Last post on May 04, 2013 at 1:02 PM
You are in the Jaguar X-Type
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Jaguar X-Type, Sedan
#898 of 2594 Test-drove an X-Type and Passat today
Feb 03, 2002 (12:32 am)
I took the wife out to look at cars today. Until the baby-Jag came out, she never had an interest in test-driving cars. Anyway, I suggested she consider a VW Passat 4Motion GLS, but the truth is she really had her heart set on the Jag all along. We decided to try both and see which one we preferred. I ended up driving both cars. She doesn't much care how driveable they are, so long as they have the amenities she's looking for, and sufficient power to merge into traffic.
Before I get to meat of this, I should tell you that I'm a fan of big cushy luxury cars (I own a 2000 Deville, which I still like very much). Other cars I have test-driven in the past and liked very much were the 2002 Q45 and an LS430. Since both of the cars I drove tonight are somewhat smaller and less powerful than I'm used too, I'm probably somewhat jaded as a reviewer.
I was deeply disappointed with the Passat, especially given the rave reviews I've read in magazines as well as in message boards here at Edmunds. Even with the 3.0 V6, I found it to be sluggish off the line and sluggish in passing situations. Furthermore, it seemed that the engine was noisy and overly busy when pushed (which, due to the heft of the car, or perhaps some other factor, seemed to be most of the time). Could this be caused by the 4Motion system? A squeak could be heard coming from the right front suspension whenever we went over a large bump.
I also found the leather seats to be quite hard -- this is not a car I would want to drive long distances in -- and the dash looked a bit dated. The car we drove did not have an in-dash CD -- another disappointment. The ride, however, was impressive for a car in this class, and handling was excellent, as I expected. Rear seat leg room was very good -- perhaps the best I've seen in this class.
Overall, I thought the Passat was a competent car, but I certainly wouldn't rave about it. With that experience under our belt, we headed towards the Jaguar dealer.
Long before we had even left the house this afternoon, I was prepared to be disappointed by the Jag. The reviews I've read here and elsewhere left me with the impression that this was an over-priced Taurus with a Leopard glued onto the hood. We decided to drive the demo car -- a 2.5 with the X1 package, xenon headlights, and ~100 miles on the odometer.
The Jag's interior was everything the Passat's wasn't: Stylish, elegant and luxurious, with interesting looking climate and sound system displays (never got a chance to put the climate/sound controls to the test, however). The front seats were much more comfortable than the Passat's, but the Passat wins hands down in the rear seat category. The Jag's rear seat leg room makes coach-class on a 737 look down-right inviting. The trunk also looked smaller than the Passat's.
The 2.5 engine's driveability surpassed my expectations. It wasn't sink-into-your-seat fast, but it was zippy. I like to think of it as the Jag that zigs. The engine seemed to rev freely and fairly smoothly. I thought it was much better matched to the car that the Passat's engine was.
The Jag handled well, but the ride was not as smooth as the Passat's. The X-Type allowed more road noise into the cabin than did the Passat. The Passat was quiet enough in most respects that the engine noise really stood out. In contrast, the X-Type was uniformily noisy, so one factor did not really stand out. I did not hear any squeaks or rattles in the car, and initial build quality seemed quite good.
The car was stunningly finished in a translucent shade of deep blue called "pacific blue." If you've spent any time in deep ocean water, then you would see the resemblance. We both thought it was one of the most beatifully finished cars we've seen. The styling is, of course, Jaguaresque, with all of the styling queues one would expect. It's just not quite as large as the other Jags.
Overall, the X-Type was better than I thought it was going to be, and the Passat was disappointing. I wouldn't buy either car, however, as they both had enough flaws that I would not want either as a daily driver. Hard seats and stiff handling are great on the track, or on smooth winding country roads, but we spend almost all of our time in city traffic avoiding potholes and potheads.
That's my opinion. My wife's is somewhat different. She really covets that graceful feline hood ornament, and is willing to overlook all of the cars flaws to get it. What is it about Jaguars that appeals to women so?
#899 of 2594 Seats & Interior & Price
Feb 03, 2002 (6:47 am)
markhampton... Lots of German cars have been initially chided by potential buyers for having "hard" seats. They may appear that way during a short test drive, but wait till you have to drive the car all day. Then they often get rave reviews for their comfort. I prefer a harder seat. Have found that seats which are initially soft and comfy turn very uncomfortable on longer trips. And you get used to and appreciate the initial hard feeling.
While I would tend to agree with many of your observations on the interiors, I think you might be a bit hard on the Passat's. My wife and I spent a lot of time looking at both the X-type and Passat. We loved the look of both interiors. The Jag's was more "warm" but the Passat's looked "sharper". I thought both were quite tasteful.
If you had wanted to save some money and get more interior space and a lot more trunk room, go with the loaded FWD Passat V-6. The 4Motion really eats into Passat's trunk space. And it adds weight which reduces acceleration and fuel economy.
Noticed you didn't mention the MSRPs of the respective cars. What were they? Guessing the Passat might've been around $32-33,000 and the Jag around $34-37,000.
#900 of 2594 Seats & Interior & Price
Feb 03, 2002 (8:00 pm)
Riez, you could be right about the seats. Some day I may get a chance to drive one for an extended period, and then be able to judge it from that perspective. I'm starting to wonder if the Passat demo I drove had some problem causing it to be so sluggish. I may try a different one to test that theory.
Even with the space eaten up by the 4Motion, I thought the Passat's trunk was rather large -- certainly larger than the X-Type's.
The MSRP of the Passat GLS demo I drove was ~$31,000. I was aiming for a GLS with the leather, cold-weather, homelink and monsoon packages, which would have been more like more like $29,900. The demo had most of that plus the luxury (sunroof) package.
The X-Type 2.5's MSRP was ~$36,000. I believe it included the X1, X3, xenon and automatic transmission options. Those Jaguar options add up fast don't they?
My wife started looking through the Jaguar brochure first thing this morning. She really did like the car. Anyone know what the current money factor and residual are for an X-Type equipped like the one I just described (36 months, 12k/year)?
#901 of 2594 trunk size
Feb 03, 2002 (9:25 pm)
i'm confused by your statement about the trunk sizes, "I thought the Passat's trunk was rather large -- certainly larger than the X-Type's". according to the numbers, the jag trunk is larger 16 cubic feet vs 15 cubic feet. perhaps it's the way the space is used?
Feb 03, 2002 (10:23 pm)
Well, jonty12, I can't argue with you there. The specs say I was wrong about the trunk.
My perception was that Passat's trunk was larger, but it must have been an subtle optical illusion. It seemed the Passat's trunk was a few inches deeper, but it may not have gone back as far as the Jag's. Looking at the specs for both cars, it also appears the Jag is two inches wider. That in itself could account for the missing cubic foot.
Regardless, I appologize to all of you Jaguar fans for what I said about the trunk. It has a nice trunk .
Feb 03, 2002 (10:34 pm)
no problem, no offense taken
it just reminded me of magazine reviews that take points off the jag for things like rear seat leg room, when in reality it has more than most of its competition. they just don't hold it against the competition.
the cars aren't perfect, let's just not create problems when they aren't there, jaguar creates enough real problems for itself
#905 of 2594 Jonty12 -- dimensions
Feb 04, 2002 (8:23 am)
You make a good point. Some dimensions of the X-Type (width, weight, and rear seat leg room) are almost the same as the BMW 5-Series, but the more expensive 5-Series gets raves where the X-Type gets demerits.
Lack of rear-seat leg room is the one thing that will kill my interest in a car. It is the reason I have never even bothered to test-driven a 5-Series, and it is one of the factors that initially put the Passat high on my list. The Passat, in fact, has more headroom, rear seat leg room and trunk space than the 5-Series.
Noise is another factor that kills my interest in a car, and the Passat scored well there (except for engine noise). The Jag seemed a bit noisier.
#906 of 2594 Biggest Mistake ?
Feb 04, 2002 (8:33 am)
Such nonsense is not even worth trying to refute. The only reason US X-Type sales were off was we had too many 3.0's and everyone was ordering 2.5's that were not delivered until this year
#907 of 2594 Sport Sedans and Rear Seat Room
Feb 04, 2002 (12:19 pm)
markhampton... If rear seat room is a major priority or the single most important priority, sport sedans are probably not the way to go. Minivans, full size cars like Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car, various large FWD cars like Buick LeSabre or Cadillac DeVille, etc. would be more appropriate.
How much time will you spend in back? How much time will other full-size adults spend in back? Children? Will the time per trip be short or long? One can always have a 2nd car, with more rear seat room or just move front seat up a bit when you have an adult in back. My wife and two kids find our 323iA and 540iM more than roomy, and they both have great trunks.