With the likes of the eye-catching sporty F-TYPE and flashy all-electric I-Pace newcomer as siblings, it’s understandable that Jaguar’s utilitarian models might not grab more of the headlines. Experiencing the excellent XF Sportbrake on test though, it’s definitely worthy of generous praise and extra attention.
Viewed kerbside, this a masterclass of artfully marrying long lines with muscular curves to promise pace and performance. As the car’s world-acclaimed designer Ian Callum said: “Every line on the Sportbrake serves a clear purpose, creating a fast sweeping silhouette. This gives the car a sense of speed and a very dynamic appearance. As a result, I think it looks just as sporty as the saloon, if not more so.”
Ample kerb appeal
As estate cars go, the Sportbrake is one of the most visually compelling models on the market. The aesthetic appeal continues to the interior too, which, as with all modern Jaguars, leads the premium pack in terms of craftsmanship, quality materials and generosity of features and advanced tech.
Something Jaguar really excels at is creating a serene ambiance in its cabins. Slip inside and you really feel you’ve entered something special, that’s calming, cocooning, quiet and rather zen. This is due to a clever combination of ambiance lighting, tastefully paired interior colours, softness of the leather and insulation from engine, wind and road noise. The result is Jaguar cabins are honestly hard to beat.
The XF Sportbrake sets really high standards for practicality and convenience with user-friendly features and technologies that make every trip safer, smarter and more relaxed. Its combination of space and usability make the Sportbrake the perfect companion for busy families or couples with active lifestyles – and of course as a vehicle to use for work.
The car’s cabin is spacious and flooded with natural light from the full-length 1.6sq m panoramic roof. Rear passengers benefit from enhanced knee room and improved headroom, while the practical load space can accommodate enough luggage for a month long luxury cruise.
Luxurious beautifully appointed interior
The Sportbrake’s new interior offers heightened luxury, enhanced connectivity and greater serenity and refinement. The new cockpit design is bolder, more dynamic and with greater focus on the driver. A new sporty centre console, faster in profile, sweeps up to the dashboard incorporating an optional wireless device charger with phone signal booster.
At the heart of the new interior is a seamlessly integrated centrally-mounted 11.4-inch curved-glass HD touchscreen in an elegant magnesium alloy casing, which controls the new Pivi Pro infotainment system. Authentic finishes, including open-pore wood veneers and aluminium, feature in beautifully formed shapes such as the upper door insert and full width ‘Piano lid’ that is formed across the width of the dashboard. Laser-etched mid-line speaker frets and the metallic rotary dial of the JaguarDrive Control epitomise the attention-to-detail. The cabin really is luxurious, tactile and demonstrates an exceptional level of craftmanship. It seamlessly integrates advanced technologies and is a beautiful place to be.
The XF Sportbrake benefits from a raft of pioneering advanced technology. Of particular use to those frequently driving in polluted urban areas is the Cabin Air Ionisation system which improves interior air quality through Nanoe technology, which helps remove allergens and unpleasant odours. The system also features PM2.5 filtration, which captures ultra-fine particles – including PM2.5 particulates – to improve occupant health and wellbeing. It’s easily operated with just a touch of the ‘Purify’ button.
Safety-wise, as you’d expect from Jaguar, you’re fully covered and the Sportbrake features everything from Trailer Stability Assist, 3D surround camera, Lane Keep Assist, front and rear parking aids and All Surface Progress Control, to Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVBB), Hill Launch Assist and more.
Our D200 R-Dynamic S AWD model on test came in Jaguar’s stunning Firenze red metallic, with a selection of other excellent options including light oyster morzine headlining; 19˝ 7 spoke ‘style 7013’ contrast diamond turned finish alloys; black exterior pack; privacy glass; Meridian surround sound system; heated, electric, power fold, memory door mirrors with approach lights and auto-dimming driver side and a lockable cooled glovebox.
Out on the road
The XF Sportbrake is available in a choice of highly acclaimed refined powertrains. Our test car featured Jaguar’s excellent next-generation, 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium turbocharged diesel engine featuring Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology, providing enhanced efficiency with strong performance. The 0-60mph sprint is tackled in a respectable 7.5 seconds and the car is super-smooth and refined to drive.
This 204PS diesel produces 430Nmof torque and its MHEV system uses a Belt integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) situated in the engine bay to harvest energy usually lost when slowing and braking, which is then stored in a 48V lithium-ion battery located beneath the rear load space. It is able to redeploy the stored energy to assist the engine when accelerating away while also delivering a more refined and responsive stop/start system.
In summary, the XF Sportbrake’s a stylish, spacious and versatile family car that’s beautifully built, luxurious, comfortable, classy and a pleasure to drive.