2008 Jaguar X-Type Wagon Performance

$4,375 - $4,375

2008 Jaguar X-Type Wagon Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 Jaguar X-Type Wagon was new.


Performance: 7.8

The 2008 Jaguar X-Type Wagon's engine is somewhat overpowered by the vehicle's weight, but its handling is comfortable and sedan-like. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram calls it "quite fun to drive even if it is a somewhat practical family-hauler." But not all agree. Edmunds says, "Compared to most other entry-level luxury sedans and wagons, the 2008 Jaguar X-Type comes up short in terms of driving excitement and refinement."

Acceleration and Power

The X-Type Wagon has a 3.0-liter V6 engine that turns out 227 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, its performance is only adequate for the vehicle's weight. "Class competitive at best," in Consumer Guide's opinion, Road and Track says the 3.0-liter engine "provides adequate acceleration power on full throttle, albeit with the engine sounding a bit buzzy and overworked at high rpm." Several agree the engine requires extra effort from the driver to work well. According to Forbes, "Acceleration is competitive but requires a heavy right foot. The engine must be revved hard for serious thrust." Road and Track says "the Sportwagon is agreeably competent when driven hard, but it feels its weight in ways the German cars don't." The Auto Channel agrees, but they don't necessarily think that this is a bad thing: "We only had to punch the accelerator to change a relatively docile engine into a roaring cat that pushes you in the seat of the pants as you pick up the pace." The Environmental Protection Agency has not rated the X-Type Wagon's gas mileage.

The five-speed automatic transmission, which includes Jaguar's J-gate shifter, tries to bring out the best in the V6 engine, but reviews are mixed as to whether it succeeds. Road and Track notes it "shifts smoothly, and it is able to maximize the engine's less-than-stellar 206 lb.-ft. of torque." But Edmunds states the transmission "is not especially quick on the draw" and Consumer Guide makes reference to its "tardy downshifts."

Handling and Braking

As one would expect from an experienced maker of sports cars, the 2008 Jaguar X-Type Wagon handles quite well and the manufacturer makes the conversion from sedan to wagon without any noticeable loss of driving agility. "After just a few minutes behind the wheel, I was hooked," says the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I have also driven the X-type sedan, and I can tell you that there is truly no difference in how the wagon handles compared with the sedan. You don't have to give up anything in the way the sedan rides or drives to have such a practical vehicle as this wagon." The Kansas City Star had a similar experience: "It handled the twists and turns of the mountain roads near Palm Springs with the aplomb of a small luxury sedan."

The Boston Globe finds any differences between the X-Type Wagon's handling and that of Jaguar's higher end sports cars of little consequence: The review says the X-Type "does not give you the stiff ride we have come to expect from mainland Europe's manufacturers, but offers, instead, a subtly quiet ride, slightly soft, built for cruising, stable at speed." Later, the Boston Globe notes this "is what most owners of this end of Jaguar's lineup look for: gentle luxury." The key to that gentle luxury is the X-Type Wagon's independent rear suspension, which the Kansas City Star calls "a key ingredient in the Jag's firm but supple ride. It has been tuned expressly for the wagon. Traction control, antilock brakes and vehicle stability control are all tuned for the wagon." The Auto Channel says the "performance suspension is compliant, so that it corners relatively flat but is still soft enough for a comfortable ride. Also, with a wagon, you don't want any objects you may have stored in the back to go sailing around or be jostled too hard with a rock-hard suspension." Consumer Guide notes the X-Type takes "bumps as a solid unit, stable at speed, befitting sports/luxury positioning." Road and Track says that the "suspension soaks up bumps on the road with ease." The Los Angeles Times notices the "interior twitters a bit when the car encounters rough pavement but not so much as to be distracting."

The X-Type Wagon's steering suffers from a problem common with all-wheel drive vehicles: understeer, a tendency for the car to change direction a little more slowly than the driver turns the wheel. "Push it a little harder and moderate to heavy understeer begins to appear," says Road and Track, "as expected from an all-wheel-drive car." But the Boston Globe says, "There was also, as is common in all-wheel-drive cars, a hint of understeer in accelerated cornering. But this is not necessarily criticism. It is simply a description of a characteristic, and all good cars have character of their own." Consumer Guide just thinks the steering is good, saying that it's secure and "agile for the most part. Fast turns induce some body lean, but AWD maintains outstanding grip, even when powering out of wet corners. Steering is communicative, accurate, nicely weighted." The X-Type wagon comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and emergency brake assist. The Boston Globe notes that there is "a hint of nose-dive in heavy braking."

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