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Jaguar XF puts cat among Euro pigeons

Jaguar XF puts cat among Euro pigeons

Steve Orme, 2016-03-18

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HEREis a challenge: to reach June 23 and retain any interest in referendums short of who wants pizza and who wants fried chicken, kids?

By that time you will have heard every reason and non-reason to go or stay in Europe: Agincourt, terrorists on an industrial scale and the collapse of cheap wine sales.

Let us not play the Little Britain card. Those who are not Anglo Saxons are Normans or Celtic chappies. Many around here have theY chromosome and so are Vikinger while others are those Danish types with their delicious bacon joints.

And that is leaving aside passport holders from the dear old commonwealth.

Were the average Britisher to be advertised by a dog's home it would be as a cross terrier type. Have not met a terrier that wasn't cross, personally.

And never mind that the French spread their Hartleys on bread before dunking it in coffee while the rest of civilization has Jammie Dodgers.

To be British is a many splendored thing and a Jaguar is very British but who knows where it would be but for Indian investment.

As it is it is alive and kicking and able to bring you the new XF, arguably the best car in its class across the whole of Europe. Yes, Angela, yours too.

Upon my recommendation, a dangerous thing with your boss, my old editor bought an XF and fell in love with it. When he comes to replace it I would suggest staying with the model.

The original car's strong points are still there, quality, style, affordability and performance. But somehow Jaguar has managed to improve driving pleasure and interior space.

If you were choosing an XF as a company car the most sensible option would be the 178bhp turbo diesel two-litre with its promise of 65mpg. In Prestige trim it is a good place to be for long distances while tax efficient at £30 a year and reasonably pain free on benefit in kind punishment.

So this means it's a pretty boring motorway cruiser does it? No.

Not only is the car largely alloy and therefore light, chaps in white coats have fitted a suspension system called Integral Link which manages sideways and lengthways movement for constant handling performance. Oh yes, it works just fine.

Really good news when the 0-62mph figure is 7.5 seconds and the engine has a desire to push on without sounding like it is gutting itself with a bread knife.

On the road the two-litre costs £34,550 but high value extras like advanced parking assist, cabin pre-heat with both timer and remote options as well as a a crisp laser head up display pushed the package to £47,000. Oh go on, you're worth it.

That is not to say the basic car is wanting. All the expected touch screen functions, including navigator, and automatic conveniences are fitted. The passive assistance package is huge with things like pedestrian sensing, traffic sign recognition with speed limiter, stability and traction control, rear parking aid and a cast of thousands.

Detracting points? Cabin quality is half a yard behind some Audis but it beats the German big three for rear space, crucial in this market. By the way, the rear seats split and fold for a bit of extra luggage space should you need it. But that costs extra.

This was a manual version. I can't remember the last time I drove a manual Jag. It feels as out of place as wearing Wellington boots to a wedding. Go for auto.

Regardless of whether in late June the south coast is patrolled by a gaggle of Godfreys wearing colanders and brandishing pitchforks or the status quo remains there will all ways be a land of hope and glory. And, it seems, a Jaguar.

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