Not best in class, but still well equipped and the pick of the X-type range

What is it?

You can be forgiven for not having noticed in the melee of the XF launch, but around the same time that the brave and bold new look of Jaguar was coming onto the market, the company also tickled up the X-type.

It got mild, but effective, external and internal revisions, as well as the option of a 143bhp, 2.2-litre diesel engine.

And now that same higher-output motor can be had with a six-speed auto ‘box - essentially the same unit fitted to the Freelander – even though that benefits from the latest generation PSA-sourced diesel, rather than the old-school Ford unit in the Jag.

What’s it like?

We reckon the 2.2-litre diesel and auto ‘box combo makes the best baby Land Rover and so the same alliance is now the optimal X-type.

Basically the six-speed auto ‘box is a great ally for the engine. Ratios are well judged to make full use of the 266lb ft of torque on tap and it carves through cogs unobtrusively.

Obviously you can’t expect blistering performance but our drive on a wide mix of roads did nothing to suggest that it wouldn’t be on a par with any of its obvious four cylinder diesel rivals.

It does feel a little sluggish from a standing start but kick-down grunt is ferocious enough to dispatch slower moving traffic without too much drama.

The rest of it is standard X-type. Newer rivals feel sharper on the road but, like the bigger Jag saloons, it generally feels as willing as you do to attack bends and all the while feeling well tied down.

There are limitations to its front-wheel-drive chassis however, notably a most unJaguar-like steering vagueness.

Accommodation feels tight by class standards too, though the recent revision has done a lot to make the cabin feel classier through the use of more upmarket materials.

Should I buy one?

Just being able to add an auto ‘box obviously doesn’t propel the X-type above a BMW 3-series or a Mercedes C-class. But it does make it a much more appealing proposition. Make this even more so if you’re in the market for the estate.

It’s also worth remembering that they’re now much better equipped than the equivalent German and if you’re buying privately we’d be amazed if you didn’t manage to hammer home the advantage by getting the dealer to shave off some more money.

With all that in the bag you’ve got the knowledge that you’ve got a good car, just by no means the best that money can buy.

Chas Halllett

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Comments
5

3 June 2008

Erm…The 2.2 lite unit in the Jag is still the puma unit Ford used in the recently replaced CD132 Mondeo (ST TDCI et al). Freelander uses the DW12 PSA unit - which Ford have just dropped in the new Mondeo.

Anonymous

3 June 2008

Erm.. yep. Small brain fade. Apologies

3 June 2008

They don't use a ZF gearbox either - IIRC it's an Aisin Warner unit.

5 June 2008

Pedantic issues aside, its nice to see a well balanced review of the X-Type. I've always thought it to be an unfairly treated car in the motoring press, and although its not something I would personally go for, I think in estate form with the 2.2 diesel and the excellent specification, it makes an especially decent argument for itself at 'just' £22k, or more like £20k with dealer discount. I mean, a 320d SE Tourer costs something like £28k, and even the base ES is around £26k, so the Jag represents an excellent value alternative and something a little different to the norm. Mind you, having recently been in the market for a BMW 325i estate I ended up with a Volvo V50...

12 June 2008

I'm sorry to see the X-type being damned with faint praise once more....I've just said goodbye to my X-type 2.0D after almost 4 years and 180,000 miles of completely trouble-free motoring. For reasons of interior space (teenage sons were a bit cramped in the back) I replaced it with a BMW 520D, and after a monthwith the Beemer, I still miss the X-type, which in my opinion is much more of a driver's car, despite the apparent power deficit - 128 bhp in the Jag plays 177 in the BMW. The Beemer has to be thrashed through the six gears to maintain the sort of average speed which was a doddle in the Jag - whereas the Jag's wide spread of torque gave ample overtaking power in top (5th) gear at any speed above 50 mph. Sometimes I wonder where the 177 horspower in the Beemer really are...Makes me wonder why the manufacturers bother with a 6-speed box in cars with powerful, torquey diesel engines. Sadly, the current 2.0D version of the Jag is notceably noisier than the pre-Euro IV version which I had - and the 2.2D version, nice and quite though it is, has a higher CO2 output which ruled it out of contention for me due to the company car benefit tax rates.

If only Jaguar had lengthened the wheelbase of the X-Type by six inches to give deent rear legroom, and maintained the quietness of the 2-litre diesel with the 5-speed box.......

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