|Premium midsize car; Built in England|
|Good condition price range: $5,200 – $24,000*|
2003 Jaguar S-Type
2004 Jaguar S-Type
2005 Jaguar S-Type
Jaguar S-Type interior
All of these Jaguars are a pleasure to drive, with appointments and features that are worthy of the class. Prices were steep when new, but relatively low resale values compared to BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz make them wiser choices secondhand. Best value might be the base-suspension 4.2 sedan.
Jaguar’s midsize rear-wheel-drive luxury sedans earned a number of updates for 2003, along with a new high-performance version. Dimensions did not change, but all S-Types featured revised grilles, new wheels, and a freshened interior with curtain side airbags.
The base V6 3.0 model returned with a manual transmission newly available. Replacing the 4.0-liter V8 version was a new S-Type 4.2 with a 294-horsepower, 4.2-liter V8. Topping the line, a new S-Type R sedan held a 400-horsepower, supercharged 4.2-liter. All V8s came with a new six-speed automatic transmission that was optional on the 3.0 model.
All S-Types got a retuned suspension and added an antiskid system to the standard traction control, as well as four-wheel disc brakes. Available as a package on 3.0 and 4.2 models were a body-colored grille and an automatically-adjusting sport suspension. A similar suspension was standard on the R sedan, which featured a mesh grille, exclusive seats and interior trim, and the xenon headlamps that were optional on other S-Types. The R sedan rode on 18-inch wheels, versus 17s for 4.2 models and 16s for the 3.0.
Curtain side airbags joined standard front side airbags and a newly standard power tilt/telescopic steering column. Power-adjustable foot pedals were a new option for the 3.0 and standard on V8 models. The optional navigation system had a new touch-screen display. Voice activation for some audio, phone, and climate functions was again available.
Built in Britain, the S-Type shared its basic underskin design with the Lincoln LS from Jaguar’s parent company, Ford. It was the less expensive of Jaguar’s two luxury sedans. Rivals included the Acura RL, BMW 5-Series, Lexus GS 300/430, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Except for slight changes in engine output ratings, little was new for 2004. The base 3.0 model held a 235-horsepower V6, while the 4.2 sedan used a 294-horsepower, 4.2-liter V8 and the R sedan’s supercharged V8 produced 390 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission remained standard on all. The 3.0 could be equipped with a five-speed manual as a no-charge option.
The R sedan had an automatically-adjusting sport suspension, which was included in a Sport Package option for 3.0 and 4.2 models. Optional Adaptive Cruise Control was designed to maintain a set following distance from traffic ahead.
A new luxury VDP edition joined the 2005 lineup as an option group for the 4.2 sedan, including upgrades to the standard leather/wood interior decor. Jaguar also noted revisions to S-Type styling led by a freshened front end, modified primary instrumentation, and altered cabin trim. The 3.0 V6 model no longer came with a manual transmission. That model exchanged its 16-inch wheels for the 17s used by the 4.2 sedan.
Both models were available with a tauter-suspension Sport Package. For 2005, that option replaced its 17-inch wheels with 18s, which were also a standalone choice. Newly available with the Sport Package, and on the R sedan, was aluminum interior trim instead of the usual wood.
No changes for the S-Type in 2006.
Several popular options became standard for 2007 on the S-Type. Previously optional features now standard included heated front seats for the 3.0 and a navigation system and front-obstacle detection for the 4.0. All models also got driver-seat memory and power pedals for ’07. Aluminum interior trim was no longer offered.
The 2008 Jaguar S-Type got a minor exterior facelift as it entered its final model year. This premium midsize sedan will be replaced by the 2009 Jaguar XF.