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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The X-type's ride and handling are excellent, and it's cheaper than its rivals

Against It's less exciting to drive than a 3 Series, and rear accommodation and boot space are cramped

Verdict Low prices and a good drive make it a real alternative to a BMW 3 Series

Go for… 2.0D Sport

Avoid… 3.0 V6

Jaguar X-type Saloon
  • 1. The most common problems are with the suspension and transmission on early cars
  • 2. Owners report electrical problems, including some issues with the keys
  • 3. Rattling steering is a known problem, and can be expensive to fix
  • 4. There's plenty of space in the front, with good adjustment on the driver's seat and steering wheel
  • 5. The boot is shallow and awkwardly shaped
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Jaguar X-type Saloon full review with expert trade views

The X-type is based on the Ford Mondeo, but crucially none of what you see or touch is obviously Ford, so it feels like a real Jag.

X-type owners get the best bit of the Mondeo - the fabulous blend of ride and handling - but in something that looks and feels every inch a Jaguar. The end result is a fine drive, although it's not quite as sporting as, say, the BMW 3 Series.

The cabin, too, has a distinctly Jaguar feel to it, with wood and leather on some trim levels. However, you can get a more modern look with Sport trim.

There's plenty of space in the front, with good adjustment on the driver's seat and steering wheel. However, the roofline limits headroom in the back and the boot is shallow and awkwardly shaped.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Increasing numbers in the market, so prices dropping even popular 2.0 D

James Ruppert
Used car guru

It may not be the quickest, but the best engine in the X-type range is the 2.0-litre diesel introduced in 2003. Refined, punchy and capable of over 40mpg, it perfectly suits the X-type's relatively relaxed drive.

Like the 2.0-litre petrol models, it has front-wheel drive, rather than the 2.5 and 3.0 V6s' four-wheel drive, but that's not a problem most of the time. In fact, with the two most powerful models, you're more likely to be astounded by the high fuel bills than by their extra traction.

The 2.5 and 3.0 V6s are fine engines, but they're best avoided unless you desperately need four-wheel drive.

There's no shortage of equipment on even the most basic model, so there's no great point shelling out for one of the more expensive versions. However, if you do fancy stepping up, you have two options: Sport gives you bigger alloys, more aggressive looks and a sharper drive, while SE adds more luxury.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates with higher than average bills, but good reliability overall

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

Residuals aren't as strong as its rivals, so an X-type is cheaper to buy than the equivalent used Audi, BMW or Mercedes.

The cheapest 2.0-litre models are in group 13 or 14 insurance, with the most expensive 3.0 versions in group 16 - that's pretty much on a par with rivals from BMW and Mercedes.

Fuel economy for the 2.0 diesel engine, too, is a match for its rivals, returning up to 50mpg. A 2.2-litre diesel introduced in 2005 returns 47mpg.

The 2.0-litre V6 petrol is next best, but lags behind four-cylinder rivals and returns no more than 30mpg. The 2.5 and 3.0 are less efficient still, but closer to their rivals.

Maintenance, too, looks dear. Labour rates at both franchised dealers and independents are among the highest.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Increasing numbers in the market, so prices dropping even popular 2.0 D

James Ruppert
Used car guru

While Jaguars have performed badly in recent reliability surveys, the X-type is the best of the breed.

According to figures from Warranty Direct, its reliability is better than average, and well ahead of the XJ, XK and S-type. However, when things do go wrong, they take a lot of time and money to put right - certainly more than contemporary Audi A4s, BMW 3-series or Mercedes C-class.

On the positive side, cars from 2003 onwards are much improved, but the most common problems are with the suspension and transmission, responsible for more than half the claims recorded by Warranty Direct.

In particular, owners have reported problems with whining transmissions, rattling steering and clutch failure. However, these are most common on early cars.

The impression from the reader reviews on whatcar.com is basically positive. Most like their cars, although several complain about high running costs and some have had electrical problems, including some issues with the keys.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates with higher than average bills, but good reliability overall

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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