Monday, November 12, 2012

Used Car Review - Jaguar S-Type (1999-2007)

If Myk belmonte had featured a Land Rover months ago, this time, another British brand would be gracing these pages. If you are the type of person who dares to be different, so my friend, read this post and make a wise decision.

1999-2007 Jaguar S-Type

History dictates that Jaguar was formed way back in 1922 by two friends in Blackpool, England. First called the Swallow Sidecar Company, then renamed as the Swallow Coachbuilding Company in 1927. The early thirties had their name change to SS Cars, that was the time the first Jaguars are born, but, they are not called Jaguars during that time. Production stopped in 1940 due to the war and resumed in 1945, with the SS Cars being reborn as Jaguar Cars.

To branch out to the mass market somehow, the S-Type was introduced in 1998 with design credits from Geoff Lawson. With that time Ford owning the leaping cat brand, the platform is shared with various Ford vehicles which includes the Lincoln LS and the revived Ford Thunderbird. This car aims to ignite interest for the brand to attract newer buyers. Come 2007, it was axed in favor of the XF and thus, the Jaguar brand was sold to Tata Motors based in India.

The Jaguar S-Type was made to the select few buyers (or in short, the high income market since they do have the money) in 1999. With the local distributor following the international market, the S-Type was discontinued to be replaced by the XF.

Value and Costs
From P800,000-P1,600,000, your British dreams could be achieved for less. This price range ranges models that are in good condition to the spotty ones. Be cautious of second hand units from other countries, and units with questionable odometer readings. They can cause problems in the future, and this is a bad thing for luxury cars. Going with a second hand unit that has been certified is a wise proposition.

Cost of maintaining these felines is at par with other European brands, so there is no need to cut back on meals for a year. Let me debunk on the impression that has been widespread during the old days according to the old school thinking of Joseph Lucas, these are not applicable in this decade. And to worry you less, electrical components come from the Land of Nippon, so if there is any sensor or two that fail, you can find an equivalent from the parts bin of a different brand. If problems persist regarding funny noises, unusual driving characteristics, or liquids entering from nowhere, don't make the problem big and go to the nearest service center to fix them.

Exterior and Interior
Car nut or not, you'll say that the S-Type is a beautiful car. Inspect closer and you will see small details that other makes cannot imitate (some imitate it but end up as fails). Squint hard at the grille mesh, you will say that it is stamped but actually, it is a woven mesh, with threads and fabric collide. The lines would remind you of Jaguar's coachbuilding background, with complex curves and shapes that are nice to look at.

The interior trim is a throwback to Jaguar's past, with wood trims (this is real, not fake that most use) and soft leather. Hold the steering wheel where the logo is proudly displayed, it would guarantee you hours of fun. A unique touch is the J-gate automatic shifter, which provides distinct positions for each gear. There was never a time Jaguar scrimped in audio portion, comfort, and safety; with a reasonable amount of kit being standard. If you plan to bring four people with you, better not since the rear is very cramped.

Two engines with two engine cylinders and a turbo option are the choices for the moneyed crowd. The most popular variant (and you will encounter this one) is an AJ30 2,967cc V6 which has 240hp at 6,800rpm and 300Nm 4,100rpm. If you have tons of money for maintenance and gas, you get two V8 options starting with the AJ34 2,967cc that possess 300hp at 6,000rpm and 420Nm at 4,100rpm. Opting for the turbo version would get you the same engine but 400hp at 6,100rpm and 541Nm at 3,500rpm. The V6 is more than enough to satisfy your power needs and ends out purrific since it uses a wide range of revs. Going for the V8 gives you more power and same goes with the turbo.

Driving Impressions
Say bye bye to the lack of power since the S-Type provides you a lot, yes, a lot of ready power. Handling is decent enough, but don't expect sports car-like. But if there is one thing where the S-Type would shine, it would be isolation. Couple this with the leather seats, and you'll enjoy the scenery. Just remember to be patient with the brakes, since it takes time getting used to than your ordinary car.

Going with the S-Type is not a choice done by a fool. You will be rewarded with the elegance it provides, and also the performance you could get even in stock form. It may not be as plenty as the Germans, but you can say to yourself that you have arrived. And there is the feeling of owning a British car, which should be experienced, not read in reviews. So, go out and buy!

The Good:
  • Elegantly styled
  • Kitted to the roof
  • Dares to be different
The Bad:
  • Cramped inside
  • You'll have that "mukhang matanda" stigma
  • Some reliability quirks
The Pick: 3.0 SE

Engines: 2,967 AJ30 V6 and 4,196 AJ34 V8 gasoline
Power: 240hp @ 6,800rpm (V6), 300hp @ 6,000rpm (V8), 400hp @ 6,100rpm (V8 Supercharged)
Torque: 300Nm @ 4,100rpm (V6), 420Nm @ 4,100rpm (V8), 541Nm @ 3,500rpm (V8 Supercharged)
Fuel Consumption: 5-8km/L (city), 6-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front and rear independent double wishbone. With sport option in V8 Supercharged

Price (New): P3,000,000-P4,100,000
Price (Now): P800,000-P1,600,000
Rivals: BMW 5 Series, Mercedes Benz E Class, Audi A6, Volvo S80
On Sale: 1999-2007

Jaguar Bonifacio Global City - 856-2277
Jaguar Makati - 881-7060

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