Estates may not always be at the top of everyone’s wish lists, but Auto Africa showcases a handful of the latest small to medium station wagons… from Jaguar, Peugeot and Volvo.

Estates may not always be at the top of everyone’s wish lists, but Auto Africa showcases a handful of the latest small to medium station wagons… Jaguar, Peugeot and Volvo supply the wares.


The Jaguar X-Type Estate, which made its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, is based on its four-door sibling, but redesigned from the B-pillars back, with revised rear doors, a new roof and rear body structure and additional rear quarter windows.


The car is Jaguar’s first ever production estate and continues the embattled PAG brand’s expansion into market segments where it had previously not been represented.


Its maximum usable load volume with rear seats folded flat is claimed to be bigger than that of the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Mercedes C-Class Estate, and 20 per cent larger than that of the Audi A4 Avant. As was the case with the X-Type saloon range, a number of improvements and additional specification choices have been introduced for the 2004 model year. Drivers who prefer a sportier interior can specify carbon-fibre look facia inserts and Alcantara trim.


The rear seat can be configured to provide seating for one, two or three passengers, depending on how much luggage space is required. A storage area, equipped with a power output socket, is located under the one-piece floor.


Additional stowage boxes for small items are installed behind removable doors in either or both rear sides. The rear compartment also four spring-loaded, chrome-finished D-rings, a retractable soft cover and a split tailgate. On the outside, fixed roof rails are fitted and a range of additional carrying systems, from ski clamps to roof boxes, are optional, Jaguar says.


Peugeot Motors SA has followed up the recent launch of its attention-grabbing 407 saloon by adding the sweeping 407 SW to its product line-up.


From the front, the SW has the same characteristic individualised large air intake and headlamps, and steeply-raked windscreen of the saloon, but in SW guise, the overall silhouette is highlighted by the line of the rear quarter panel, which flows into the rear wheel arch. The estate’s waistline, which follows the line of the door handles, continues horizontally on to the tailgate.


The SW’s overall length has been increased by 87 mm to 4 763 mm, but the wheelbase and front overhangs remain the same.


A highlight of the 407 SW is its panoramic glass roof, with a surface area of nearly 1,6 m², which extends from the windscreen to the rear of the car. Together with this roof, the 407 SW has a glazed surface area of 4,82 m². Laminated and tinted glass, with a thickness of 6mm, is used in the manufacturing of the panoramic glass roof that lets through 20 per cent light while limiting energy filtration to 12 per cent. Light can be partially or completely obscured with an electric blind that consists of four overlapping panels.


Customers will have a choice of three different powerplants – a 116 kW 2,2-litre petrol engine coupled to a six-speed manual transmission, a 155 kW 3,0-litre V6 powerplant mated to a 6-speed automatic auto adaptive gearbox, and a 100 kW 2,0-litre turbodiesel (which produces 320 N.m of torque at 2 000 r/min), also equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.


Additional features unique to the SW include the rear tailgate and glass windscreen that can be opened independently. The luggage compartment of the SW offers 448 dm³ in luggage space, which can be increased to 624 dm³ with the rear seatbacks folded down.


In terms of safety, the SW has a reinforced body structure, a collapsible steering column, seven airbags, emergency braking assistance, and an electronic stability program, which combines the ABS, traction control, stability control, and braking assistance systems.


Specification levels for additional luxuries and comfort features in the three SW derivatives are identical to those of the saloons. All models have automatic climate control with moisture sensors, automatic headlights, automatic windscreen wipers with rain sensors, electric foldaway rearview mirrors, a state-of-the-art sound system, an on-board computer, tyre pressure sensors, and follow-me-home lights. The 2,2 SW gets Sport specification with electrically-operated front seats, rear parking sensors, and interior with leather and alcantara trim, while the 3,0 ST Sport is fitted with full leather, heated front seats, and aluminium trimmings.


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