There's still something really special about driving a Jaguar - even if the brand is no longer the exclusive territory of those with the deepest pockets.
Today's Jaguar is a vastly different proposition with residual values to match any in the premium executive saloon market, lower insurance groups than the main opposition and servicing plans to help keep running costs down.
And the Jaguar XF R-Sport 2.0 i4 on test proved a classic example of why the brand has become increasingly popular with new owners able to chose between servicing packages for the 163PS model.
The new XF is lighter and more efficient than the model it replaced, comes packed with technology and features Jaguar’s new aluminium lightweight architecture which, along with the new Ingenium Diesel engine, helps the XF to achieve fuel economy of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 109g/km.
According to KWIKcarcost the XF also has the lowest total cost of ownership of any comparable premium executive saloon. Over 3 years 60,000 miles, XF’s total cost of ownership is £3,073 better than an Audi A6, £3,447 better than a BMW 5 Series and £5,118 better than a Mercedes Benz E Class.
The second generation XF is new from the ground up. Thanks to the extensive use of aluminium in its construction, it is significantly lighter than its predecessor, which along with new diesel engines makes it one of the most efficient cars in its class.
Many of the innovate designs of the original XF are carried over inside the cabin and I particularly like the rotary gear lever which rises up from the transmission tunnel when you start the engine - we'll let Audi and Jaguar argue about who cam up with that idea first.
It's difficult to fault the cabin, with all the comforts and luxury you would expect from the brand. The seating is outstanding and there's plenty of room for three in the back. It's disappointing though that the one seated in the middle a large lump in the floor.
Boot space on the saloon is class leading with plenty of room for normal family luggage and ample room for golf clubs and trolley.
The XF R-Sport drives delightfully with a top speed of 132mph and a smooth 0-60mph in just over eight seconds through an eight speed automatic gearbox.
For £35,950 there's an impressive array of standard equipment. You get an with inch touchscreen control centre, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, Sat Nav and WiFi, R-Sport body kit, an upgraded sports suspension system, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights.
You also get hill launch assist, Jaguar drive control, electric powered assisted steering, torque vectoring by braking, electric parking brake, emergency braking
system, lane departure warning, pedestrian contact sensing, stability control and even trailer stability control - a bonus for the caravan tower.
There are bright sports pedals, brake pad wearing warning lights, cruise control and heated front seats as well as all-round air bags, tyre pressure monitoring and
a rear parking aid system - but strangely no reversing camera.
The test car came complete with 17inch nine- spoke wheels, an upgraded sound system, a "real" spare wheel, heated mirrors, a power convenience pack,illuminated tread plates , split fold rear seats and a cold climate pack which pushed the price up to £41,285.
The XF has been an enormous success for Jaguar, so replacing it was always going to be a difficult task. The challenge in creating the all-new model was to ensure that it improved on the out-going car in every way.
By ensuring that the new XF offers class-leading residual values, insurance costs, economy and emission levels, Jaguar has done exactly that.