Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The X-Type originally came with 2.5-litre or 3.0-litre V6 engine (along with four-wheel drive) and with 192bhp and 231bhp respectively they both offer good pace. There is also a 2.1-litre V6 (badged a 2.0-litre) petrol model with front-wheel. With 157bhp its performance is quick enough, but it's a much thirstier engine than four-cylinder motors with similar power.

It's the diesels which make the most sense in the X-Type however - in 2003 a Ford-sourced 130bhp four-cylinder diesel, was introduced. It offers comfortably brisk performance and impressive refinement. However the best engine in the range is the newer 2.2-litre diesel - also sourced from Ford - which arrived in 2005. It's more powerful with 155bhp but almost matches the 2.0-litre for fuel economy and feels much livelier.

In March 2008 this version was offered with an automatic transmission for the first time and the six-speed gearbox is exceptionally smooth. The Sport mode improves responsiveness ensuring it feels keen accelerating out of slower corners, and there is also a manual mode using the gearstick.

The X-Type has been designed to offer the type of comfort expected in a Jaguar along with nimble and agile handling. It offers exceptional ride comfort with good body control and responsive steering. It isn't as sharp or as good to drive as a BMW 3-Series but nevertheless, the Jaguar is able to cover ground on motorways and A-roads briskly and with minimal fuss.

The 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre models come with four-wheel drive, while all other models are front-wheel drive - however whichever model you choose, all handle predictably and remain composed through corners. Unfortunately there are few thrills to be had along the way.