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Jaguar XFSportbrake Driven - Worth The Wait
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
In the run up to the Wimbledon Tennis Championship, I was lucky enough to be invited to the unveiling of the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake.

A star-studded occasion with a tennis theme, Andy Murray was on hand to do the honours on a mock up of Centre Court.

Not content with one sporting legend, Jaguar also roped in the services of heavyweight boxing champ Anthony Joshua, a friendly soul who was happy to pose with me for a selfie and answer a few drivelly questions about nothing in particular. I’m not a boxing fan...

Andy Murray and Anthony Joshua
The climax of the event was a brief doubles match in which the two sportsmen were partnered by comedians Rob Brydon and Jimmy Carr. Much merriment ensued, with proceedings ably managed with ruthless efficiency by get-everywhere presenter Clare Balding.

Also by Andy Harris...
Kia’s Range-Topping Stinger On Test
Super Saloon – BMW’s 530D On Test
XCELLENCE From SEAT With Their New Compact SUV
Estate Car Excellence - Jaguar XF Sportbrake On Test
Unravelling The Secrets Of Velar
The car looked great in the flesh, but there was no opportunity to get behind the wheel.

Fast forward to mid-December and a distinctly chilly Home Counties locale, the time had come for a brief spin in the XF Sportbrake.

With melting snow still covering the minor roads, the XF’s traction control did a good job in keeping the car pointing in the right direction.

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 300PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel is available for those in a hurry.

My test vehicle was fitted with a 240PS diesel motor and it proved to be no sluggard. With 500Nm of torque and a quick shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox, the Sportbrake is not only an able sprinter (0-60mph in just 6.4 seconds), but also has ample power available for the cut and thrust of everyday driving.

The Ingenium engine can get a little raucous when extended, but it is rarely an issue. I would recommend the silky smooth V6 engine, but that will add about £10,000 to the list price.

Up to 48.7mpg is promised for the combined cycle, and looking back at my notes, I achieved around 38mpg on my meanderings on unfamiliar roads.

Expect well over 40mpg on a leisurely cruise.

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 extended 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 £42,435 asking price, my test Jag 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 £2,000, but if I was lucky enough to be a customer would like all the other goodies.

Head Up Display (£1,830) – 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 was the question I asked myself on my way to my next engagement. The SUV is king and the F-PACE is Jaguar’s best-selling car.

The smaller E-PACE is waiting in the wings, with electric I-PACE to follow.

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 240PS R-Sport
Price £42,435 (range starts at £34,910)
2.0-litre 240PS turbodiesel engine
8-speed automatic gearbox
0-60mph in 6.4 seconds
Top speed 150mph
Combined economy 48.7mpg
Emissions 153g/km CO2

Jaguar XFSportbrake Driven - Worth The Wait, 30th December 2017, 14:45 PM