By on November 2, 2015

00 - 2000 Jaguar S-Tyle in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Not long ago, we had a Lincoln LS Junkyard Find, and, of course, that means that we need to take a look at the Jaguar counterpart to this mostly-forgotten Jag-O-Lincoln: the S-Type.

It’s no sweat finding a junkyard S-Type these days, particularly when you look in a high-inventory-turnover San Francisco Bay Area yard, and so here’s a not-very-hooptie example I saw last month.
10 - 2000 Jaguar S-Tyle in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

The front of this car looks quite British, but the rear sure has a lot of ’92 Crown Vic-ness going on.

12 - 2000 Jaguar S-Tyle in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

You could get an S-Type or an LS with a manual transmission in the United States, provided you got the V-6 engine. This 281-horsepower AJ-V8 DOHC engine was connected to a 5-speed Ford automatic.

02 - 2000 Jaguar S-Tyle in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

The leather is worn, but the wood still looks nice. It might be fun to buy a good-running Lincoln LS and swap the S-Type’s interior into it.

07 - 2000 Jaguar S-Tyle in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Twenty-first-century Jags have endured some rough depreciation. We haven’t had an S-Type in the 24 Hours of LeMons yet, but we just saw our first X-Type a few months ago (it blew up within minutes of the green flag).

The V-8 S-Type listed at $48,000 in 2000, or about 66 grand in inflation-adjusted dollars.

The TV ads were high-buck/quid affairs.

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78 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 2000 Jaguar S-Type...”


  • avatar
    tonyola

    I never cared for the looks of the S-types. The styling is a mishmash of retro cues that never quite gels into a cohesive whole. Even the much-maligned X-type looked better than the S.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I disparage nothing with round headlights.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You agree with the Amanti then, by default. Are you sure?

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/04-06_Kia_Amanti.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Oh, hell yes. Always liked the Amati.

        One of the nicer kids at work took over his mom’s and is keeping it pristine. I gotta love the little church-going dork.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          OH LORDY.

          So they sold for much longer in Korea, up through the 2010 model year. Sold to dudes who couldn’t quite hack a Grandeur or Azera. Over there it was called the Opirus, and after a restyle looked like this.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kia_Opirus#/media/File:2009_opirus_3.8_gl.jpg

          See that horizontal strip lamp down there? It’s an amber turn blinker, and that’s all it’s used for. You can see them turning from a mile away since it’s LED. Fortunately 95% of the time, it’s just got two big blank light strips at the front.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Eeee! Get rid of that front plate so the little tongue can come out & wag!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think it wants a Scooby Snack.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That car is an affront to the 96+ E-Class and the Lexus GS, which both did quad circleys better.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            And I’m an offense to the alpha male uncle I was named for. But we looked kinda the same.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            How could Koreans resist that back seat legroom? I rode in the back of an Amanti from LA to San Diego to Yuma and it was very comfortable. It was also a bit loud, but I brought my ipod, since I knew the driver wouldn’t play Iggy Pop and the Stooges on the car stereo (it was the only cassette I owned, having found it in the parking lot of a Target).

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3

      Agreed

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I was looking at the LeMons race pictures from the link you provided. It looks like a body roll festival. Are swaybars not permitted?

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      The price limit often keeps teams using the factory springs & sway bars. Some teams build their own sway bar kits by adapting the heaviest bars they can find at Pick & Pull, but most don’t trust themselves to build a set that will result in balanced handling.
      The general Lemons consensus is that it’s better to have a car with stock suspension that has lots of body roll, but more-or-less balanced handling, than a car with poorly matched front & rear sway bars that has no body roll, but unbalanced handling from the mismatched bars.

      Still others buy ebay-grade sway bar kits, and then try to disguise them to look factory. A precious few actually find legitimate room in the $500 budget (usually by selling rare/expensive trim & interior parts) to legitimately and legally run aftermarket sway bars.

  • avatar
    Joss

    They peaked then rapidly fell. I think they were a nostalgia novelty for about 2-3 years. Then they just seemed to disappear off the streets in my area. Limited rear legroom and European Mondeo underpinning?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    It grieves me to see these molder. We have a 17k mile V6 example in the family that acquits itself well for my dear Sister. Easy to diagnose and fix, due to my Lincoln travails, it has required nothing save routine wear items. I would have had to do as much were it a panther. Sic transit gloria

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    These are based on some Lincoln RWD sedan chassis of a similar age so you have an American body with English frills.

    I dont mind these but obviously these things look like 1995 so all the parts are expensive now… and they set no space or refinement or speed advantage, aside from the supercharged variants.

    So they make no sense, they arent pretty to look at, also no prestige. Our market is also full of inexpensive rwd cars of a similar age.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I have always liked the looks of these and would be open to picking one up if I did not drive so much, in fact there is one up the block for sale right now, they were never popular but that is just another reason I like them.

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3

      I like them too. They are easy to find with low mileage in pretty good condition. The Ford underpinnings should make parts pretty inexpensive, no (compared to other Jags of the era)?

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    I remember them being treated as a valid alternative to 3-series in the aspiring driveways of the bourgeois. They’re certainly different looking and have a certain panache that made them gorgeous in their time. They sold well and that was what Jaguar needed even as the XJ soldiered on as the genuine Jaguar. The pricing was dramatically different but it gave Jaguar the shot in the arm it needed.

    I know Ford unloaded it as it unloaded all of the ‘non-ford originated’ Marques but it was probably the one I would have kept out of the lot…if not Range Rover.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Perhaps an alternative 3 series with 5 series size… which is pretty much what Cadillac did in 2003.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        It was priced closer to a 5 back then, but I think leases were in 3-series range. They were genuinely nice cars and I remember a plethora of them showing up in driveways all across the southern suburbs, people who were normally bimmer people suddenly had an S-series to complement the 5-series OR their top-line Honda Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Ford got Jag all fixed up just in time to sell it. At least they made use of the XJ aluminum platform they spent all that money on, for a premium RWD Lincoln.

      OH WAIT NO, they only offered the Town Car.

      :\'(

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Mulally’s mistake was not keeping what became JLR.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Hind sight is 20/20. He should have kept JLR, but I can see at the time why they got rid of them. Ford needed cash and to focus on core products. Tons of other cool stuff got cancelled too.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The PAG was a parasite on Ford sucking the life out of it. They didn’t know how to manage it, and it lost them billions. Shedding those brands to focus (ha) on Ford was the smartest thing Mulally did.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I foresee bball joining shortly to join in Ford-JLR X/S-Type LS lamentation.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I won’t lament the loss of Jaguar that much. LR hurts though. My biggest issue is that Ford did not use JLR platforms for Lincoln or Ford after 2006. If Lincoln had a LR based SUV and Jag based sedan in 2008, maybe Ford doesn’t sell JLR. Even if they still decided to sell JLR in my rewritten timeline, Lincoln would still be farther ahead now.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            They both matter in China, which is where the Lincoln brand now needs to make itself relevant (hence the Continental).

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Jag matters less in China. It’s all about Land Rover. If you shut down Jag, it wouldn’t really matter all that much. Some British men would shed a tear, and then go buy a BMW.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I thought I read something like half of all XJ sales were in China and another 25% to India. Jaguar matters as long as much of the engineering can be shared.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Well it matters, but not like LR does.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Corey, why you always gotta break balls?

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Many industry analysts thought that shuttering Lincoln and turning the Jaguar/Land Rover into the volume luxury maker was good business sense but Ford insisted on history. Frankly it seemed like the lack of Jaguar dealers was the biggest setback because of the obtuse structure that Lincoln was in at the time.

        If Lincoln had had separate dealerships I doubt Jaguar would have been sold.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The dealerships definitely played into it. It would have cost Ford a ton of money to shutter Lincoln and they made money by selling JLR. I’m sure if they had the cash to turn every Lincoln dealership into a JLR dealership, they would have.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          It wasn’t an either/or situation. The Premier Auto Group was bleeding Ford dry, they couldn’t afford to keep it. Lincoln on the other hand cost them next to nothing as they continued to be lightly made-over Fords.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “but the rear sure has a lot of ’92 Crown Vic-ness going on.”

    Drinking in the morning is fun, isn’t it.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I can’t decide which would be worse to own, the S-Type or the X-Type.

    I suppose since the LS is RWD and sold a bit better, and had a V8 option like this did, I’d choose this. The X-Type -> Mondeo -> Contour gives me worse feels, since the Contour was never good at anything.

    My other comment would be to pick up a later S, after they did the restyle in ~03 IIRC. The interior styling improved greatly so the center console no longer looked like something from a Continental, and the shrunken rear lamps with full-width chrome bar added some elegance to the rear.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      “The X-Type -> Mondeo -> Contour gives me worse feels, since the Contour was never good at anything.”

      The SVT Contour was good, until it fell apart. I knew several people who had and loved them.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        4yr./40,000 miles, whichever comes first?

        :)

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Their contour =/= Our contour.

        The same basic architecture underpinned it but the X-Type is actually based on the next contour/mondeo after our’s. Our’s was ousted before 2000 when they replaced it. Interestingly their mondeo/contour had much more design-wise with the Fusion that replaced it than the Contour that preceded it.

        Clarity edit:
        Mark I Mondeo = Contour
        MarK II Mondeo = NOT OUR CONTOUR = X-Type
        Mark III Mondeo = NOT FUSION
        Mark IV Mondeo = Current Fusion

        That’s a really weird architecture history but in principle, the CD architecture soldiered on from MkI-MkIII but to say they’re the same is disingenous. They were basically heavily modified and updated versions. They just used some of the same floorpan designs and other fixed points.

  • avatar
    ArialATOMV8

    You have to remember, this car came from a period where Jaguar was being too traditional and continued to make classy cars that are boring over and over again. Our Cleaning lady a few years ago got this gen of the S-Type or X Type (I forget which one she had) She got a great deal on it after her Toyota Camry’s Engine exploded on the highway. The dealer felt bad and, gave her a 2006ish version.

    The funniest part was that when we were having construction done to our house, one of the workers commented “Nice Jag” unfortinetly, my father told him that, sorry that’s not mine it’s the cleaning ladies.

    She had it for less than a year till the transmission broke and, she did not want to pay the 3K for a new one.

    Jaguar’s around the 2000s are great cars but, they still break down a lot and, should be used as a backup! Ironically to, these ones cost not that much money! I saw a 2001 one go for 3K!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      So, great cars but:

      Break down and not reliable.
      “Classy” but boring.
      Not worth anything.
      Only used as backup cars.

      Yeah, great.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This was priced about 15K less than the XJ, and prior to it and the X-type there were only two Jag models to choose from in various configurations, XJ sedan and XK8. What both the S-type and X-type brought to the brand were newer customers-with less money to spend.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I don’t think the solution to broken Camry is X-Type, ever.

        If the cars were reliable, the cheaper Jag strategy might have worked. Build up a little stylish portfolio of challengers to the beige Lexus offerings. But since they all broke down like a BL flashback, their relegation to BHPH within 3-5 years just made everything worse.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Two decades of hit and miss junk will do that to a marque… as usual Jaguar quality/longevity of the period went from a height in the “real” and most expensive models down to the cheapest which was zero to junkyard in four to six years (on the first two years at least).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I will say, the S-Type always looked dandy in that very light blue metallic color. The XJ worked in that color as well.

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Jaguar_S-Type_Sport_Plus.jpg

            Here’s one that’s blue with cherry leather, because it’s not a US model, and because colour.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I drove an XJ of that color when it was new, long before I worked in the biz.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Tell me more about 1978!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well it was a hell of a time to be alive. You could still buy a real Cadillac if you had the scratch, you could still find a decent woman and start a family, you could still afford to pay your way through higher education, and we had just elected a bumbling President who despite his faults helped lay the groundwork for the destruction of the Soviet Empire. Pretty much the complete opposite of now.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Also, oil crisis stuff and Iran.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That continues today minus the hostages.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “her Toyota Camry’s Engine exploded on the highway.”

      Yeah, goddam highway ditches around here are littered with dead Camrys. Pretty soon badgers start living in them and nobody wants to go near enough to put straps on.

      So there they sit.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    I have some 97K miles on my S-type 2003 3 liter and very much love the car. It still rewards me with a lovely ride and great handling and has had few if any issues since I bought it. The styling is not everyone’s favorite but I do like it. When I need more performance I have the Merc. Reliability is an issue of care and maintenance. I would not matter which of many European cars of this era you own they all need some care. Too many buy these on the cheap and they do fail quickly, but they were already dead when bought. I intend to drive mine for some time to come.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    “The leather is worn, but the wood still looks nice. It might be fun to buy a good-running Lincoln LS and swap the S-Type’s interior into it.”

    It’s funner to put fighter plane interior in instead.
    http://www.ziptied.com/forums/index.php?topic=48141.0

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    The styling just never clicked on these. It was like they started to have a good idea but it was poorly executed, the bean counters took over and just threw old Lincoln parts on it.

    They are one of those cars you used to see all over the road but have completely disappeared now.

    I had a friend with a new “R” edition when they came out and he said you couldn’t the thing out of the shop. Probably why they are all gone.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    It amuses me how much my mom’s Sonata resembles an S Type.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Heavier than an aluminum XJ means there was just no point to this car.

    I agree with tonyola on the styling, too.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree but we have to remember the X350/8 didn’t come out until 2003, S-type came out in 1998.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Good point. I guess maybe it’s a credit to that styling (although I find it ugly) that I misplaced it historically.

        By the way, saw that Legend in person this weekend. Had the first symptom of a seeping head gasket (hot gas bubbling with some vigor into the overflow reservoir). Obviously no sale. Drove beautifully otherwise, though. Reminded me why I would go to all this effort just to find an old Honda. I’ll keep looking.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I’m obviously an outlier here as I’ve always liked the look of these a lot.
    Even considered picking one up on the used market, but then discovered that there are folks who have devoted entire websites to reporting the horrifically unreliable owner experience.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree I always liked these Jaguars. Drop a small block V-8 GM engine with a GM automatic and these would be a fairly reliable vehicle. A nice fuel injected 350 V-8.

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    The fun version of this was the S-type R produced in 2002 (for how long, I’m not sure). It had the 4.2 litre V8 with an Eaton supercharger on top, making 400 horses. It felt very fast to me. Lots of brawny power on tap, and very quick to get going. Sometimes I think about finding another one.

    In 2000, though, I had a loan of an S-type with the normal V8. At the time, it felt pretty grand inside. I gave my in-laws a ride to dinner, and my mother-in-law went out pretty much the next day and bought one. Well, she’s still driving it! The reliability issues total two: a wiring glitch re the door lock (easy fix) and a transmission rebuild (not cheap). Otherwise all solid. I drove it once a year or two ago and it had lost a lot of the glam and grandness. But it felt good, just the same, to pilot it around. That damnedJaguar hood ornament still helps.

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