Pretty much like how Red Hot Chili Peppers launched “By the Way” in 2002, which would become one of their masterpieces, Jaguar also released Jaguar X Type in 2001, possibly the car that saved their bottoms from bankruptcy. Is it worth your money today though?
Not that Jaguar is the only manufacturer who releases a mainstream model from time to time to save it’s crusty bottom from bankruptcy. Porsche was highly criticized because they committed car prostitution and released the Cayenne, but look how that car got them out of bankruptcy and financed their later wacky projects such as the Carrera GT and even better, the Panamera.
Which is exactly what happened with the Jaguar X Type. Bought in 1999 by Ford because they were too profitable, Jaguar was in ICU for several years. And just as Peugeot looked at Opel and saw that they didn’t have a cross-over even if that was the latest fashion trend in the automotive industry and so they released the Opel Grandland, Ford looked at Jaguar and saw that they didn’t have the latest fashion trend in the car industry back then, namely the compact saloon / sedan. We are in 1999-2000. The car market is dominated by Passat B5, BMW Series 3 E46, Ford Mondeo, A4 B6 or W203 C Class. The Mercedes ML, the OG truck responsible for the entire SUV hysteria, had just launched and so the wheeled shipping containers hadn’t yet become so sought after. It needed the help of the bombastic X5 but that one only launched in 1999 so until then the saloon dominated the market.
So Ford went dumpster diving through it’s own parts bin and came up with the solution. We bring the Ford Mondeo III platform and build a Jaguar on top of it. Give it the diesel engines from the Mondeo and bring over the Ford Duratec V6 engine and let the folk from Jaguar modify it themselves, just like the people over from Mazda did. And this is how the Jaguar X Type was birthed. The first front-wheel drive Jaguar, available in a station wagon guise and with a 4-cylinder engine. In theory it was supposed to be successful. But it wasn’t. Those who were saw cars as transportation and that’s it bought a Mondeo because it was cheaper than a Jaguar X Type, and Jaguar enthusiasts did not accept to buy a rebodied Mondeo. And so the X Type remained in the zoster zone, even with it’s V6 petrol engines.
Jaguar X Type Engines
- 2.1 V6 AJ20 of 156 horsepower – This is the smallest of the AJ-V6 family and I will tell you why it is not worth buying. It consumes with the entry-level, basic trim level so it’s devoid of options like I’m devoid of Sofia Boutella’s photoshoot pics, it’s marginally more economical than the 2.5 V6 but is also so much slower. Plus the taxes and insurance are marginally cheaper than those for the 2.5. So why go for this engine?
- 2.5 V6 AJ25 of 194 horsepower – Arguably the most balanced engine for the european Jaguar X Type and an engine that you absolutely must try, even with all the reliability issues it has.
- 3.0 V6 AJ30 of 231 horses – If the 2.5 V6 version is the best engine for the european X-Type, the americans enjoy the next step, namely the 3.0 V6. The same engine, abit more demanding on taxes but which has alot more power and it’s marginally thirstier than the 2.5. I doubt that many europeans saw the appeal of a 3 litre petrol X Type, but it’s good to know that it exists.
- 2.0 TDCI ZSD-420 of 130 horsepower – If the petrol AV-J6 is a Ford Duratec modified by Jaguar using variable geometry bought, the 2.0 TDCi diesel engine is undilluted Ford. Quite good as an engine, but very sensitive to the quality of diesel and has equally sensitive injectors, so don’t be a plank and take care of the engine.
- 2.2 TDCI ZSD-422 of 145, 153, and 155 horsepower – This is not the PSA-sourced engine. This is not the PSA-sourced engine. This is not the PSA-sourced engine. This is not the PSA-sourced engine. This is the same 2.0 TDCi of 130 horsepower only enlarged so it comes with the same issues. Yes, this the immortal Transit engine used also on the Freelander. Yes, the 145 horspower version was only available in 2009 for 5 minutes and came standard with a particle filter, hence the reduced power output.
Jaguar X Type Common Issues
- AJ-V6 petrol engines are extremely sensitive to oil quality and are prone to oil leaks. If you don’t check the oil level every 2 hours, you can wake up with a broken crankshaft and with another engine on the shopping list. And this has mainly to do with the oil sump seal which can leak.
- The 2.2 diesel engine with comes standard with a particle filter for the automatic version straight from the factory gates, and from 2009 onwards the particle filter comes standard on the manual gearbox as well. Otherwise, it was a selectable option that no one checked really, but it’s good to check if your Jaguar X Type has a particle filter or not. Especially in these ULEZ days.
- JATCO automatic gearboxes have been for many years a very good reason to demonstrate your talent for cursing for as long as possible without repeating yourself, so do yourself a favor and avoid the 5 speed JATCO automatic gearboxes and go for the 6 speed AISIN one instead.
- Just as you can do yourself a favor by avoiding all-wheel drive models. Transfer cases are famous for the Jaguar X Type as they explode like real estate prices, so do yourself a favor and avoid them. Fortunately, the diesel engines only came with front-wheel drive, so you only have to pay attention to the fuel system, fuel included.
- The chrome on the car falls off, so you either constantly replace it or just live without it. Also, special mention needs to be made for the door locks and keys that protest like it’s 1963 and end up not working.
Jaguar X Type Verdict
Yes, it’s a Mondeo in a Jaguar coat that costs a lot more than a Mondeo. But these days on the used market a Jaguar X Type costs about as much as a Mondeo. And most X Types come with the 2 litre 130 horsepower diesel, front wheel drive and manual gearbox. It is an absolutely decent car. No, it’s not Jaguar. It’s just an regular mainstream car. A slightly more pompous Mondeo. But at 2,000 pounds or less it’s hard to find a more comfortable car like a Jaguar X Type that won’t kick you in the financial testicles. Because a 2 litre manual diesel with front wheel drive will never ruin you financially. But it will ruin your soul and joy.
Which engines do I recommend? For petrol, I said it and I will say it again, the 194 horsepower AJ25 2.5 V6. And for diesel, the well-known 130 horsepower 2.0 TDCi. Or the 2.2 Transit-van version, if taxes and insurances don’t bother you.