Braking performance was good, with the firm pedal offering plenty of feel and easy modulation. It’s well placed for heel-and-toe rev-matched shifting, too. The manual gearshift of the six-speed transmission has a nice weight and precise action.
The 575 also benefits from a wider series of updates that are being introduced to the entire XJ range as part of a late-life refresh, including full LED headlights, so-called ‘J-blade signature’ daytime running lights and updates to the infotainment system, helping to bring the saloon in line with the broader Jaguar range.
Currently drives: BMW 1 Series
• Blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert
• Most expensive cars ever sold at auction
Vision to the side and back is scary at first but you get used to it, mostly thanks to a convex mirror insert on the outside rearviews. You can’t see behind you unless you’re backing up and looking at the backup camera, and even then the screen is really hard to see. Some backups were done on faith. Give a wide berth to everything within about two blocks.
sDrive models are front-wheel drive, while xDrive versions offer four-wheel drive. In any case, an automatic gearbox is standard, with seven speeds in petrol models and eight speeds in diesel versions.
Quality is also a little lacklustre. Start prodding around and you’ll be surprised at just how much hard, rather cheap-looking plastic is used for the centre console and the lower parts of the dash. The controls also feel a little low-rent; buttons squeak and the column-mounted stalks feel like parts-bin specials.
Our new long-termer is a 2016 one-careful-owner car, which I picked up from the bustling Mitsubishi main dealer Shelly Motors in Epsom, Surrey. There, brand manager Lee Higlett talked me through some of the finer points of Outlander ownership. On close inspection, our PHEV certainly seems little troubled by its one year of usage. I was interested to hear that if you were to buy one like ours from a main dealer, it would currently set you back around £28,000. New, our top-spec 5hs will set you back a whopping £43,555, and that’s after subtracting the £2500 grant – so straight away there’s something to be gained by buying it at this age.
"Henry Ford II's personal dominance of the company gave it a different character, certainly different from other publicly owned companies in the automobile game," Miller said in 2003. "GM and Chrysler were not that way. You knew who the boss was. There were no palace politics with anyone trying to take over."
As ever, most buyers in this market will buy on a PCP finance deal, where the X2 could be more competitive. Demand is expected to be high, though, meaning that Target Price discounts will be slim for the forseeable future.