Last week I had an interesting chat with a reader who was thinking of swapping his Jaguar XF for a new Mercedes E350 CDI.

He’d owned a series of previous-generation E-Class models and was ‘regretting’ selling his last of the line example.

The essence of the problem with the XF was that it was a bit ‘too harsh’ for everyday use, even though he’d had the dealer swap the standard 19in wheels for 18 inchers. Our reader was missing the way a Mercedes can just ‘pootle’ around the place.

As an aside, he told me that his local Jaguar dealer (in a relatively affluent of the North West) was a bit wary of the new XJ. ‘A bit too big for the sort of people who might buy it – the sort of car which needs a chauffeur.’

I guess these older buyers wouldn’t much like the car’s very focused sporting dynamics either.

From our conversation, I’d guess our reader was probably around retirement age, like a lot of Jaguar owners. And it struck me just how risky it must be for Jaguar to try and suck in a whole new customer base while running the risk of alienating loyal buyers.