Review: Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Review: Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Review: Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Two years after the saloon, we get the estate – worth waiting for?

Actually, two years to wait for the Sportbrake version of the XF isn’t a long time in the greater scheme of car manufacturing. And, certainly judging by looks alone, it’s been well worth the wait. What a fabulous looking estate car, sorry, Sportbrake. Note the hints of F-Type in the rear lights, plus the high shoulders, low roofline, tapered bottom – it’s definitely got the lines. But is what’s behind those looks?

More money is behind those looks. It’ll cost about £2500 more than the saloon, but some people will be briefly cheered that they get more for the money – about 115kg more. But weight is nobody’s friend unless you’re a Sumo wrestler, and they’re not a big target audience for this car.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake boot

There’s obviously simply more car than the saloon, so you’d expect a bit more weight, but some of that has gone on bracing as well as adding self-levelling suspension to the rear, which will make things much easier when you’re loaded to the gunwales.

Which is just a tiny part of why this large Sportbrake handles with virtually all of the aplomb of the saloon. The fact that it can be virtually on a par with a car that handles and rides with impeccable class is truly impressive. Jaguar really does have this whole aspect taped down tight. You can power along with total confidence or you can scythe through country lanes with equal confidence. It’s so surefooted, yet it has a ride of real compliance and comfort. Fabulous.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport 25d

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Price: £44,600
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged, diesel
Power: 237bhp
Torque: 369lb ft
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Kerb weight: 1805kg
Top speed: 150mph
0-62mph: 6.7sec
Economy: 48.7mpg
CO2/BIK tax band: 144g/km, 30%

You can add to the good things even more headroom in the rear, plus of course more space in the boot – which is enormous when you fold down the rear seats – and a general increase in practical usage. What’s not to like? Sadly that’s not an entirely rhetorical question.

That extra weight doesn’t do the engine any favours at all. We’ve felt for a bit that the 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine isn’t really the best motive power for the Jaguar, and here it takes another step in the wrong direction. It doesn’t feel as quick as the numbers claim, and you end up worrying over overtakes, and feeling slightly irked that such a beautiful car sounds a bit rough when you put it under pressure.

If we had a bit more budget we’d definitely go for the V6 diesel in the XF Sportbrake. Do that one thing and you remove any niggles in what is a really rather gorgeous car, and quite possibly the best-looking Jaguar that isn’t actually a sports car. Not bad for an estate.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Review: Jaguar E-Pace D240 R-Dynamic S AWD 2018

People buy SUVs for all manner of reasons, but one of them is that they’re looking for that high-driving, easygoing momentum that means

Review: Nissan Leaf

The first Nissan Leaf took the concept of the electric car as a normal piece of everyday transport that bit further. It didn’t seem like

Review: McLaren 570S Spider

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or so they say. But sometimes it’s hard not to and sometimes first impressions can be

Review: Skoda Karoq vs Seat Ateca

If it’s a winner, use it again: that’s the message Skoda has taken from the Seat Ateca for its new small SUV, the KaroqIn 2017,