Liter and the 3.0-Liter. While a five-speed manual gearbox was offered on the smaller V-6, it was never very popular, and it vanished when the smaller engine was withdrawn after the 2005 model year.
While the X-Type was by far the best-selling Jaguar model during the years it was on sale, it never lived up to the company's hopes for it. In part, that was because the smallest Jaguar faced a pair of challenges. First, it was hardly spacious inside. While listed as a five-passenger car, only four adults could fit in comfort, and rear-seat passengers had to bargain hard with front-seat riders to obtain adequate room for knees and legs. The rear door openings were particularly small, and the tapered roofline limited rear headroom as well.
Second, because it was based on underpinnings provided by the company's then-owner Ford, the X-Type shared running gear and suspension parts with the mass-market European Ford Mondeo--meaning it was the first transverse-engine Jaguar sedan, and the first based on a front-wheel-drive platform. As a result, not only was the X-Type cramped, it was heavy and not as refined as buyers expected. Its handling and roadholding, while adequate, was far less lithe than that of the larger, more refined Jaguar sedans on which the company had built its reputation. And reviewers criticized the interior, which mixed traditional Jaguar elements--wood veneers, leather upholstery, and restrained use of chrome--with large swathes of molded plastic and mundane switchgear from the Ford parts bin.
More than 100,000 X-Types were sold in the U.S. over its seven-year life, but that was accomplished only through heavy discounting and incentives. For at least a couple of years, the Jaguar X-Type had the regrettable distinction of being the single model sold in the U.S. that lost most value in its first three years of ownership.