Long term tests

Jaguar XF SV8

Economy's improving on the Jaguar XF SV8 and it still does everything with effortless charm

Not for the first time there are two V8s in the Barker household. Not for the second time either. There was the Audi RS4 (still much missed) and the Vauxhall Monaro before that (mostly missed for its glorious noise), and currently there’s the XF, which I find myself admiring more and more as the miles mount. So while it’s good news that Jaguar has confirmed that it would like to replace the SV8 with an XFR, it’s equally good news that the swap won’t happen for about three months.

All of the original XF variants will have been short-lived, but the 410bhp SV8 is the rarest of all, accounting for just five per cent of those sold in the UK. That’s about 450 so far, and I’ve yet to see another. They’re easy to spot with those huge, five-spoke 20in wheels, which are oh-so easy to clean and, for my money, more handsome than the new XFR’s multi-spokes.

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Economy seems to be improving, too. Recently I’ve seen an easy 25mpg on big motorway trips, which makes it easier to enjoy the brilliant long-distance comfort. That comes near the top of the SV8’s list of attributes, the cool interior and excellent Bowers & Wilkins hi-fi adding to the experience. I’ve also become a firm fan of the XF’s keyless entry. Fob in pocket, you approach the car, tug open the door, make yourself comfy and press the gently pulsing start button. No fuss. Step out at the other end, touch a sensor on any door and it locks itself. Once you’ve lived with it, it makes cars without it feel very old fashioned. Mind, you do have to remember who’s got the fob if you drop off the missus at the supermarket while you go up the road to the petrol station. It won’t start again if the fob isn’t close by, see…

Running Costs

Date acquiredNovember 2008
Total mileage7950
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month1612
MPG this month22.2
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