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2005 Jaguar X-Type Review

2005 Jaguar X-Type New Car Review - Palm Springs Road Trip

by Michelle Czarka

I push down on the accelerator and my vehicle responds instantly and confidently as though it realizes the importance of having a swift and stealthy pass through the obstacles ahead. It hugs the corners and smoothly glides over the rough terrain conquering each foot with grace and strength. We soar across the Martian landscape carving our way between the army of soldiers. I concentrate on the road ahead, a land beyond the reach of these white giants, where I will be able to break free of the restraints and express my individuality. I take a deep breath and brace myself for the unexpected. What I end up with is reality but a pleasing one at that.

The Martian terrain fades from my sight and I am traveling along the I-10 through the Sonoran Desert. I am carving my way through the world famous Palm Springs Windmill Farm. And my stellar mode of transportation is the all-new Jaguar X-Type Sportwagon. Yes, I said Jaguar and wagon in the same sentence. Jaguar’s first ever production wagon – the X-TYPE Sportwagon – puts Jaguar poised to pounce on an new market segment where the big cat marque has previously not been represented.

2005 Jaguar X-Type Sport Wagon

The Sportwagon is based on the X-TYPE sedan, but with a body styling and structure all its own. Starting at the B-pillars and flowing the length of the roof to the rear tailgate – the new X-TYPE Sportwagon offers an unrivalled combination of luxury, refinement and versatility. The elongated roof dips gently towards the rear increasing the already plentiful rear headroom. The new tailgate has a dynamic slope to its rear glass, and a spoiler - strategically placed on its top edge where it joins the roof - helping to give the X-TYPE Sportwagon a subtle, sporty side profile.

The X-TYPE Sportwagon’s maximum volume with both rear seats folded forward is an impressive 50 cubic feet. Even with the rear seats in use, the X-TYPE Sportwagon offers an impressive 15.7 cubic feet of luggage volume to the bottom of the window level, and 24.2 cubic feet to the roofline.

Split-folding rear seats allow one, two or all three rear seat spaces to be allocated to luggage-carrying, so it is still possible to carry either one or two rear-seat passengers even with the seatbacks partially folded. The seats are released by a simple latch in each seatback, and can be folded forwards without removing the rear-seat headrests.

2005 Jaguar X-Type Sport Wagon Hatch

The entire tailgate can be opened like any conventional wagon, either from a pre-programmed remote key fob or via an electrically operated lock, controlled by a concealed button. The separately opening rear window can also be opened alone as it features its own control options. Designed with the driver in mind, the tailgate opening and closing is assisted by a pair of gas-filled struts and opens to a wide 88 degree angle – perfect for easy use – and closes to an all-new low bumper top, with very little intrusion from the completely new rear lights, which wrap around the new rear body sides.

The spacious load area is fully carpeted and trimmed, and to keep luggage securely in place and hidden from view, there’s a retractable tonneau cover that rolls out over the load area. The luggage can also be secured with a standard cargo net, which can be attached to the roof-lining, to prevent smaller items like grocery bags from spilling their contents. Larger items can be anchored by tie-down straps that hook onto the four strong, D-rings incorporated in the luggage area floor. For added security, a large, molded tray below the rear floor contains two deep storage sections and is accessed by lifting the trunk floor on its hinges. This hidden compartment incorporates a 12-volt output, making it perfect for charging a laptop computer or digital camera while being discreetly concealed.

On the outside, fixed silver roof rails are fitted as standard and a range of additional carrying systems will be available, from ski clamps to roof boxes, so buyers can select a system that works best for their individual needs.

Like the X-TYPE sedan, the X-TYPE Sportwagon is engineered to deliver a supple ride with maximum control and sporting dynamics, including exceptional steering. Most aspects of the Sportwagon’s suspension and electronic control systems have been tuned to its specific needs, but essentially the layout is unchanged from the sedan. Its very compact packaging makes almost no intrusion into the sides of the new load area, and allows an impressively low trunk floor, for easy loading and maximum luggage volume.

The Sportwagon’s power-assisted rack and pinion system provides stability at any speed even with full cargo load and maintains the comfort and strong response that Jaguar vehicles have come to symbolize. As I cruised the back roads of the Santa Rosa mountains, the Sportwagon’s precise steering made the curvy roads as navigatable as straightaways.

“The area of sport wagons is not one in which Jaguar has previously competed – largely because this class of vehicle didn’t sit well with the marque’s core values of exceptional refinement and a sporting drive,” explained O’Donnell. “But the X-TYPE, with its Traction-4™ all-wheel-drive system and exceptional structural rigidity, has been developed into an exceptional premium sport wagon incorporating all the values for which the marque is renowned.”

The impressive 227 hp V6 engine is the most powerful ever offered in the X-Type line and is paired with the Traction-4™ all-wheel-drive system. And while its growls with power, the efficiency is competitive in both fuel consumption and emissions.

2005 Jaguar X-Type Sport Wagon Review

The compact and durable yet sophisticated all-wheel-drive system gives sure-footed handling at all speeds and in all weather conditions while retaining the positive feedback and precise steering feel that are fundamental to Jaguar driving dynamics.

The standard electronic five-speed automatic transmission gives optimum fuel efficiency as well as punchy acceleration and refined highway cruising. It is controlled by the latest version of Jaguar’s traditional J-gate gear selector, which offers manual control of the automatic transmission for those drivers who prefer to have greater control. When used in the normal ‘D’ automatic position, two selectable shift modes, Normal or Sport, modify the way the transmission changes ratios to complement different driving styles.

Alongside all these comfort and convenience features, the X-TYPE Sportwagon has the high levels of both active and passive safety Jaguar buyers expect. Active safety begins with an extremely strong bodyshell, energy-absorbing impact zones and class-leading chassis dynamics, including Traction-4™ all-wheel drive.

The X-TYPE also has a comprehensive passive safety package that includes occupancy-sensing restraint systems, adaptive dual-stage driver and passenger front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, knee bolster airbag, side-curtain airbags - for both front and rear occupants.

Front seat belts have pre-tensioning and load-limiting functions, and the rear seats offer three three-point belts and adjustable head restraints. Also for the X-TYPE Sportwagon, rear seat mountings and release catch strength are designed to exceed all legislative requirements on luggage retention in case of an accident. Even the vertical luggage net of the load cover system is designed to keep the back of the X-TYPE Sportwagon safe as well as tidy, and it meets all requirements for luggage-retention performance.

In short, it is a car engineered for maximum practicality with maximum driving pleasure - a true Jaguar.

For More Information Click: Jaguar X-Type
For the Jaguar 2005 Model Guide : Click Here