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2003-2004 Jaguar S-Type 3.0

Pros :
- Eye-pleasing and elegant exterior.
- Redesigned interior loaded with luxury features.
- Choice of slick Getrag manual shifter or six-speed automatic.
- Stiffer body structure for 2003.
- Computer-controlled suspension with available Sport package.

Cons :
- Elegant exterior is too controversial for some.
- Rear seat room is tight for very tall people.
- Not the smoothest of V6 engines.
- Some interior bits shared with cheaper Ford models.
- Pricey, especially with Sport package.

Interior :

Press Coverage :
For 2003, all S-Type models boast new interiors, new suspensions, new transmissions, and new or revised engines. S-Type 3.0 ($42,495) is powered by a revised 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6. It comes standard with a new Getrag five-speed manual transmission. It's also available with the new ZF six-speed automatic ($43,875).
Option packages: Premium ($1500) includes adjustable pedals, power passenger lumbar support, electrochromic outside and inside mirrors, programmable garage door opener, rain-sensing wipers, memory system; Sport ($2000) includes Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS), 17-inch sport alloy wheels, body-colored exterior trim, gray-stained birds-eye maple interior trim, sport shift knob, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, sport seats; Communication package ($2250) includes portable cellular telephone, JaguarNet emergency messaging system, voice-activated controls. Standalone options: power moon roof ($1100); xenon headlamps ($675); premium sound system ($1800); heated front seats ($500); DVD navigation system ($2200).
The 3.0-liter V6 engine is smooth and delivers plenty of power for most drivers. Jaguar revised the V6 with an improved variable induction system and continuously variable cam phasing. That means the engine can breathe better at different engine speeds for faster response around town. Acceleration performance and fuel economy are improved over the 2002 model. Like other S-Type models, the 3.0 comes standard with Dynamic Stability Control, traction control, and the new electronic parking brake. About 65 percent of S-Type buyers choose the 3.0 V6 model.

The current S-Type debuted in 1999 as a 2000 model. Sharing a basic platform with the Lincoln LS, the S-Type is nonetheless a true Jaguar. It features its own powertrains, suspension tuning, steering system and design. For 2003, Jaguar has made a wide range of advancements, particularly in safety. Jaguar has made stability control standard, and the brakes have been upgraded with a panic assist feature. New seats reside in a redesigned cabin, sporting anti-whiplash technology. Dual-stage front airbags and new side curtain airbags that protect front and rear seat occupants are also new for 2003, as is an adaptive restraint technology system. Shorter-statured adults are able to sit farther away from the steering wheel thanks to new power adjustable pedals that also feature a memory function to store the preferences of more than one driver.
Residing in the center of the dashboard is a new optional LCD touchscreen telematics system with improved voice recognition technology to control audio, climate, navigation and telephone functions.
Jaguar has also stiffened the S-Type's body structure to boast a 10-percent gain in torsional rigidity, and the suspension is heavily revised. In front, there is a new double wishbone suspension making extensive use of forged aluminum, and Jaguar has retuned the springs, dampers, bushings and anti-roll bars at all four corners.
Built by the transmission specialist company Getrag and offered only with the 3.0-liter V6 engine, the manual transmission's shifter has short throws and a hefty feel. Reverse, as with many European cars, is engaged by moving the lever to the left of first gear and then up. The clutch pedal also has a weighty feel to it. The clutch and shifter do not lend themselves to urban-friendliness, however. Driving a manual-equipped S-Type for more than an hour in heavy traffic is not a particularly rewarding experience because of the shifter and clutch's heft. If you plan on using your S-Type primarily for city-based driving, we wouldn't recommend the manual.
Another bonus of the manual is that it allows the driver to more fully take advantage of the 3.0-liter V6 engine. It's not particularly smooth in nature, but it does produce a healthy V6 growl when revved. Power delivery is best when the tach is above 4,000 rpm. In 2002, Jaguar began offering a sport package for the S-Type. The package includes front sport seats (eight-way power adjustment for the driver), a sport steering wheel, a Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS), larger front brake discs, 17-inch wheels and slight interior and exterior trim differences.
From a sport standpoint, the CATS system is the most important feature in the group. As on the XKR, the CATS optimizes ride and handling by using stiffer springs to increase roll stiffness and electronically controlled two-stage dampers. The dampers adjust automatically from "soft" to "firm," depending on road conditions and the dynamic state of the car. Unlike some other adaptive suspension systems, the driver cannot independently set the CATS to a sport mode.
The 2003 S-Type further benefits from a new aluminum front suspension and a revised rear suspension. Though certainly still a big and somewhat heavy car, we were impressed by the way our test vehicle handled the variety of twisty roads we threw at it. The CATS works well, as it provides a decently smooth ride on city streets and keeps body roll to a minimum for more aggressive driving. We also appreciated the fact that the dynamic stability control (DSC) system is standard equipment this year, and we found it to be nonintrusive during spirited driving.
Topping things off is the S-Type's new interior design. The instrument panel now sports a full-length maple-wood trim and a traditional-looking horseshoe housing for the audio and climate controls. The leather upholstery is of high quality, as are most of the interior plastics. Compared to earlier S-Types that seemed too similar to the Lincoln LS on the inside, the 2003 car is certainly a dramatic improvement.
We still aren't fond of some of the controls, however. Offenders include the window switches, air vents, turn stalks and the fussy trip computer display. These seem more suited for a Ford than a Jaguar. Our car also had the optional navigation system, as well as the communications system. JaguarNet was disabled on our car, so we could only evaluate the nav system and the voice recognition system. Both work well, though the complex interface between the stereo-climate controls and the display screen can be confusing.

The S-Type has the world's first voice-activated audio and climate control system. Without reading the owner's manual, I found the system fairly easy to use. The driver presses a button on the steering wheel and gives an oral command such as, "Radio, On", "Radio volume, Down", "CD, Disc 4, Track 3", "Temperature, 20 degrees". A male voice then repeats the command, and the instruction is carried out without the driver having to take their hands off the steering wheel or their eyes off the road. Great!
Well, almost. Occasionally, my voice commands were ignored or mis-interpreted. Sometimes, the CD player would play the wrong track. On two occasions, I 'asked' the computer to set the climate control temperature at 71 degrees fahrenheit (it will respond to Celsius or Fahrenheit), but instead, the temperature jumped to 81 degrees, and the fan pumped out blasts of hot air. My verbal requests to re-set the temperature failed, so I used the manual method.

2000-2002 Jaguar S-Type 3.0
2,967 cc / 235 hp / 214 lb-ft / 3736-3806 lbs / 0-60 mph 7.5 sec.

Competitors :
2004-2005 BMW 530i
2001-2003 Audi A6 2.7 T
2003-2004 Infiniti M45


Jaguar S-Type 3.0 - Back to Stats Specs and pictures



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