This week I was off trekking to the Pacific Northwest again, but this time in a 2004 Jaguar X-Type 4-Door Sedan. Bluer than blue was the color, and that brings to mind lyrics from a song of yesteryear. Can you hear the melody?
Up the central valley of California to its State Capitol – Sacramento, where the romance of pioneer days is still alive in the great state of California. That part of the country explodes with history like the Gold Rush of 1860s, the railroad, the Donner Party and other sacrifices of those from around the world who found their dreams realized in this rugged country. Not far to the east is the spectacular Lake Tahoe that began to blossom at the turn of the 20th Century.
I had dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack on the Sacramento River that snakes from the north and ends up in the Pacific Ocean. As the sun was setting looking west out across the river, “Old town” became even more charming with its thick wood boardwalk and railroad tracks to make the setting even more original. It conjured up visions of the stories told in books, plays and film that have shaped our lives and remind us of the rich history of this country.
Sacramento comes alive even more with the excitement that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger brings to this community where he and wife Maria have chosen to call home for a while.
The Jaguar journey was smooth and fast and it seemed somehow out of place and in sharp contrast to the setting of horse and buggy memories.
Handling & Performance:
But I thoroughly enjoyed the companionship of this trusty steed, even though it was thirsty all the time. Jaguar presents an elegant and capable presence at any venue. This V6 is surprisingly fast. Most of the time I forgot it was a 5-speed manual transmission and I’d forget to shift until 5th gear just wouldn’t pull the load any longer even with 227 horses.
The All Wheel Drive made handling a dream to compliment the vistas of this beautiful part of America. The road up the central valley has abundant winding roads to allow this Cat to show off its ability to take the curves with such sure footedness.
Jaguar says the X-Type is “inspired by over 70 years of legendary performance and design”. I agree. It is unique in the automotive world. It has lines that are unmistakably Jaguar. And as you look around the highways other carmakers think its design is special and they give the greatest compliment to Jag by copying its look. Buick has been considered the poor mans Jag and Ford Contour has lines that make one wonder if Ford and Jaguar “Had” to get married.
Ok, so this X-Type is a little smaller than the full size Jag, but the price is less than half with the same charm and sex appeal. You gotta love the addition to their lineup.
Fit and Finish:
Very proper – mate.
So much for needing to buy a knock off when you can buy an X-Type for just $33,000. Jag is making a run at BMW Series and lots of other folks out there. Jaguar is unofficially a ladies car, and now many more will be able to afford to own one. So brace yourselves – men – because your better half will be lobbying to change what’s in your garage. British breeding.
… Or in this case, Inconveniences… I’ve got to complain about the seats. I hate to, but they are simply awful. Typically Jag has incorporated thick heavy tough leather that always cracks, so the convenience of leather still has to be cared for. Be sure to buy some Hyde Food and use it often.
The reasonable price compels you to consider this Jag in this class of cars competing, but the Volvo is a tough contender. Make some points with mom and put one in the garage for her.
Jaguar X-Type $29-34,000, Volvo S60 $30-37,000, Saab 9-3 $26-43,000, BMW 3-Series $28-44,000, Mercedes Benz C-Class $26-51,000, Audi A-4 $26-44,000, Lexus IS 300 $29-31,000, Infiniti G35 $28-33,000, Acura TL $33-35,000, Volkswagen Passat $22-39,000.
Classy, fast, fun to drive and the price is very good for the badge.
Seats are poorly designed and uncomfortable on long trips. Compounded by the hard leather, the shape includes narrow confined space with high cushions that hold you in just a bit to tight. Not very good fuel economy. I found that the published numbers, usually very reliable, are questionable here. On the open road I only got 17 mpg, fully expecting 18 to 25 as represented.
3.0 liter 227 horsepower V6 engine, 5-speed manual trans, permanent AWD (all wheel drive), power 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, variable ratio power steering, Traction 4 all wheel drive, anti theft engine immobilizer, auto headlights, front and side airbags, remote entry and drive-away locking, 8-way power driver seat, automatic climate control, leather trim seats, moon roof, CD player, split fold rear seat.
18 City and 25 Highway MPG. Not!
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