Jaguar MarkIV 2-7

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Keywords: car reviews, car review, car, jaguar s-type car review, new car reviews, car tests reviews, car safety review, car security
Description: Jaguar S-Type 2.7-litre V6 D S car review from the AA. Overall car review rating: 9 out 10. Value for money: 8 out 10.

    Revised styling looks sharper and sportier Power and torque of diesel engine is smooth and exhilarating Quiet engine makes for a relaxing ride Good fuel consumption should help keep running costs down
    Raised tail makes for unnecessarily complicated reversing manoeuvres Thick A-pillar and large wing mirror obscures front side view Low boot ceiling hinders practicality of storage space Body roll around tight corners can be disconcerting

Jaguar's updated S-Type range tries its best to mix it with the big boys of the executive saloon segment, but does it bring enough to the table to be a real competitor? Sharper looks and a V6 diesel engine help the British marque stake its claim.

Most people have a soft spot for the Jaguar marque because of its history and heritage. However, several years of over-weight and uninspiring models meant that the Big Cat's reputation took a severe denting.

But with the modern day S-Type there is a luxury, quality feel to this car that was sadly lacking in previous incarnations. However, is it luxury enough to take on the uber-saloons of Mercedes and BMW? Or can it challenge the Lexus GS on the value for money front?

In diesel form the Jag certainly has the competition a little worried, as its performance and frugality make it a good compromise for the executive who clocks up a large mileage every month. Subtle improvements both inside and out help the retro Brit to mix it with the big boys.

And yet, the S-Type signals Jaguar's intent to embrace modernity and to shake of the final remnants of its previously stuffy image. There are a number of touches and features that convey this, but none more acutely than the inclusion of aluminium detailing in Sport and R models as an alternative to the more traditional wood.

Current S-Type is a real good looker and the twin-turbo diesel unit makes long distance cruising an absolute pleasure. Its quieter and more economical than many rivals and the interior is a sumptuous place to be.

Relative to the main competition, the initial purchasing costs are reasonably low. A group 14E insurance rating for the 2.5-litre V6 and 2.7-litre turbo diesel will keep premium costs down for the more mature driver. 40mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 189g/km will make the diesel cheap to run and possibly bring a nice tax break for the company car driver.

A boot capacity of 400 litres is more than enough to store shopping and suitcases, but a narrow opening does limit practicality somewhat. With the rear seats folded, space is increased to 810 litres, which should be more than enough to accommodate small amounts of flat-pack furnishings - but watch the leather!

Jag's Adaptive Restraint Technology System (ARTS) measures the severity of the impending crash as well as the height, weight and position of the occupants and deploys the safety systems, such as the airbags, accordingly. Energy absorbent seats help to counteract the effects of a collision, while seat belt pre-tensioners hold the passengers firmly in place. Expect also to find a blend of the usual driver aids, like ABS and dynamic stability control.

Even the 'slowest' S-Type is capable of 0-60mph in just a shade over 8 seconds, with the Type-R covering the same sprint in a supercar-like 5.3 seconds. All powerplants produce enough poke to keep the average motorist amused, and the S-Type's road manners are impeccable - although there is a little body roll on tight bends. It is in its natural environment, i.e. cruising at speed, that the S really comes into its own. There are very few cars that are as comfortable over long distances.

In any other market segment Jaguar would likely be head and shoulders above the competition. Unfortunately for the firm, it has the unenviable task of pinching customers from the likes of BMW and Mercedes, which is no mean feat. The executive saloon market, perhaps more so than any other, is heavily focused on badge identity and image and the big German boys are masters of status. That said, Jaguar's image is much improved of late, and the badge is likely to become evermore trendy.

For passengers, both front and rear, access to the cabin is extremely easy. Large door openings and a high floor level mean that it is neither too much of a step up or down to gain entry. Boot space is ample, but a relatively low boot ceiling does slightly reduce the practicality of the Jag's storage space and taller items may have to be strapped to the roof.

A decent quality CD player and stereo system, featuring automatic volume control, graces the Jaguar's interior. The now fabled touch screen Jaguar satellite navigation system (available as a cost option) continues to impress with its simple controls and large, easy to read screen. A TV system and in-car phone are also available on the S-Type's options list as part of the luxury package.

S, SE and Sport trim levels make-up the S-Type range. While the usual array of quality woods, cloths and leathers adorn S and SE trimmed cars, buyers of Sport and flagship Type R models are now offered aluminium as an alternative to wood. Sport and R models look particularly fetching with a darker shade of perforated leather seats and trim. Darker exterior colours (particularly green and black) suit the Jag's retro curves and lines well.

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