2000 Jaguar S Type Sedan (273)

This 2000 S Type Jaguar ushers in a new age with even more technology. After all it is the new millennium and the advent of more innovation. Perhaps we’ll start to see some changes in an industry that’s been pretty blah for a lot of years. Most of the improvements over all these years from the model T to now have been subtle and not real noticeable. Engines for example have become rather generic and trouble free. They are no longer a real issue in decision making for the consumer. Transmissions, like kids, as my parents used to tell me, should be seen and not heard. Well, guess what? Now transmissions are quiet and smooth and the kids are real vocal even when rough around the edges. It gives a new meaning to the saying, “hire a teenager while they still know everything.” Electronics are ho-hum in that they always work. I know that’s hard for younger people to appreciate unless they’ve had the opportunity of driving dad’s antique auto. And finally, this Jaguar is no pussycat. Its 4.0-liter engine is fast.

This new 2000 model was first sold in mid-1999 and offers some pretty unique features you will find only on a few high priced cars. Most are enhancements to the performance and also enhance safe driving, like the DSC for Dynamic Stability Control, and C.A.T.S., for Computer Activated Technology Suspension system. Other interesting features include convenience Rain Sensing windshield wipers and an innovative Voice Activation system that doesn’t even have to learn your voice.

Perhaps the most important is the DSC because it helps the driver stay out of trouble by controlling vehicle yaw or movement that can cause over steer. That computer control of brakes and power to the wheels keeps the car going in the drivers intended direction. The second feature for safe driving is the ability to control the radio, CD or tapedeck, temperature and also make a phone call without taking your eyes off the road. “Voice Commands” can be used for these functions by simply pressing a button on the steering wheel and clearly enunciating words and numbers like, “Tune ninety nine point seven FM”. You get an audio confirmation of what you just said and the radio changes band and station. You can also control the tape deck and CD player as well. For the telephone you simply say “Dial [number] and the phone dials for you for hands free operation. For the climate control you can say “Temperature seventy-two degrees” and wa-la the temp setting changes.

At Comdex (the largest computer show in the country each November) in Las Vegas voice control of computers echoed this new Jaguar feature. I suspect “Hal” is now a reality and soon voice control of computers will be taken as much for granted as the car is today. And, of course, just when you think that’s all they can do, voice commands for the car will include “Altitude 500 feet” or “Turn Level to 320 degrees”, etc. Freeways? Who needs freeways? Cal Trans employees better start learning Air Traffic Control skills for the crowded and unfriendly sky’s we’re sure to have sooner than we think.

Ok, back to earth and the real world we still need to deal with. And for the near future you’ll need cars like this S Type Jag to make you FEEL you’re on “cloud 9”. The quality sound system and great insulation from outside noise help to calm you for an otherwise stressful, road rage ride home from the office. It puts you in a whole different world. And what’s even more amazing, it’s a Fooorr’d.

The competition:

2000 Acura RL $42,000, 2000 Audi A6 $33,950-$48,900, 2000 BMW 5-Series $38,900-$53,900, 2000 Cadillac Seville $43,880-$48,480, 2000 Infiniti Q45 $48,895-$50,595, 2000 Lexus GS 300/400 $37,600-$46,000, 2000 Mercedes-Benz E-Class $47-$69,800, 2000 Volvo S80 $36-$40,500

Good News:

Silky smooth ride, quiet, fast, great handling, traditional Jaguar styling, improving quality, neat features and elegant appearance.

Bad News:

Jaguar has historically been poor in quality both in assembly and mechanical design, so the jury is still out as to whether Ford will be a positive influence.

Standard Equipment: 

4.0 liter V8 281 horsepower engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, speed sensitive power steering, traction control, front and side airbags, security system, auto headlights, fog lights, climate control, cruise control, fold down rear seat, power front seats, power tilt steering column, power windows and door locks, computer, real wood trim and steering wheel, leather seating, moon roof, FM stereo with cassette, and alloy wheels.

Gas Stats: 

17 City and 23 Highway MPG.


MSRP $48,000 and the model I tested included the special communication, sound and weather packages bringing the total to $55,600.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

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