Jaguar XF 2.7D V6: our cars on the road
List price £33,900
Target price £32,722
Run by Roger Stansfield
Tested for 9 weeks/4200 miles
An old friend celebrated his 50th birthday recently and decided to rally the troops to mark the occasion. The trouble is, he now lives in deepest rural France, which left us in something of a quandary as to the best way to get there.
Some opted to use a budget airline from Southampton to Limoges while a few even investigated the possibility of going by train, but for me there was only ever one option – take the Jag.
When a couple of the others heard of my plan they asked if they could tag along, and I readily agreed. It reduced the travel costs for all of us and minimised our collective carbon footprint.
On the road to Haute-Vienne
It was the first time I've had more than two people in the XF, so this was something of a test of its practicality, especially when the tallest of us chose to ride in the back.
However, he insisted he was perfectly comfortable, and judging by the amount of time both passengers spent sleeping en route, that would seem to be the case. It also says a lot about the smoothness of the XF and the comfort and quietness of its cabin.
We covered the 450 miles from Calais to our friend's home in the Haute-Vienne region, in an on-the-road time of six hours – not bad, considering that the last 30 miles or so were on narrow, twisting roads in the dark.
With two near-comatose passengers, I decided to let the sat-nav do the route-finding and it led me there without a hitch, although it did insist on taking me around the western side of Paris rather than the longer but apparently quicker route via Le Mans and Poitiers.
It also kept warning me of 'slow traffic ahead' when there was barely another car on the road for much of the way. Still, it did it in such a plummy Joanna Lumley-type voice that I really didn't find it at all irritating.