Rare Rides: The Fanciest Mondeo - a 2007 Jaguar X-Type Sportwagon
The Rare Rides series has touched on Jaguars multiple times previously. But perhaps those beautiful and powerful sporting vehicles lacked something the true car enthusiast always requires: cargo capacity.
Presenting the very rare Jaguar X-Type Sportwagon.
In the early 2000s, Jaguar had just passed its 10th anniversary under Ford’s ownership. The British marque was a founding member of the brand new Premier Automotive Group — Ford’s answer to all things luxury and parts-sharing. Jaguar’s lineup at the time consisted of just three vehicles: the S-Type midsize sedan, the XJ large sedan, and the XK coupe and convertible. The brand needed more to compete with rival luxury marques engaged in a race to the lower end of the market. That’s where the younger customers were, but those customers needed lower monthly payments.
Ford’s answer was to utilize the third-generation Mondeo platform to underpin a brand new Jaguar, one which would be considerably cheaper than the S-Type. Enter the X-Type.
On sale for the 2001 model year, the sedan’s specifications were limited no matter where in the world they were sold. Jaguar restricted power to V6 engines of 2.5 or 3.0 liters, and all X-Types had all-wheel drive. Transmissions available at introduction were of five speeds, in manual and automatic guises. The exterior design was the last one penned by well-known Jaguar designer Geoff Lawson, who also drew up the XJ220, the original XK, the 1995 XJ, and the S-Type.
There were a couple of problems with the X-Type other than image, reliability, and resale value. First, Jaguar’s European customers desired more efficient, smaller engines, as well as front-drive. The company addressed this in 2002 with the introduction of a front-drive 2.1-liter version sold outside the United States. A diesel joined the lineup later. Europe also desired a wagon, being a continent which still purchased such arcane things. Jaguar complied, asking new designer Ian Callum (Mr. Lawson passed away in 1999) to work on a luxury estate.
Perhaps more accurately, executives at Ford presented a nearly finished design to Callum and told him to sign off on it. The resulting wagon used 420 different parts than the sedan and 58 revised stampings. Cargo capacity with rear seats in place was 24 cubic feet, or 50 cubic feet when folded. The Estate arrived in Europe in 2004; the Sportwagon roared into North America in 2005.
Every Sportwagon in North America was an automatic with the 3.0-liter engine, and came generally well-equipped. The additional body style didn’t matter though, as the Sportwagon was discontinued on our shores after 2007. Production ended in 2008 for all X-Types after a quick visual refresh, and examples were sold into 2009. Something like 1,700 Sportwagons found North American buyers (exact figure not located).
This 2007 example in beautiful jade green metallic has 79,000 miles and asks $7,900 at a dealer in Oregon.
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