By on August 9, 2019

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.

[Images: seller]

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49 Comments on “Rare Rides: The Fanciest Mondeo – a 2007 Jaguar X-Type Sportwagon...”


  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Hate me all you want, but I truly want one of these.

    I just need lots of time and money to either keep it running, or to own other vehicles that I can use, when it is not running.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I love the idea of this car. I love the looks of this car. I’d love something like it. But these are next-level trash.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I wanted one too back when I was fairly early in my career and there was no effin’ way I could afford anything greater than the 1997 Escort wagon I bought in 2002 of the Avis Ford lot.

        I did finally get a European wagon, just wearing Buick badges.

        Cross one item off my “I always wanted” list.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      +3, gentlemen.

      A UK-based client of mine had one of these as a company car. Sadly, it lived up to the model’s poor reputation for reliability, with the engine’s completely dying about six months into the lease. I wish I could remember which of the several choices it had. I’ll note that, per a colleague, the client’s overly aggressive driving was a contributing factor.

      I do admit that I like the look of these, provided they don’t have the anachronistic hood ornament. My guess is that those were an option but that most US dealers had their examples so equipped.

      IMO, sharing DNA with the Mondeo wasn’t a sin in and of itself, as this was platform sharing and not Roger Smith-style badge engineering: different styling, dimensions, and so forth. The sin was reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      These weren’t unreliable as I recall. Or at least they weren’t any more unreliable than the Ford Contour/Mondeo’s on which they were based.

    • 0 avatar
      HOWDEDO

      We love our two 2005 Jaguar Sportwagons. One is red and the other one is gold. They ride and look like they are brand new. We always get “wow” looks where ever we drive and people are always giving us compliments on how beautiful they look. Most people have never seen one since only 954 units were sold in 2005 (as per Jaguar Service Customer Relations research) and they assume that they’re new. Not bad for 14-year-old cars with over 90,000 miles!

      • 0 avatar
        RKS

        My wife’s red X-type diesel estate (which I feared would be problematic from day one) did sterling service and 120,000 miles before being moved on. The kids trashed the interior and treated it with utter contempt, yet it took everything in its stride.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Arthur, you should know better than to buy into all the Jaguar stereotypes: “My father’s second cousin’s brother’s ex down at the pub had a Jag once and he never maintained it, but it didn’t start once after he left the lights on, so Jags are shit”

      That being said, I have a 2007 X and my Mom has a 2005. We’ve had a few small issues, a water pump went on my Moms car ($48 on Rock Auto and 30 min to change)and I had a wheel bearing go after hitting a pothole in the winter that had filled with snow so I couldn’t see it. Broke the cords in the tire and it blew as well, so I can’t really fault the car for the bearing failing after that. Otherwise, the cars have been rock solid.

      I was considering a wagon and a friend of mine wanted one too. I found one in Saskatoon and we flipped a coin for it. I lost, so he got the wagon and I bought a sedan. He says he gets a lot of looks in the wagon ( in the same green as the article) many people didn’t know that Jaguar made a wagon then. I know a number of people in the Jaguar club who have them and they all love them and have not had trouble with them.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        And since we’re talking acquaintances, I knew people who had X-types that were so bad that they wanted to burn them in protest in front of the dealership. Granted, could it be that the cars weren’t *that* bad, but were in comparison to the Camrys and Accords that got traded for the Jag? Yes. But this car has its’ rep for a reason.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Hey, was the missing chrome trim on the rearmost left window standard, or an extra-cost option?

    And a $7900 asking price from an outfit called “Sisters Auto” in Oregon? Well, if we had any doubt that weed was legal in Oregon…

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      The lower trim along the windows is black. Only the upper window trim is chrome. What looks like chrome on the lower trim is light reflecting off the sideview mirror.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Right, the bottom of the trim piece is flat black, but look at the trim along the top and back of the left rear window, second picture down, rear three-quarters view. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

        • 0 avatar
          N8iveVA

          Yeah that’s light reflecting. Look at the trim on the passenger door in that pic where it just stops midway and on the B pillar. It’s from the mirror.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s just weird light. I spent way too long just now looking.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I dunno, I boomed it up – it’s awfully strange that the “weird light” stops right where the trim on the rear door starts. And it looks like the other side may have the same problem. Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Fun fact, the MY by MY sales figures for these wagons in North America is often smaller than those figures for Rolls Royce and Bentley models with 6 figure price tags.

    A great example of “rare does not equal valuable”.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Super rare? This lady drives one just like it

    https://cdn.motor1.com/images/mgl/m1r2j/s1/queen-elizabeth-drives-her-jaguar-wherever-she-pleases.jpg

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t expect an X-Type to be reliable, but would it really be worse than an E46 or W203?

    After Wednesday’s QOTD I was checking out the used Jaguar market. The hardest thing about the X/S is finding one that isn’t bombed out. The XJ seems to have had much more caring owners. I was also reminded how lame the 1G XF was inside and out (at least they had some motor though).

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Yeah, but at the end of the day, after spending way too much on repairs, you’re left with a Ford Contour with English leather and wood trim. Is the car special enough to warrant the headache? I’d say no, but YMMV. The right E46 or S-type might be a different story.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        That’s a good way to look at it. I like the X-Type but do I like it enough to set money on fire versus buying an XJ or a TR7 or a Toronado and burning money on that instead?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      The X/S type of that era (with their 2nd and 3rd owners) seem to be the go to ride of small time drug dealers who couldn’t swing a Mercedes or a BMW.

      I’ve seen used XJs that still looked pretty stock after a decade or more in service, every X/S I’ve seen has some modification – even if they’re just appearance mods.

  • avatar
    geo

    Not sure why these were considered so unreliable when the Mondeo was not. Something was probably lost in the translation. In the few owner reviews I’ve read, the 2004+ vehicles seem to be more reliable. Too bad it almost always takes Ford half a decade to get a car right, after it becomes out-of-date.

    I’ve seen a few of these wagons for sale, usually low-mile examples for about $5-7k, like the sedan.

    I think the X-Type are usually low-mile because nobody wants to drive them very far.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This looked pretty much like a Jag of the time… except for the door handles, which really shouldn’t have been flaps.

    Jaguar and Land Rover always managed to add unreliability to Ford platforms. (Although it’s also worth noting that this generation of Mondeo itself somehow became far less reliable when imported to the U.S. with minor restyling as the Contour/Mystique.)

  • avatar
    Tstag

    This car bombed at home because Brits didn’t want a retro Jag pastiche on a Mondeo floorpan. One of Jaguars biggest problems is that in its bigger home market Brits hate retro Jags preferring the next generation of designs, Americans on the other hand seem to go the other way. Maybe they should reboot XEs into retro form for the US market.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    They definitely sold these in the US with sticks – I have seen several with my own eyes. New England – where cheapskate Yankees (like me!) bought stickshift luxury wagons with some regularity.

  • avatar
    brn

    Has me longing for my 2000 dark green Mystique. Sold it to my neighbor seven years ago for a song. Three years ago, he sold it. As luck would have it, I was picking up a take out pizza TODAY and parked next to it. It’s still beautiful. The exterior is starting age, but the interior is still pristine. A well cared for Mystique is still a great car. The Jag should be better.

  • avatar
    Badhuis

    Owner of a low mileage 2004 Estate here, owned for 2.5 years now. I wanted to substitute my 2001 Outback 3.0 and liked this one. It has much in similar with the Subaru, 4WD, a smooth engine to name just two.
    Regarding reliability, what do you expect from a 15 year old car? Cars this old you can count on things like parking sensors, control arm rubbers, a wheel bearing, maybe an oxygen sensor. My car needed all these in my ownership, luckily these are not expensive items. In my experience it is a very reliable car. The battery would need replacement soon which is not strange seeing it is still the original. As is the exhaust, I expect (part) replacement in the next year or after.
    The Subaru had more to worry about, it seemed the auto gearbox began to make trouble and there were leaks from the sunroof which I could never get right.
    Plus points for the Jaguar are that is quite rare, it has a lovely interior and many options (heated front windscreen, parking sensors rear AND front). That rear door is heavy though, I would not mind an electric closing option (it does open from the remote).

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      How can your car be running on a 15 year-old battery?!?

      I don’t distrust— I’ve just never in my life known of this happening.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenn

        The Panasonic battery that came with my new, Hiroshima-built 2001 4Runner lasted 13+ years. I only replaced it because it seemed the engine was taking a little longer to crank before catching, with winter approaching, but the battery would probably have been useful for another year or two. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a Panasonic replacement in the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        Badhuis

        Have to say I was surprised as well. The local Jaguar specialist told me it was the original (and on the way out).
        That said, the Subaru I had before I got from the first owner and he told me that had its original battery too. Amazing how long these batteries last.
        In my old British classic cars batteries only last for 5 – 7 years or so.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        The Panasonic in my ’04 Mazda3 was 14.5 years old when the car was written off last fall. I think I only topped up the electrolyte level once.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Apropos of your username, iNeon, a friend traded in his 2002 300M (bought new by him) with 14 years on the original battery.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I once heard of an I think MY87 Nissan Maxima battery going nearly 20 years. Original owner, don’t recall miles but it probably high but wasn’t 300 bajillion. Nothing but basic maintenance in the timespan, he did mention the battery mfg but I cannot recall now and was also amazed at the lifespan.

  • avatar
    chicklet

    I bought one new in 2003 for my mom, and have it today. Our friend liked it so much she bought the Sportwagon the week it came out. Both of us enjoyed our cars, not bothering to read all the reasons we were supposed to hate them! The Sportwagon, with the 3 liter engine, was great on the highway and in NYC traffic, giving good gas mileage and a great ‘jaguar’ sound to boot!

    The 2.5 engine runs well to this day, with the usual parts wearing out and now, at age 16 shows a little rust, but it’s New York! It’s always been comfortable, right-sized and almost adequately powered. It has things my larger Jag does not, like good A/C and stereo and a very low cost of ownership.

    The wagon was t-boned by some kid and went to the crusher but I still wish I had it today. Like current political news- don’t believe everything you read LOL!

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Curious…Can you drop a Contour SVT suspension under one of these?

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Doubtful. This is based on the generation later than the Contour that was sold in the US. Jaguar did offer a sport suspension as an option and quite a few of the wagons had it.


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