Essay : Jaguar X-Type – more than a rebodied Mondeo

No British car since the Austin Allegro has sparked as many urban myths as the X-Type. We’ve heard them all and, if anything, they certainly prove to be a talking point more than a decade after it went out of production.

Read on to find out why.

Setting the X-Type record straight

Jaguar X-Type

The Jaguar X-Type was a long time coming. We’d been teased countless ‘baby Jag’ scoops in the press throughout the 1990s and, under Ford’s ownership, Project X400 finally kicked off in 1997. It was needed – Jaguar needed to grow to make enough money to justify Uncle Henry’s £1.6bn investment in the company in 1989. And for that growth to happen, it would need to introduce a driver-focused model to compete with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Sales of these compact executives had skyrocketed throughout the 1990s – buyers were becoming increasingly aspirational, and this German trio was getting more affordable on the back of widespread easy car finance. Mondeo man was fast becoming BMW Barry, and the British were hoping that he would become Jaguar Jack instead.

Jaguar’s ownership profile was also ageing, and it was hoped that a more accessible Jaguar cast in the mould of the all-conquering 3 Series would attract younger buyers looking for something a little left field. When it appeared in 2001, it looked like the X-Type was just what the doctor ordered – sleek styling inspired by the Jaguar XJ, but less overtly retro than the S-Type, powered by a range of lusty V6s and driven via a rear-biased four-wheel-drive set-up. This was going to be the car to bring Jaguar the big bucks, and just the thing to beat the Germans at their own game.

Ford Mondeo 2001

Urban myth: It’s a rebodied Mondeo

Not true… The oldest and most widely-touted urban myth of them all – and, in fact, had this been the case, Jaguar might have made more money on the X-Type than it did. And let’s face it – there was nothing wrong with the Mondeo’s dynamics, despite being front-wheel drive.

Due to there being no suitable compact rear-wheel-drive underpinnings within the Ford portfolio, and there being no question of creating a new one, the upcoming Mondeo’s CD132 platform was used as a starting point for the X400 programme, but it would feature rear-biased four-wheel drive. The suspension was completely different upfront, and a variation of the Estate model’s Control Blade set-up was used in the rear.

No dimensions were shared between the X-Type and the Mondeo, either. This really was a very different beast – and, as one unnamed Jaguar Engineer commented recently, ‘the X400 was less closely related to the Mondeo than the A4 was to the Volkswagen Passat – and you never heard buyers moaning about that. But Audi didn’t make the same mistake we did by telling all and sundry that those models were related.’

Urban myth: It was a commercial failure

This very much depends on your point of view. Jaguar famously predicted that it would build 100,000 X-Types per year, which wasn’t a particularly bold sales target considering the sector’s biggest sellers, the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series were selling more than twice those numbers, year in, year out.

However, a total of 355,000 units were built during its ten-year production run, and that was only about a third of the number which had originally been envisaged. The biggest issue was resistance in the US market, where the X-Type faced strong opposition, and a much more ingrained attitude to what Jaguar’s core values were – and, as a consequence, its sales stateside were a big disappointment.

The X-Type did, though, introduce new buyers to the marque and generated showroom footfall for dealers in addition to paving the way for the new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Freelander 2, which were based on similar underpinnings. It also handsomely outsold its successor, the under-performing Jaguar XE

Jaguar X-Type interior

Urban myth: it used Ford engines

At launch, the X-Type used the company’s AJ-V6 engine, which would eventually be used in the S-Type and XJ saloons. Offered in 2.5- and 3.0-litre form, this powerplant was based on the Ford Duratec engine but, because of significant changes, it would share very few parts with that unit, aside from its block.

To become a Jaguar engine, it gained continuously variable valve timing and variable inlet tracts making it the most potent and efficient V6 engine to use the Duratec block, with power outputs of 194 and 231bhp.

‘We compared well with BMW, and the changes we engineered into the X-Type were worthwhile,’ our Jaguar man added – but not offering diesels until later seriously hampered the car’s chances in an increasingly DERV-dominated market. And when they did arrive, they weren’t different enough from the Ford they were based on, thus damaging the X-Type’s reputation.

Urban myth: it didn’t look like a proper Jaguar

The X-Type may have inherited a more cab-forward set of proportions than is usual for a Jaguar, but it was a nice piece of styling. By referencing the larger Jaguar XJ, it reflected the industry’s move towards retro-modern design at the time, slotting in neatly alongside cars such as the new-generation MINI and Volkswagen Beetle as well as the upcoming Fiat 500.

That said, some Jaguar stylists have latterly distanced themselves from the design, which is a shame. ‘It didn’t look mature or powerful or anything. It was just a car,’ said Jaguar Land Rover’s recently-departed design chief, Julian Thomson. He added that, basing the X-Type on a front-wheel-drive platform, resulted in proportions that, ‘were plainly wrong’.

Jaguar X400 design sketch

Urban myth: it didn’t handle like a proper Jaguar

Although front-wheel-drive X-Types emerged later with the arrival of the 2.1-litre V6 and 2.0- and 2.2-litre diesels, it was launched with four-wheel drive with a rear-biased torque split for neutral handling. A great deal of attention was paid to steering feel, too – something that Jaguar often didn’t get right in the past.

‘Four-wheel drive resulted in brilliant dynamics and, with the transverse engine, great packaging,’ said Tony Cartwright, Jaguar’s then-Vehicle Engineering Manager. He added: ‘We always wanted to do four-wheel drive, and we had the chassis.’ He’s not wrong – the ill-fated XJ41/XJ42 F-Type, due to be launched in 1990 had four-wheel drive, so this was unfinished business.

Jaguar X-Type

Urban myth: it was built in a Ford factory

Jaguar chose to build the X-Type in Ford’s Halewood factory on Merseyside. Famously the home of the Ford Escort, this was a good decision, especially considering that several European factories were also considered. ‘We had to get rid of outmoded practices and persuade people to adopt more flexible working patterns, with the emphasis on quality,’ said David Hudson, the-then Director of Production Operations.

Production of the Escort was coming to an end and it made sense to use Halewood. Totally new production lines were installed for body construction and the assembly area. In the paint shop, 70% of the equipment was replaced and, most importantly, the workforce was thoroughly retrained to build Jaguars. The upshot was that those last Ford Escort vans that rolled off the Jaguar line in 2000 and 2001 were the best built of the lot…

Urban myth: it wasn’t built like a proper Jaguar

The X-Type was well-built in the UK by a workforce who were Jaguar through-and-through. The advanced body was the stiffest in class, by 30% no less, making it not only safe, but brilliant for suspension tuning. Also, 81% of the body shell was double sided, zinc coated steel and used higher strength steels in critical locations reducing additional weight to deliver strengths, and cheaper steels in low demand areas.

Unfortunately, just like a classic Jaguar, the X-Type can rust savagely. The inner sills on pre-2006 cars were not properly rustproofed, open to the elements, and conveniently hidden behind plastic covers. Corrosion can hit them hard and can render an otherwise nice car to a world of pain and expensive repairs.

Who says the X-Type isn’t a proper Jaguar?

Jaguar X-Type rear view

Keith Adams


  1. I still like the look of the old X Type (inside & out). In fact I prefer it to the XE and don’t see many of those on the road either. My brother nearly bought an XE but decided to keep his 2016 XF instead.

  2. Because most of the styling was done in Detroit? It was a car that Jaguar were not happy with (yep internally they did not like a lot of what Detroit foisted on them) and lastly the seating position was so wrong, you sat so high up you felt you were in more to akin a Focus than a Jag, in fact the Mondeo had closer to a sit in than sit on seating position which you expect from a Jag (sit in a period XJ, S-type or XK and you know what I mean). Don’t get me wrong its a nice car but it was no better that Ford’s own offering, which was such a good car the X Type had no chance (and be honest even Top Gear advocated how good the Mondeo was against the German premium brands). The only way the X Type had a chance would have to have launched the X Type first, then it might have got the impression that Ford copied the Jag.

    • The styling was a “Jaguar by Epcot” ill proportioned mess of lazy styling tropes forced onto a platform too small to carry them off. They nearly drowned the X350 in similar naff detailing but the 2006 changes to remove the rubbing strips and tidy up some odds and ends redeemed it somewhat, only to be completely undone by the unbelievably cheap and tacky X358 facelift.

      That this car was intended to lead to conquest sales from BMW and Audi among young affluent professionals is so absurd it’s utterly tragic, any positive or negative attributes of the underlying car aside the styling was just pitiable. Many manufacturers dabbled with the very short lived retro craze, but few went in as hard and with as little taste and skill as Jaguar in the PAG years.

      There is also a discussion as to whether chasing volume was the right strategy for Jaguar in the first place, but once that decision was made (and the corresponding vast investments that went with it) to get the product as wrong as the X-Type, S-Type and X350 XJ goes to show how little Ford of the US understood what made Jaguar special, and premium brands in general. Truly a lost generation of Jaguars, and a waste of billions of pounds, a family of cars all justly rewarded with commercial failure.

      The comment on the seating position is spot on as well; no car can feel like a premium saloon with that “sit up and beg” FWD seating position. I can forgive the X200 S Type and X350 XJ because (post facelift for the S-Type) they were fine driving cars that really did feel like a Jaguar (I’ve owned both), but the X-Type is a miserable contrivance and they can’t all die soon enough.

      • Don’t sugar-coat it DE, tells what you really think. While I may not have put it so harshly I agree that Jaguars ain’t what they used to be. Nostalgia? Probably. All I know is that when I was young a Jaguar was something to be desired. Nowadays they don’t get a second look from me. And it’s possible that my current view really took root during the years of Ford’s stewardship.

        • I’ve recently picked up a 2010 X351 XJ Portfolio and it’s an absolutely fabulous thing, a really interesting take of what a 21st century Jaguar should be. I’ve also had recent experience for a 4.2 V8 2008 XF and it’s incredible that just 5 years separates the launch of this highly competent and entirely modern car from the Toby Carvery X350, a fabulous car technically, but ruined by the twee styling inside and out – it looked extremely silly in 2003 against the space ship E65 BMW, let alone the tour de force W221 S Class in 2006.

          At the tail end of the Ford era Jaguar nailed it, IMHO, including product quality. Unfortunately that did not continue.

          • I’ll take your word about the XFV8. I have no experience of Jag ownership. But am I the only one who struggled to tell a Mondeo from a XF unless the latter’s shiny grille was visible?

        • I agree with you.I have been a jaguar fan all my life. My very first car back in the 70’s was a Jaguar. Today I own 2. A 1996 XJ6 and a 2.1 X Type. The X Type is the Last jaguar that interested me in Jaguar. They are no longer the unique classic good value they once were. He midern Jaguar car Without the badge could be any brand of car both inside and out

      • So I take it you don’t like them I got an 2003 Jaguar x type I love it it’s comfortable really nice to drive the parts are cheap most people that had or owned one say they really like it mines 20 years old no rust drive’s beautiful and it’s still a nice looking car many people say to me that’s a what a nice looking Jaguar so my point is can’t be that bad of a car as there still lot off them on the road

  3. Because most of the styling was done in Detroit? It was a car that Jaguar were not happy with (yep internally they did not like a lot of what Detroit foisted on them) and lastly the seating position was so wrong, you sat so high up you felt you were in more to akin a Focus than a Jag, in fact the Mondeo had closer to a sit in than sit on seating position which you expect from a Jag (sit in a period XJ, S-type or XK and you know what I mean). Don’t get me wrong its a nice car but it was no better that Ford’s own offering, which was such a good car the X Type had no chance (and be honest even Top Gear advocated how good the Mondeo was against the German premium brands). The only way the X Type had a chance would have to have launched the X Type first, then it might have got the impression that Ford copied the Jag.

  4. I like the look of these more now than I did when they first appeared. Back in the day they looked a bit awkward and boring, but they’ve stood the test of time fairly well. Certainly much better than the S-type.

  5. Anyone who thinks that the X-Type is a proper Jaguar has clearly never driven a pre-Ford Jag and has only ever seen them from a distance without their glasses on.

    My personal favourite X-Type near me is the silver example I came across with a scale model of a higher speced X-Type blue tacked to the dash. It kind of sums up the X-Type, their only true purpose being to identify which of your neighbours still think Brexit was a right-on idea.

    • I have driven pre ford jags, many of them from the XK120 to the XJ40 and most of what came in-between. I also have said a lot of drivel about the X-type simialr to you. I have just bought a 2.5 4×4 estate X-Type, and you know what? it’s a jag

  6. The X Type came out around the same time as the Mark 3 Mondeo and I’m sure the Jaguar and Volvo influence was paying off at Ford as their family cars were no longer indifferently made, bland vehicles like the previous two Mondeos. However, a Ford was still a Ford in many people’s eyes and the X Type was an attempt to make a Jaguar more affordable to Mondeo man.

    • I bought a 2008 X-Type, having driven a 9-3 Saab and Ford Mondeo just prior. The Jag was the best looking, best handling and best ride of the three by a country mile. Replaced only because it’s near impossible to own a diesel these days.

  7. I’m amazed at the outpouring of words looking to deride the X Type. 12 years after its end they still remain a beautiful car much admired by onlookers. The post 2007 facelift models are well sorted, well equipped and stand up well against ageing European options. The model is already reaching classic status and with the advantage of readily available parts make the X Type a very accessible classic jaguar

  8. Recently purchased a late 2008 X type 2.2 diesel estate. Got it for a bargain price, metallic green with beige Leather interior. Have had to replace the EGR valve, glow plugs and MAF sensor along with both thermostats and air filters. Have also replaced all bulbs with LED bulbs. Being turbocharged acceleration is perfectly adequate, and it comfortably cruises above the legal limit returning over 43mpg. Plus it has Sat nav, climate control, multi disc player, heated front screen, voice control etc love it. Oh, previous car Merc E350 Cgi.

  9. These are great cars regardless of bias or snobbery. I have a beige metallic (Topaz) 2.0d version sold out of the Park Lane dealership in 2003. Paintwork is perfect. I rustproof coated the inner sills before it got too bad and it runs great for 180000 miles. Cost around £2500 with purchase, service and repairs and still does up to 60mpg. So comfortable and reliable. Wonder how many modern cars would last like it.

  10. Good to read some more positive comments on the X Type from owners, (they know best). My choice would be the late Queen’s X-Type 3.0 Estate in metallic green – lovely!

  11. The sneering and insults this car faced during its eight year life always baffles me. It was a small|( relatively speaking) Jaguar aimed at buyers unable to afford an XJ or S Type, and would normally buy a Mercedes C class or top of the range Mondeo, but having the traditional wood and leather interior and Jaguar driving abilities. As for rust, remember the blistering paintwork on early noughties Mercedes that must have really annoyed owners, but somehow you never hear about that.

  12. There isn’t much argument over whether the X-Type is a decent car, or if indeed the Mondeo it is related to is. Both are alright cars, the Mondeo was built to Ford’s usual just-about-good-enough standard, the X-Type aiming a little higher.

    But is that what you want from your Jaguar? When you dreampt of owning a Jaguar did you envision your dream car being like a slightly better Ford? Before the X-Type was released was there any other point in the history of Jaguar were it’s cars sold to people who would like a slightly improved Cortina, Granada or Sierra?

    As for styling, drive, engines, everything, I say again that nobody who has seen or driven a pre Ford Jag would think X-Type is anything more than the motoring equivilent of supermarket own brand cola whose packaging shares some of Coke’s styling cues but is fooling nobody.

    It can be both true that the X-Type is both not a real Jaguar and a decent car. They are seperate things and confusing the two has led Jaguar into it’s current morass of XEs and E-Paces and becoming yet an upper mid-level offering.

  13. I’m sorry but it’s contradictory. I worked in the factory (,ford) it was made it was built in a ford factory. We used Mondeo parts bin. It was based on a modified ( not massively) Mondeo platform and mainly used lightly modified ford bottom ends. The factory at that time existed to build mainstream motors not luxury cars….they were never going to match the quality of German cars.

  14. The truth is, none of the premium brands are really worth what punters pay for them. The BMW 3 series wasn’t that superior to Mondeo. Lets be honest the average British driver doesn’t have the driving skill to notice the difference.

    People buy a car like a BMW to show they can afford a BMW. Like all luxury brands that is what matters. Just like Jewellery or a designer handbag. That is why the Ford link was such a disaster for the X-type because it instantly took away that halo, those bragging rights. No-one wants to put a premium car on the drive and have their neighbour’s say it is a rebadge Ford.

    That isn’t fair but that is the reality and Ford/Jaguar were very naïve to make that marketing blunder.

    • I’ve only driven 3, 5 and 7 Series BMWs and the only ones that drove like a Mondeo had something wrong with them. Even the bog standard offerings drove better than Fords best efforts.

      I would otherwise agree on why people buy them, it’s all about the badge image and lots of people don’t notice the difference. Build quality of a BMW isn’t great either but nowhere near as low as Ford.

      BMW and Mercedes have shown how you can stretch the brand image without it quite breaking, as have VAG with Audi, but that is probably not the correct comparison.

      Jaguar making the X-Type is not like BMW or VAG attempting to push upwards and more like Maserati making a X-Type. A car manufacturer not known for high output or quality but rather sporting luxury. If you say that is unobtainable as a business model you may be right but I would also point you to the relatively cut-price Ghiblis now adorning the driveways of new-build estates around the country.

      • I’ve gone from an E92 M-Sport 320D to an X-Type.. the BM is not remotely as nice and the baby jag. Ride was dreadful in comparison, handling no better, and it was a lot looser

  15. As for build quality, the X-type does have a horrible flaw. Its sills can rival a classic from the 70’s for its ability to rot, with it all hidden from the owner by plastic covers.

    When looking for a banger there was cheap X-type on the lot. Looked like a bargain till I had a look at the sills, I was shocked by the amount of rot, the whole sill had gone on one side.

  16. I stopped being interested in Jaguars from 2003 when they stopped producing the X308 XJ6. The X Type smelt plasticky inside, not of leather and wood, much of the interior drummy and scratchy plastic too. A cheesy pastiche just like the S Type and Rover 75. Yuck.

  17. I adore my red X-type 3.0 Estate (one of the few in that colour)

    If it was good enough for the Queen of England, why wouldn’t it be good enough for me 😉

  18. But a car that was derided when new, often makes the best buy when depreciation takes it down to banger money.

    I bought one last year to use as a winter car. I set a limit of £3K, so that the car was effectively disposable. My essentials were 4WD, heated seats and windscreen and preferably manual for bad weather. Only 2 cars had that spec at that price – Ford Kuga and the X-Type. The Kugas were all very high mileage, diesel, worn out, ex-family transport with Kids: 1, Interior Trim: Nil.

    My 1st experience of Arthur Daleys. The stuttering diesel Kuga was put down to spark plugs. Even I questioned that! Arthur thought it might be the coil pack then!

    The X-Types at dealers were generally shabby too. I soon realised that you need an SE or a Sovereign, because the Sport models have a basic spec. Privately, people were selling their father’s car that had seemingly only ever been used to go to funerals, and when their father had been on his final journey, the car needed to go too!

    And just over £2K bought a 2006 2.5 SE manual with 40K on the clock and 3 previous owners. It even has the (£2.5K when new!) touch screen option for the HVAC, ICE and sat-nav. And everything works. The interior is like new. There are genuine Jaguar carpet mats and then Halfords mats over those, so the Jaguar mats are like new, let alone the carpets! And there is a FSH. 300 miles since the last service and a brand new battery. That is the advantage of elderly former owners!

    My usual garage checked it over, changed the brake fluid and a couple of coil springs. Just a little bit of welding to a sill got a clean MOT. I polished the headlights back to clear and the body back to showroom. I changed the scabby rubbers at the bottom of the side windows (the aluminium reinforcing reacts where it meets the steel body).

    I put a set of proper winter tyres on it, not all-season, and not cheap Chinese ones either.

    Outside lane motorway commuting on V Power soon cleaned out it’s life as OAP transportation, and it returns 29 mpg, which is incidentally the same as I get in one of my summer only cars, an F-Type SVR, but I suppose that is progress.

    Used parts are dirt cheap. Wheel nuts are £1 each. Bumpers are £30. A MAF is £10. The only fault I have had was a O2 sensor which my £40 code reader diagnosed perfectly. The garage changed that. The insurance is the cheapest I have ever paid for any car.

    I stored it in Spring and brought it out last month, had it serviced, was assured it will get an MOT when it’s due.

    And to the person who said that post-Ford era cars are not proper Jaguars. That’s nonsense. The X-Type is just like every “proper” Jaguar that my father had. He had a Series 1 when I was born and he had an X351 when he died, and had every one in between. It even sounds like a Jaguar. It does the proper waft thing too on cruise control. It’s the current cars that are not like proper Jaguars, as they are much more like the Germans, although that makes them great to drive.

    But the most priceless things of all are thanks to the recent bad weather. The look on the faces of people in their £100K SUV’s with summer tyres, scraping their frozen windscreens, then not even having the grip to get out of the car-park. I just got into my “old-banger”, started it and pressed the heated windscreen button. 30 seconds later the ice was water, and off I went, my winter tyres and 4WD having no traction problems. Laugh? You bet I did.

    And the icing on the cake? WBAC will offer me more now than I paid for it, if I want to sell it, which I don’t. As I said above, it’s disposable motoring at it’s best.

  19. Had one and it was pretty, comfortable and cheep to run, but rusted away underneath.
    I liked but somehow it felt a little “elderly gent,” for my taste, and the interior was not particularly well laid out inspite of being pretty to look at. When it died I replaced it with a C5 which I’m really enjoying although I do miss the leather heated seats.

  20. I had a 3.0 Sport manual. What a fantastic car. Despite owning fancier jags, an Aston and a Maserati since, I still miss it.

  21. Jaguar couldn’t win. If it is modern it isn’t a jaguar. If it has retro details it isn’t a Jaguar. And if it’s an X-Type the owner must support Brexit. Got it.

  22. The X Type was an attempt at making a more affordable Jag and one that could compete against smaller German executive cars, but having the Jaguar interior that was still popular 20 years ago. It wasn’t an XJ and never pretended to be, but sold reasonably well to buyers who always wanted a new or nearly new Jaguar, but could never afford an XJ. Having simular running costs and using some parts from the Mark 3 Mondeo, itself a fine family car, meant eunning an X Type didn’t mean you needed very deep pockets either.
    Yes the X Tyoe was a bit like a cut down XJ, yes the purists sneered at the links to the Mondeo, and Top Gear had a nervous breakdown when a diesel version was announced, but it proved there was a market for an entry level Jaguar and you could buy anything from a 2.2 diesel with cloth seats to a 3.0 V6 with the full leather interior. I still few on the roads in good condition.

  23. I bought a (rare for the US) 2.5 manual with 69K miles in late 2020 for $4,000.

    It joined an accumulation — not collection — of six other Jags, including an E-Type, X100 S/C, and X308 S/C. I know Jaguars, classic and modern.

    I think my X-Type is a great car.

    But, dynamically, it’s very much a front-wheel-drive car — the location of the engine and transmission mass dictates those dynamics, regardless of the added-on four-wheel-drive.

    An uncle of mine bought one new “back in the day”. He hated it, and felt like he’d been gypped. Took quite a bath when he traded it in.

    I’d feel gypped, too, if I’d paid “new retail” prices for mine.

    It’s a pretty good car but not worth a premium European price.

    But, at $4,000, it’s fantastic.

  24. IMHO these were better looking/more cohesive than the S type and later small Jags (can’t even remember what the latter even look like…) We had an X type as a company car and it had all sorts of electrical gremlins.

  25. The X Type did offer people who wanted a British executive car an alternative to the Rover 75/ MG ZT and meant anyone who wanted a British executive car had more choice than Rover or nothing. I think with the end of the Scorpio, Ford also wanted a competitor in the 2-3 litre class and since non premium badged executive cars were a dying breed by the noughties, they decided to introduce a smaller Jaguar. It wasn’t a massive success, but the X Type sold in vastly more numbers than the weird looking Scorpio.
    My view on the X Type is it was a decent enough car, kept Halewood in business after threats of closure when the Escort was cancelled, and once some early faults were addressed, it settled down to be a reliable car that many owners bought again. A few are still on the roads today and seem to be well looked after.

  26. After a run of German cars (BMW E36 325tds, VW Passat TDI B5, BMW E46 320d) and being unimpressed with German “quality”, I thought I’d try Jaguar for my 110-mile daily commute and bought an X-Type 2.0d. 77,000 miles later (still on the original brakes!) I expected to be bowled over by the then-new and much praised E90 3-series and organised a back-to-back test drive with a 2.2d X-Type over the same challenging B-road. The BMW was unsettled, mid-corner bumps forcing me to back off – the salesman apologised blaming the optional 17in wheels. The Jaguar handled the same road with aplomb – on 18in wheels, and it was an estate! The BMW’s gearshift also inherited the obstructive action of the E46 – in contrast to the slick (cable-operated!) 6-speed of the Jaguar. My first X-Type went on to clock well over 200,000 miles.

  27. While the X-type was not a XJ it did not have to be because those that wanted that could buy an XJ. It a bit like saying the Mini is not a Maxi or 216 was not a SD1.
    It was a good car. I’d say more desirable than a mondeo. But pretty as it was the Stylig always made me feel slightly embarrassed. It felt old. And the interior while pretty enough was oddly laid out with that really ugly central console. So good, even excellent in many ways but never quite hit the mark. But still as good or better than most of the opposition. From cars of that time a Saab 3-5 would be my preference, or maybe a C6, or Rover 75 (am I creeping up class?).

  28. The Rover 75 was the better of the two cars, as it looked more substantial and the smaller petrol engined models were cheaper to run than the X Type, but the X Type did extend Jaguar ownership to people who would buy smaller BMWs or company car owners who normally would be given a Mondeo Ghia. It never gave BMW sleepless nights, but was a steady seller during its eight years on the market and exports were respectable. In diesel form, the X Type was nearly as quiet and as powerful as the petrol V6s, but could return over 50 mpg on long journeys, no doubt bringing a smile to companies who bought these as fleet cars for managers.

  29. Read all of the comments, negative and good. Most negative comments will be from people who have never owned an X type. I owned two. The bottom of the range diesel and a three litre. Both excellent cars. Loved the comments I got, all good, from folks when out and about in them. Negative minds would say, but you never owned a proper Jag. Wrong, I have also owned four xj jags. All good cars. Even Austin Allegro’s were much better than myth has it. I owned four of them with no problems whatsoever.

  30. Another thing that would have attracted people to the X Type, the top of the range cars were four wheel drive, very useful if you were driving in snow and heavy rain, although I doubt anyone took one off road. Add this to two powerful V6 engines and you had a decent alternative to the four wheel drive Audis and an SUV. I totally agree that the comments about the X Type being a Mondeo based car are unfair, and having driven a Mark 3 Mondeo, I couldn’t see that being a bad thing. Perhaps Jaguar should have continued making cars with large straight sixes and V12s to keep the purists happy, which would have probably seen the marque go under.

  31. I dont think the Mondeo platform was the issue. The Mondeo after all was considered class leading in terms of ride and handling at this time. Many Audis share hardware with VW’s of course and that doesnt do them any harm. The problem was how it looked. The thrusting execs that bought compact executive cars in the early naughties wanted a car like the BMW 3 series or Audi A4. Not something that looked like their Dad would drive.

    • The Mark 3 Mondeo was light years ahead of previous Ford family cars and seemed as well made as anything from Germany, so any car being based on the Mondeo wasn’t a bad thing. Ford were undergoing a big improvement in quality with their cars in the early noughties and weren’t the hit and miss products of ten years earlier, which in the case of the 1990 Escort was a truly dire car. It was no shame to Jaguar being liked with Ford and both manufacturers were benefiting from shared technology.
      This was also an era when SUVs were yet to really take off, with less than one in ten new cars registered in 2002 being classed as SUVs, and buyers of premium badged cars mostly chose saloons and coupes. Range Rover was still considered a car for the seriously well off, Land Rover still hadn’t chaken off the agricultural image, and most European manufacturers saw this market as too small. Certainly a Jaguar SUV wouldn’t have been a prospect in the early noughties.

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