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2005 Jaguar X-Type SportWagon Road Test

By Kevin 'Crash' Corrigan

The all-wheel-drive Jaguar X-Type presents a mix of elegant design at the front with a practical station wagon at the back.I had heard lots of talk about the X-Type from friends who own Jaguars. Some of them love the entry-level all-wheel drive X-Types and have purchased them, while others -- loyal Jaguar purists -- say "it's more a Ford" now, referring to Ford's ownership of the brand and the resultant platform sharing.

The model I evaluated was the 2005 X-Type 3.0 AWD Sportwagon.

My first impression of this wagon was its sleekness, with sporting lines -- exactly what a sports wagon should look like. It's nice to see the chrome accents that adorn the body -- to me chrome has always said 'prestige' and Jaguars are famed for their chrome work.

Since it's a wagon, I went straight to the rear for a look. It has a good-sized tailgate with an opening-glass feature that has been well engineered. Once the hatch is open, it reveals a larger load space than I had expected, with handy cubby boxes on each side and a large under-floor compartment with a 12-volt outlet.

So is it a real Jaguar? Well, upon opening the door, I felt that I was being invited in. Open any Jaguar door and just try to resist getting inside! All Jaguar interiors are like temples to the gods of wood and leather -- it is truly the one thing that the British auto industry can do better than anyone else.

2006 Jaguar X-Type interior is posh.When sitting inside it has the usual aircraft cockpit feel as everything just wraps around you. From the steering wheel to the gauges to the switch controls, it's all Jaguar quality.

One small thing I noticed was when closing the hood, the front grille gave an annoying rattle. Maybe it's something for the Jag guys to revisit.

Upon start-up, the 3.0-litre V6 DOHC engine sounded a little coarse. As I pulled away and accelerated the sound changed to more of a mild growl, which I actually liked, and it seemed well suited to the vehicle. Jaguars have always had nice transmissions and this was no exception.

Jaguar X-Type SportWagon adds a practical side to a luxury ride.With the X-Type, you get a little more road feel than in most Jaguars, but one must remember that this is not a $100,000+ luxury sedan (price as tested: $47,000). The car corners well, with sprightly acceleration that is more than matched by some of the best brakes I have encountered, especially of vehicles in this price bracket. On my return, I sat in the car for a while, savouring the interior. Yes it is a "real Jaguar" and yes, you can see Ford's influence on its design.

But that influence has mainly been to buy components at Ford prices, rather than Jaguar's. This has enabled the big brother to bring us the entry-level X-Type, and at a good price position in the market.

It doesn't feel like the top-of-the-line model, but then it does not carry a top-of-the-line price tag. For anyone looking for a luxury sports wagon in this price range, Jaguar delivers and delivers well.

The Jaguar fits rather nicely into the sports wagon market.

"Grace, Space and Pace" was Jaguar's historic slogan for the company in years gone by. This vehicle covers all three in a way that only a Jaguar could.

VERDICT: 8+/10

Kevin 'Crash' Corrigan is an automotive writer based in Caledon, Ont.

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