Jaguar X-Type Review

Find out more about the Jaguar X-Type in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Very comfortable and refined
  • Good handling
  • Looks like a luxury car

Cons

  • Cheap interior
  • Cramped rear
  • Plagued with mechanical problems
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model Review

The X-Type was Jaguar’s re-entry into the compact executive class after a lengthy absence. A class many of the X-Type’s rivals, such as the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series, had dominated for numerous years. Co-developed alongside Ford, during the time when Jaguar was owned by the company, the X-Type was based on the same platform as the Mondeo.

The X-Type was launched in the Summer of 2001, the estate variant following in 2004 – the X-Type Estate being the first estate ever manufactured by the company. The saloon was initially available only as a 2.5 or 3.0-litre V6 petrol, a smaller petrol engine being launched later in the year. It was not until 2003 when a diesel became available; what most buyers had been looking for since the cars initial release.

A facelifted X-Type was revealed in 2007, deliveries being made in 2008. Whilst Jaguar altered the lights, added a new 2.2-litre diesel engine and also a new six-speed automatic gearbox, it was not enough to rectify dwindling sales of the outdated model. Slow sales meant the X-Type would cease production at the end of 2009. 350,000 X-Types would be made at Jaguar’s Halewood plant in the cars eight years of production.

Value for Money

When new, the X-Type was well priced alongside the likes of the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series, the X-Type’s main rivals. Starting at just under £20,000 and rising to £31,000 for the top-of the range 3.0-litre V6 petrol. While the B6 Audi A4 may have started at just over the £18,000 mark, the A4 was offered with smaller engines, therefore making the model cheaper.

On first impression, used X-Types appear to be excellent value for money. Not being as popular or desirable as its German counterparts, the X-Type never held onto its value particularly well, meaning that the X-Type makes a great used buy – if bought wisely. X-Types start at just £400, although most are ‘spares or repair’ at this price. Even those with less than 70,000 miles, which appear to be in good condition, can be had for just over £1,000.

However, X-Types are renowned for their reliability woes. They need to be bought carefully, and it is highly recommended you take someone in the know, if ever purchasing one. They, like most things, are often cheap for a reason and shouldn’t be forgotten.

The V6 engines are notoriously poor for their fuel economy, failing to reach 30mpg even in their claimed figures. The diesels are the best option, the 2.0-litre Mondeo derived engine managing 48mpg. The gearbox choice also needs to be picked carefully as an X-Type equipped with the 2.2-litre diesel engine with the automatic gearbox is £45 more expensive to tax per year than its manual counterpart.

Depreciation should not be a concern either, there is little more money for the X-Type to lose. The key concern regarding value for money is the price of repairs. A well maintained X-Type needing little more than regular servicing will be a fine financial option. However, an X-Type riddled with problems will ultimately be little more than just a money pit.

Looks and image

The X-Type is a particularly marmite-looking car.

The distinctive traditional Jaguar styling divides opinion hugely. The X-Type also did little to solve Jaguar’s ‘old country gentlemen’ image problem.

Compared to more modern looking saloons such as the Audi A4 at the time, the X-Type already looked a bit dated even before the first ones rolled out of Jaguar showrooms.

The key fundamental behind the X-Type’s lackluster design is that not enough money was ever plugged into the product. The X-Type was, at most, a re-bodied Mondeo. Not only did a lack of development hinder the engineering, but also the overall design.

The X-Type should have been the car to change Jaguar’s image, but it quite possibly did the opposite. It was not until 2008 when the XF brought about the image change Jaguar drastically needed.

While the Ian Callum designed Estate variant definitely added some much-needed flair to the X-type model range, it was still not enough to alter the X-Type’s below par image.

Space and practicality

Despite the X-Type’s size, inside the interior is surprisingly cramped for a supposedly executive car.

Tall drivers may struggle to get comfortable in the X-Type, although this also applies to other compact executives in this class, such as the BMW 3-Series. Rear space also is cramped, although, again this is something A4 and 3-Series owners have complained about.

As for the Estate model, unsurprisingly it fares better in this category. Jaguar claimed the X-Type Estate had the most capacious load area in the estate class, although this is not too much of an achievement as the 3-Series Touring and A4 Avant were both known for being un-estate-like at this time for their lack of boot space.

As for safety, the X-Type did not do as well as expected in the rigorous EuroNCAP tests. EuroNCAP themselves described the results as a “little disappointing”. Whilst still receiving a four-star safety rating overall, with particularly good child safety, the X-Type received a dire one-star rating for pedestrian safety.

Space and practicality

Despite the X-Type’s size, inside the interior is surprisingly cramped for a supposedly executive car.

Tall drivers may struggle to get comfortable in the X-Type, although this also applies to other compact executives in this class, such as the BMW 3-Series. Rear space also is cramped, although, again this is something A4 and 3-Series owners have complained about.

As for the Estate model, unsurprisingly it fares better in this category. Jaguar claimed the X-Type Estate had the most capacious load area in the estate class, although this is not too much of an achievement as the 3-Series Touring and A4 Avant were both known for being un-estate-like at this time for their lack of boot space.

As for safety, the X-Type did not do as well as expected in the rigorous EuroNCAP tests. EuroNCAP themselves described the results as a “little disappointing”. Whilst still receiving a four-star safety rating overall, with particularly good child safety, the X-Type received a dire one-star rating for pedestrian safety.

Engines

When first launched, surprisingly and somewhat unusually, the X-Type was only available in petrol form.

A 2.5 or 3.0-litre V6 petrol were only offered initially. The former having 194bhp and the latter having 231bhp. The same year, Jaguar released a smaller 2.1-litre 157bhp petrol engine, all be it still a V6.

In 2003 there was finally the introduction of a diesel engine, the economical (to an extent) 2.0-litre diesel with 128bhp, and averaging nearly 50mpg. A 2.2-litre diesel would also be launched, the pick of the range. With 152bhp and averaging 47mpg, this engine was and still is the one to go for. Unsurprisingly, because of this variant’s popularity when new, this model remains the most expensive choice of the X-Type range.

Running Costs

This particularly is where X-Types need to be chosen exceptionally carefully on the used market. A bad X-Type is a very easy way to lose money.

The V6 petrol engines, as you would expect, are poor on fuel. Failing to return even 30mpg, and costing £280 a year to tax, or a whopping £475 in VED if registered after March 2006. It is therefore unsurprising that these bigger engines remain the cheapest on the used market.

The diesels are definitely the best option, returning between 41 and 48mpg dependent on engine and gearbox. The automatic gearbox in the 2.2-diesel dampens fuel efficiency significantly. Compared to the manual gearbox in this engine variant, it returns 4mpg worse fuel economy and also will cost £45 more per year to tax. Because of this, gearbox choice is fundamental when thinking about the running costs of an X-Type.

Servicing costs can also be costly. Whilst it is not expected for X-Types of this age to go to a Jaguar main dealer for a service, costs there vary between £350 and £450 depending on the scale of the service. The main running costs relate to the common costly repairs, which riddle X-Types, particularly early cars. Clutch problems are particularly costly, common and are likely to be very expensive to sort.

The X-Type appears in relatively high insurance groups, particularly the V6 petrol engines. The 3.0-litre V6 is particularly expensive to insure, being in insurance group 38. While the diesels are slightly better, even the basic 2.0-litre diesel is in insurance group 30, rising to 34 for the 2.2-litre diesel.

Things to look out for

The X-Type is notoriously problematic.

One of the main problems with the X-Type is clutch failures, which are notoriously costly. The ZF-built gearbox is also widely unreliable, as well as also being costly to repair. Dual-mass flywheel failures are also very common on the 2.2-litre diesel engine, so that is something which particularly has to be looked out for.

Uneven tire wear is also a common problem which needs to be looked at. Finally, any potential owners should be aware of early and late model cars, both of which suffer from significant quality issues.

Ultimately, a well-kept and maintained X-Type should be relatively unproblematic. However, choose badly and a bad X-Type can be a nightmare of a purchase.

Rivals

The compact executive class the X-Type was pitched towards is a hugely competitive class, which German manufacturers dominate.

The BMW 3-Series is perhaps the X-Type’s main rival, and the one which Jaguar directly aimed its new model against. The 3-Series is probably the better option. While it may be more expensive, it is a far superior car to drive, the best in its class. It also offers a better range of more efficient engines, something the X-Type lacks.

Another rival is the Audi A4, both the B6 and B7 derivatives are excellent alternatives. The A4 has an interior that oozes quality, and the VAG TDI engines, which feature in the A4, are some of the best around. These are both factors which let the X-Type down because of its under-development and close connections to the Mondeo.

Other rivals include the Mercedes C-Class. It is best to choose the model released in 2007 as the previous model was particularly troublesome. More oddball rivals include the Lexus IS and Saab 9-3.

Depreciation

All but the latest of X-Type models have lost most of their initial value. Most X-Types are now under the £5,000 mark, with many far less, meaning that they cannot lose too much more value. All you can do is pity those who bought X-Types initially, and helplessly watched their values tumble. Buy a good X-Type and use this to your advantage.

Summary

  1. Available in saloon and better-looking Estate form
  2. Estate model not released until 2004
  3. Buy wisely, a mechanical inspection is highly recommended
  4. Many parts shared with the Mondeo
  5. Old-fashioned and outdated looks and interior
  6. High tax and fuel costs on the petrol engines
  7. 3-Series and A4 are better cars
  8. Complex and lengthy trim level options
  9. Early and late cars are often problematic and of low quality
  10. Prices used from just £500, but buy cheap at your peril

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