Rare 5-Speed: 2003 Jaguar S-Type – NOW $4,900
September 27, 2022 Update – The private seller just lowered their asking price for this Jaguar from $5,900 to $4,900.
The Jaguar S-Type is one of the more misunderstood Jaguars of the last 30 years. Or perhaps it’s understood just fine and simply unloved. Whatever the reasoning behind it didn’t hit the mark, this handsome sedan quickly became bling-bling fodder for cheap buy here, pay here lots. You could ride in the lap of luxury for no money down and only $185 a month. The S-Type may not have been the pinnacle of quality and desirability, but it deserves a second look all these years later, if only because Jaguar dropped a manual gearbox in a few of them (and I mean, a few). This 2003 S-Type is one of them, and in addition to sporting three pedals, it’s also quite clean. You’ll find the Jag here on Craigslist in San Diego for $4,900 (the original ask was $5,900). Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows that the seller is asking below the going rate with an average sale price of $9,148.
The S-Type came about at a time when Ford was deeply involved in Jaguar’s affairs, which in many ways, cast a shadow on the S-Type’s introduction. The platform was shared with the Lincoln LS and the Ford Thunderbird, two models that were introduced with much fanfare but never really became the home runs that Ford marketed them to be. The S-Type was certainly a handsome car, and seemingly took a cue from the W210-era Mercedes-Benz E-Class with its four oval headlights. The model was praised overseas, but then again, British automotive journalists have a knack for praising almost anything made by the likes of Jaguar and Aston Martin. The S-Type was offered with a turbodiesel overseas, seemingly a very strong mill, but we did not get it stateside. In addition to a V6 like this S-Type has, there was also a supercharged V8 offered in the S-Type R, which provided blistering acceleration but, similar to its sibling, didn’t quite live up to expectations. Today you can find a decent “R” model for well under $10,000 – which, in my opinion, makes it a bit of a bargain in the cheap sports sedan market.
The Men & Motors YouTube Channel features this test drive of the 2000 Jaguar S-Type by Richard Hammond:
The seller’s car is probably the next most desirable spec of the S-Type after the Type-R, given it is equipped with the rare manual gearbox. Lincoln similarly provided the three-pedal option in the LS sedan equipped with the base-spec six-cylinder engine, but not on the V8s. The seller’s car presents quite well with chrome wheels, a spotless interior, and a seemingly glossy finish despite having over 150,000 miles on the clock. We’re so accustomed to seeing these entry-level luxury sedans show up as total heaps that it’s a bit shocking to find one for sale by an owner who apparently looked after their baby Jaguar. The market for these cars is incredibly soft, and like many other late model Jaguars, it hasn’t lived up to its forebears’ seemingly legendary abilities to create objects of desire. To me, you buy this car because you don’t need to take out a loan, and you want to drive a car every day that very few people ever ordered with a stick (and of which even fewer still exist in road-going condition.)
Here’s the seller’s description:
“For Sale: 2003 Jaguar S-Type. Rare Manual 5-speed transmission. British Racing Green on beige interior.
This car has been very well maintained and well cared for. Records dating back to 2017. Runs and drives excellently!
Please contact me with any questions or for more information. Thank you!“
The unloved luxury sedan: does having a manual suddenly make this S-Type more desirable?