Overview & Reviews
The Jaguar S-Type was always a bit of a throwback. Stately and posh, the S-Type's exterior design showed shades of the '60s Jaguar saloons, from which its designers cribbed generously. The distinct styling also distinguished the S-Type from other luxury sedans on the market, which more typically feature sharp edges and angled surfaces.
At its debut for 2000, the Jaguar S-Type signified the first real fruit of the Ford-Jaguar partnership. Born as the classier-looking twin of the Lincoln LS, the S-Type was the brand's first true competing model in the modern midsize luxury segment. However, any sort of dynamic excellence exhibited by that platform faded quickly and the S-Type lived long past its expiration date. Its once-novel retro styling eventually became synonymous with a brand perilously stuck in the past. As such, one of the car's more up-to-date competitors might be a better choice. Also, you'll want to pay close attention to the model's history, as Jaguar made continual improvements to rectify early mistakes.
Most Recent Jaguar S-Type
The Jaguar S-Type was a four-door sedan produced from 2000-'08. It survived for one generation and there were some incremental changes over the years, mainly on the inside. It was replaced by the Jaguar XF
Originally, Jaguar rated the S-Type's 3.0-liter V6 at 240 horsepower (this number lowered slightly for 2002 and '04) and the 4.0-liter V8 at 281 hp (reduced to 277 hp for 2002). A five-speed automatic was at first standard, but for 2003, Jaguar replaced it with a six-speed and made a new five-speed manual transmission standard on the 3.0 trim. It was never popular with consumers, however, and Jaguar dropped it two years later. For 2004, the optional V8 was upped to 4.2 liters and 293 hp. Two years later, it was raised to 300 hp.
Regardless of year, we found the V6 to be underpowered given the S-Type's considerable weight, and recommended sticking with the beefier V8. Despite the light steering and a soft suspension -- two deliberate traits of the brand -- all S-Types nevertheless felt stable through the turns.
The most important addition to the Jaguar S-Type came in 2003, when the 390-hp supercharged R trim was released. From 2004 to its final year, the S-Type R produced 400 hp. While it was capable of doing the 0-60 drill in just 5.3 seconds, there was more to the R than mere muscle. It was an all-around performer, equipped with larger disc brakes, an adjustable sport-tuned suspension system and 18-inch wheels (19s for 2008). Still, the S-Type R could never stand toe-to-toe with the best high-performance sedans from Germany.
At first, the S-Type's cabin was widely considered unbecoming of the Jaguar name. Both the design and materials seemed down-market and indicative of the car's Ford roots. For 2003, the interior received a thorough overhaul, bringing it more in line with the pricier XJ in terms of design and luxury trappings. The interior was upgraded again in 2005 (along with the exterior), but changes were minor. Nevertheless, controls maintained a certain "ye-olde" quality to them and switchgear (as on the XJ) seemed cheaper than the rest of the car.
Equipment levels were also increased as the many years went by, from the optional CD changer when introduced to Bluetooth phone connectivity in its waning hours. And because it was a Jaguar, leather and wood trim were never in short supply.
In reviews of the Jaguar S-Type, consumers typically praise the car's styling and features. They've commented unfavorably about its small trunk and the poor shift quality in earlier cars. The Jaguar's overall reputation for reliability is also not as good as those of other midsize luxury sedans from Japanese automakers.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 410.00
My Fave - 2003 Jaguar S-Type
By Julie C.W. - October 26 - 6:38 pm
I purchased a 4.3 S Type used in B condition & it needed some non engine related issues fixed. I did that right away. Its a fantastic, comfortable car & it has spoiled me so I will need to spend the rest of life in Jaguars & nothing else. I need to redo the paint on the trunk lid because it faded while it stayed too sunny under the end of a carport. I have a full garage so its not getting anymore damage. I strongly encourage purchase & preservation of Jaguars to those who are reading reviews to decide to buy. You will seriously need to find a non liar mechanic. I use a relative & avoided a huge bill.
Nothing like a Jag - 2005 Jaguar S-Type
By Royce Moss - December 1 - 10:20 pm
My wife suprised me with a beautiful platinum S Type 3.0 with a big red bow - just like the comercials on TV! My Jag is perfect. I just love the styling, comfort, ride feel, power and the great sound system. I also love the adoring looks and comments I get from eveyone. As far as Im concerned its the perfect car for me. I now look for excuses to drive. When im stuck in traffic on the freeway I dont even care!!
$60,000. Hunk o JUNK - 2000 Jaguar S-Type
By anyjoe - November 23 - 1:16 am
I have owned about 15 cars since I was 16 years old. The Jaguar was purchased new for $60k. It needed internal engine work @ 8K mi, 12K, 20K and 50Kmi. When I got it home from the last engine overhaul ($1800) the radiator started leaking. After that the transmission staarted downshifting on the freeway. At 60,000 mi I had to dump it. It was a VERY expensive mistake. DO NOT BUY ONE.
Not a main stream car - 2005 Jaguar S-Type
By Joe R - November 12 - 2:20 am
I love the S type Jaguar. It reminds me of the old Jaguar coupes. I really like that no other car looks like it. This is the 2nd S-type I have owned. The body style is distinctive, the interior elegant, and the handling is terrific. This car is fun to drive!
My new Jaguar - 2005 Jaguar S-Type
By Tonya Williams - November 5 - 10:00 am
I just bought my new S-type last week and I really enjoy my car a whole lot. It is a comfortable ride wtih plush leather and beautiful wood trim. The engine power has enough of push for me and it is major upgrade compared to my 2000 S-type that I traded for this one.
Excellent - 2004 Jaguar S-Type
By Blanky Bradshaw - October 16 - 10:00 am
I have had Mercedes, Honda, Buick, Cadillac, however this car is excellent, excellent. Performance, quality, design, you name it has all. I love my Jaguar.
Lemon or not? - 2001 Jaguar S-Type
By Rkfd - October 10 - 2:00 am
Electronically a nightmare!!! EVERYTIME the dealership trys to fix something it causes another problem. Finally, after 3 weeks in the shop, CA flew to IL to figure out the problems. But then there is always more... (Nearly 2 months in the shop in all)
R type is the M-5 and AMG killer - 2004 Jaguar S-Type
By lmcrane - October 4 - 2:00 am
Recently replaced a BMW 740i with a 2004 Jaguar S-type R. More value in the Jag S-R than BMW or M-B. Felt that I had all the benefits of the M-5 or AMG for $25K less (and also beat the prices of the 545 and E- 500). The 390 HP pulls strongly at all rev levels, but is also smooth in city driving. The chassis/tires and computer controlled suspenswion can handle all of this with aplomb. The new Jag NAV system is excellent with an easily self replaceable DVD. The advanced sound system, part of the R package, is quite good and easy to use, with voice, steering wheel, or dash controls. Gas mileage has been 16-17 mpg in town, not bad for a 400 HP rocket.
This cat purrs but doesnt roar - 2003 Jaguar S-Type
By Seeabe - September 27 - 10:00 am
The best looking sedan on the road - by far. Nothing beats the style of this car, inside and out. This is my second Jag - my first a 95 XJ6 was also a dream. I wish Id opted for the 4.0 (dont like the R, I want the chrome)- the 3.0 6 cyl lacks response in lower gears. After having driven a BMW 5 series for the last 3 years, I was used to lightning quick excitement. Still, the beauty, grace and ride quality are more than worth the trade-off in acceleration. And did I say it was the best looking car on the road? This is a head-turner - no mistaking this car for anything but a Jag. I am so sold on Jags I got an X-type for my daughter.
I think mine is a lemon - 2006 Jaguar S-Type
By surfsidejo - September 23 - 10:09 am
I purchased my 06 S Type last Feb (2011) from a reputable Ford dealer. As soon as I got it home, my husband noticed the door seal was torn big time. I didnt notice when doing the test drive or checking it out, because I was always looking at the interior. Never thought to check areas like that. Anyway, $125.00 later we thought no more problems. 1 week later, husband was washing the car and noticed the lense on one of the fog lights was cracked. Took it for repair, $350.00, we thought we were good to go, spring comes along and we sure cant get cooled off. Everytime I slow down in traffic the AC gets warmer and warmer. Took it to reputable mechanic, $700.00 later we think we are good. Wrong.