Well, just home from a 240 mile blat round West Central Scotland from Stirling, along the A811 to Balloch, north along the west shores of Loch Lomond on the A82 to Tarbert then Arrochar, The Rest and Be Thankful to Inveraray and Lochgilphead, then along part of the Crinan Canal on the A816 to Ardfern on the west coast south of Oban................ I left home at 0900 and immediately found the weekend drivers had started which helped keep the pace down until the engine was nicely warmed and we soon settled into a pleasant gaite. Had to stick in the traffic and not duck and dive as the roads between home and Balloch are not brilliant and safe overtaking opportunities rare. After Balloch the road widens and becomes pretty fast all the way up Loch Lomondside and the Sport just gobbled it up................. this wagon (even though it is a diesel) can fairly leap away when asked, no hesitation the 'box just drops silently down a couple of cogs and just blasts away. Even without selecting "Sport" mode it is a startlingly fast wagon if you have come from a TD6 RR, maybe a bit disappointing if you are used to a BMW M5 though (but you would have just ordered a Supercharged instead!). There fuel comsumption is amazing despite lots of quick sprints and blasts up to 95mph it never went below 26.5mpg.................. OK so I wasn't burying my right foot in the cut pile, the roads are such that that isn't necessary to sink the right pedal hard into the floor and anywaythe car just bounds away with a nice steady downward prod on the right pedal. It just goes and goes!
One time I pulled out to overtake and had to stand on the brakes - firm and nicely weighted but the rear end did try to fish tail a bit, but that was VERY hard braking.
If you intend to do transcontinental blasts, this would be a superb wagon to do it in, nearly silent from the engine noise point of view, just a distant growl when you want to poke a stick in it's eye and provoke it, negligable wind rustle (only really noticable when the wipers came on automatically in a brief shower of rain). I arrived 8 minutes late on a 2 hour trip, and manged to average 26.8mpg.
The homeward trip was back along the same route............. with 2 passengers and a weeks worth of sailing gear. Suffice to say I've just sold another RRSport - probably a TDv6 HSE for LR! My friend who is used to a company XJ Jag or big BMW is about to change his present 7 series BM 760iL and is so impressed he's sold on the Sport, he loved my TD6 but this is just so much better for fast blasting. The trip home was at a slightly more sedate speed due to volumes of daytrippers out enjoying the scenery and sunshine so we just held back and trundled along in comfort at a steady 55-65mph sort of gaite. When opportunities presented some fun was had in sport mode and wellying it...................... this wagon is SO reassuring to drive very fast and is very confidence inspiring. It just doesn't roll in fast curves/ bends taken at speeds that would have you braking hard in the bigger RR so that you didn't slide round on the seat, in the Sport the seat hold you in place so nicely.
Comfort is superb, I arrived home after 5 hours driving with no aches (the bigger RR was the same though) although I find the nonadjustable (for tilt, they do raise and lower) headrestraints mean I have to have the seat back more raked back than I am used to with the TD6RR. My companions comments.................. that is so comfortable and even though one is somewhat broad of beam he was very comfortable in the front passenger seat. The rear passsenger is in his 90's and his only comment - what is the engine a V8?He is a retired mechanical engineer and he was gobsmacked when I told him it is a V6 Diesel, he just would not believe me until I opened the doors with the engine running............. that convinced him, until last year he was driving round in a Merc S320 so he really must have been impressed!
To cap it all when I turned into my driveway arriving home the trip computer showed 27.8mpg average consumption.
I have definately bought the right car! Sorry all you petrolheads, but once the TDv6 is in the powerband (from 1400rpm you have max torque available all the way to the the rev limiter) the in gear performance leaves a TD6 RR gasping and wheezing while the it's turbo wakes up and I think that there are few places where the extra top speed of the V8 and Supercharged can be used on British roads. The TDv6 is not a GTi beater but by golly it will give one a nasty fright in a high speed dual on British roads and will severely embarrass many so called "Hot Hatches", it's plenty fast enough for me.
Faults found....................... well apart from the unadjustable head restraint I am disppaointed to find that the fuel gauge is back to Ford standards............................ creeps off the full mark to halfway and then plummets toward empty! I refuelled 73litres for the 418 miles that the car has covered since delivery which is an average of 25.8mpg on the first tankfull. Can you see me grinning from ear to ear!