Car Test   R0276
October 2002
  Jaguar X-Type
Printer Friendly Page Featured model: 2.0 SE
Anyone who has always thought that Jaguars were only for the gentry can take heart Ė Browns Lane is now producing a motor for the masses. Itís achieved by giving the X-Type a transverse 2.1-litre version of Jaguarís V6 engine and simply using front-wheel drive Ė a first for the company, incidentally.
   So now we can choose to spend our £20k on, say, a bottom-of-the-range Volvo S60, a top-spec Mondeo or this X-Type Ė which (say it quietly) shares many of the Fordís underpinnings. And they all come from the same corporate group, of course.
   Itís a handsome car to many eyes, but those curvaceous sports saloon looks come at a price. Mind your head when getting in and remember to usher your more agile passengers to the back. Here they sit on the firmish, rather upright seat with ample kneeroom, but with unimpressive leg-stretching space and headroom. Cosseted theyíre not; there isnít even a centre armrest to counter sideways-g forces.
   The front seats are better, contending with most shapes and sizes and giving a well-tailored driving position, thanks, in the test carís case, to the ten-way electric adjustments (a £900 option) and also the fully adjustable steering wheel. The driverís left leg rubs uncomfortably against the centre console, however, and we would have appreciated a footrest beside the clutch.
   The V6 engine is a delightfully smooth and quiet operator that pulls with ease and affability from very low revs. This two-litre X is no fiery feline, though. Rev it beyond 4000rpm and itís a brisk enough performer, but a feeling of restricted breathing seems to hold it back, with the result that itís easily out-accelerated by rivals of similar power, on paper.
   That engine smoothness isnít matched by a less-than-silky gearshift and an abrupt clutch, if your left foot is at all clumsy.
   Except when displaying a hint of float over long undulations, the suspension feels superbly composed on well-surfaced main roads. However, on sharp-edged faults at lower speeds it reacts with firm suddenness. Impeccable cornering manners complement the ride, thanks mostly to steering that has consistent, nicely judged power assistance. And, better still, itís uncorrupted by those banes of some powerful front-wheel drive cars, tramp, torque steer and tramlining.
   Cloth seat trim gives way to leather on SE and Sport models, but all boast a polished birdís eye maple facia for that classic English interior look. Although the car is generously endowed with safety and security features, the options list reveals that youíre likely to pay well over list price, once items such as a folding back seat, a sunroof, a full-size spare wheel and metallic paint have been added. Our car was laden with £8000 worth of extras!
  considering size, price and rivals
Overtaking Ability
Fuel Economy
Security, theft of
theft from
  • wood and leather maintain Jaguar tradition
  • single extra sweep after wash/wipe
  • clear dials, with speedo marked 30, 50, 70 etc
  • neat dial dimmer/beam trimmer controls
  • optional electric lumbar adjuster spot on
  • some warning lights tiny
  • prominent rear headrests can't be removed
  • ignition keyhole not illuminated
  • no front drinks holders
  • heavy interior door release levers
In spite of unimpressive performance and economy, and only an adequately accommodating interior (an old Jaguar trait), the 2-litre X-Type has plenty of what it takes to be a serious rival to the German opposition. Indeed, downsized in price and body though it is, this impressively built and well-engineered budget model is almost all you would expect of a Jaguar. Never mind the width, feel the quality.

engine 2099cc, V6-cylinder, petrol; 157bhp at 6800rpm, 148 lb ft at 4100rpm; chain-driven double overhead camshafts, 24 valves   transmission 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive; 22.3mph/1000rpm in 5th, 17.1 in 4th
suspension front: independent MacPherson coil spring/damper struts, lower links, anti-roll bar
rear: independent multi-link, trailing arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
  steering hydraulic power assistance; 2.7 turns lock-to-lock; 10.8m diameter turning circle between kerbs (14.5m for one turn of the wheel)
brakes ventilated discs front, solid discs rear, with electronic anti-lock and brake force distribution controls plus traction control   wheels/tyres 6.5in alloy with 205/55R16V tyres (Pirelli P3000 on test car); temporary use spare (full-size alloy optional)

size and type upper-medium (premium-priced) 4-door saloon   trim levels standard, SE, Sport
engines petrol: V6 cyl/2.1 litre/157bhp, V6/2.5/196bhp, V6/3.0/231
diesel: none
  drive 2.0: front-wheel drive, 2.5 and 3.0: four-wheel drive; 5-speed manual (optional 5-speed stepped automatic with J-gate manual override)

JAGUAR X-TYPE engine (cyl/cc/bhp) revs at 70mph (rpm) 30-70 through gears (sec) 30-70mph in 4th/5th gears (sec) fuel (mpg/CO2) brakes from 50mph (kg/m) maximum legroom - front (cm) typical leg/kneeroom - rear (cm) steering turns/circle (m) overall length (cm)
Jaguar X-Type 2.0 SE 6/2099/157 3140 10.3 17.8/26.0 29/219 18/25.5 110 100/75 2.7/10.8 467
Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 T Spark 4/1970/155 3310 7.8 15.7/22.6 31/202 22/26 106 95/76 2.2/11.4 443
BMW 318i SE 4/1995/143 3290 9.0 15.8/20.4 36/188 17/24 112 100/76 2.9/10.3 447
Mercedes-Benz C200K 4/1998/163 2820 8.0 12.6/16.8 30.5/228 19/23 118 98/75 2.9/10.4 453
Skoda Superb 1.8 T 4/1781/150 3020 8.2 14.9/20.1 34/199 13/26.5 109 107/85 2.8/11.4 480
Volvo S60 T S 5/1984/180 2880 8.4 15.3/20.0 30/218 16/25 115 98/73 3.0/11.5 458

Clutch too heavy, accelerator too light, gearchange a tad notchy. Some readouts not clear in bright light and optional touch-screen "switches" distracting. Rear view hindered by fixed headrests; parking sensors needed.
Chassis ably engineered to dial out front-wheel drive effect and eliminate torque steer. Mid-weight, fluid steering and tenacious tyre grip with controlled roll make balanced X-Type eager and agile through bends.
Quiet, insulated progress on fast, open roads, where ride is excellent, but low-speed firmness gives harsh reaction to potholes. Firm, upright back seats lack cosiness, and a centre armrest costs an extra £100!

Smooth, hushed and delightfully flexible engine, but needs high revs to spur it into action; even then it lacks the accelerative urge of its rivals. Particularly short on top gear go, but cruises masterfully on motorways.
  acceleration in seconds through gears 3rd gear 4th gear 5th gear
  20-40mph 3.6 6.1 9.0 13.7
  30-50mph 4.1 5.9 8.6 12.3
  40-60mph 4.5 6.0 8.8 12.5
  50-70mph 6.2 6.4 9.2 13.7
  30-70mph 10.3 12.3 17.8 26.0
  max speed in each gear (* using 6750rpm for best acceleration)
     gear      1st*      2nd*      3rd*      4th      5th
     speed (mph)      37      60      86      115      131 (5880rpm)

At 29mpg overall, the Jag is outshone here by the opposition, particularly the frugal MBW 318i and its lean CO² figure. Mpg in mid-30s possible - if you're gentle. Optional trip computer mpg near-accurate. Easy-filler.
    AA test results (mpg)  
    worst (hard/urban) 19  
    best (gentle/rural) 37  
    overall mpg 29  
    realistic tank capacity 56litres  
    realistic tank range 360miles  
    official figures (mpg)
    urban 22.2
    extra urban 39.6
    combined 30.7
    CO2 emissions 219g/km
    car tax band E

Curtain airbags front and rear. Brakes good, but not outstanding; pedal feels spongy and pads not fully fade-free. Effective traction control standard. Optional cold-climate packs(s) gives added winter safety.
  from 50mph (with ABS and EBD)
This model has not yet been
tested by EURO NCAP
pedal load     stopping distance
unhurried 10kg     30.5m
sudden 18kg     25.5m best stop
+ 4kg 22kg     26m ABS on
fade resistance/consistency    
Euro NCAP = European New Car Assessment Programme: independent crash safety tests evaluating protection for occupants and pedestrians in an offset frontal collision, side impacts and pedestrian strike conditions
click here for more NCAP details/test results etc.

X-Type is a snug fit - as though you're wearing it. Plenty of legroom up front, but rear space only adequate, and centre hump intrudes despite FWD. Useful length to shallow boot, but a folding back seat is £300 more.
  in centimetres (4-door saloon)
  length 467
  width - including mirrors 200
    - mirrors folded 183
  height 139
  load sill height (inside/outside) 15/69
  turns lock-to-lock 2.7
  turning circle (metres) 10.8
  easy to park/garage?
  front - legroom 88-110
    - headroom 90-97ß
  rear - typical legroom 100
    - typical kneeroom 75
    - headroom 91
    - hiproom 127
  load areanull
  load space (all seats in use)(litres/cu ft) 417/14.7
  load length 103-186
  load length to facia no
  load width 109-113
  load height 35-39
ß no sunroof

central locking  
remote control  
remote window closing  
alarm (perimeter + interior)  
self-locking (static + drive off)   
two-stage unlocking   
attack-resistant glass   
see-me-home headlights   
AA load area security rating
=standard    =option    =not available
NCSR - "theft of"
NCSR - "theft from"
NCSR = New Car Security Ratings: a 1 to 5 star system which rates anti-theft protection, both of the car itself and the theft of valuables from within the car
Visit for more details
© The Automobile Association Limited 2019