Hooniverse Wagon Wednesday – Two Sport Wagons that sold in Microscopic Numbers

Welcome to another edition of Hooniverse Wagon Wednesday. I thought I would shake up things a bit, and highlight a couple of Wagons that were recently discontinued within the US only a few years ago. They sold in such small numbers that their combined total sales couldn’t match the sales output of the almost $200,000 Bentley Continental. The vehicles are the Jaguar X-Type Wagon, and the Lexus IS300 SportCross. They were both a radical departure for their respective brands at the time of their introduction, and could never build up any sort of following in the age of the SUV.

Let’s start with the Jaguar X-Type Wagon. This was only the second “Estate” car ever, and the only one actually produced by the company. The X-Type in all versions was suppose to be the volume mark for Jaguar, with projections of over 200,000 per year. That projection was never to be seen, and with many in the enthusiast community calling the X-Type the Jaguar “Cimarron”, sales never measured up to expectations.

The X-Type Estate was introduced within Jaguar’s home market in 2004, with the US introduction a year later, and they were a rare sight indeed. Between 2005 and 2008, Jaguar managed to sell only 1,602 X-Type Wagons in the states, and withdrew the type a year earlier that the European markets. Which brings us to this lovely X-Type wagon offered on eBay. This Silver wagon has covered only a little over 33,000 miles, and it is offered by a California Mercedes Dealer. The only thing this car doesn’t have is the Roof Rails, which is curious as they were standard equipment if I recall correctly.

The Buy-it-Now price for this one of only 1,600 wagons is $23,900. This sounds like a rather steep price, but the question is this: When was the last time you saw one, and will it ever become a coveted piece of Jaguar history in the future? See the eBay listing here.

The Lexus IS series was originally marketed as the Toyota Altezza (the word “altezza” is Italian for “highness”) and introduced in its home market in October of 1998. It morphed into the Lexus IS200 and IS300 for North America during the 2000 model year. The SportCross Wagon made its debut within the US almost two years later. The cars that were made available came equipped with Automatic transmissions, though you could theoretically purchase a five-speed manual during the 2003 model year.

Sales projections for the sportiest Lexus was never met, with the high point being the introductory year at over 22,400 sedans, and slowly spiraled downward. The SportCross figures were especially dismal, with only 3,088 sold between 2002 and 2005. Which brings us to this IS300 SportCross available on AutoTrader. It is a 2003 model, with the 215HP I-6, Automatic, and has covered over 65,000 miles. It does sport an all leather interior, and is priced at a reasonable $13,495. The Lexus IS Series will probably never match the desire of either a Jaguar X-Type or a BMW 3-Series, but with a rear drive chassis, and an inline six cylinder engine, I wouldn’t count it out. See the AutoTrader listing here.

The point of this posting is to see if either of these wagons is worthy of your hard earned dollars. Remember, within a few years these are going to be very rare beasts worthy of some respect, but maybe not yours. Tell me what you really think….

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  1. west_coaster Avatar

    This is the first I'd heard that the SportCross was ever available with a 5-speed manual. I was always told that only the sedan could be had with the manual, and those are very rare.

  2. Manic_King Avatar

    Djaaaaag is one of better looking wagons and I def would rock it in AWD form which this one isn't(?). But clean and nice nevertheless. No idea about right price level though. Probably too expensive, same buck could give you more bang in US.
    Lexus…meh…saloon IS is better looking but still feels and looks older than it is. Haven't aged too well.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      All X-types were AWD. This was to try to remove it further from its FWD Ford Mondeo roots.

      1. Manic_King Avatar

        Here in Europe most are FWD so I was thinking this one is also. Looks like Ebay seller has decided not to use AWDness as selling point either, or at least I didn't noticed that mentioned in listing. Or maybe they just don't know..

        1. tonyola Avatar

          Ah, ok. According to Wiki, FWD became available in the European X-type for 2003 along with the diesel and small V6. All US-market X-types had AWD so I would assume that this wagon has it too.

  3. scroggzilla Avatar

    When new, I admit to coveting a SportCross. Even though it's an overpriced Toyota and therefore suffers from a touch of the biege, it's rarity and wagon-ness still appeals to my contrarian nature.

  4. tonyola Avatar

    The X-Type had a bad rep once word got out that it was "just a Ford". Too bad, because I thought it looked miles better than the S-type, and the wagon looked best of all. However, the price on this one is much too high. I found a clean 2007 wagon on Auto Trader with 70K for $13,000.
    As for the SportCross, I agree with WestCoaster that it was auto-only, and this is verified by Car and Driver and Consumer Guide. The sedans had a manual option but never the SportCross. I can't get too excited about this Lexus – though it might be a very good car, it just doesn't look expensive. People will confuse it for a Mazda Protege 5.

  5. muthalovin Avatar

    Hmm. This is a fairly tough call. I have no passion for either. The X-Type never did do anything for me, and this Estate looks alright, but that price is pretty high. I dislike Lexus with every fiber of my being, but the SportCross is pretty cool, and the price is decent enough, plus rear-drive and an inline six…. Yeah, neither.

  6. Maymar Avatar

    I like the X-Type more than most (maybe because I've never driven one?), but odds are I wouldn't be able to get the one I wanted without using a time machine to factory order one. Still, I love the Estate, Volvo taillights and all.
    On the other hand, although I don't feel as much affection for the Lexus, I do appreciate the IS. And, with ten grand to spare, I could easily drop the manual gearbox in this one.

  7. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    Both are cars I've half-seriously lusted after for years, and both were available with manual gearboxes – but only in their sedan forms. So close, yet so far, albeit so possible if something should happen to the original gearbox…

  8. Lotte Avatar

    Never even heard of an X-type wagon; now I want one in BRG and some performance goodies thrown at it, roadgoing touring car style. Mesh grille too, maybe?
    I've seen exactly one Sportcross in the wild; while neat I don't think that sloping hatch is good for that much more space.

    1. skitter Avatar

      I'll let you have the green X-Type, but I get the black one.

  9. Black Steelies Avatar

    I dig the Jag, more my style than the Lexus. I've never actively searched for either car though I knew they existed, but I have searched for Jags for sale while Lexus' have never ever caught my eye.

  10. facelvega Avatar

    Speaking of rare sport wagons, I'd rather have a humble Saabaru than either of these cars. Heck, the Lexus kind of looks like a Saabaru.
    The Jag's interior is so hideous and un-jaglike that I would be depressed getting into it every day. The Lexus suffers from being a Lexus, and thus the automotive equivalent of overpriced hotel food. With a Saabaru at least I could feel like I got a good deal on a babied WRX with what was effectively the GT package.

  11. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I'd take the SportCross. Aftermarket is huge for that motor and a manny tranny should swap in easily.
    I've seen exactly one of each of those in the wild in my lifetime. Both in Toledo, OH.

  12. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I reviewed an X-Type Estate at some point but can't remember if I ever put it up on Roadwork, I'll have to see.
    Concise version, though, was that the AWD 3.0V6 feels like a (slower) Adults version of a WRX. Front-Wheel-Drive diesel (most common Euro spec) drove extremely well but was otherwise a pretty terrible marketing move on Jaguars part.
    Ironically, the other "retro" sedan of the era, the Rover 75, was marginally a superior car. In my sick, jaded opinion, anyway.

  13. Jim-Bob Avatar

    I like both of them but would never pay that sort of price for a used, late-model luxury car without a full factory warranty. There's just too many expensive things that could go wrong. Of the two, the Lexus is my preference because I could do a 2JZ-GTTE or 1JZ-GTE swap with a 5 speed using parts from a Supra, a GS300 or a Toyota Soarer. Plus it's Japanese and I prefer cars from Japan to those from Europe or the US.

  14. Spencedaddy Avatar

    i've actually seen 2 possibly 3 of the lexus sport crosses in TN, how interesting that they were so rare…..
    and i've never seen a syclone or typhoon in person…wtf!

  15. TurboBrick Avatar

    I had completely forgotten about the Sportcross. Wow, that is a huge improvement over the weird looking sedan. I have a thing for weird wagons, and that one just made it into my short list.

  16. JayP Avatar

    I've seen enough SportCross' to make me believe they were somewhat common. As common as an A4 Avant or 3 Series wagon.
    The Jag… only ever seen one wagon which was at the Dallas Auto Show.
    Exactly the same number of Pontiac ST's I'd ever seen.

  17. Jeremy Avatar

    wow, only seen one jaguar wagon, when i saw it i had to do a triple take. I never even knew they made em, but the lexus wagon, someone at my local Krogers food store owns one, I see it there all the time.

  18. Maxichamp Avatar

    My mom had an X-Type sedan. It was an abomination.

  19. FЯeeMan Avatar

    The Jag-on is pretty nice looking in person. One of the 1602 lives here in Indianapolis. I had a nice chat at a gas station with the lady who owns it (from new) and "will drive it until it falls apart". She absolutely loves it. It too, is in that silver color.

  20. boxdin Avatar

    I've lusted after the jag wagon for yrs as a possible old mans car. That's when all I can play w is elec model airplanes and have to haul them around. I also look at 5 series BMW wagons w much lust.
    I've seen lots of this style jag go well over 150k miles, so somebody did something right.

  21. Artpen100 Avatar

    I have a 2005 Jaguar wagon, one of the 1602. It has been great, comfortable, dependable, love that it has AWD. Frankly, I haven’t found anything I like better to replace it with, and at some point, I tend to think it will become a collector’s item, like the MGB-GT.

  22. Harvey Duncan Avatar
    Harvey Duncan

    Do you guys have a clue how many Mazda6 Wagon’s came in manual in the U.S.? I know about 7,800 were sold from 2004-2008, but curious about the manual take.

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