While many mainstream drivers and companies will buy cars based solely on running costs and residual values, Asian buyers tend to also list style and image as being equally important and the S-Type jaguar certainly fits the bill.
From the distinctive front grille with its unmistakeable jaguar emblem to the flowing lines of the bodywork, the S-Type is a masterpiece of design. A ten percent increase in body stiffness now makes it a smoother and safer ride than ever before, not that safety will be a problem with six airbags to complement the seat belts. This is the car that the Emperor Shah Jahan would be driving if he was around today.
Comfort wise, the S-Type offers a refined and comfortable driving experience, as you would expect of a car in this price band. For such a big car, the handling is responsive as well as supremely smooth. Throw the S-Type into a tight bend or just set the cruise control at 70 on the M1 (not if you’re stuck in a 20 mile tail back like me most days) and it will handle it with poise and grace.
The interior design is best described as ‘class’ – lots of room, lots of leather and lots of bird’s eye maple wood veneer. Of course, Jaguar describe it as ‘an interior which combines Jaguar quality and craftsmanship with leading edge technology’ and I would agree. The interior is luxurious without being too pompous. Ford drivers trading up will be heartened rather familiar; perhaps there’s been a little
borrowing from parent company Ford’s parts bin? Well it’s the only thing the two cars have in common so we’ll forgive and forget.
The car tested had a 4.2 litre AJ-V8 32 valve engine which developed an impressive 300 BHP. For all you beemer drivers out there, the S-Type will give you the performance you demand with 0-60 in 6.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The power is delivered smoothly across the rev range and the S-Type will potter about town at 30 mph just as effortlessly as when you’re attempting to red line the rev counter (not much hope there I’m afraid, unless you find a race track). The six speed automatic transmission changes gears seamlessly and Dad, I’m sorry to contradict you again, but the Jag’s auto box is as good as your E Class Mercedes! It easily matches anything made by our German friends. The kick down is impressive, rocketing you towards a definite driving ban if you’re not careful! The big question at the end of the day is can the S-Type replace your Seven series or E Class? Jaguar are backing the S-Type with a three year unlimited mileage warranty and it is a pleasure to drive so the answer is an emphatic yes. Go ask your local Jaguar dealer for a test drive and check it out for yourself. The S-type will offer you a great drive as well as the rarity factor within the Asian community. Just don’t use it for the Cash & Carry please!
Car tested: Jaguar S-Type 4.2
List Price: £36,000