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You are in the Jaguar X-Type
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Jaguar X-Type, Sedan
Jun 26, 2003 (10:08 am)
This is kind of off topic, so I hope I'm not annoying anyone by posting it.
Yesterday, I went to the Jag dealership to check out the current lineup of cars and see what was new with all the various models. I was especially looking at the latest XJ8, since it stands the best chance of becoming the next car to join the family lineup soon. It was very very nice, and all of the mechanical pieces, such as the door latches and trunklatch, had a certain feel to them that was quite upscale feeling. It has more chrome and brightwork highlighting thin pieces of the interior too, and the outside isn't bad looking either, though it still is not as young or sleek looking compared to the X-type, still keeping its rather upright pillars and squared corners. The lowest price I could find on the lot was about $60,000 (a silver one with ivory interior), and the highest price was $75,000 (a black on black XJR with natural wood stain and chrome, as opposed to the grey with body colored trim).
After looking at the XJ's in great detail, I decided to compare them with the X-types sitting next to them.
While the new XJ has grown significantly upward and a little bit in every direction (it's a large car now), I was surprised to see how large the X-type still looked even next to the XJ. You can tell that the X-type is a smaller car, but it doesn't look all that much smaller and in fact holds its own in style and presence next to the largest Jaguar sedan. I was expecting to almost be let-down by the X-type, which starts at less than half the price of a new base XJ8, but instead I was pleasantly surprised at how good the two family members looked by each others' side. The front ends of the cars are identical in theme, with the X-type's sportier, wedgier profile causing its front end to appear lower to the ground as if it were about to pounce. The XJ retains a rather flat front end; the X-type's is curved. The XJ has round lights (that are actually ellipses like the X-type, but not nearly to the same degree); the X-type's ellipses look athletic as if the car has been traveling at high speeds and everything was slightly swooped back. I liked how chrome surrounded the entire window area of the XJ, as opposed to the X-type's trim, which only goes around the top of the windows, but the 2004 X-type (these were 2003's) will follow the XJ more closely in more than one way, and window trim that surrounds the entire window area is one way. I've found the side profiles of Jaguars to be their least beautiful angle, at least while they are parked. Seeing one in motion from the side is quite stunning to my eyes, but parked, I don't care for the look. The X-type's wedge profile I like better than the bland rectangular shape of the XJ. The old one curved down near the rear as the S-type does, but this new one really is just a rectangle from the side. The X-type looks more muscular, with the arches over the rear wheels being more pronounced than on the XJ, which also has them, but much lesser ones. The XJ's sides are also kind of flat; the X-type's bow outward with muscle starting from the base of the windows, and then arch inward lower down, much more like an XK. The X-type is a much more sculpted car overall. At the rear, the X-type's lights look longer than they are tall, and follow the XK's look. The XJ's lights are tall "D"'s. The XJ gets large twin tailpipes like those of what I call the Series I S-types (2000 - 2002 models) that are unchromed; the X-type has elliptical twin pipes that are much smaller, following suit of the 2003 S-type, and they are flashier chrome. I wouldn't mind larger tips on the X-type, which I think would enhance the look, but I like the chrome that the X-type pipes have over the regular unpolished metal color of the XJ pipes. Oh yeah, there was rust on the XJ's mufflers (they aren't aluminum). Finally, the X-type's rear end bows inward as it goes back, following the traditional backend look of the Jaguars. The S-type was criticized a bit for having a rear end that does not bow in very much (it does, but not nearly as much as the X-type's), and the XJ seems to follow the S-type in having a less accentuated bow. I'm surprised it hasn't been derided yet for such a thing. The X-type's tail also slopes downward in the Jaguar tradition, where as the XJ's is now quite tall, following its high beltline.
You remember I noted the latches of the XJ feeling very upscale. Well, aparently, Jaguar has replaced those of the X-type with the same ones in the new XJ, because the X-type's doors and trunk have the same feel now. My own X-type has a solid thunk to the doors, but these new X-types have latches that almost seem to grab the door or trunklid and pull them in, instead of having to be pushed all the way in by the person closing the door or lid. The feel is almost hard to describe, but very pleasant. I wounldn't mind fitting my own X-type with such latches... And so, I ented the cabin of the topaz $39,000 X-type next to the $65,000 midnight blue 2004 XJ I was just sitting in...
The X-type lacks as much interior brightwork as is found within the new XJ, but so does the XK-Series and S-type. If you'll remeber, the previous XJ has no interior chrome save for but in a few little places - it doesn't even have any on the part of the air vents you touch to adjust the angle of the flow - the X-type's cabin is actually nicer overall than the old XJ's both in fit and design, and Jaguar just seems to add more and more brightwork to the interiors of its cars. X-type's cabin also is moderately smaller than the new XJ's (it is larger than the old XJ's though), but I was surprised to find myself feeling that while the new XJ's cabin was larger thanks to the car itself being larger, it was not a huge upgrade in interior space compared with the X-type. Indeed, the same is true of the trunks, with the X-type having a 16 cubic foot trunk, and the XJ having a 16.2 cubic foot trunk - the interior seems to follow by having an equivalent ratio of more space, which is not so much more. The X-type feels very much like a slightly scaled down XJ, really - these newest ones even more so than my own early model (consider what I am saying here - you know how in love I am with my own car!) I was also surprised to find that the X-type aparently has about the same amount of wood throughout its cabin as the XJ. Yes, the XJ has a little bit more since it is wider in total car dimensions, and because the pattern on the doors allows for a little bit more. But from the pictures of the interior of the XJ I had seen and the knowlege I had had from sitting in my own X-type before, I believed the XJ was going to have much more wood than it actually does. You can actually see that the XJ has about the same amount of interior wood as the X-type, and S-type as well, thanks to the instrument cluster. Remember that the older version of the car had circles cut into the wood
Jun 26, 2003 (10:09 am)
with the gauges recessed into them. Jaguar was going to do the same for the X-type and S-type, but found that the wood areas, thanks to their sizes and the sizes of the new Jaguar dials, would look awkward that way, and simply cut one viewing area in to the wood and then inset all of the gauges. The new XJ follows suit. It's also more cramped inside than the pictures let on. I prefer the instrumentation in the XJ to the X-type, which is a minor thing, but important nonetheless. Jaguar is fitting the 2004 X-types with new instrumentation though, and it will be more like the XJ's. I also like the steeringwheel shape (the area that holds the airbag and horn) in the XJ better than that of the X-type. It may be changed over in the 2004 version of the X-type. Both had beautiful wood on them, which I also wouldn't mind fitting on my eary car's steering wheel - it's been done on other early X-types and early XJ's before. The gowler badge of the XJ steering wheel is slightly 3-D where as the X-type's is flat. I can't decide which one looks cheaper, but I think the almost cartoon like XJ's let me down the most; the X-type's at least is flat; hopefully Jaguar will do something about these badges, which to me are the only let downs in the cabins of these cars.
The areas where the sunroof, garage door, and front map lighting controls are located are identical betweent the X-type and XJ, but the XJ has a thin felt-like material covering the plastic that surrounds the black buttons and a sunglass holder that folds down (I tell you those kinds of sunglass holders are useless - it's the same kind as found in our Expedition and none of the sunglasses I've owned, from Okley to you name it, will fit in them. They didn't fit in our old XJ either, and they don't fit in the new one). I'm a bit worried that the felt covering the outside would rub off with too much touching (kind of like the black felt inside the sunglass holder located down and to the left of the X-type's steering wheel - mine hasn't rubbed off, but some people have reported it has in their cars). Those so-called by cinics "Ford" window buttons and climate and radio buttons are identical between the new XJ and X-type; in fact, every button from mirror adjustment contols to radio/integrated phone mute buttons were identical. I like them. The "piano black" plastic that surrounds the radio and climate control buttons in the XJ is nice, but it quickly becomes horribly covered in fingerprints and looks to scratch very easily too. I like its look when clean and prestine better than the newest X-type's gray and slightly metallic material in terms of classis aesthetic appeal (probably because it is shiny - really, that's the reason), but the X-type's is undoubtably more durable and is trying to appeal to a more youthful appearance with a slightly metallic gray color. They may change it over to "piano black" in the 2004 model, and I hope they do. What it has now though, is not nearly as bad as the fimsy black or gray plastic found in BMW's or the the offensively cheap (wannabe) "aluminum-look" center console of some Infiniti/Nissan cars. Overall, the dash is a fit for the size of the X-type scale model of the dash in the XJ, and though there are minor differences, such as the glovebox release buttons, the interior themes are identical.
From the backseat, the X-type is a little bit more cramped than the XJ, but also much better than the S-type; and all of them are lightyears ahead of the XK's "backseat". The rear seats of the XJ feel a little plusher in the amount of cushioning that they have, where as the X-type keeps more of a sport-sedan, European feel to its rear seats. Headroom in the XJ's rear is nice, but I found no reason to complain about the X-type's headroom either (and that's at a little over 6 feet tall BTW). I am eager to try out the new seats to be had in the 2004 X-type though, as they are supposed to be so able to accomidate the human figure that the headrests themselves have something around six different angles of movement. The 2004 X-type will also have at least 3 memory saves for front seating positions, and front-end parking sensors like those of the Vanden Plas and some S-Class Mercedes models.
The ride of the newest XJ8 is softer than the X-type's, and you also know you are in a larger car. It was really smooth, but not so magic carpet-like as the outgoing XJ model. It is sportier than before and that's probably why, but a bit floaty at times. Steering was very good and almost lighter feeling than my X-type's. I didn't drive a newer X-type since I have my own, but I've heard the steering of the newer models is different from earlier versions such as mine; lighter like the XJ's but more communicative. It felt just about as quick as my X-type, and the gearing was in one word, smooth. The X-type still has a sporting edge over the XJ8, and "size does matter," as while the new XJ is much more tossable than the outgoing model, it is still not "zippy" or peppy as a smaller sized car such as the X-type. Neither car is in any way a chore to drive though. Like in the S-type, the automatic transmission "creep" of the new XJ is a bit more alive than in the X-type probably because the friction of AWD. The creep of the XJ feels looser than the X-type's, but not more powerful once both are creeping along. You have to hold your foot on the brake a little bit more firmly at stoplights, because the creep really pushes the car foreward quickly if the brakes are not engaged. The X-type's creep is more gadual, and since I drive one all the time, more predictable.
The XJR is what I want! Though still not as zippy/tossable a machine as the X-type because of its size, it is more powerful than anything that was on the road in the area while I was driving it. The suspension is much harder than my the XJ8 I drove before, and the X-type's suspension, though with much more of a sporting edge than the softer XJ8's, was less punishing over road imperfections than the XJR's. Still, all of that linear power and the whirl of the supercharger is addicting, and all of that with the luxury these cars have is quite a package. Braking was incredible. The R performance looks of the XJR also make it look almost as youthful as a standard X-type.
Going home though, I was very much pleased with the X-type I have. The way that it compares with the new XJ was surprisingly good, especially for starting at less than half the price of the new car. Though I had just gotten out of a supercharged XJR before heading home in the X-type, it really didn't feel underpowered in any way, and it really shined on the freeway as I shot past the other cars. The AWD really gives it a cornering advantage too, and though less luxurious than the new XJ, it trades that luxury for a youthful, sporting character and more value. I truly felt that I was going to be dissapointed with the X-type after experiencing the
Jun 26, 2003 (10:11 am)
new XJ8 and XJR - I expected them to shoot it out of the water - but nothing of the sort happened, and I am now even more impressed with the X-type than I ever have been before. It really is a slightly smaller XJ, but with its own personality and benefits such as AWD. And Jaguar has the best lineup it's ever had in its history.
With the 2004 X-type appearing with a countless number of improvements, I'm very excited to see what is yet to appear.
#1602 of 2600 WOW - jagboyxtype
Jun 26, 2003 (7:21 pm)
Now that is a LONG post. Ever consider writing for a magazine?
When Infinity adds AWD to the G35, look out for some competition. I have both cars and love both for different reasons. Still nothing beats Jag service and style.
Think they will let us out of our leases early to get our hands on the new and improved Jag? What do you think will happen to the value of the '02 and the '03 X-Type with the '04 changes?
Jun 26, 2003 (9:33 pm)
Jaguar will probably let you off the lease early, especially since you'd be getting another Jaguar X-type, but your dealer might have some say in it too, though JNA always overpowers the dealer. I don't think the '04 will too badly affect the value of earlier versions of the car since it will be using for the most part the same body shell, but with all the aluminum structure changes, etc. When you go to drive the new cars, test out a 3.0 liter sport version (or even the R if they decide to produce it with the improvements - latest sources say yes, though it is still early to tell, and Jaguar is very secretive about new versions of its cars). Really drive the car for its performance. I tell you, the 3.0 may not have 260 horsepower, but the R would/will have over 330 at least, and then you can add performance to that list of style and service! I still have yet to find a car that corners as well as the X-type.
As for writing for a magazine, I don't believe I have the quickness of wit or the ability to employ rhetorical elements and features in a correct syntactical order to be "professional," but I'll take that comment as a very gracious complement. Have a great day!
Jun 28, 2003 (6:27 pm)
eventhough my auto has been plagued with problems I believe overall the X is improved. The post regarding the changes for 04 address many of the luxury short -comings compared to the competition. If there is a type R planned as an 04, I probably could be convinced to trade. I think the suspension dynamics can easily handle the increase in power and would really make a to-die-for package. The look is just awesome.. style , elegance, and power that no other vehicle line sept maybe the new E type can compare. Does aybody know when a x-type R wil be released?
#1605 of 2600 X-type R and luxury items
Jun 29, 2003 (8:53 am)
If it is to be released, it would be some time during 2004 or early in 2005. Jaguar's being very secretive about all of its various changes.
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I don't think the first X-types had any luxury shortcomings compared to the competition - it didn't have the memory seat option that the new upgraded one will have, but at the time, the 3-Series didn't even come with power seats or cruise control; the X-type always had a power driver's seat at least, and anyone with any options on the car got the power upgrades to all seats (since they had to have the X1 package at the time). The A4 still comes with manually adjusting seats, and while they did a nice job designing all of the levers you have to pump and dials to turn to get the seat in a comfortable position, it is still manual seats in a $30,000 Audi (I know you can upgrade to power seats, but you also have to get the larger engine to do so - again, no matter what X-type you have, it always had a power seat for the driver, standard, at least). The 5-Series doesn't even have an automatic climate control system as advanced as the one in the X-type (and it has less interior space than the X-type); where the ones in BMW's are partially automatic and lacking environment sensors, the X-type's is fully automatic with solar sensors (the bluish, opaque, coin-sized circle located next to the driver's A-pillar), pollen sensors and filters, odor purifiers, etc. X-type can be had with automatic windshield wipers, automatic headlamps, voice controls, the largest navigation screen available in the industry today, ultrasonic reverse sensors, one-touch power everything (S-type, XJ, and XK didn't even have that when the X-type was released), and a whole host of other gadgetry. Not to mention the usual refinements - folding rear seats, heated seats, computer message center, internal and external safety system sensors (part of ARTS), aluminum alloy wheels with a full spare (the newest C-Class is available with plastic hubcaps - in a $30,000 car!), self-adjusting handbrake, lighting for all controls and special abiance lighting (see the little orange light near the standard garage door opener buttons? Ever notice how it shines down on your hand and the controls at night? The magazine guys mentioned the one in the A6, but forgot to mention that the X-type has the same thing.) It has heated washer jets, heated headlamps (I don't know why, but this is luxury - excess is allowed), a fully fiber optic electrical system that works at the speed of light, and the largest trunk in its class - 16 cubic feet (the new huge XJ has 16.2 cubic feet, as does the new Rolls Royce Phantom) - more than anything else competing. Then there is the available Alpine sound system that was voted the best car sound system availabe (yes, even over the Lexus ML system) in an independent test; it features double sub wuffers and 10 - 12 surroundsound speakers. The list goes on and on, and I still haven't even mentioned that the X-type comes standard with a forest of hand-finished wood and hand-cut and stitched leather, - the same leather to be found in Bentleys and Rolls Royces and Ferraris - and did I mention that those tengible icons of luxury were standard (yes, I repeated the word for emphasis) along with a full-time AWD system with a unique RWD bias, all at the price points where competitors give plastic-vinyl, cloth, and fake aluminum wannabe trim? Then there is the luxury of engines that are more powerful compared to the competing European engines - 231 hp X-type 3.0 v. 225 hp BMW 330i; the rest all go down from there... I won't even mention how the X-type also has the most rigid structure in its class, or a completely sealed transmission, or any other design parts that are superior to the rest of the pack.
Despite my enthusiasm for the car, I do understand that it is not a perfect car - no car is. But the amount of joy the car brings me when I drive it, and truly the amount of features it has or can be had with, as well as its soft-luxury and hardcore performance balance really create quite a package. When it comes to features that are lacking compared to competing cars, all I can think of are the memory seats (which the new one will have, along with plenty more "excess"), so to say that the current car was lacking a bit in its luxury equipment compared to competing cars, seems to almost be putting down all the trouble the design guys went through to offer things like voice controls or more sensors than NASA uses, or the iconic leather, wood, lambs wool rugs and full carpeting (the Aston Martin DB7 has metal under the rugs - gasp!) that IMO say luxury a lot more than a thin sliver of aluminum pasted between the molding cracks on the dash of some competing car with cloth or vinyl seats that you have to upgrade from by pumping more money into the car just to get above Chevy Cavalier or Ford Focus levels of luxury. My grandmother's Buick came with leather, power everything (and and a bigger engine) and cost a fraction of what I would have paid for a vinyl-seated, plastic aluminum trimmed, 4-banger A4. But the X-type has real luxury that you can see from the start (wood, leather, lambs wool rugs, standard AWD) - no matter what engine size you choose, and the same refinement of the A4 that the Buick lacks (and it has a more powerful engine than both cars). I don't know, it just seems to me that the Jag has more features and luxury touches...
BTW - when you said "new E type", did you mean the E-Class Mercedes Benz or were you refering to a body type like the old E-type in reference to the new XK8? In either case, if a $60,000 luxury sedan and a $70,000 GT both "can compare" to the $30,000 X-type "entry level" offering from Jaguar, I'd say it's one heck of a great car! But you're right, the 2004 will be a lot better! Sorry to hear about how your car was problematic too - that really is bothersome and takes a lot of fun out of ownership. I'm glad Jaguar fixed up the line quickly though. Even the surveys have noticed Jaguar's ironing out of the problems in the X-type - it jumped up nine positions in one of the ratings, so the cars are definitely getting better.
Jun 30, 2003 (4:32 pm)
It is a compliment.
And....330 bhp? Jag better let me out of the under powered 2.5 lease for this! Have you contacted JNA to do this before?
No "serious" problems with the current X and it does look sleek and sophisticated. The trunk space still amazes me. Heads turn everywhere. Wonder why Ford did not put powerful engines in the car from the start? I guess they are getting it right during year three of production!
#1607 of 2600 Leases & 2004 BOFE technology
Jul 01, 2003 (11:50 pm)
I haven't personally contacted JNA about leases, as the family policy since forever has been to always purchase everything. However, several people at the other Jag board that we aren't supposed to mention here... <cough> (jagtalk.com) <cough> are already on their second X-type, having upgraded from 2.5's to 3.0 liter versions and are quite enthusiastic about the noticeable additional power.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"The updated  X-TYPE range takes Jaguar ownership, as well as the Jaguar
philosophy, into new areas"
Also, a fellow Jaguar owner who posted some stuff about the new X-type on another site warned: "Be prepared for the media to misrepresent the Bolt-On Front End (BOFE)
structure. This is the same design the new XJ uses and that the AutoSpies web
site did not understand." You've probably all read the mistaken AutoSpies report, in which "author" of the "article" as well as the bodyshop that the crashed 2004 XJ was taken to did not understand the design of the new BOFE, also found on the new X-type, and reported a (disproven) flaw in the aluminum structure. A Jaguar engineer representative followed up, explaining the way the structure worked (aparently, the bumper bar took damage as it was designed to) and AutoSpies was good enough to post that response as well.
The whole story:
Response and Answer