With X-Type, Jaguar went stalking sales in the prestige compact sedan market hoping to get their corporate claws into the spoils shared largely by Mercedes, BMW and Audi.
More affordable than other Jags, and with all-wheel-drive or, horror-of-horrors, front-drive, it was a radical change from the luxury British breed’s rear-drive traditions.
From 2002 the new entry level X-Type was the 2.1-litre front-wheel-drive model, joining its larger engine capacity, all-paw siblings released the year before. It shared the same all-alloy AJ V6, albeit with shortened stroke to derive its smaller capacity.
The then company owner, Ford, raided their Mondeo parts bins to develop X-Type, while endeavouring to retain traditional Jaguar look, feel and refinement.
Specifications and model designation varied according to year, and later versions offering upgraded equipment levels and cosmetic changes. Standard items on all models included eight airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, alloys, air conditioning, leather trim and timber panelling. There were plentiful luxury options too. Dynamic stability control wasn’t standard until July 2007.
Engine-wise, it’s the runt of the pedigree litter with the smallest displacement of any Jaguar to-date. On the road it shows, with the V6’s low and mid-range torque deficit and a kerb mass around 1500kg making for performance that doesn’t get a wholehearted roar of approval. If worked hard for best progress, expect fuel economy to suffer.
The most popular gearbox is the five-speed auto, though earlier base models could be had with five-speed manual. Traditionally plush ride, precise handling and comfortable seating best limited to four, complete the picture.
It’s the Jag for ‘beer pocket champagne taste’ buyers, so used cars that haven’t been carefully serviced and maintained are common – avoid them, they’ll prove expensive and nastier than anything the cat could drag in.
Common costly problems include leaking water pumps, cracking coolant reservoirs, worn sway bar and suspension bushes, noisy front strut top mounts, oil leaks (especially sump gaskets), and lifting dash vents. Check autos for proper operation and shifting without flare. A reconditioned box is about $7500. Make sure the ventilation, heater and air conditioning all works as intended too – repairs can be expensive.
Under the pump
X-Type 2.1 will use between 7.4 litres and 14.5 litres of premium (95 RON) fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.
What will it cost?
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to CD's online car price guide or our Car review Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.
BMW 320i 2005 - 2009
Rear wheel drive, renowned sporty chassis dynamics suits keener drivers. Taut ride. 115kW and 200Nm from 2.0-litre, 4 cyl engine. Responsive engine but chassis deserves more brawn. Choice of 6-speed auto or manual. Dynamic stability control standard.
Audi A4 2002 – 2009
High quality finish, smooth and comfortable. 2.0-litre non-turbo or, depending on year, beefier 1.8-litre turbo engine. Slick CVT, five-speed or six-speed manual models. Front drive and Quattro (AWD) versions. Standard stability control.
Mercedes Benz C180K and C200K Classic 2002 – 2008
W203 and W204 series in year range. Rear wheel drive.1.8-litre supercharged 4 cyl, offers reasonable performance, blower helps compensate for small capacity. Stability control standard. Later W204 series feel more solid, more dynamic.