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Reader test: Jaguar S-Type

2009-10-26 07:52

Hugo Pretorius

Working in the competitive and highly visual marketing and advertising game demands a certain amount of showmanship.

There is nothing worse than pitching to a client and being embarrassed to let him walk you to your 1990 Opel Kadett. I started looking around for a decent pre-owned luxury sedan that would not only be cost effective but also turn heads. Enter the 2003 Jaguar S-Type.

At R139 900 with only 95 000 km on the clock, the car was a steal featuring every modern convenience one could desire; from cruise control to a 6-CD shuttle and even a build in mobile phone.

Pure luxury

Some key features of the S-Type I bought include: a 3.0l V6 engine, which is surprisingly light on fuel given the size of the car and engine, Dove leather seats that are electronically adjustable with seat memory, dual zone climate control, automatic headlights and a six-speed automatic transmission

The car is a dream to drive, gliding tightly around corners and accelerating smoothly when you put your foot down. The cabin is sumptuous, the seats as comfortable as any luxury car on the market today and climate control keeps things comfortable. Being insulated from the noises on the road nowadays is something I take for granted. The only sound inside the cabin is that of the 16-inch Pirelli tyres screaming over the tarmac down the N1.

Jaguar has not had the best reliability record in the past, and the first generation S-Type was plagued with problems, but with the 2003 model revision came some much needed improvements. I can honestly say that this is one of the most reliable, safe and comfortable luxury sedans on the road. At six years it ranks right up there with the 2009 big boys.


There is a certain pleasure to driving a car that is not common on the roads, or at least not as common as its German counterparts. It is said that you either love or loathe the styling of the S-Type; whichever applies the truth remains that the car turns heads.

One complaint I have is that the rear headroom is a bit limited, as tall people like myself feel a bit boxed in. Legroom on the other hand is ample, even with the front seats pushed relatively far back. The low slung nature of the back also makes the boot space a tad on the
limited side, but I have yet to encounter any shortfalls in that department.

I am extremely happy with the car. There are many S-Types on offer at the used dealerships these days as their owners are upgrading to the new Jaguar XF. Thus bargains abound. A word of caution to any prospective buyers; make sure of the car’s service history with Jaguar as you don’t want any nasty surprises two weeks after purchasing your new baby.

Traditionally I have been a BMW fan, but Jaguar has become my car of choice. Long live the big cat!

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