What's New for 2007
In their eighth (and likely last) year of production, Jaguar's midsize S-Type sedans soldier through with minimal changes. There's a new "Luxury" package for the high-performance, supercharged S-Type R, and a few interior revisions across the line including new contrast piping for the leather seats, new burl walnut veneers, adaptive radar-based cruise control and the always thrilling "bright mirror caps."
The 2007 Jaguar S-Type and S-Type R hit the market just as the engineering of its replacement is concluding. If this elegantly styled, sweet-natured, midsize luxury machine is what you want, it's likely that 2007 will be your last chance to buy a new one.
The S-Type cribs its styling from Jag's '60s icon, the Mark II sedan, but shares much of its substance with the recently discontinued Lincoln LS; both are/were built around Ford's rear-drive "DEW98" platform and so share basic structural, engine and suspension design. However the V6- or V8-powered S-Type drives like a Jaguar with a blend of road manners, comfort and performance the Lincoln was never quite able to pull off.
An English ambience to the car's interior design and materials helps to distinguish the S-Type from competitors like the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Lexus GS. It offers the driver and passengers a true Jaguar experience; the leather is aromatic, supple and beautifully upholstered, the use of burled walnut veneers is lavish without being tasteless, and the inside door handles are thickly chromed. To use a very British word, it's posh. Still, for all the beauty that interior contains, there are a few discordant elements such as the air-conditioning system's vents that seem as if they belong on a cheaper car.
The S-Type R lacks the hard edge of cars like BMW's M5 or the Mercedes-Benz E55, and in general the Jag is less sporting in its nature than the direct competition. But overall, the 2007 Jaguar S-Type is still capable enough in its old age to serve as a decent alternative to otherwise more common midsize luxury sedans.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Jaguar S-Type lineup consists of three models: V6-powered S-Type 3.0, V8-equipped S-Type 4.2 and the roaring S-Type R with a supercharged V8. Even the cheapest S-Type 3.0 comes fully equipped with power controls for virtually all ordinary tasks, leather on the seats, burl walnut wood along the dash and doors, a moonroof, dual-zone climate controls and 17-inch wheels. To that list of equipment the S-Type 4.2 adds a more powerful 320-watt sound system, xenon headlamps, front park control, a DVD-based navigation system (all of which are optional on the S-Type 3.0) and an electric rear sun blind. Options for both the 3.0 and 4.2 include 18-inch wheels and satellite radio.
The S-Type R wears bird's eye maple wood trim in place of burl walnut but otherwise carries much of the equipment found on the 4.2. Beyond that the S-Type R gets "R Performance" oversize disc brakes, an "Enhanced computer Active Technology Suspension" and wider performance tires on 18-inch wheels. Adaptive radar-based cruise control and 19-inch wheels and tires are all stand-alone options on the S-Type R. Also available is a "Luxury Package" that brings aboard the burl walnut trim with additional wood trim on the steering wheel and shift knob, adds that electric rear sun blind back in, puts contrast piping on the seats and throws in those exciting "bright mirror caps."
Powertrains and Performance
The S-Type 3.0 is powered by a 235-horsepower 3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve V6. Above that is the S-Type 4.2 with Jaguar's 300-hp 4.2-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 under its hood. The S-Type R plants a Roots-type supercharger on top of that V8 to boost output to a full 400 hp. All three engines are backed by ZF-made six-speed automatic transmissions. Jaguar claims that the S-Type 4.2 will accelerate from a stop to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while the S-Type R will do the same deed in 5.3 seconds.
The driver side and passenger two-stage airbags are supplemented by side airbags for the driver side and front passenger, and side curtain airbags for both front and rear passengers. Jaguar's Dynamic Stability Control system, traction control and antilock brakes with brake assist are also aboard to enhance vehicular control. The NHTSA has awarded the S-Type five-star ratings (the highest) after side-impact testing for front and rear seat occupants.
Interior Design and Special Features
The S-Type's interior mixes beautiful wood veneers, supple leather upholstery and just enough chrome to produce one of the most attractive motoring environments in its class. However, there are a few pieces of cheesy plastic around that keep it from being perfect.
The 2007 Jaguar S-Type is a supremely comfortable machine that makes gobbling up a continent's worth of pavement pleasant. But its limits are lower than some of the competition and its reflexes more subdued. This is, after all, not a BMW, but a Jaguar.