Classic styling and inherited pedigree added up to make the Jaguar 2000 S-Type a very fine automobile in the midlevel luxury sedan genre. Unfortunately, it simply did not know when to quit while at the top.
The S-Type was introduced in 2000 and finally ended its run in 2008. When it first came out this European import found a nice niche among consumers. With its rounded edges and retro look of the old 60’s saloons, this Jag had it all going for it for a couple years. Then a curious thing happened as it always seems to with Jaguar cars.
As the novelty and nostalgia of the S-Type wore off Jaguar responded by doing nothing and this really is an old story with the revered British automaker. The decision-makers at Jaguar (and in this case in collaboration with Ford) evidently believe that a classic look should remain just that, namely classic, and that changes should be superficial and minimal at best. Evidently consumers believe differently. You see, competition is considerably more intense than it was when the Queen was a young lass. The Japanese seem to not be impressed with the bloodlines of Jaguar and are infinitely capable of making fine automobiles on their own, automobiles that rival anything Europe can muster. That poses a problem for those across the Atlantic who cling so desperately to tradition at the expense of sales.
The main problem is that the competition knows how to make much more reliable cars at a lower price, and when consumers are faced with luxury at a lower price they don’t seem to give a hoot about tradition. Welcome to the 21st Century, Jaguar!
The best year for the Jaguar S-Type was easily 2003 when the 293 horsepower engine was upped to a supercharged 390 horsepower monster that did 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. The marvelous Jaguar silent ride was still there but while boosting the engine the Jaguar folks skimped on interior luxury. The larger engine remained with the S-Type until its demise in 2008 when it was finally, and belatedly, replaced by the Jaguar XF.
The British have a thing about tradition and some of it is cute. Tea and crumpets are a lovely way to pass a rainy afternoon, and there is no denying that Buckingham Palace would be a great place to spend a weekend. But in the case of the Jaguar 2000 S-Type tradition got its royal booty kicked by Japanese car makers who trumped them royally with craftsmanship and an eye towards the future. Just a quick word to used car buyers: if you have your heart set on tradition, one of the 2000 S-Types can be had for about $5000. Much cheaper than a weekend at Buckingham Palace for sure.