You Get What You Pay For
August 23, 2018
I own a 2003 S-Type with a 3.0L V6, and a manual (5-Speed) transmission. A few things I really enjoy: I seem to be in the minority of people to who enjoy sedans with manual transmissions. (I bought it for this reason.) This car is a pleasure to drive. The stick slides and clicks into the gears nicely and all threat of a failed automatic transmission is entirely removed. The car has a timing chain (not a rubber belt), which further increases my confidence in the powertrain's reliability. The seats are very comfortable and range of adjustment is more than ample. The car, so far, has been relatively easy to work on, as I've replaced the original cracked grill, coolant overflow tank, valve cover gaskets, and all filters and fluids. With Continental tires, road noise is nonexistent. The factory sound system is also a quality product. I own an E-Type, so it's really fun to drive a modern Jaguar saloon with a stick shift. There are, however, sticking points; if the original owner neglected maintenance, walk away. Parts are not cheap. If you can do your own work, the S-Type is a bargain, however. On the same token, this is not the car on which to learn automotive maintenance. You should be proactive with maintenance and replace timing sets, water pump, thermostat, all fluids and filters, oil pan and valve cover gaskets, and install ceramic (dustless) brake pads. Usecthe correct (5W-30) oil, the correct coolant, and replace the stock (crack-prone) coolant expansion tank with a quality aftermarket unit. In all, a fun car once you sort it out and make up for the indiscretions of the last owner(s).