2003 Jaguar S-Type R 4.2 supercharged from UK and Ireland
Sports car handling, rocket power, potential big bills
I bought an absolute disaster of a car. The car was outwardly fine and appeared to drive well, and since it was being bought from a trader, there was an assumption of it being of acceptable quality. But after purchase, an inspection by an independent specialist found in excess of £2000 worth of serious faults to the suspension, brakes, gearbox, wheel hub - basically it was in no fit state to be sold by a trader, and a claim under the Sale of Goods Act is in progress. How it managed to get an MOT is a good question...
All rear suspension arms need replacing and all bushes failed (rear wheels have several degrees of motion in all directions).
All major brake lines are seriously corroded.
Gearbox sump leak.
Front wheel hub damaged due to a terrible tyre change job (ruined wheel studs).
Continually throwing lean fuel mix errors.
Going into limp home mode in the rain.
I am not a fan of the S Type's looks. I am a fan of the luxury in which passengers sit, and especially in the STR, the seemingly limitless power.
Nearly everything about this car is pure bliss:
The quality of most components is spot on.
The full leather seats are comfortable and adjust in ways I didn't know were possible. Together with pedal and steering wheel adjustment, the seating position is perfect.
As mentioned, the power is vast and immediate. Drive around town and it'll never need to go over 1500 RPM. Push the pedal down without care and the traction control will kick in no matter what the weather conditions.
It's delivered through a good auto box - driving slowly around town I don't notice the gear changes. Drive fast and the changes are near anticipated.
The steering response is incredible. Somehow the variable assistance feels more direct than true direct steering.
Suspension is similarly magic. With thinner tyres and less suspension travel than my MG, it still manages to deliver a magic carpet ride. Pick up the speed and the CATS stops the car from rolling - at all, it seems.
The touchscreen lags on presses, an issue with a 9 year old device now we're all spoilt by the iPad.
The radio controls are poor. There are hardware buttons for things I never want to change and the labelling is downright odd.
Interior space is lacking, both in the cabin and in the boot.
Every component on the car costs a fortune, so don't buy a bad one.
If you've ever been in a Ford from the late 90s, there will be a lot of familiar buttons, and the key...
A soon as the situation with this car is resolved, I will be back in the market for a new STR and will be having it independently inspected before committing to buy. I recommend anyone else do the same.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th December, 2012