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.

General Comments:

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.

Bad points:

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.

20 MPG.

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

2003 Jaguar S-Type from North America


This car is a lemon


Transmission rebuilt at 75,000 miles.

Headliner coming down.

Rear window won't work.

General Comments:

Beautiful car, but this model has serious transmission problems.

Interested in joining a class action suit!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th December, 2010

2003 Jaguar S-Type SE 3.0 V6 petrol from UK and Ireland


This is one of the most satisfying cars ever. Mine is extremely reliable and never lets me down


Before deciding to go and purchase a new Mercedes, I decided to go and look at some used cars. Among the used cars was my Jaguar, it was sat with an empty tank, a flat tyre and a couple of scratches to the bumper. Once these issues were addressed, to this day, these have been the most serious issues with this car.

Since ownership, the passenger wing mirror wouldn't fold electrically, this was fixed with some WD40. All window switches except the one in the driver's door have blown their bulbs, however this is not a problem.

And that is it. More than 100,000 miles later in less than 2 years, and that is all that has gone wrong.

Expected wear and tear to the steering wheel and seat bolster isn't as bad as you would think either.

General Comments:

In terms of performance, this car is really rather quick, and makes a wonderful noise to let you know it's working. Cruising along the motorway is a pleasure, as the engine is extremely quiet when doing 70mph @ 2000rpm.

The 6-speed ZF gearbox is silky smooth, and is quick to select a gear during kick down.

The stereo could be a little better, however it is acceptable and easy to operate.

Fuel consumption is not this car's strong point, don't expect anything over 30mpg, I manage to get through approximately £70 of fuel weekly with motorway miles, so the 2.7TDVi is probably your best bet; for a diesel, the 2.7 is extremely quiet and powerful, and would be my choice if I were to buy another S-type.

This car does turn heads with its retro and distinctive styling.

Security and safety are brilliant on the S-type, the brakes are sharp and responsive, and the electronic parking brake works brilliantly by coming on when you remove the key and releasing itself when the car is put into D. The alarm is not a siren, but a rapid horn sound, which is very loud, and the interior sensors function well when a window is left open.

Headlights could be a bit better, however this can be improved immensely by fitting Phillips 90% brighter bulbs, which really do make a big difference.

Seats are seriously comfortable, however six footers who like to sit high up won't appreciate the height adjustment, which is up and forwards instead of just up.

The boot is not the largest I've seen on a car this size, however it can swallow luggage easily, and as an added bonus, the seats fold.

One recommendation is that if you do buy a S-type, fit a mesh grille as it improves the looks by a mile.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2010