It was a usual busy day in the office, eating cake that Graham won in the previous nights Bristol Region raffle (bonus), whilst compiling the minutes from the previous days somewhat busy and frantic Events Committee meeting. In bounces Graham and the words "come and have a look at this" are uttered. I always know this is going to end in one of a few weird and wonderful ways and sure to form, it did.
Outside the office was a wonderfully presented 2005, 2.5 ltr S-Type. In a beautiful Grey with Black leather interior this was a good combination in my eye, always a sucker for a nice colour combination on Jaguars, it has to be the right one for the car. For example, XJ's work best in a midnight blue type colour with cream leather, while E-Type's its gunmetal with red leather. For an S-Type this was a good combination.
A cursory look around and this is certainly a well looked after example, the leather looked barely sat in, boot very clean, under the bonnet very clean and presentable, wheels undamaged, good tyres, body work no dings and dents, even had the upgraded mesh grille (a must in my honest opinion).
But then the killer of further enthusiasm the after market leaper, in gold no less. Now I get the leaper adornment on older Jaguars, but on anything made after the MK2, personally, it just does not work. That is just my honest opinion, after all this is not my car so who am I to comment on this one. Sadly being an after market fitment the resultant rust is starting to make a mess of the bonnet on an otherwise pristine car, shame. Let that be a lesson to you all.
The S-Type for me is falling into the same category as the XJ40. Sometimes I am not so bothered by it, but then I see a nice example in the right colour with the right grille and I am reminded that it is actually a very good looking and complete car. I was never turned off by the retro looks and at the time all the car companies were doing retro, Beetle, Mini, Scirocco, I thought it was actually a good looking car. My brother had one for a while and I was always surprised by the space afforded in the rear and boot, made even better by the folding split rear seats.
"How much?" chirps Graham. "I don't know" as is my usual reply, I'm not good at this game, it's like that dangerous question people ask "how old do you think I am?" where is the answer going to take you?
So a quick recap, 2.5 ltr, MOT, service history, 127,000 miles, well looked after, right colour combo. So not the big thirsty Jaguar it could be, not the powerful back breaking "R" I so enjoy, but a good spec, smaller V6.
"less than a grand, in fact its about £800" informs Graham. Now all of a sudden this is a car that makes more sense. 5 good seats, boot, with fuel costs rising a 2.5 ltr petrol engine is becoming affordable.
It's that leaper (sorry if you have one, it's just my personal taste), looking down the bonnet I feel a bit silly, maybe its the gold, who knows. I should not feel silly driving a Jaguar. Anyway, off I go. The first thing, well second after the leaper (get on with it James), is how tight and together the car feels. All the stories your read about S-Type suffering from their too soft suspension wearing out, the expected clunks and rattles are not there. The steering is tight, feels exactly as it should and there are no worrying noises coming from the front or rear wheels. This is a good start.
Now I am not expecting space travel when I pull away, so it comes as a nice surprise that the very willing V6 takes me off from the lights at an energetic pace, the revs going with it. Unlike the XJR I drove a few months back this is not tempting me to turn into a hooligan, just drive it and enjoy the fact it does what you want, gets you from A - B in a nice looking retro saloon, if you fancy a play, there is a willing V6 to enjoy. The smaller engine also provides some reasonable MPG too, statistics say 25 mpg To put that in perspective, my 2006 2.0 ltr diesel Mondeo currently delivers 46 mpg, but it is safe to say diesel prices are going to increase somewhat over the next few years. All of a sudden the day to day running a 2.5 ltr V6 Jaguar is not so un-affordable compared to the alternative diesel. Strange times.
The drive is quite pleasant and after a quick journey up to the shops, not for more cake, is accomplished with no drama, but that good feeling that goes with doing it in a Jaguar. The car felt good, drove well and looks pretty. It is an absolute bargain at less than £1000 especially given the change in mood for petrol (again). Would I buy it, yep, without question. It is hard to find good examples of Jaguars from this era on the mass market, so every now and again a good one comes along and it makes sense. You can understand what people are trying to buy when they purchase a second hand S-Type or X-Type. It feels like this.
Nice one S-Type, thanks for the drive.
If you are thinking of buying an S-Type and have questions or would like some more advice then do not hesitate to contact our forum coordinator, Steven Pye, for the model or check our our classifieds for examples that are on the market right now.