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Jaguar S Type (1999-2007)

Published: 18th Jul 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar S Type (1999-2007)

Fast Facts

  • Engine: 3967cc/6-cyl
  • Power (bhp/rpm): 232/6800
  • Torque (lb ft@rpm): 216/4100
  • Top speed: 146mph
  • 0-60mph: 7.9sec
  • Fuel consumption: 26.2mpg
  • Transmission: Six-speed auto
  • Length: 16ft 1in (4.91m)
  • Width (inc mirrors): 6ft 9in (2.06m)
  • Weight: 3762lb (1710kg)
  • Books: Jaguar; all the cars by Nigel Thorley. Haynes, ISBN 1-84425-001-6
  • Clubs:
  • Websites: Jaguar Drivers’ Club, Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club,
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Even posh established classics aren’t always that usable, thanks to thirsty engines, aged heating and ventilation systems plus outdated mechanicals. That’s where the new generation of classics comes in; engineered to modern standards, they’re far more usable all year round. Take the 1990s Jaguar S-Type for example; if you want a fl ash executive car but you’re on a budget, you won’t get more for your money than here. In terms of value for money the S-Type is unbeatable within its segment, but that’s for a reason. The cars aren’t as fun to drive as most rivals, while reliability can be patchy; contemporary German models are typically more dependable. But if you’re after a car with character that’s luxurious, usable and attainable, then look no further than the ‘new’ S-Type.

What to look for?

Corrosion shouldn’t be an issue with any S-Type; any signs of it and the car has almost certainly been pranged and badly repaired. There are plenty of other potential problems though, such as the spectre of an automatic gearbox failing after just 60,000 miles; even when healthy the changes between ratios can be very jerky. That’s why it’s worth sticking with a manual gearbox, unless you really want a self-shifting transmission. The boot seals can fail, leading to water getting into the luggage bay when it rains or you wash the car. This then wreaks havoc with the electrics because the battery is located in the boot. There are numerous other electrical problems to contend with, such as failed electric windows, faulty alarm systems, inoperative powered seat mechanisms and central locking that doesn’t work. V8-powered cars built before 2000 can suffer from worn cylinder bores, which is a major problem as they’re coated in Nikasil. It’s rare, but once the Nikasil is eroded, the engine can self-destruct, although it’ll usually run badly beforehand so you get some warning, suvh as poor starting if the car has been left standing for long periods (loss of compression). Specialists have a special procedure to check the engine’s health; listen for undue ‘chuffi ng’. The only cure is a new short engine. V6s can burn out coil packs. Finally, the bonnet’s safety catch can corrode, leading to it seizing in the open position. If you drive off without having closed the bonnet properly, there’s a good chance it will fl y open once you get up to speed.


You can buy an S-Type with no MoT for under £1000, while high-mileage examples with an MoT start at just £1500. Just £2500 secures an early petrol-powered car with around 70,000 miles on the clock, while low-mileage examples can be picked up from £5000 – although most cars at this price are older, high-mileage examples. Mega-mile diesels start at £5000, but if you want one that hasn’t been to the moon and back you’ll need at least £8000 – and even then you’ll have to search. If fuel bills really aren’t a worry and you’re a performance junkie, you could buy an insanely fast S-Type R from just £5000 – although you can treble (or even quadruple) this budget if you want to buy a late low-mileage example from a dealer.

Driving one

Based upon an American Lincoln floorpan, the S-Type is more of a cruiser than an enthusiast’s car. It’s no reborn MK2 although the supercharged S-Type R is a serious piece of kit and indecently rapid too. If you want serious performance on a budget the R edition might be for you, but don’t forget that running costs can be high. If something more mainstream is what you’re after, don’t be put off by the 2.5-litre engine; it may be the smallest powerplant, but there’s enough power if you’re in no hurry. The 3.0 V6 is even better, but the V8s are even more smooth and torquey. However, if you can afford a V8’s fuel bills you can probably also afford to buy a turbodiesel S-Type. Smooth, frugal and torquey, this is defi nitely the pick of the bunch as an all rounder – but initial purchase costs are higher than for older petrol-powered cars. Facelifted ‘02 cars drive much better than the originals thanks to their revised suspension and really highlight how the S-Type it should have been from the outset…


Oct 1998

Jaguar launches the S-Type with a choice of 3.0-litre V6 or 4.0-litre V8 petrol engines.

Oct 2000

Electronic stability control becomes standard on all models

Jan 2002

A 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine joins the range along while a 4.2 V8 supersedes the 4.0-litre unit. At the same time, the supercharged 400bhp S-Type R arrives

May 2003

The Sport 200 limited editionarrive, based on the Sport but fi tted with extra equipment and Type R bumpers.

Mar 2004

The S-Type is facelifted, with a reprofi led rear end and refreshed nose, higher quality interior trim and revised instrumentation.

Apr 2004

The best derivative fi nally appears; the 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel.

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