The transfer drive assembly that is the heart of the Traction-4 All-Wheel Drive system is mounted on the engine block for improved stiffness and compact packaging.
The transfer drive assembly that is the heart of the Traction-4 All-Wheel Drive system is mounted on the engine block for improved stiffness and compact packaging. It takes power from the transmission output and splits it, as necessary, between the front and rear wheels. Normally, the torque output from the transmission is split 40 per cent to the front and 60 per cent to the rear, the rearward bias giving much of the handling balance of a rear wheel drive car. In slippery conditions or on poor surfaces, a viscous coupling incorporated into the epicyclic centre differential senses differences in speeds between the front and rear wheels and adjusts torque distribution accordingly, apportioning more to the wheels that have grip and less to the ones that may slip.
The proof is in the driving and the Jaguar X-TYPE Estate 3.0 litre V6 does not disappoint. The Sport model is equipped with sports suspension and 18" x 7.5" Aruba alloy wheels which enhance handling and the well weighted speed-sensitive power steering reacts well to driver input.
All-round disc brakes with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), Dynamic Stability Control and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) are standard on the X-TYPE Estate 3.0 litre V6 and ensure that it brakes phenomenally well.
Ease of Use
As previously mentioned we took the X-TYPE Estate into the Welsh Black Mountains in sub zero conditions. The driving conditions were pretty poor and as it started to snow we knew that we were driving the right car.
We made our way tentatively onto the snow covered roads and not once did the Jaguar complain, only on one occasion could you feel the power shifting from the rear to the front of the car. These were driving conditions that we would not have attempted in a lesser car - without the benefit of All Wheel Drive. Only the year before we had tried driving a Mazda MX-5 up the same mountain road, in slightly better conditions and we had to abandon our attempt. Obviously it is not fair to compare the two cars, but it does show the benefit of All Wheel Drive.
The X-TYPE Estate has a relatively low roof line which might restrict you moving a large wardrobe, but the boot space is larger than that of its closest rivals. With the seats folded down, the Jaguar weighs in at 1415 litres, the Audi A4 Avant (1184 litres), Mercedes C-Class Estate (1384 litres) and the BMW 3 Series Touring (1345 litres). With the 70/30 split rear seats up you can carry 445 litres of luggage to the rear window line.
Access to the rear load space is via a tailgate with a separately opening rear window - so when loading very large items, the whole tailgate can be lifted, and when only putting in smaller items, such as light shopping or smaller travel bags, the rear window glass can be opened on its own, ideal if you have dogs in the rear. One problem is that you cannot load items through the window, if the load cover is pulled over.
The rear wash wipe has a useful automatic function that when reverse gear is selected and the front wipers are on the rear wiper will switch on to intermittent.
Another useful feature is the generously sized storage area located under the one-piece floor which features a power-output socket allowing us to recharge our laptop while being discreetly concealed beneath the floor.
On a practical level the X-TYPE Estate is equipped with headlamp power wash, space saver spare wheel, front fog lamps, cruise control and a trip computer with message centre.
Jaguar X-TYPE Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Jaguar X-TYPE Estate|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||144 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||36.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||4|
|Warranty||3-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 03/03/05)||£ 28,970|