Find a car review

Make
Model
Long term tests

Jaguar XF SV8

A comfy way to travel but the XF's satnav sometimes talks with a forked tongue...

Sometimes the car really is a better proposition than a plane, I thought, as I crammed two big suitcases, a kit bag full of race gear and the carrier containing my Arai and HANS device into the boot of the XF. Cheap airlines can look appealing, but you’ve got to get to the airport, park, pay for excess baggage and then arrange transport on the other side. So with our luggage stowed, CDs and iPod tucked in the centre console and the Nürburgring dialled into the satnav, my brother Chris and I set off on a week-long trip during which I would do the 24-hour race with Volkswagen.

We met up with VW UK’s Dave Eden in a Scirocco (natch) at the tunnel and pondered the route options to the Ring, three being suggested by the Jag’s nav. As we’d be passing through Brussels at around 3pm and there were no hold-ups shown, we plumped for the direct route. I should have known better.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

About 40 minutes after emerging from the tunnel I decided, not for the last time, that I didn’t like the satnav’s way of doing things. Now that we were committed to this route, it began to get covered in arrows of the yellow (sticky traffic) and red (stuck traffic) variety. Luckily, to start with at least, they were all pointing the other way, but there were hold-ups around Brussels and beyond. Even when we got into Germany there was no respite and Chris only got room to get to about 120mph. Shame, because I had checked the oil (and added one litre), other fluids and the tyre pressures in anticipation of finding out how strict the SV8’s 155mph limiter is.

On the upside, we arrived at the Ring ache free and fresh – the front seats can pump cool air through the leather’s perforations to prevent sweaty backs and, er, other bits. Each time we stopped, the XF attracted admiring glances – it really does look sharp on its five-spoke 20in alloys – and it was the same at the Ring. We also recorded a high score on the fuel economy front, the average for the 300-odd miles being a remarkable 27.9mpg.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

On the Monday after the race we put in an appearance at this month’s cover group test before setting a course for home, this time avoiding Brussels and heading instead for Lille, which has to be the route of choice. We stuck to our guns as the map got ever more plastered with pesky arrows – this was a bank holiday Monday and it seemed that most of the holidaying Brits were heading for the French crossings. At one point, while diverting us around a jam in Liege, the system lost it and froze, then unfroze but refused to give directions. We followed road signs (old fashioned but remarkably effective) and selected some soothing music from the iPod until it calmed down.

There are few more comfortable cars for dispatching vast distances, the XF racking up 2000 miles in one week. The upshot is that it’s now overdue a service. Naturally, I blame Catchpole, who borrowed the XF while we were at the Ring to nip over to Budapest…

Running Costs

Date acquiredNovember 2008
Total mileage12,415
Costs this month£13.25 (1 litre oil)
Mileage this month2655
MPG this month23.9
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019
Visit/mercedes/201726/mercedes-amg-electric-car-to-target-porsche-taycan-and-tesla-model-s
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/18328/2020-volkswagen-id3-revealed-vws-electric-revolution-is-here
Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/201772/best-v8-cars-past-and-present-our-favourite-eights-and-the-cars-theyre-found-in
Best cars

Best V8 cars past and present – our favourite eights and the cars they’re found in

Whether it’s smooth and sophisticated or motorsport-like in its aggression, the V8 remains one of our favourite engine types, warts and all
20 Sep 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/golf/21122/volkswagen-golf-mk8-spied-near-free-of-camouflage-before-october-debut
Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Volkswagen Golf Mk8 spied near-free of camouflage before October debut

All-new eighth-generation Golf is only weeks away from its reveal – this is all you need to know.
18 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019