The marriage of Jaguar and Ford Motor Companies had many industry observers wondering what effects of that union would be apparent in the vehicles produced. Would standard Ford thinking affect the classic Jaguar, or would the opposite be true? Or more likely would more subtle differences take place, hardly noticeable to the general public?
In 2002 the Jaguar X-Type was introduced and to this day the answer to the aforementioned question is still not definable. The X-Type was intended to be revolutionary for the Jaguar line, a compact and reasonably inexpensive luxury sedan with all-wheel drive. Even the Japanese and German competition in this field could not boast about all-wheel drive in their luxury line up, so the apprehension was high and expectations were great when the X-Type debuted.
Turned out all the hype was for naught. It rapidly became apparent that this vehicle was less-expensive for a good reason, namely that it simply was not worth that much in terms of reliability, handling, luxury features or performance. Despite great hopes and constant tinkering over the years, the Jaguar X-Type was finally discontinued in 2008 to the shock and dismay of practically no one.
The goal to produce a compact luxury sedan for under $30,000 with all-wheel drive was simply unrealistic. In order to achieve that goal the performance of the powertrain was sacrificed. The smaller engine (2.5-liter V6) was sluggish and unresponsive. Handling was less-than-expected and hardly up to Jaguar’s normal standards. The interior, always a Jaguar trademark, was cheapened with plastic interspersed with wood and leather. And sadly the much-ballyhooed all-wheel drive was slow to transfer power upon demand. All in all the X-Type failed in practically every category.
If you are looking to buy a luxury, compact sedan on the cheap then the Jaguar X-Type is the way to go. You can impress your friends by showing them the hood ornament and point out the leather features in the interior. For the most part they will be impressed by the relatively smooth, comfortable and trademark quiet ride. Just don’t put the car through any serious paces or what is lacking will become quite obvious.
So the answer to the question what happens when you marry a Ford to a Jaguar was answered: you get a little of this, a little of that, a potpourri of the good and the bad of both companies.