Following my last report, the tabloid-esque headline-grabbing split with the Jaguarís Eco mode promoted a last-ditch attempt at reconciliation. The result was an economy performance closer to the XFís official figure than Iíd previously been able to achieve. A route that included A-roads with conservative speed limits, plus a decent stretch of flat motorway, elevated the XF to a whisker under 61mpg.
However, like any relationship, this exercise demanded considerable commitment and dedication to the cause. Exceptionally light throttle inputs and advanced driver-style anticipation dominated the experiment. Iím not sure the average company executive, even one thatís watching the pennies, will have the patience to fully embrace the economy motoring lifestyle. For me, the big gains have been found when avoiding urban driving duties. Stop-start motoring does the XF few favours. Not only is this reflected in its fuel economy, but zipping around town and slotting into hard-fought parking spaces should be left to a smaller car.
As you can guess from that, Iím still keeping half the CD collection and currently petitioning for custody of the dog. Normal service, in the context of the XFís driving modes, has resumed with gusto, but I still like consulting the trip computer ñ funky graphics notwithstanding. It offers a wealth of information, plus a suitably target-orientated competitive element. I canít deny that itís been fun trying to beat my previous best attempts at travelling further on less fuel.
In other news, as the miles tick over everything appears to be holding together nicely. Squeaks and rattles have yet to make their presence known, which is mightily impressive considering the state of my local roads. Equally impressive has been the carís continual ability to insulate me from said imperfections. I say this because the carís sporting bias routinely manages to deliver sufficient thrills when it matters, but allows me to keep my fillings when Iím not in the mood.
And talking of being in the mood and persisting with the relationship theme; breaking traction really isnít hard to do in the XF. Iíll admit that itís both a blessing and a curse in the wet and wintery months, but fair play to Jaguarís engineers for dialling in a small amount of slip before the electronic traction systems kick in. Yes, Sport mode allows you to fully embrace your inner Stig, but even when youíve left everything alone, that bit of ëfreeí wheelspin is welcome when making quick exits from junctions. The alternative could be stuttering across the road thanks to an over-zealous electronic nanny, and I know what Iíd prefer.
The cold days have highlighted a less than speedy side to the XF, too. Being packed full of clever electronics is great, but watching the main screens slowly power up when itís minus something outside can be frustrating. Especially when itís the only route to powering up the heated seats. I know, first world problems and all that.
Date arrived: 23rd August 2016
Fuel economy: 65.7mpg (combined) 47.5mpg (on test)
The funky-looking eco trip computer offers a wealth of information for when you want to save fuel like a pro.
When it’s cold, the infotainment and main screens can prove sluggish to power up.