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January 27, 2019
Driving Dynamics
love it bought it used and think its great only complaint sport mode should be all the time the vehicle feels best with it on and gas could be a little better
August 08, 2018
Driving Dynamics
I own a 2005 X type sport wagon, one of only 2,004 sold in the U.S. I found it to be comfortable and reliable, more so than people warned me about. Great in snow, versatile as a wagon, who needs a big clunky SUV when you can have a wagon and a Jaguar at that. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. I thought it should have sold in bigger numbers. My biggest complaint is fuel mileage, 19-21 mpg per tankful, but it is all-wheel drive.
April 08, 2018
Driving Dynamics
2005 Jaguar 1091 X-TYPE 13676 267326
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John Rettie
powered by New Car Test Drive
The Jaguar X-Type is elegant, comfortable, and fun to drive. It represents a low cost of entry for a Jaguar and a strong value in this highly competitive class. It also gives its owner the distinction of driving a Jag. Yet this entry-level Jag offers something no other Jaguar has: the benefits of full-time all-wheel drive. That makes the X-Type a good choice for rain, snow and ice, and indeed it feels very secure in those conditions.

A new Jaguar Sportwagon has joined the X-Type line for 2005. Already popular in Europe this estate car, as it's called there, offers great cargo carrying capacity while maintaining Jaguar's unique style. It includes a tailgate with independently opening rear window, luggage tie-downs, removable luggage cover and cargo net. It also includes a neat hidden cargo compartment under the rear floor with a 12-volt power outlet.

The X-Type competes with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and other near-luxury cars. The performance of the Jaguar compares favorably to these cars, while offering a distinct difference in feel and temperament. The Jaguar X-Type is a good alternative to these superb luxury sedans and its quality has improved considerably since it was first introduced, thanks to continuous improvements made by Ford at the factory in the U.K. As with the other cars in its class, the X-Type is smaller in size, making it easier to park and maneuver.

The X-Type looks unmistakably like a Jaguar, and that's no small design feat given its relatively compact dimensions. Better still, the X-Type smells and feels like a Jaguar, with all the traditional British ingredients that have defined the brand for seven decades.

Model Lineup
Jaguar has revised the X-Type line up for 2005 by naming models separately rather than just adding optional packages to the basic sedan. Officially Jaguar has dropped the base 2.5 model although some were sold during the first few months of the model year. There are now three sedan models in the lineup and the all-new Sportwagon. All four models are powered by the same 227-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and include all-wheel-drive as standard.

All X-Type models come with standard equipment expected of a Jaguar: leather-trimmed seating, glossy wood trim (except for the Sport), power windows, mirrors, door locks and driver's seat. All X-Types are also equipped with automatic climate control, remote locking, an auto-dimming interior mirror, tilt/telescope steering wheel and heated door mirrors and windshield washers.

The most popular model is the X-Type 3.0 ($34,330), which comes standard with with a five-speed automatic, 17-inch wheels, moonroof, 70/30 split rear seats and a wood/leather steering wheel.

However, there is a an X-Type 3.0 available with a manual five-speed transmission ($30,830). It's in limited supply as few people want a X-Type with a manual transmission. It lacks a moonroof, 70/30 split rear seats and a wood/leather steering wheel, items that are standard on all other models. It also comes with smaller 16-inch wheels.

The X-Type Sport ($37,280) offers more than last year's Sport package as it includes a black mesh grille, a deeper front spoiler and lower side sills as well as a rear spoiler. It has a sport-tuned suspension with 18-inch Melbourne BBS two-piece wheels with Pirelli P Zero high-performance tires. Although there is no increase in engine performance the 3.0 Sport includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Emergency Brake Assist. Inside the Sport includes a full leather steering wheel and sport seats with perforated leather center sections. Carbon fiber trim fascia and gear surround with sporty Alcantara seating surfaces and door panels is offered as an option ($450) on the Sport. It comes with a five-speed automatic. A five-speed manual transmission is available as a no-cost option.

An optional ($1,150) Premium Package is offered for the 3.0 and 3.0 Sport that includes 10-way power driver and front-passenger seats, Homelink-compatible programmable garage door opener, multi-function message center, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and memory function on driver's seat and door mirrors. Also available as an option ($1,275) for these two models is a 320-watt Alpine Premium Sound system with ten speakers in place of the regular 120-watt system.

The new X-Type 3.0 VDP Edition ($38,080) delivers Jaguar's traditionally high level of luxury, starting with more expansively applied exterior chrome, contrasting piping on the seats, burl walnut wood trim and 17x7 10-spoke Andros wheels. It includes Reverse Park Control to warn the driver of hidden obstacles, heated front seats, the 320-watt Alpine Premium stereo system with ten speakers and an in-dash CD change. The VDP also includes the contents of the Premium Package that's optional on the lesser models.

The 3.0 Sportwagon ($36,330) is equipped similarly to the sedan.

Options for X-Type models include heated seats ($500), Reverse Park Control ($325), DSC ($525) and Xenon headlights ($675). The GPS navigation system ($2,300) includes a seven-inch touch-screen that also provides control for the audio and climate systems and allows subscription to the JaguarNet emergency communication and tracking system.

Safety features on all models include curtain-style head protection airbags for front and rear passenger, dual-stage frontal airbags and front side-impact airbags managed by a sophisticated sensor system. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), pre-tensioning front safety belts with load-limiters and three-point belts for all seats are also standard.

In the eyes of many the X-Type looks more like the flagship XJ sedan than the mid-size S-Type. It's clearly a Jaguar which is essential in Jaguar's attempt to widen the appeal of the well loved oh-so British line of luxury cars. It's just as well as ever since Ford took over Jaguar, purists have been scrutinizing every move the company makes in an effort to turn up some evidence of "Fording down" the illustrious British marque.

Because the X-Type has a common ancestry with Ford of Europe's front-wheel-drive Mondeo, Jaguar endowed the X-Type with all-wheel drive as a standard feature. This helps set it apart from most other near-luxury models where such a feature is optional, and usually only offered on a handful of models.

The X-Type is some 7 inches shorter than the S-Type. So the challenge facing the X-Type designers was to make a relatively short car look low and long. They did it using lots of horizontal lines, body sculpting and a high-tailed wedge shape, though the wedge is more obvious in photographs than in person. The illusion is generally successful and the X-Type looks bigger on the road than its dimensions suggest.

The design of the grille and headlamps, with fluting that sweeps back over the hood, make the X-Type look like a baby XJ. The front view is broadened with two sets of side-by-side round lights flanking Jaguar's traditional horizontal split grille. This makes it look more conservative than the S-Type, which features a unique round grille. Riding the hood of the X-Type is the traditional bounding Jaguar known as the bonnet leaper.

The Sportwagon is identical to the sedan up to the B-pillar. From there back it has different side doors and obviously a longer side profile. Its overall length is less than two inches longer than the sedan so there is little extra overhang in the rear. The tailgate slopes forward, appropriately giving it a sleeker look than most station wagons. The roof rails add just over an inch to the height of the vehicle.

As one has come to expect, the overall visual stance of the X-Type is not affected by the all-wheel-drive system. X-Type models now proudly carry an "AWD" badge on the trunk.

All in all, this is a ground-loving vehicle that makes the eye believe it is longer and lower than it is, and bigger as well. What at first blush seems to be busy-ness about the indents, horizontal lines and visual cues of Jaguarness fades with on-going exposure, evolving into acceptance and even appreciation. Anyway, the car looks better on the road than it does in pictures, or even in the showroom.

The X-Type is a real Jag on the inside, too. Jaguar's leather and wood are done as well as they were in the days when those luxury touches were not added to every model on the road.

The standard seats are quite good, supportive and comfortable, and they can be adjusted every which way. Aggressive side bolstering is added with the Sport model, which is appropriate for more aggressive driving. Side bolstering requires more effort when getting in and out of the seat, however, so the Sport package is best left for those who love spirited roadwork. We had no trouble flinging the car around with the standard seats.

The cabin has a spacious feel, and outward visibility is enhanced by the slimness of the roof pillars. With the elevation of the driver's seat easily adjustable, drivers of varying heights have an excellent forward view over the hood. The outside mirrors are particularly generous in size, a welcome safety feature at a time when the mirrors on some of the German cars (Mercedes, for example) are getting smaller.

All the switchgear operates intuitively. The silky appeal of Jaguars has made them a favorite with women, and the woman buyer figured early in planning the ergonomics of the X-Type. While there is no evident feminization, this thinking is obvious in controls that fall within easy reach and a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes, allowing her to adjust perfectly to the car. Good ergonomics know no gender, however, and the X-Type adjusts to men quite swimmingly. People of all body types will find a comfortable home in the X-Type.

Lots of stowage inside the X-Type adds to the convenience. The doors have a handy tray near the door handle, as well as a large main pocket. There are dozens of nooks to stow phones, cassettes, CDs, pens, maps or tissues, even ice scrapers and an umbrella. There's even a retractable hook in the glovebox release to hold a handbag, small shopping bag or take-out. The center console is small, however, and there is only one cupholder.

The design of the X-Type isn't all about style. The sedan's trunk is big, something that can't be said for all Jaguars. With 16 cubic feet of cargo space, the X-Type beats the impressive trunk on the Audi A4 (13.4 cubic feet) and the relatively dinky boots in the Mercedes C-Class (12.2) and BMW 3 Series (10.7) sedans. Further, if you pull one or both of the small handles in the X-Type trunk you can easily flip the rear seats forward for carrying longer items. That makes this a practical Jaguar.

Even more practical is the Sportwagon. With the seats folded down it boasts a cargo capacity of 50 cubic feet, which puts it ahead of the BMW 3 Series Wagon, Audi A4 Avant or Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagon. All four are pretty close in capacity with the seats up. However the official dimensions do not include the very useful hidden storage area under the rear floor which can be used to store cameras and other valuables in a molded compartment with dividers. Even more forward looking is the 12-volt outlet in the compartment. It allows recharging of a laptop computer or digital camera while totally hidden from prying eyes. The Sportwagon offers an inch more rear-seat headroom than the sedan does.

Driving Impressions
When it was introduced, the Jaguar X-Type set new standards for rigidity of structure. A rigid structure translates into a car that can be tuned to ride smoothly and quietly while cornering like a cat. Our first experience with the X-Type bore this out and was confirmed in the 2005 X-Type Sportwagon.

We've driven the X-Type down winding rural roads near Dijon, France, over mountain roads in north Georgia, and around the high-speed banked oval of Atlanta Motor Speedway. The X-Type was the epitome of stability and confidence in the high-speed sections. Yet it rode smoothly on the streets of Atlanta.

The narrow, high-crowned pavement in France follows the wandering ways of long-ago farm animals over varied terrain. When polished by rain, it becomes a driver's challenge. The dampness was simply erased by the all-wheel-drive system, which offered comforting security. On the French roads, the X-Type seemed to rise to every challenge. Whether on a major highway or winding back road, it always felt smooth and stable. The steering was sharp and precise, and the car feels nimble in corners yet secure at speed.

To further explore the handling, we took the X-Type onto a tight handling course near Atlanta. A corner flooded with water showed off the advantage of the Sport model's tuned suspension; the high-performance Pirelli P Zero tires provided better grip in the wet than the standard, narrower Continental ContiSport Contact tires, greatly reducing understeer (the tendency of the car to push out toward the outside of a turn when the front tires lose grip). The Sport also seemed to offer quicker response, though it wasn't a huge difference. In any case, ride quality doesn't seem to suffer with the Sport package and we liked the way the sports seats kept us in place when whipping through slaloms and chicanes.

That flooded curve also helped demonstrate the value of Jaguar's Traction 4 all-wheel-drive system. The system incorporates a center differential and viscous coupling to split the torque 40 percent to the front wheels, 60 percent to the rear. Slippage at either set of wheels will send more power to the opposite end of the car. The viscous coupling automatically and transparently transfers power away from slipping wheels to those with the best traction, helping to keep the X-Type moving forward and tracking true no matter the conditions underneath. In short, the X-Type performs well in the wet and we presume it handles well on snow and ice.

The optional Dynamic Stability Control system can help a driver maintain control in an emergency handling situation. DSC controls skidding by applying the brakes at selected wheels, something no driver can do. It can help the driver avoid an accident. It reduces the chance of spinning out. We found it makes the car easier to drive at the limit of the tires. It reduced yawing when charging too fast through a slalom. DSC can be switched off for those rare times when the driver feels it's too intrusive, as when we drove the S-Type on a closed course at Atlanta Motor Speedway to test its limits. By default, the system switches back on every time the car is re-started. It's packaged with Brake Assist, which aids the driver in a panic stop by maintaining full braking even if the driver makes the mistake of relaxing pressure on the brake pedal. In short, this package is a smart safety option. Get it.

The X-Type feels equally comfortable on the highway and in fast, sweeping turns. It was supremely stable at 120 mph on Atlanta Motor Speedway's back straight and felt confident turning in for the banked turns at that speed. It was easy to drive flat out through the facility's infield road racing circuit. The well-controlled suspension and the all-wheel drive add to the X-Type's confident feel when driving at the limit. The X-Type offers predictable handling when pushing its tires beyond their limits, something that can happen at much lower speeds when it's slippery. It felt comfortable when braking and turning at the same time, a move that ruffles many cars. The handling is quite neutral, understeering at times, yet willing to rotate according to the skilled driver's wishes in the middle of a turn through use of the throttle.

In designing the Sportwagon, Jaguar's engineers wanted to make sure it felt no different from the sedan. In fact they have made the wagon quieter than the sedan. While driving a 2005 Sportwagon along twisty mountain roads near Palm Springs we found it handled as nicely as the sedan. It might not be as crisp as the 3.0 Sport but it's certainly substantially more pleasant to drive with verve than a small SUV, such as the BMW X3. With its all-wheel drive it's just as capable in adverse conditions as a car-based SUV. It's sportier than a sport utility, yet gives up little cargo carrying capacity. And it's more powerful than comparable all-wheel-drive wagons.

The X-Type models offer responsive performance. Engine torque is spread over a power curve in the desirable mesa shape. The 3.0-liter V6 engine doesn't have the hard edge of BMW's inline-6, but the Jaguar's power is there early at launch and accessible over a wide range of speeds. It growls appropriately when provoked because Jaguar engineers have fine tuned the exhaust note to sound right. The X-Type somehow feels more powerful than it really is because there is never a questing need for more oomph at a critical moment, as when you're making a left turn onto a busy thoroughfare or passing a tractor-trailer rig on a narrow two-lane road.

The five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission works very well and is by far the popular choice. Put it in Drive and it shifts smoothly and predictably up and down, keeping the X-Type's engine in the proper gear for smooth cruising or quick acceleration. Its shift points seem to be the result of some clever mind reading because the transmission selects shift patterns according to driving conditions. The driver can select a sport mode, which raises the shift points to make full use of available engine power. Jaguar's J-gate shifter allows the driver to shift semi-manually, keeping it in the selected gear until the lever is moved. The J-gate works fairly well, but it's more cumbersome than the plus-minus sequential pattern on other semi-manual transmissions. As with most automatics with a semi-manual feature, we prefer putting it in Drive and leaving it there most of the time. Jaguar says the X-Type can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 7.1 seconds when equipped with the automatic.

The X-Type can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds when equipped with the five-speed manual, according to Jaguar. That's competitive among small luxury sedans. Naturally, the manual transmission offers an optimum combination of power and fuel efficiency and is the enthusiast's choice, especially in the 3.0 Sport. The five-speed manual, most easily available as a no-cost option with the 3.0 Sport, has a short throw with sports-car feel. It can add to the fun. If only to nitpick, the clutch pedal is a little vague, and it takes practice to achieve smooth launches and elegant shifts, but a little time in the car solves this. The clutch/shifter package works great when driven with gusto in a high-performance setting. We'd recommend getting the Sport model if you're going to get the manual, as resale of the manual on the regular 3.0 model could prove challenging.

Jaguar's X-Type stacks up nicely by virtually any measure, from design to style to space to performance. If it gives up a tick to class leaders in specific areas, it compensates with the elegance only Jaguar can deliver. When you consider all-wheel drive comes standard on all X-Type models, pricing makes them a compelling alternative to the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class.

New Car Test Drive correspondent John Rettie filed this report from Palm Springs, California, with Denise McCluggage in Dijon, France, and Mitch McCullough in Atlanta.

Model as tested
Jaguar X-Type 3.0 Sportwagon ($36,330)
Basic Warranty
4 years/60,000 miles
Assembled in
Merseyside, United Kingdom
Destination charge
Gas guzzler tax
Base Price
Price as tested
Options as tested
Model Line Overview
Model lineup
Jaguar X-Type 3.0 ($30,830); 3.0 Sport ($37,280); 3.0 VDP Edition ($38,080); 3.0 Sportwagon ($36,330)
Safety equipment (standard)
dual-stage front-passenger airbags; front side-impact airbags; front and rear curtain-style head protection airbags; three-point rear seat belts; all-wheel drive; four-channel ABS
Safety equipment (optional)
3.0-liter dohc 24-valve V6
5-speed automatic
Specifications as Tested
automatic climate control with pollen filter, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, power windows with one-touch operation, eight-way power driver's seat, four-way manual passenger seat, power moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, wood and leather steering wheel, center console with sliding armrest, Sapele wood trim, floor mats front and rear, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, Bluetooth phone and CD changer wiring, speed control, 120-watt radio/cassette, antenna integrated into rear window, heated windshield washer jets, power heated mirrors, front and rear fog lamps, automatic headlamps, 70/30 split folding rear seat, 17-inch alloy wheels
Engine & Transmission
3.0-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Drivetrain type
all-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
227 @ 6800
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)
Brakes, front/rear
vented disc/vented discs with ABS and EBD
Suspension, front
independent McPherson strut
225/45HR17 all season
Suspension, rear
independent torsion control link
Seating capacity
Head/hip/leg room, middle
Head/hip/leg room, front
Head/hip/leg room, rear
Fuel capacity
Trunk volume
Turning circle
Towing capacity
Track, front/rear
Ground clearance
Curb weight
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2005 Jaguar X-TYPE
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