Jaguar X-Type 2008 review

Jaguar has made 500 changes to breathe life into its dated compact exec.

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The latest round of revisions has freshened up the baby Jaguar, especially in stylish estate guise. The blend of a smooth diesel engine, slick-shifting automatic gearbox and cosseting cabin make this a relaxing and capable long-distance companion. But the facelift can’t hide all the flaws in the seven-year-old design – dynamically, the X-Type still trails the competition by some distance.

IF it’s nearly the end of the line for the Jaguar X-Type, the seven-year-old model is certainly putting a brave new face on it!

With a makeover and fresh automatic gearbox, it’s clearly determined to go out in style. The PR blurb claims the new model has 500 changes from the previous version – and it looks more sure of itself.

There’s the revised Jaguar family face, as seen on the range-topping XJ, featuring a distinctive mesh grille and more aggressive ‘growler’ badge. Plus, the X-Type has an altogether more low-slung, sporty stance.

Buyers aren’t short-changed on luxury, either. Inside, the well built cabin has high-quality materials, soft-touch plastics and a new trim range which includes modern carbon fibre details (although traditionalists can still opt for wood veneers). Diamond-pattern stitching lifts the new leather seats.

Impressive But the best news is that the company’s torquey and refined 2.2-litre diesel engine is now mated to an impressive six-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a slick system which shifts through the ratios effortlessly. For extra responsiveness, drivers can select Sport mode, or take control entirely by using the sequential shift option.

Even though the design is more sporty, the X-Type remains at its best on the motorway. Not only does the oil-burning engine really come into its own in the high gears, the absorbing ride soaks up surface imperfections effortlessly.

On a twisty B-road, the Jaguar could do with sharper steering and snappier brakes. Its handling can’t match that of BMW’s class-leading 3-Series.

But with 445 litres of luggage space (or 1,415 litres when the rear bench is folded flat), our estate model has practicality to match its quality. So this variant is a good prospect for families.

And with prices starting at £21,500, the X-Type is still decent value compared with its prestige German rivals.

Rival: BMW 3-Series talented BMW has virtually no weaknesses. Beautifully built, with a superb chassis and the company’s excellent Efficient Dynamics technology, it is the class benchmark.

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