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Original MSRP: $48,335 - $64,335
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2008 Jaguar S-Type Performance

This performance review was written when the 2008 Jaguar S-Type was new.

Auto reviewers say the 2008 Jaguar S-Type 3.0, 4.2 and R are all capable performers, handling with confidence and driving with refinement. Consumer Guide says that all of the S-types "are a pleasure to drive, with appointments and features worthy of the class." Yet, though Edmunds calls the S-Type "a supremely comfortable machine that makes gobbling up a continent's worth of pavement pleasant," they still advise that "most prospective buyers will be happier with more desirable choices such as an Audi A6/S6, BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class."

The S-Type 4.2 and the S-Type R receive ample praise in auto reviews, because the V8 engines are spirited and strong. The S-Type V8 packs plenty of performance, with the S-Type R adding additional horsepower for the "hard-core enthusiasts who want bragging rights and the heart-pounding acceleration," says Forbes. MSN say that all S-Type engines "provide a good balance of sport, luxury and civility."

Acceleration and Power

The 2008 Jaguar S-Type offers three different engine options. The baseline S-Type 3.0 with its 3.0-liter V6 engine is suited for luxury driving because of its smooth power delivery. Automobile.com states that the S-Type 3.0 is ideal for motoring through the countryside in "comfort and elegance," providing exactly what this car should. The S-Type "exhibits demure typical of the English, remaining a wallflower until challenged," says Automobile.com. Edmunds says the S-Type 3.0's performance is smooth, yet cites its "sluggish side." The S-Type 3.0 receives an EPA estimated fuel economy of 17 mpg for city driving and 26 on the highway.

The 2008 Jaguar S-Type 4.2 sports a 4.2-liter V8 with 300-horsepower. Automotive.com finds the V8 engine "truly spirited" and perfect for quicker acceleration, recognizing its power when driving quickly on back roads. "This is a very strong car by any measure," they add. The S-Type 4.2 has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 16 mpg during city driving and 24 for highway speeds.

The 2008 Jaguar S-Type R features a supercharged 4.2-liter V8 that provides 400 horsepower at 6100 rpm. The S-Type R receives ample praise from auto reviewers, who hail the engine's strong performance. This powerful sedan should appeal to buyers with performance in mind, with its ability of doing 0 - 60 in just 5.3 seconds. Edmunds says S-Type R is an "all-around performer" but goes on to say that, "its ultimate performance is no match for the best sport sedans from Germany." The S-Type R does an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. All models require premium-grade fuel.

All 2008 Jaguar S-Type models have a six-speed automatic transmission, of which Automotive.com raves, "The S-Type comes with a great transmission, perhaps the best available... extremely responsive and silky smooth. With more gears to choose from, it offers excellent drivability around town. It delivers both better performance and improved fuel economy...It's a smart transmission: lift off the throttle for a corner and it senses the steering angle and holds it in gear. It also holds a gear on hills, eliminating hunting between gears."

Handling and Braking

The Jaguar S-Type 3.0, 4.2 and R, conclude auto writers, are all capable performers, handling with confidence and driving with refinement. The S-Type 3.0 "offers a fine balance between sport and luxury," reports The Auto Channel, providing a feel that is very different from its competitors. Kelley Blue Book finds steering and handling on the 3.0 to be "tight and secure," while shifting is smooth and effortless. Road & Travel Magazine concludes that the S-Type "can feel cushioned, yet responsive, on the road."

The Jaguar S-Type R is this line's beast, with most auto reviewers raving about its speed. The S-Type R "delivers the high performance it promises," hails Forbes reviewers. They continue to explain that while high-speed cruising in the S-Type R is effortless, "the engine computer seems to dial back the power just a little bit before each shift of the six-speed automatic, muting the feel of what really is remarkable all-out performance."

The Jaguar S-Type 3.0 comes with a fully independent front and rear wishbone suspension, which auto reviewers find pleasing for a luxury cruising. Forbes explains that this enhanced system can adjust between a soft and firm suspension with a quick setting, "promising more body control during hard cornering or braking while maintaining ride comfort the rest of the time." Forbes finds the suspension "great" at soaking up most rough patches and coarse driving, but mentions that it was heard inside when the sound system was turned down. Kelley Blue Book notes that although the suspension feels soft, it is suited for a smooth ride with an adequate level of road feel. Automobile.com finds that the S-Type remains composed over rough roads, "allowing only a minimum of shock and disruption to permeate the quiet cabin."

The Jaguar S-Type 3.0 and 4.2 come with a touring-tuned suspension while the S-Type R has the "stiffest suspension", claims Automotive.com, and uses a unique enhanced Computer Active Technology Suspension (eCATS) calibration. This enhanced system, states Forbes, "can adjust between a soft and firm suspension setting in milliseconds, promising more body control during hard cornering or braking while maintaining ride comfort the rest of the time."

The Jaguar S-Type comes with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, assisted by Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Dynamic Stability Control. Coupled with the anti-lock brakes is Emergency Brake Assist, which is standard on all S-Type models. Forbes finds the Jaguar S-Type brakes "big ventilated discs in front and solid discs in back," recognizing their "grabby" feel at low speeds during rush-hour traffic, but noting otherwise that they are "powerful and responsive." The S-Type R comes with Performance brakes which Automobile.com notes as "powerful," and always up for a quick stop, almost finding them "over-anxious to provide."

Performance Options

S-Type 3.0

The S-Type 3.0 has a 3.0-liter V6 engine with a 6-speed ZF automatic transmission with a touring-tuned suspension.

S-Type 4.2

The S-Type 4.2 has a 4.2-liter V8 engine with a 6-speed ZF automatic transmission with a touring-tuned suspension.

S-Type R

The Jaguar R has a supercharged 4.2-liter V8 engine with a 6-speed ZF electronic automatic transmission. It has a performance-tuned suspension with enhanced Computer Active Technology Suspension (eCATS).

Review Last Updated: 7/10/08

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