Throughout the "90s, Jaguar loafed follow me as a two-model marque. The German and Japanese rivals had broadened their lineups -- and also were scoring sales and also profit increases since of it. Jaguar (and Ford) management elected to "grow the brand," hope to cash in accordingly. The an initial step in Coventry"s setup to go from two-car currently to five was the new-for-Y2K, midsize S-Type sports sedan. Available in both 3.0L V-6 and also 4.0L V-8 forms, the S-Type share a great deal of its underpinnings through the Lincoln LS, but in this case, that"s no bad thing. The car don"t watch or feeling the same, even when parked alongside each other. Plenty of factions that the automotive press got all frocked up over the notion of so lot intersquad parts sharing, however buyers showed up to care little, together both models marketed well, and continue to execute so.
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Since the all-alloy 281-hp V-8-powered version was the evident performance choice, we went for it. Ours Mistral Blue over Almond Beige S-Type 4.0 based in ~ a reasonably well-equipped $48,000 -- around the exact same MRSP together a six-cylinder E320. However it didn"t take long to crank up the tab: The Deluxe communications package, including nav system and integrated cell-phone, cost an eye-opening $4300; the Premium Sound Package added another $1500. The reverse-parking system was $400, and the Weather/Sport package (including 17-in. Alloys and also performance-oriented Pirelli PZero rubber) contributed another $2300. Add $595 for destination charges, and the total swelled come $57,095. Also though a comparably fitted 540i or E430 expense nearer $60K, many editors felt the Jag to be priced a small strongly because that a newcomer. At the very least the leaper ~ above the hood was standard.
Not anyone was originally impressed v the S-Type"s exterior design, though many warmed to it ~ a while. Its shape is definitely heritage inspired, and its elegant challenge could be nothing yet a Jaguar"s. The quality of the chrome, trim, and also paint on our tester to be outstanding.
Nor to be everyone initially impressed through the interior architecture -- however in this case, nobody ever before warmed up to it. The half-moon-shaped part of the instrument panel won no style awards. The nav screen is tiny and placed too far to the ideal to see conveniently while driving.
Furthermore, the inner plastics and vinyl-like leather fell brief of the car"s $57K pricetag. One editor noted, "The absence of storage an are in the cabin is inexcusable; the door cubbies space shallow, there"s but one cupholder, console space is eaten up through the phone, and the glovebox is likewise squeezed by the CD changer. Also the tiny spring-loaded coin holder is just around useless." It"s no wonder the S-Type earns a finish interior redesign for "03 (plus a lot of more; watch "What"s New, Changed, Different"). The said, it proved reasonably roomy and comfortable because that four, if no all five, passengers, and also the 13.1-cu-ft trunk would host most whatever they"d lug along.
Conversely, there was tiny to complain around in regards to driving dynamics. The brand-new DOHC all-aluminum V-8 felt smooth, sophisticated, and also powerful. The 7.0-sec 0-60 time was proper for its vain set, and the wild burble from its double exhaust mechanism sounded both lusty and also upscale. We were less pleased with the five-speed automatic transmission and J-gate shifter, through its mushy detents and non-linear gates between gears. Not among our behinds could tell the difference between the tranny"s traditional or Sport transition mode, and also part-throttle move felt mushy. Overall, it functioned well enough, but pales in comparison to Mercedes" TouchShift and also BMW"s exceptional Steptronic indigenous a standpoint of sophistication.
Jaguars have constantly had a call for a luxurious sports ride/handling balance, and the S-Type is no exception. It"s not as edgy as its German counterparts, nor is that intended to be. Most every staffer delighted in driving it hard (when the felt choose it) or simply being coddled during a quiet commute residence (when he didn"t). The brakes served well and also without complaint. We"d ask because that a touch an ext steering feel, and also the tires acquired noisy together they aged, return that"s not unusual for soft-compound, high-stick rubber.
Some potential buyers are still concerned about Jaguar"s reputation for quality and reliability problems. This test vehicle wasn"t perfect in the regard, despite it didn"t guzzle oil, fried food its electronics, or refuse come start, as would Jags from years ago. An annoying buzz from the stereo speakers turned the end to be a faulty amplifier, i beg your pardon was replaced under warranty. There to be a rattle in the dash, addressed by the addition of part foam behind the dash vents. A loaf in the front suspension walk away with the tightening that the control-arm bolts, and also near the finish of the check period, the turn-signal control became balky. The leather on one speak of the steering wheel pulled far from whereby it met up through the wood, yet otherwise, the materials usually wore well. Every the automobile needed was basic service and oil changes.
Our 2000 version S-Type showed to it is in a "To-Do-List" car. Jaguar must have been reading over our shoulder, however, together it has handily addressed our suggestions -- and also many much more -- v the substantively revised, expanded, and also upgraded "03 S-Type lineup. It wasn"t our List that did it; it"s simply that an all-new E-Class shows up this fall, v a fresh 5 series coming around a year later. For this reason the compete in this industry segment will certainly only acquire tougher.
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We appreciated this car, however given all the brand-new stuff that mirrors up top top the remodeled S-Type (not to cite the 400-hp S-Type R), we in some methods wish we could do this One-Year Test end again. However we already have a brand-new Jag in the fleet, in the kind of an X-Type 3.0 sport five-speed.