The Jaguar S-Type has a reputation for many things, but reliability is not one of them. The midsize S-Type was the automaker’s long-awaited answer to the BMW 5-Series and Lexus GS, among others, and it never came close to unseating largely German and Japanese rivals. However, the S-Type appears to be holding up better than critics like myself would have expected, as there are a remarkable number of higher-mile examples on Autotrader.
First, a little history. The S-Type revived a long-dormant Jaguar name when it went on sale for the 2000 model year. At the time, Ford owned Jaguar, and it justified the S-Type by sharing its platform and powertrains with the Lincoln LS and even the Ford Thunderbird. An unlikely pairing, for sure, though the relatively humble bits beneath the excessively old-world styling may be what has helped some S-Types live a longer-than-expected life.
For instance, the car’s standard 3.0-liter V6 was closely related to that used in the contemporary Ford Taurus, although admittedly the optional V8 seems to be well-represented in the 200,000-plus mileage club. Here’s a final-year example located in Bradenton, Florida, powered by a 4.2-liter version of the automaker’s long-running V8 that appears to show few signs of its 204,000 miles.
The S-Type didn’t change a whole lot over its nine model-year run between 2000 and 2008, though a supercharged V8 rated at a hefty 400 horsepower arrived in 2002 with the BMW M5 in its sights. Here’s a very clean 2005 S-Type R in Los Angeles, which for $2,500 asks just $6.25 per horsepower (though a few have likely left the stable by now). Showing 130,000 miles, it’s the highest-mile S-Type R currently for sale on Autotrader.
Styling-wise, the S-Type evolved very little. Earlier versions came in some questionable hues, like this Seafrost 2002 V6 in Selah, Washington, with a mere 150,000 miles for $5,500. That’s a lot more than other examples, though this one looks nearly new inside and out, and good luck finding another in this unusual color.
Low-mile S-Types aren’t hard to find, either, including this pristine first-year model with just 13,000 miles in Mesa, Arizona. The S-Type may not have been Jaguar’s finest hour, but it appears owners have done their best to cherish their cars — even as many have racked up big miles. Find a Jaguar S-Type for sale
MORE FROM OVERSTEER
The Mitsubishi Montero Sport Is the Forgotten Toyota 4Runner Competitor
5 1990s Cars Worth Restoring Currently For Sale on Autotrader
Autotrader Find: 1987 Buick Grand National With 105 Miles