The Jaguar X-Type is Coventry's entry-level luxury sedan, designed to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and, to some extent, the Lexus IS 300 and Acura TL. The performance of the Jaguar compares favorably to these cars, while offering a distinct difference in feel and temperament. The X-Type is elegant, comfortable, and fun to drive. Starting at $29,330, it represents a low cost of entry for a Jaguar and a strong value in this highly competitive class. It also gives its owner the distinction of driving a Jag. The X-Type looks unmistakably like a Jaguar, and that's no small design feat given its relatively compact dimensions. Better still, the X-Type smells and feels like a Jaguar, with all the traditional British ingredients that have defined the brand for seven decades. Yet this $30,000 Jag is more than an inexpensive knock-off because it offers something no other Jaguar has: the benefits of full-time all-wheel-drive. That makes the X-Type a good choice for rain, snow and ice, and indeed it feels very secure in those conditions. For 2004, Jaguar delivers the first significant changes since the X-Type was introduced two years ago. There are new colors and new, larger wheel designs. Inside, the X-Type gets a new wood veneer that Jaguar calls Sapele, and claims it offers the most powerful premium stereo in the class. Option packages have been re-aligned, and perhaps most significantly, the X-Type's price-value equation has been improved. The less-expensive 2004 X-Type 2.5-liter actually costs $620 less than when the car was launched in the fall of 2001. The high-trim X-Type 3.0-liter is nearly $3,000 less than last year. With new standard equipment, Jaguar says the 3.0 represents a savings of $5,200 compared to 2003. The Jaguar X-Type is a great alternative to some superb luxury sedans.