What is it?
Given the rise of the crossover and SUV, you could think that the humble estate car is something of a dying breed. However, many manufacturers see the merit in a ‘wagon’, as do many buyers who love their more composed driving manners.
Jaguar is one such car maker. Its XF Sportbrake has been handed a more powerful engine, giving this estate car a lot more punch. We’ve been finding out what it’s like.
Jaguar has recently given its XF a decent update. Though the exterior changes are relatively mild, it’s inside where things have really taken a turn upmarket.
Other updates include new engines - including a mild-hybrid diesel - and new active road noise cancellation which helps to keep the cabin as hushed as possible.
What’s it like inside?
Jaguar has made huge strides in the cabin of the XF. Beforehand, like many other JLR products, it was often seen as a weakness, but these days it’s a really strong part of the car overall.
The material quality is much improved, while the updated Pivi Pro infotainment system is clear and easy to use. When it comes to boot space, there are 582 litres on offer with the rear seats in place, though that sloping roofline does eat into overall space a tiny bit.
What’s under the bonnet?
You’ve got three engine options with the XF. There’s a single diesel - badged D200 - and two petrols, badged P250 and P300. It’s the latter that we’re looking at here today and it’s the most powerful of the lot.
It’s a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged unit kicking out 296bhp and 400Nm of torque. Jaguar reckons that you should see up to 29.9mpg combined alongside CO2 emissions of 213g/km. Plus, it’ll manage the 0-60mph sprint in 5.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 155mph.
How does it look?
The look of modern Jaguars might not revel in the past quite like older versions, instead using a combination of modern design details and premium touches. The XF Sportbrake is one of the sleekest-looking estate cars on the market today, too, with plenty of chrome accents helping it to look more upmarket.
New, more angled headlights give the car a bit more edge, while a subtle slope at the rear helps to add a touch of coupe-like design to the car’s looks.
What’s it like to drive?
Jaguar has also been the go-to manufacturer for cars that are both involving and comfortable to drive. The XF Sportbrake is definitely an example of this thanks to its sweet handling and beautifully composed ride which ensures that it feels both agile yet refined.
This combination means that the XF Sportbrake feels suited to all types of UK road, be that winding country lanes or long stretches of motorway.
What’s the spec like?
Two versions of XF Sportbrake are on offer at the moment - R-Dynamic and R-Dynamic Black. The latter gains, as you might imagine, plenty of black styling touches which help to give it a slightly more undercover look. It can only be fitted to the D200, rear-wheel-drive model, however, and costs from £39,395.
R-Dynamic, meanwhile, kicks off from £37,190 and brings LED headlights, a sports styling package and 19-inch alloy wheels. That Pivi Pro system - accessed via an 11.4-inch screen - is also included, as is both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Opt for the P300 engine and prices start from £46,650.
The previous XF Sportbrake felt like it was behind the curve, particularly when compared to rivals in the segment. This update, however, has remedied this issue, bringing a comprehensively improved cabin alongside a tweaked exterior design which makes it more appealing than before.
This P300 feels like it might be a touch overboard, mind you. The P250 has more than enough power and will bring lower costs, while the diesel will continue to be the go-to choice for long-distance drivers.