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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Jaguar S-Type Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Jaguar S-Type Overview

Affordable Luxury, Jaguar "S-Tyle"

The Jaguar S-Type represents everything that Jaguar wants to be while simultaneously embodying everything that it once was. It's a blend of the old and new; the old tradition of rich leathers, dark woods and uncompromising craftsmanship tied to the new technologies and designs that make the S-Type a far less problematic car than many of its predecessors. It's a formula that has been a rousing success for both Jaguar and the S-Type. For 2002, the S-Type receives even more detail and adds a new trim level that is just a taste of what Jaguar has planned for future S-Types; we'll get to that a bit further on.

The S-Type is available in two trim levels denoted by their engine displacements: the 3.0 and 4.0. The S-Type 3.0 is powered by a 240-horsepower V6 engine and comes fairly well equipped; it is also the more affordable of the two trims. As you have probably deduced by now the 4.0 is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 that is rated at 281 horsepower. Though the two horsepower ratings seem fairly close on paper, it's on the street that the difference is borne out; the 4.0 S-Type beats its little brother from 0-60 by nearly 2 seconds. Both cars are equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission that features Jaguar's patented J-gate shifter. Unlike standard automatic shifter levers that move from park to low in a straight line, the J-gate guides the lever from gear to gear in a J-shaped formation; this allows the driver to manually select gears without the use of a clutch.

On the road, the S-Type feels solid and well grounded. It's rear-wheel drive setup makes it a better performance sedan than most front-drive cars, though on slippery or snow covered roads, the traction control gets quite a work out. Not that a rear-drive car cannot handle inclement weather, it just requires a bit more attention on the part of the driver. On dry pavement, the S-Type will surprise you with its athletic abilities and responsive throttle. The five-speed automatic does a fairly good job of selecting the right gear at the right moment, but during spirited driving—those times when you are constantly on and off the throttle and brake—you will sometimes notice a brief pause as the transmission's computer brain tries to figure out its next course of action. The S-Type's ride is smooth, almost velvety over rough pavement—usually a sure-fire sign that the car will wallow and bob when pushed to perform; but in the Jaguar's case, this doesn't happen. Its computer-controlled suspension knows when to be tough and when to be gentle, and as a result the S-Type serves double duty as both a luxo-cruiser and performance machine.

For those who want even more performance, Jaguar has added an S-Type Sport to the line up. The Sport features all the standard equipment of the 4.0, but adds a two-stage ride-control system (soft or firm), 17-inch alloy wheels surrounded by low-profile performance tires and thickly bolstered sport seats. Now if you're still not satisfied, you need only wait until next year, when the much-anticipated 2003 S-Type R makes its debut. Its super-charged 4.0-liter V8 is reported to produce 400 horsepower.

The luxury side of the S-Type is every bit as healthy as its performance alter ego. Slip inside and you are instantly overwhelmed by the smell of leather. It resides on the seating surfaces, the steering wheel, door panels even the shift knob. The handsome dash is elegant in its simplicity. The optional on-board-navigation system sits to the side of the audio controls but is a bit of a reach to operate; perhaps when the steering wheel is on the right side, its placement is just right.

Standard features on the 3.0 include power windows and door locks, dual-zone electronic climate control, eight-way power adjustable leather seats, cruise control, reverse parking assist, AM/FM stereo with cassette (a CD changer can be added) and keyless entry with security alarm. The 4.0 adds a power moonroof, 175-watt premium audio upgrade, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and two-way adjustable lumbar support for the front seats. Options include the Sports trim package, on-board navigation and a voice-command system that allows the driver to operate the climate, audio and cell phone functions simply by speaking to them.

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