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2003 Jaguar S-Type Review
More options, more power, and more fun.
Reviewed by Automotive on
Jaguar’s 2003 S-Type sedans were improved primarily under the hood and in the interior. Jaguar barely changed the exterior while adding new technology on the interior, adding the S-Type R with a supercharged 4.2-liter V-8, more standard safety features, and a redesigned suspension as well. Drivers have five different trim levels to consider when picking the best fit S-Type sedan to take home. Jaguar makes many improvements in the 2003 S-Type models that make these sporty luxury sedans some of the best vehicles available on the market.
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6, 4.2-liter V-8, 4.2-liter supercharged V-8
Transmissions: manual, six-speed automatic
Models: Jaguar S-Type 3.0 SE, Jaguar S-Type 3.0 Sport, Jaguar S-Type 4.2 V8, Jaguar S-Type 4.2 V8 Sport, Jaguar S-Type R
The majority of the changes for Jaguar’s 2003 S-Type lineup focus on mechanical and interior improvements. The 3.0-liter V-6 S-Type SE and Sport are paired with a manual transmission. The 4.0-liter, V-8 engine was dropped for a 4.2-liter V8 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission for 2003. The S-Type R high-performance sedan also starts new for 2003. The redesigned suspension system and additional standard features are new for the 2003 S-Type models as well. Many drivers feel the culmination of modifications and new additions for the 2003 S-Type models significantly improves the overall experience with these sedans.
Aside from marginal modifications, the exterior design of the 2003 Jaguar S-Type models is generally similar to the year before. In order to help improve handling, the 2003 S-Type exterior body is around 10 percent stiffer than the previous year. The Type-S R features 18-inch alloy wheels and a chrome trim around a wire-mesh grille. Xenon headlights are a new option for the S-Type models and come standard for the S-Type R.
Some may say that there are not many vehicles with a more impressive interior than the 2003 Jaguar S-Type sedans. The S-Type R features its own unique interior trim as well. The interior consists of fine leather and authentic wood for the most part. These S-Type sedans seem to share some of the same interior parts as Lincoln models. Drivers love the retro allure partnered with the innovative technological amenities. The cabin gets redesigned in the 2003 models with an optional telematics touchscreen interface to control the climate, stereo, telephones, and DVD navigation features. An electric parking brake replaces the traditional parking brake in this 2003 S-Type lineup as well.
Performance & Handling
The 3.0-liter models produce around 235 horsepower through the transmission to the rear wheels. The 4.2-liter produces around 390 horsepower. The S-Type R has a total output of around 400 horsepower and can go 0 to 60 mph in under 5.5 seconds. The S-Type R is clearly the most fun to drive amongst all these models. The high-performance sport sedan has impressive brakes, responsive steering, quality low-end power from the supercharger, and a smooth transition through the gears of the six-speed automatic transmission. The new front and revised rear suspension improve handling and the ride for the 2003 S-Type, but many drivers feels it still needs a smoother transmission. Overall, drivers feel this is an ideal vehicle for both driving around the city and traveling on the highway as well.
Jaguar makes several additional safety features standard throughout the 2003 S-Type lineup. Rain-sensitive wipers and a reverse parking control system are standard features for all of the S-Type models. A panic assist barking system is also standard for the 2003 models. Power-adjustable pedals, seats featuring anti-whiplash designs, along with stability control and traction control are all standard safety features for the 2003 S-Type Jaguars as well. The S-Type also features dual-stage front airbags and side-curtain airbags that respond through an adaptive restraint technology system that’s designed to increase safety for the passengers in the event of a collision.
EPA Fuel Economy
Jaguar S-Type, 4.2-liter V-8: 15/24 mpg city/highway
Jaguar S-Type R, 4.2-liter supercharged V-8: 15/22 mpg city/highway
- Massive torque and power in S-Type R
- Stable chassis
- Adequate style and safety provided
You Won't Like
- High retail price for a luxury sedan with a few chintzy interior parts
- Transmission shirt-shifts before the peak in power
- Internal computer prohibits drag racing
More options, more power, and more fun.
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