The weather was warm, the birds were singing and spring was in the air – just the right time for a stroll round the local country park.
It wasn’t until I got back to the car that I realised I didn’t have the key any more. It had been in the same pocket as my phone and had obviously pinged off somewhere when I whipped my phone out to answer it.
Two hours later and still with no key, despite retracing my steps and contacting the local police station, I came to the conclusion that my key was gone forever.
Not knowing which breakdown service had the contract to rescue stricken Jaguar owners, I tried the AA and a very nice lady informed me that I needed Mondial Assistance. She even gave me the right number.
I suppose the upside of all this is that it gave me the opportunity to test out the response times at Mondial. And here I have nothing but the highest praise. I gave my position and within 30 minutes not only had a very polite man in a van turned up, but a tow truck was there too.
I was most interested to find out how the polite Mondial man intended to get my three bags of shopping out of the rear seat. Surely he couldn’t bust down the door of such an expensive car without damaging it? Oh yeah?
I won’t tell you how he did it in case any car thieves happen to be reading, but suffice to say that within about 20 seconds, my shopping was free and the car was being unceremoniously dragged away to the local Jaguar dealer, while I got a lift home with the polite Mondial man.
Luckily, the Jaguar press office had a spare key and within a couple of days the S-type was back on my drive.
This little problem apart, my time with our most prestigious long-term test car is proving a happy one.
If ever a car was built for comfortable cruising, it is this one. You’d never know there was a diesel engine under the bonnet unless you looked on the fuel filler cap – there is no badging on the rear and even on cold mornings, there is absolutely none of the old-fashioned diesel death rattle.
My one major complaint with this car involves the valves on the tyres – or lack of them, I should say. Where most cars have valves that poke out of the side of the wheel, the Jag’s are hidden behind a stud.
You have to find a special tool in the boot (the handbook, by the way, mistakenly says it is in the glovebox), unscrew the stud and screw in the adaptor. Only then can you check the tyre pressures.
My question, Jaguar, is simple – why on earth have you taken a very simple piece of equipment that has worked well for years and made it so complicated and fiddly?
Model: Jaguar S-type 2.7d Sport auto
Price (OTR): £33,345
CO2 emissions (g/km): 208
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 40% tax-payer: £309 per month
Insurance group: 14
Combined mpg: 36.0
Test mpg: 30.3
CAP Monitor residual value: £11,750/35%
HSBC contract hire rate: £601
Expenditure to date: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles