Jaguar ’s ailing X-type entry-level model, production of which was suspended for some weeks earlier this year, gets a new, and long overdue, four-cylinder diesel engine option along with sundry revisions for the 2004 model year but the new version appears unlikely to match the legendary refinement of the six-cylinder diesel BMW 3-series, long accepted as the standard setter in the class.
The new diesel X-type will be on sale from September this year but features only a four-cylinder, 16-valve turbodiesel with common-rail injection first seen in Ford’s Mondeo, with which it shares its platform.
In Jaguar tune, the turbodiesel develops 128bhp DIN horsepower and 330Nm (243lb ft) of torque with the facility for ‘overtaking’ overboost to 350Nm (258 lb ft). It also offers claimed EC combined cycle fuel economy of around 50mpg and a low 149g/km CO2 emissions rating, critical for the UK business car market where drivers are taxed according to this figure.
Prices start at £19,995 in the UK and the front-wheel drive 2.0D is available at the same price as the two litre V6 petrol-engined version – an entry-level model added some time after the 2.5- and three-litre all wheel drive models debuted – allowing customers to opt for diesel at no extra cost.
The X-type diesel will allow Jaguar to compete for the first time for a share of the increasingly important premium diesel market, which accounts for around half of the segment across Europe, and as much as 33% in the UK. Jaguar expects the diesel to account for almost two thirds of X-type sales across Europe (50% in the UK) in its first year which begs the question: what took them so long?
Range-wide changes for the 2004 model year include new grille, bumper and side window highlights to more strongly differentiate Classic, SE and Sport versions, improved trim materials that include Alcantara and carbon fibre and reductions in maintenance and repair costs, highlighted by a new bolt-on front end (BOFE) structure behind the front bumper.