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.