Our cars: Jaguar XF Sportbrake - July
Week ending July 19
Driven this week 575
Read the full Jaguar XF Sportbrake review
When I was a child, I fell in love with the Jaguar XJ6.
In later years I found out that this lovely looking car was in fact built out of twigs, and though it was ground-breakingly quiet and soft-riding when it was launched in 1968, by the time it was replaced in 2009 it’d grown a bit past it.
In those days it seemed vast, at 4.8 metres long, but our Sportbrake is even longer, at over 4.9 metres - this is one big old Hector.
It feels big too. Best of all the options we specified is undoubtedly the rear-parking camera, and front parking sensors: life is much easier with the aid of this £500 option. It beeps at the front, to alert you when you’re getting too near other parked vehicles, and a display in the infotainment system warns you through the usual flashing red stripes of imminent impact. The rear goes one better and has a camera, and beeps, and stripes too.
My one complaint would be that the beeps and stripes are a bit too cautious, so you’re usually left at least a couple of feet away from the object behind you.
Is this to allow other cars room to manoeuvre out, or you room to open the tailgate? I understand that when reversing towards a brick wall in a £40,000 car it’s probably better to be cautious – that old XJ6 might have been built out of scrunched up bits of paper, but this modern XF is a much more solid proposition.
Week ending July 5
Driven this week 576
This week was the first time I've driven our Jag estate since it's been properly run in.
What a difference a few miles has made. On my 150 mile motorway journey I detected that the diesel engine's a lot looser and it feels quicker through the gears. I think that the eight-speed auto ’box is more eager to change up too, not that it was bad before - far from it. There's definitely still a mild hesitancy to change from a cold start, though.
I was also reminded just what a great multi-lane cruiser it is. The high-speed ride is supple and it does an admirable job of masking road and wind noise for such a big car.
My only complaint was an average mpg of 36.8. A car like this should be hitting the early 40s I think.
By Chas Hallett