Our Cars: Jaguar XF update

* Year in the life of award winner * 1000-mile update * Choosing colour online...

Our Cars: Jaguar XF update

Car: Jaguar XF 2.7D V6 Luxury
List price: 33,900
Target price: 32,891
Run by: Roger Stansfield
Tested for: 10 days/1000 miles

I hadn't seen a Botanical Green XF in the metal until I picked ours up (it's a colour chosen by fewer than 5% of buyers), but I've now spotted two more within half a mile of our west London offices.

I specced our car online, although in my mind's eye I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, but would the 'virtual' and the 'reality' car look the same? I needn't have worried: Jaguars website gives a remarkably accurate portrayal of what you actually receive.

I recently packed 500 miles into just over 24 hours; mostly on motorways, and the XF has reconfirmed everything we thought when we made it Car of the Year last January.

It does the refinement/comfort/smoothness thing better than any other executive car, but it's also thoroughly enjoyable to drive when you want to let rip.

I can't wait for the engine to loosen up, so I can really find out what it's capable of. A couple of impending European trips will help to hurry this along.

I'm also getting to know the car's little quirks. The electronic parking brake switch gets surprisingly hot after 30 minutes or so on the move, for example, and why are there three cupholders between the two front seats, but just two for a potential three rear passengers?

The front cupholders are tucked away beneath the beautiful satin woodwork of the centre console and have wipe-clean metal bases, whereas the rear two are plastic-lined and located in the champagne leather centre armrest.

To avoid spillages and be equally fair to all occupants, I've decreed that drinking while on the move is banned.

There's just one small gripe to report. Visibility through the angled rear screen isn't the best and it's made worse by the high-level stop lamp. It's not serious enough to mask a following car completely, but it does keep you on your toes.