Thanks for all your kind words. Nice that most like the car. I didn't scurry to the dealership this afternoon. Tempted to thrash it down the lanes, but I learn from experience. The eve before the Golf GTi went back to the lease co I did the same and clopped another Golf flying in the other direction. Ripped the entire mirror/indicator pod from the car. Likewise the other, and shattered her door window too. I had to explain the next morning, and needless to say I got striped up for the repair.
Grange Motors of Brentwood have been exquistely efficient, polite, courteous throughout. They sell Astons too. Lovely relaxed and chatty handover. Car immaculately valeted. Spent half an hour going over it explaining every feature and how to use it, and got all the settings suited to me. And boy, are there options! Fantastic bouquet of flowers handed over as I set off home.
Went out for dinner in the countryside, other half drove back (I drank!). I realised that this was the car I always wanted. It oozes class in every respect, from interior to engineering. It is a fantastic drive. Not like a luxobarge (I did test a CLS...shame of it... and it took 2 mins to realise it's an old E class with a sexy body. Typical Merc gloopy ride, and the chaviest salesman I've ever encountered. Told us about his youth drug problem during the test) but perfect compromise. Fantastically crisp steering, and amazingly nimble for 2 tonnes. And that engine. You'd have to pin your ear to the bonnet to suss it's a derv. The Alfa had a great engine - I never complained about that - other than thirst. It was gruff and raspy, which suited the car. This one has a distant rumble, and the gearbox is brilliant. Instant response to kick down, a millisecond delay then thruuumph!
Millions of toys to play with, and it makes it as easy to park as a Micra. I will defintely love this car, and I have to say it wins for onlookers over the Alfa - which I think is mainly due to the colour. It's flippin gorgeous in the flesh. And after my 40 mile spin this eve, it returned 35.9mpg. Astonishing.
It ain't a posh Rover.
Nice to know you all. I'll still look at Alfas because I love them. And I'll still look in here as it's a lot more fun than the XF forum