Jaguar sales are in a slump, and our eyes fall on the X-type, the $30,000 wunderkind that promised volume and prosperity but delivered neither, lacking a sexy skin and that special feel at the wheel. Jaguar has been fervently ministering to its baby, last year snipping prices while enhancing equipment and this year adding several new versions, including, strangely, a station wagon.The wagon has the 3.0-liter engine and five-speed automatic as standard. As with all X-types, all-wheel drive is included. The V-6's 227 hp tops such competitors as the Audi A4, the BMW 325i, and the Mercedes-Benz C240, but this version of Ford's Duratec V-6 is not eager to rev and doesn't exactly purr like a Jaguar engine.
Friends we squired around in the X-type were somewhat shocked to be told that their chariot was, indeed, a Jaguar and not some sort of well-tailored little Subaru. Americans equate Jaguars and wagons about as much as they equate Savile Row and Wal-Mart. The X-type's cabin has the requisite leather and wood but precious little space. Competitors' rear seats are just as cramped, but they all carry more cargo, rear seats up or down.
Earlier this year, executives assured us that the X-type wagon would have no place in Jaguar's U.S. lineup, but with red ink gushing across the balance sheet, they're obviously desperate to garner sales from any quarter. The X-type 3.0 Sportwagon is not a bad car, but it's even less of an answer to Jaguar's woes than the sedan was.