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Estate Car Excellence - Jaguar XF Sportbrake On Test
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The latest version of Jaguar’s XF Sportbrake has been a while in the making. With the emphasis now firmly on SUVs, the company’s attention has undoubtedly been on this burgeoning market, with F, E and now I-PACE models all vying for your attention.

As good as they are, for many a good old-fashioned estate car will do the job just as well. I have just spent a week behind the wheel, putting a Sportbrake to the test.

First a few Sportbrake facts...

“Grace, space and pace for the 21st century”, say Jaguar. Well it certainly looks good, with dramatic proportions and flowing lines.

It is spacious too, with ample room for four large adults to spread out in comfort. There’s plenty of space for luggage in the 565-litre boot, extendable to a gargantuan 1,700-llitres with the split folding rear seats lowered.

Self-levelling air suspension is designed to keep everything on an even keel regardless of the load carried and for those inclined to tow, a braked trailer of up to 2,000kg can be hitched up.

It is possible to specify all-wheel drive which comes with an All Surface Control system to optimise grip on all surfaces...

Four state of the art four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines are available, with power from 163PS to 250PS and low CO2 emissions from 118g/km. A range-topping 300PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel is available for those in a hurry.

Also by Andy Harris...
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My test vehicle was fitted with the top flight diesel motor and thus powered, the XF proved to be sports car quick. With a staggering 700Nm of torque and a quick shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox, the Sportbrake is not only an able sprinter (0-60mph in just 6.1 seconds), but also has a surfeit of power available to deal with the cut and thrust of everyday driving.

The V6 engine is silky smooth and is barely audible even when fully extended.

Up to 49.6 mpg is promised for the combined cycle, with my average for the week just topping 40mpg. CO2 emissions are commendably low too at 149g/km.

Estate cars now ride and handle as well as their saloon counterparts, so it came as no surprise to find the XF Sportbrake was as adept at dealing with twisting roads and areas of broken tarmac as well as the saloon I had on test back in October.

As one would expect, all XF Sportbrakes are generously equipped, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any scope for personalisation. On top of the £52,400 asking price, my test car had over £10,000 worth of options added.
I could live without the optional 20” alloy wheels which do nothing to improve low speed ride comfort and save £1,255, but they do look good!

If I was lucky enough to be a customer I would like most of the other goodies. Head-Up Display (£1,270) – yes please. Panoramic roof (£1,125) bathes the cabin in natural right, so affirmative. Adaptive Cruise Control (£1,460), takes the strain out of congested motorway driving, so another yes. You get the idea...

Will Jaguar sell a lot of XF Sportbrakes is the question I ask myself. The SUV is king and the F-PACE is Jaguar’s best-selling car. The smaller E-PACE is now on sale and has much to commend it, whilst the all-electric I-PACE has just been revealed at the Geneva Motor Show to much acclaim.

However, there is still a place for a good estate car. As practical and refined as an SUV, the lower centre of gravity makes for better handling and improved passenger comfort. And besides, the XF Sportbrake is a great looking car.

So before you head down the PACE route, take a look at the modern interpretation of the estate car, it may suit you rather well.

Fast Facts (as tested)

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 3.0-litre Diesel
Price £52,400 (range starts at £34,910)
3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine (300PS)
8-speed automatic gearbox
0-60mph in 6.1 seconds
Top speed 155mph
Combined economy 49.6mpg
Emissions 149g/km CO2

Estate Car Excellence - Jaguar XF Sportbrake On Test, 26th March 2018, 17:02 PM