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Working Towards a Greener Future

The future is green, and there's absolutely nothing that we can do about it. There's going to come a time where we need to accept that us petrolheads are killing the planet through our lust for the smell of unleaded, and the roar of an internal combustion engine - but not yet.

So, in order to contribute my bit to a greener future, I've bought myself a rather lovely sitting room. It's wonderful, there's wood in all the right places, and the leather smells absolutely delightful. This sitting room also happens to have come with a free Jaguar XJ6, which is rather bloody convenient. Now, you might have read a post from a few months ago about how, despite being just 22, I found myself hankering after a Jag after having a rather disgusting example of the X300 generation car in the summer. I defined myself as going through a premature mid-life crisis for wanting the kind of car that goes against absolutely everything I love, but I feel like that's unfair on myself. I've now been driving the new one for a week, and the reasons for my love affair with the car have become a bit clearer.

Now, I must admit, the Jag does stick out like a sore thumb when parked up alongside the Evo on the drive. Don't get me wrong, I have a deep love for that car - it can clock up to 60mph in a smidge under four seconds, and is capable of 170mph+ - that's all very good fun when you're a bloke in his early 20s, I concede. However, the other day, I took a lady friend out in it and realised something. When I'm alone in the car, I love it. I have the music set to a volume that will realistically end up with me experiencing the kind of hearing problems you'd develop being a roadie for The Who in the 70s, and drive the car in the same vein as Tommi Mäkinen would have been back in the late 90s. However, whenever I have to carry passengers, I spend half of the time apologising for the bloody thing. The rattles, the exhaust noise, the harshness, the vibrations, everything. Thus, I realised that actually, when I'm in the car with other people - I'm almost embarrassed by it.

Weirdly, the Jag isn't a car I'm embarrassed by, in comparison. I mean sure, once upon a time, Jaguar owners commanded a certain stereotype. Certainly, avid viewers of Top Gear in the Clarkson era will remember the various running jokes about Jaguar drivers being massive misogynists, perverts, casual thieves and generally inappropriate - but all of those being absolutely acceptable on account of the gentleman driving a 'Jaaaaag' - and sure, back in the 90s, that kind of thing was rife I imagine. But to me, and to a lot of the people I once apologised to about the Evo, it's not that kind of thing anymore. It's upmarket, it's comfortable, it's quiet - and most importantly, it's a bloody pleasant place to be.

When you think about it, it's quite unbelievable just how much car you get for your money with these old XJs. This one was £1300 with 92k miles, a proper full service history, recent body restoration and in frankly wonderful condition - and in the luxury car world, £1300 doesn't get you much. Sure, the Lexus LS400 is probably a more reliable car - but it's also very unlikely you'll find one in reasonable condition for that kind of money without seeing the odometer reading six figures and starting with a two. A BMW 7 Series would be a shout, if all the ones sub-£1500 weren't devoid of history and showing arches crispier than a KFC boneless banquet meal, and while you can seemingly pick up an acceptable S-Class for similar money, I'd not want to know what the next MOT bill would come up to.

But while all of the above are still brilliant cars, they lack that certain quality when you sit in them. The Lexus is too Japanese, so it's all a bit 'imitation' when it comes to interior luxury. The BMW and Merc are German, so while they may have fantastic interior quality, they're not particularly nice places to sit for a long time. The Jag is the kind of car that makes you want to find a nice podcast or some soft music to listen to once you're already home, and just sit there for a while, taking it all in.

So yes, I'm getting old. But that's not the excuse for having the Jag. It's because actually, it's a bloody good car.

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