2003 Jaguar X-Type Sport 2.5L from North America
British styling and handling beats its German rivals
Fuel sender was replaced three times. The third unit is now broken.
Defrost vents have been replaced 3 times. The third unit is now broken.
The leatherette manual shifter gaiter has cracked in cold weather. The third shifter gaiter is now cracked again.
The electric key fob suddenly died due to electronic failure, not because of a dead battery. After owning the car for 2 years at that point, I learned the old fashioned key did not work in the lock tumbler. One dying gasp of the electric key fob, and I was lucky to not be stranded.
My 17" wheels are made of a very malleable alloy and can be damaged easily by potholes.
I stalled my car trying to exit an underground garage. The handbrake was not strong enough to prevent the car from rolling, and the garage door closed on it, scraping the trunk and rear glass, and leaving a $2500 dent in the roof. Recall 957 for the manual handbrake was issued 5 months later.
While British cars and reliability do not go hand in hand, they do lead the pack in styling and tight corner handling. This car has the best combination of wood trim, exterior styling, Connolly leather, and curve-hugging handling.
The X-Type has crisp steering, a very stiff chassis, a very small turning diameter (36') for a car with a transverse V6 and AWD, and the Ford Duratec series engine has been a great performer.
The 2003 model year is considered the most reliable, and I have had a fair share of minor nuisances, but have never been left on the side of the road. Most of the problems are trim related. I am glad that I chose a manual version as the Jatco auto trannys have had a lot of problems.
The manual clutch pedal uptake is very long. It does get quite annoying when stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Jaguar should have installed a short-throw shifter and fast-uptake clutch pedal for the sports version.
The 2003 model is one of the last to come with a real, full sized spare tire. It proved to be very handy and allowed my vacation to continue uninterrupted when I had a tire failure 750 miles from home.
If you are obese, the sport seats will be very uncomfortable. They are designed to cup your body and keep you in place while navigating the curves.
The Canadian version is among the very rare cars on the road that has an electrically heated (front) windshield as part of the Weather Package. It is handy for quick defog and defrost of the windshield when it's 10 below zero and the heater core is has not warmed up yet.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 8th April, 2007