For 2006, the X-Type has several changes. The Sport receives genuine carbon fibre veneer trim on the fascia and gear shift surround; a new chrome mesh grille, previously used only on high-performance R models, is added to the Luxury Edition, with an upper and lower version on the Sport; the 3.0-litre is now certified for ULEV ultra-low emissions standards; the automatic transmission is standard on both trim models; Bluetooth wirelessly technology and satellite radio become available; there are new black “Growler” badges on the wheel caps and steering wheel; the passenger seat becomes eight-way power; dynamic stability control and Xenon headlights are added; and exterior colours Indigo and Winter Gold replace Pacific Blue and Topaz.

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 base 3.0 includes a five-speed manual transmission, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution, side curtain airbags, leather interior, Bronze Sapele wood interior trim, CD player with six speakers, power locks and windows, ten-way power driver’s seat, front sliding armrest, rear centre armrest with cupholders and automatic climate control.

The Sport Edition includes a heated windshield and washers, heated seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, lower front and rear spoiler, trunk lid spoiler, wood and leather steering wheel, Xenon headlights with automatic levelling, reverse park control, and premium sound system with twelve speakers.

The Luxury Edition includes heated windshield and washers, heated seats, 17-inch wheels, memory function on driver’s seat and door mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, reverse park control, premium sound system with twelve speakers, ten-way power and front passenger seat with two-way power lumbar support, message centre and trip computer, garage door opener, self-dimming rearview mirror and automatic headlamps.

The Sportwagon, which comes in Luxury trim, includes the Luxury Edition’s items, plus tailgate with independently-opening rear window, luggage tie-downs, silver roof rails, cargo cover and net, and hidden storage compartment with 12-volt power supply.

The X-Type offers an excellent opportunity for those who want to be part of the Jaguar tradition but still remain within budget. With unmistakable styling, a gutsy engine and rear-wheel bias that makes for decent driving dynamics, the X-Type is a nice package for the price. Driving enthusiasts will want to move up to the Sport, with its tighter suspension and stickier tires, while practical buyers will tend toward the Sportwagon, which offers all the Jaguar niceties with the convenience of a cargo-hauler.

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