The front parking sensors have always been a little on the highly strung side, beeping manically as pedestrians or motorbikes cross in front of the stationary car.
But the other day, while sat in a queue at a roundabout, they started whooping in panic as cars passed by on the other side of the road. It was raining – and the reason for their concern was that the car was being splashed, and not with bucketloads of water either.
Now, I’m all for sensitive parking sensors. After all, it’s what they are there for. But I think alerting me that they had just been rinsed with half a pint of dirty rainwater is perhaps a little over the top.
And the fact that they cry wolf rather a lot is leading to a slightly blasé attitude. Quite often when they have a paddy, I now ignore them, which so far hasn’t led to contact with anything more solid than a puddle, but tends to diminish their effectiveness.
Other than that there’s nothing much to report with the XJ6. It continues to be exactly what it is – a fantastically comfortable, characterful saloon which is a real pleasure to get in every morning.
As the days get colder, that pleasure increases. Back in the halcyon days of summer I’d mentioned how brilliantly arctic the air-conditioning was. Well, the heater is equally proficient at warming quickly as the air-conditioning was at cooling it down instantly.
Add to that the hugging heated seats and the cocoon-like leather-bound cabin and there can few cosier places to be on cold, wet windy November morning. It’s almost a pleasure to get out of bed for it.
Even the boot is cosy. I’ve been given a new golf bag recently (you have to play golf if you own an XJ, it’s the law), but it is rather on the large side. In fact, it’s so large, if it had my name embroidered on the side most people would think I was a tour pro, until I actually tee off, of course.
But it illustrates a flaw in the XJ that will never be resolved. Once the golf bag is in, there’s about as much space as there would be in an average family supermini. Cosy probably isn’t the word. Cramped is more like it.
In order to have that wonderfully long, lean shape, something has to give and boot space is it. Personally, I’d take that compromise every time, and probably give up golf as well. The way I play, it seems a good deal.
Model: Jaguar XJ6 3.0 V6 Executive
Price (OTR): £41,995 (£45,900 as tested) Mileage: 14,872
CO2 emissions (g/km): 249
Company car tax bill (2005) 40% tax-payer: £464 a month
Insurance group: 15
Combined mpg: 27
Test mpg: 22.7
CAP Monitor residual value: £15,300/37%
Typical contract hire rate: £744
Expenditure to date: Nil