Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Overall performance
Cons: Sport mode
Advice: Testdrive both a 3.0 and a 4.2.I don't understand the comments of the earlier reviewer. I bought the standard S-type (not the S-type Sport). The seats are very comfortable. Leather seats do require some time to break in, but I can't envision the leather being 'too stiff' unless you weigh less than 60 lbs. The rear seats are more than adequate for two full-sized adults. Performance should probably be rated higher, but I tried to remain objective in my review. The transmission is geared to deliver power more evenly across the curve, so this is a great car for American streets. It doesn't 'perform' like some Euro's that require the tach to be near redline before putting out for you. The other systems in the car work as advertised. The car can be driven aggresively without pitching you around like a carnival ride. Plenty of power with the 3.0 liter under the hood and the J-gate shifter functions flawlessley. The 'sport mode' needs a little more tuning but I don't use it much. I'd rather shift through the gate and select my shift points anyway. Quality I rated excellent. I don't have nav but the interior and overall craftsmanship are still Jaguar. Very plush. Appearance is pretty much much a subjective opinion, so I'll let my emotions rule here. I love the throwback grill (criticism from those who aren't familiar with Jag history often states that the grill doesn't 'look like' a Jaguar. Nothing could be further from the truth). The rounded contours on the back of the cabin and the lines of the hood all work together to tie in various elements of previous Jag products. I put the overall rating as 4 stars, but it's a very firm 4. This car is a great value for the money and will be considered one of Jags better efforts 20 years from now.
Pros: 5-speed manual
Cons: Fit and finish, dealer's performance
Advice: Avoid this vehicleThis would be a nice car - nicely appointed with reasonable performance - at half the price. The S-type does not compare favorably with other cars in its price range - the BMW 5-series or Lexus are vastly superior machines for roughly the same price. My S-type squeaks and rattles - OK for a Taurus, not OK for a $50k 'luxury' car, has gone through a set of rear brakes in 30k miles, and has neither the performance or penache of the 5-series. The dealer's performance has been mediocre at best, dismal at worst, failing to fix the squeaks and rattles in three separate trips and claiming that 'all S-types wear out rear brakes faster than the fronts'. My wife's Taurus is, no kidding, better appointed. Consider another entry in this class.
Cons: Sound System
Advice: Drive the others then drive this car, it's a blast.Car is an absolute joy to drive. It handles like it's reading your thoughts. The engine is world class, smooth, and when you get on the gas it feels like it's going to push you through the back of the seat. The interior is so much improved over the 2001 I had, there is frankly no comparison between the two. The seats are very supportive, and adjust to just about any position you can drive from. The leather in this car is perfect, not a single flaw. For any one considering a BMW, Lexus, or a Benz, do yourself a favor and drive this car, you won't be sorry.
Pros: Appearance, bot inside and out, espescially the VDP edition.
Cons: Lacks ventilated seats and power folding mirrors.
Advice: Check operation of all features early to make sure they are quickly addressed by the dealer.I test drove the 3.0L, 4.2L and 4.2L Vanden Plas versions of the 2005 S-type. The 4.2L handled beautifully on the twisted roads in the hill country of central Texas. It gripped the road confidently, had all the accelaration needed for passing and provided a delightful driving experience. The 3.0L strained a little, but had all the performance we needed. As noted in another review on the S-type, the seats are less comfortable. Only on the VDP version do the seats get less stiff, however, even there they can't match the comfort of a Lexus or Acura. Styling is awesome. We all fell in love with its looks, inside and out. Comfort features like rear sunblind, 16 way power seats and power adjustable pedals added to the delight we experienced. After looking at 70 cars, test driving over 30, we settled on the 4.2L VDP S-type. We special ordered and expect it in January.
Cons: uncomfortable seats
Advice: read belowOn long trips the driver's seat is very uncomfortable. It is so stiff that your legs can not stand the prsessure while driving. There is only one outlet in the car. This makes it difficult to plug in your phone, radar detector and a dvd for the kids in the back. The low profile tires do not last long on city streets. I replaced 2 of them within my first 6000 miles.The navagation system is not user friendly and does compare well to the Honda supplied unit. Car is beutifully designed and handles well in the rain.
Pros: Jag styling, doesn't look like every other car
Cons: Nothing worth mentioning
Advice: Find one with a few miles on it, save a lotPurchased an 11 month old 4.2, saved almost $20K. Very happy with the car, fast and comfortable. In a town full of Beemers, Mercedes and Lexus, Dallas, the Jag stands out.
Pros: Road handling
Cons: Lack of back seat room
Advice: Good car to buy, unless you need to carry around lots of passengers.Nice comfortable ride, handles road well. Back seat room not as big as it should be for a car of this size.