ROAD TEST | JAGUAR X-TYPE

If it's true that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, then what does it mean when Jaguar puts its logo on a less-than-sumptuous car? Yes, I'm talking about the X-Type. This month the second-generation entry-level Jag makes its debut. The first model was universally panned for looking too much like a Taurus and, worse, driving like one--not a stretch, since Ford bought Jag. While this redone version has a classier appearance and the elements of a luxury brand--wood veneer, leather seats, automatic climate control--the interior still left me underwhelmed.

As for performance, the 3.0-liter, V-6, 227-horsepower engine with five-speed automatic transmission is barely adequate. Merging onto the highway, I stepped on the gas, watched the revs climb and heard a roar from the engine but didn't see much acceleration for all its activity. On the plus side, there's a bevy of useful standard features: 17-inch alloy wheels, one-touch moon roof and a nice wood-and-leather steering wheel. But they don't make up for the shortcomings. The X-Type is like a handsome man who promises roses, but gives you carnations instead.

Tip: For the first time Jaguar comes in a Sportwagon, with full-time all-wheel drive, for $2,000 more.

ROAD TEST | JAGUAR X-TYPE | News