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What's the point of an automatic car boot opening?

TG garage's Jag F-Pace auto opens its boot if you wave your foot underneath. Why?

I’d cherished the idea of a Jaguar XF Sportbrake, but Jaguar said, “no, what you want is an F-Pace”. Partly, I suspect, because they had this 9k miler to hand, so it’s actually a secondhand test. I don’t see myself as an SUV-er, but there is one advantage – I park on a busy street, and the F-Pace is 21cm shorter yet encloses more people and bootspace than the XF. Unfortunately it’s slower and less lithe.

Caesium Blue and black wheels is a handsome scheme. These are £1,255 20-inchers, the Goldilocks size between the sofa-castor 18s and the ride-ruining 22s. Mind you, some of this ride goodness might be down to the £1,185 adaptive damper pack.

Elsewhere, there’s an expensive glass roof that I’d rather not have. Even more amazingly expensive (£1,670) is the electrification and memory for the standard non-sport seats, which don’t even have lumbar adjustment and give me back pain. Also specced, a self-parking system that can’t get into spaces I easily can, and an electric tailgate that reopens when it encounters the soft bag you were hoping to shove in. More on that in a tick.

Despite those decadent options, it lacks the active LED headlamps, which I miss. It does have heated front and rear seats and steering wheel to go with its AWD. Remember this winter’s weather.

The Meridian stereo doesn’t sound like £2,670 to me, and I usually like those systems. Anyway, I’m getting brassed off with it because when playing tracks off my phone via USB it has been sticking on auto repeat, and when I choose a track or playlist from the list, it often plays another song entirely. Maybe it has better taste.

During road tests we don’t have time to set up the connectivity. But I bought a data SIM for the centre-console slot, and spent much of yesterday battling with apps, websites, a PIN and more passwords than surely necessary. Now it’s set up to get hi-def traffic on its maps, and it can receive trip plans into the nav that I make in the warmth of my house, plus do other apparently pointless online tricks that I’ll test so you don’t have to.

About that boot. It’s supposed to power-open if you approach with the key in your pocket and wave your foot under the back bumper. It’s increasingly common on fancy estates and SUVs. None of them reliably open first time. So you stand there doing some ungainly Dad-dance hokey-cokey at the roadside. It’s idiotic, and a preposterous decadence.

By the same token, powered boot lids often fail to close, as they touch a bag in the final few inches, a bag you’d have gently compressed but which causes the powered mechanism to stop and reverse because it’s designed not to trap a finger.

Have people so lost respect for human capability? Do they so disdain the honest simple task of opening or closing (reliably, faultlessly) a door? And because they loathe making any effort themselves, they end up pretending. They act like impoverished labourers by wearing jeans with holes in the knees. Holes that were put there by actual impoverished labourers in dollar-a-day garment factories in Bangladesh. Go figure.

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