My previous car was a 1997 BMW 523 SE, which I had from new and sold two months ago, so this is what I am making my comparison against.
The acceleration is faster which surprised me, being a diesel. The driver's seat is more comfortable, the ride is as good if not better, and the fuel economy is a lot better. The access is better with the memory seat setting, and build quality is as good.
Speed control is a one-button activation as opposed to the BMW's two. The distance sensors were confusing to begin, with but I wouldn't do without them now.
Boot room not as good, nor is the rear passenger leg and head room, and the front of the car is not as attractive.
You detect the racing pedigree in the S-type R. You are at one with the steering and the communication is clear and unperturbed. The massive Jaguar discs do their jobs efficiently and the whine of the supercharger takes you into another dimension.
Essentially a great car but let down by poor packaging. It's cramped inside, especially for rear passengers who'll have neck/leg-ache by the end of the journey. Jaguar need to improve their seats, more padding and support please. Spring-clip ashtrays on a 50k car, come on Jaguar, we notice this. The fuel flap wouldn't close properly at the petrol station so I gave it a gentle push with the palm of my hand. Guess what, a plastic spring-loaded lug that holds the flap snapped and I left the station with a flapping flap, not cool. The plastic used on this is too brittle and too small. Rummage around in the parts bin by all means, but don't use Ford parts!
This is a tremendous performance car to drive with great seats for long distances in comfort.
However, my dealer experience has been mixed and not to the standard of BMW dealers in sevice levels. I believe extended warranty costs are excessive.
I drive the x/2001 plate S-type on a daily basis and I can honestly find no faults with any aspect of this at all.
Personally I can't drive it enough. I would not hesitate to upgrade but would go for the v8 sport version, not that there is anything wrong with the available power at the kick of the pedal of my current model.
I do find the acceleration to be much quicker in normal drive mode than in sport mode, which I now rarely use for this reason alone.
Great for long journeys with plenty of comfort and still feeling Ok after 400/500 miles.
Bit on the expensive side but prices are coming down. Buy one!
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