The big news for the 2005 Jaguar X-Type is the all-new 3.0 Sportwagon, covered here in a separate entry. New offerings among the X-Type sedans are the 3.0 V6 Sport and the 3.0 V6 VDP Edition packages. The 2.5-litre V6 available in 2004 has been dropped for 2005; all X-Types use a 3.0-litre V6 engine (the 2.5 is still available to U.S. buyers).

Based on the European Ford Mondeo, the X-Type is Jaguar’s entry-level model; all versions receive an advanced all-wheel-drive system that normally operates in about 60 per cent rear-wheel bias.

The 3.0 Sedan includes a five-speed manual transmission, variable ratio steering, 16-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels, anti-lock brakes, curtain airbags, leather interior, Bronze Sapele wood veneer, automatic climate control, CD player with six speakers, power locks, heated mirrors, power windows with one-touch up and down, eight-way power driver’s seat and leather-trimmed wheel with audio and cruise controls.

The 3.0 Sport adds a five-speed automatic transmission (the manual is available as a no-charge option), 18-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero “Nero” performance tires, deep front spoiler, black mesh grille, 70/30 split rear seats, sunroof, sport-tuned suspension, perforated leather sport seats, full leather steering wheel, trunk lid spoiler and dynamic stability control with emergency brake assist.

The 3.0 VDP Edition adds 17-inch ten-spoke wheels, chrome door mirror caps, memory function on driver’s seat and mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, sunroof, wood and leather steering wheel, 70/30 split seats, reverse park control, burl walnut veneer trim, heated leather seats with contrasting piping, headlight washers, ten-way driver and passenger power-adjustable seats, garage door opener, and message centre with trip computer.

An optional Premium Package can be added to the base 3.0, including eight-way power driver and passenger seats with lumbar support, rain-sensing wipers, message centre and trip computer, garage door opener, memory function on driver’s seat and mirrors, and reverse park control. The Sport can be optioned with genuine carbon fibre interior trim, in place of wood.

The X-Type offers an excellent opportunity for those who want to be part of the Jaguar tradition but without the traditional Jaguar price tag; it’ll cost you an additional $20,800 to move up to the least-expensive S-Type. It’s also slightly less expensive than getting into all-wheel-drive models from Audi and BMW. Add in unmistakable styling, a gutsy little engine and rear-wheel bias that makes for decent driving dynamics, and the X-Type is a nice package for the price. Driving enthusiasts will probably want to move up to the Sport, which adds tighter suspension and stickier tires to go along with the more aggressive styling cues.

The X-Type is built in Meyerside, England.

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