The launch of the midsize Jaguar XE last year has resulted in added interest in the Jaguar X-Type.

When it was introduced in Australia in September, 2001, the X-Type was criticised as “being nothing more than a Ford Mondeo with a different body”.

Which was partially true, as Ford, which controlled Jaguar at the time, was aiming for a relatively low-cost upmarket British car.

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But there were major differences.

The Jag had a completely different shape, with a wide grille and quad-headlights similar to the larger Jaguars. The X-Type’s best areas are inside, including its traditional leather-and-timber finish.

Best of all, the X-Type feels like a Jaguar thanks to its comfortable suspension and silky, light steering.

The X-Type is relatively small and really only provides seating for four. Legroom isn’t too bad in the back seat but headroom may cause hassles for anyone of above average height.

Keep in mind that Jaguars are sporting sedans, not cruising saloons – so this sort of seating style makes sense.

All-wheel drive X-Types come with a V6 petrol engine of 2.5 or 3.0 litres. The front-drive models have a 2.1-litre V6 (confusingly badged as a 2.0-litre to dodge some sort of road tax in the UK).

Jaguar introduced a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel X-Type in June, 2008. While there’s is some turbo lag off the line, especially at low revs, once it has reached its cruising speed its a great, economical unit.

What to look for

  • Look over the body for signs of panel damage or repairs. The latter may show up as mismatched paint colours and/or tiny specks of paint on unpainted surfaces such as glass.
  • Look for fading and/or cracking of the dashboard top and the rear shelf caused by long-term exposure to the sun.
  • Be sure the engine starts promptly, even in diesel format, and settles down to a smooth idle straight away.
  • Listen and feel for any hesitation in an automatic transmission and/or one that’s seems to change gears too often.
  • Jaguar X-Types are complex machines so a full inspection from a professional should be regarded as essential.
  • Check the interior for evidence of damage caused by harsh use.

 
 By Ewen Kennedy, Marque Automotive News