SOMETIMES when you're faced with a lengthy journey it can be a daunting prospect, but when you have the keys to a Jaguar XF you seem to develop quite a ‘bring-it-on' attitude.
And that's exactly how I felt when I knew I was going to clock up 400-miles-plus in one day - and lots of it was going to be non-motorway mileage.
The reason for my excited anticipation is that the latest XF is one of the most comfortable cars on the market and it seems to glide across the Tarmac eating up the miles with ease.
And this particular car with its powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged engine in R-Sport trim was no exception.
The XF looks fabulous from any angle with its ultra-sleek, streamlined body in a rather menacing Santorini Black shade.
Add the privacy glass, 20-inch alloys with a gloss black finish, plus gloss black window surrounds and the car maintains its elegant posture but with a hint of the dark side.
Other eye-catching features included a sliding panoramic roof, LED headlights, twin exhausts, along with extended side sills in black. The 25t AWD badge is a subtle reminder that this vehicle won't be deterred by any adverse change in the weather conditions.
Move inside and the cockpit oozes sophistication with a whole host of techno treats at your disposal.
Jaguar is renowned for producing cars fit for a prince and the XF is another great example of this with the likes of grained leather upholstery, gloss black veneer, digital TV, an excellent navigation system, a Meridian sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, a head-up display and a smart eight-inch touchscreen.
The exquisite design cues are completed with soft close doors and a neat blue illuminated ‘JAGUAR' name spread across the tread-plate as you open the door. This word can actually be personalised as an optional extra.
The XF also features Jaguar's Drive Control system which allows you to choose between different driving modes called Standard, Eco, Dynamic or Rain Ice Snow mode.
These alter the throttle response and also the gear shift points accordingly so if Eco is selected then a more fuel-saving driving experience can be expected whereas Dynamic certainly livens things up with sharper acceleration, more weighted steering and also the gears are held for longer.
Finally, the Rain Ice Snow mode is perfect for extra traction in more difficult driving conditions.
The car was powered by a 250ps 2.0-litre Turbocharged petrol engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It was priced at £41,835 (increased to £58,860 with options) and it could sprint to 60mph in just 6.2 seconds and topped out at 147mph. It can deliver 40.9mpg and 159g/km of carbon emissions on a combined run.
Ride and comfort levels are excellent and it's very simple to get a good driving position thanks to the amount of seat and steering wheel adjustment available.
In busy town centres with traffic darting out from all directions, the XF proved quite agile and the advanced parking assist system helped make light work of squeezing into tight spaces.
On the faster country lanes the Dynamic setting comes into its own with the XF taking on long sweeping bends at pace without a hint of traction loss. And then on the motorways, the miles fly by and you are guaranteed to get out after three hours-plus behind the wheel without any moans or groans.
Back seat passengers are also treated to ample room and three adults can stretch out with enough head, leg and shoulder space.
When it comes to storage, the XF's boot capacity is 540 litres which can be increased to 885 litres with the rear seats dropped down. It is also power-gestured which is perfect when approaching the car laden down with shopping bags.
Elsewhere there are numerous convenient storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin.
The XF is packed to bursting with a comprehensive range of safety specifications and driver aids.