|There are several things the IS-F does better than the slr…|
Not that the IS-F is dowdy, you understand (nor is it that domesticated come to think of it), but it knows its place, and on our recent jaunt around the Highlands with the Mercedes SLR McLaren (evo 127) that was to keep out of sight. But not out of mind.
In fact, while I was hammering along in the SLR, I often found myself wondering how good a time photographer Gus Gregory was having in my car. Not least because there are several things it does considerably better than the mighty McMerc. Changing gear is one, acting playful is another. And it goes without saying that you can get more kit in it.
It’s not that big inside, though, as I discovered when Gus arrived saying, ‘I didn’t know what to bring, so I brought everything’. Ten minutes later the IS-F was full – so full that I couldn’t slide the transmission tunnel cubby lid back in order to connect the iPod to the aux socket.
Ahead lay 1780 miles, each and every one done to the tune of rattling step ladders and rustling sweet wrappers. Still great on motorways, though: eight gears means low revs means 27mpg. End result? An effortless, peaceful drive to the Highlands and back, plus a proper fling while we were up there.
Downsides? Aside from the fact that the seats deliver more comfort than the suspension, only the salty roads really, which saw the washers slurp through two cartons of screenwash (does the low screenwash warning light need to be that bright?) and left the exhaust pipes looking like they’d been cooked ‘en croute’.
Oh, and the fuel gauge tells porky pies. This, however, was a good thing, allowing a rather nervous Gus to drive 60 miles to Ullapool when the trip computer insisted there was only 20 miles of fuel left. And still we only got 60 litres into the 64-litre tank…