It has better looks and boasts a lot more comfort – but a change under the skin is set to be the main thrust of a fresh plan to boost the X-Type’s prospects in the medium-sized premium car sector.
Two-and-a-half years after adding the option of diesel power, Jaguar is offering the model with automatic transmission.
With lock-up gadgetry and adaptive strategy to boost the engine’s economy still further, the six-speed unit provides a blend of performance and efficiency to give the 2009 model year Jaguar a new edge in the showrooms.
Chief programme engineer Kevin Stride said: “We put a lot of effort into making sure our new XF was just right for the market, but we’ve taken almost as much trouble over our work on revising the X-Type. More than 500 detail changes represent a substantial further investment.
“We’ve repositioned this car to appeal as a more practical proposition that offers a more satisfying drive with significantly higher value packaging for the corporate motorist, along with considerable potential savings in benefit-in-kind tax.”
Fresh bumpers, an XF-style grille and a bright ‘splitter’ strip in the lower air intake provide a fresh new face while also making the car appear wider.
Re-profiled side and sill mouldings and door mirrors with integrated indicator repeaters add an upmarket air.
The exterior upgrades are mirrored by a series of detail changes to the instrument panel, new seat designs and revised trim packages.
Higher specification levels are claimed to make S, SE, Premium and Sovereign versions the best value in the segment.
Behind the wheel
Better late than never, the facelifted X-Type looks sufficiently different to change the perception of a model that has suffered from its links with the Ford Mondeo.
But as well as looking sleeker and having a more inviting, higher-quality cabin, better response and greater refinement make the 2.2-litre diesel automatic the pick of the bunch for drivers who like their performance to come with minimal effort.
Either in full automatic or sequential-shift modes, the gear changes are imperceptible and the availability of maximum torque in all six ratios ensures a good level of driver involvement without compromising the traditional Jaguar characteristics of urbane, relaxed motoring.
A dramatic improvement in diesel sales suggests this is the car the X-Type should have been from the very beginning, although the provision of steering wheel-mounted paddle switches for gear selection would have given it sportier credentials.