Big-car dose of style for smallest Jag
23 November 2004

Is the new X-type Sovereign an admission from Jaguar that trying to make its compact exec appeal to the new Jag generation is a lost cause? We only say that because this new range-topper looks suspiciously like it’s appealing to the old Jag generation.

The emphasis here is on cushy comfort. This version comes crammed with kit including an uprated hi-fi and sat-nav system, and keeps the traditionalists happy with standard ‘touring’ suspension and ‘classic’ front seats. With the ivory trim colour of our 3.0-litre auto test car, it certainly looked more junior XJ than thrusting BMW 3-series rival.

But whatever you think about the X’s image, this Sovereign again confirms that the basics for the junior Jag are inherently right. Handling and ride remain an X-type forte, especially without the stiffer sports suspension fitted. Likewise, the four-wheel-drive chassis is incredibly sure-footed, if not quite as zesty as the BMW’s rear-drive set-up.

The rest of the package is appealing. Space is fine and build quality looks and feels conspicuously better than that of the original launch cars.

Sadly, though, the used-car market doesn’t agree. This ritzy version costs £31,670, before you spec an auto ’box, and you will doubtless get more of your cash back come resale time by buying German.

Chas Hallett


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