The Jaguar S-Type sedan was a great car when it was introduced and it's a much better car now. When it was launched in 1999, we praised its beautiful exterior and rich interior, and enthused over the sporty handling. Jaguar then re-engineered the S-Type for 2003, a major change that revised 70 percent of the car. The result was improved response, a smoother ride, and enhanced comfort and convenience. In short, the car had improved dramatically. For 2005, Jaguar has updated the styling, revised the interior, and retuned the suspension. And the wonderful ZF six-speed automatic is now standard on all models.
We like the improvements to the 2005 Jaguar S-Type. It's a comfortable car, it handles well, and it still makes a statement when it pulls up to a five-star hotel. We found the base 3.0-liter V6 delivers responsive performance, thanks partly to the superb six-speed automatic transmission. Opt for the 4.2 model and you get thrilling performance from its powerful V8 engine. If that isn't enough, you can spring for the high-performance S-Type R, which boasts a 400-horsepower supercharged engine, sports suspension, and big Brembo brakes.
Another more gradual but no less significant change: Jaguar's quality has been dramatically improved over the past few years and recent buyers report being very happy with their new S-Types.
Three models comprise the S-Type range, distinguished primarily by their engines. Each comes with rich leather upholstery and all the other features associated with a premium luxury car.
The S-Type 3.0 ($44,230) is powered by a 235-horsepower 3.0-liter V6. The S-Type 4.2 ($51,330) comes with a powerful, 294-horsepower 4.2-liter V8. The high-performance S-Type R ($58,330) gets a supercharged version of the same 4.2-liter V8. All models come with the six-speed automatic transmission.
Depending on model, features include heated power seats with memory, a split-folding rear seat, automatic dual-zone climate control with air filtration, power adjustable steering column with tilt-away entry and exit action, twin-function trip computer, and cruise control. Options include satellite navigation, power adjustable foot pedals, self-leveling xenon headlights, and rain-sensing wipers. Front and rear Park Assist are available. Adaptive Cruise Control is available which, like normal cruise control, allows the driver to set and maintain a cruising speed, but is also able to detect slower-moving vehicles ahead and will slow the car as necessary. When the traffic ahead speeds up, Adaptive Cruise will return to the driver's chosen speed.
The 4.2 is available as a swanky new VDP edition featuring premium leather upholstery with contrast piping, rich California burl walnut veneer trim, deep-pile carpeting, heated seats, and an electronic rear sunblind.