Seeing your personal car attacked in the press never feels good. Seeing your personal car attacked by the automaker that built it feels even less good.
Few cars have been derided like the 2002-2008 Jaguar X-Type. Originally conceived to take on the BMW 3 Series, the small Jag failed, quite miserably, to even give the Bimmer a run for its money. So, yes, as a BMW-killer, the car failed. However, as a small, good-looking, fun and reliable sedan, the X-Type hit the nail on the head.
It seems, though, that even Jaguar is embarrassed by the X-Type and has dismissed the car as a mistake.
General Motors never called the Pontiac Aztek a mistake. Daewoo never came out and admitted that selling cars in the U.S. was probably the worst decision ever. Kia took lots of flak about the Sephia, but never said, “Oops, that was a mistake.”
So I’m surprised, and a little sad, that Jaguar would flat-out alienate the people who did buy the X-Type.
Piston Heads posted an article that opened with this:
The X-Type will always have its supporters, but within Jaguar and former owners Ford the hapless 3 Series rival is being held up as an example of how not to do it. “A fake Jaguar” and “just a car” are two damning phrases we heard in recent chats to executives in Ford and Jaguar.
I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but again, ouch.
Granted, the X-Type didn’t exactly live up to the standards of the Jag brand. It was based on front-wheel-drive Ford architecture and never came close to the performance or driving pleasure of a BMW. But, and this is a big but, had the car been branded as a Ford, it would have been a bigger success.
On a personal note, I own a 2004 model with almost 120,000 miles on the clock. Sure, the heated seats stopped working about 20,000 miles ago, the power windows squeal like there’s a cat stuck in the gears, a vacuum hose comes loose and makes the check engine light come on, and the suspension clunks with every left turn, but the car is amazing.
The engine still purrs, the acceleration is lively, and the design still turns heads. That’s why I’d recommend the X-Type to anyone looking for a fun used sedan.
At least till 2015, when Jag’s new small sedan comes out and causes the X-Type to fade into distant memory.
Would you buy a car that the automaker admits was a mistake?