With the new car market for estate cars getting ever more competitive, Autoebid have conducted a review on the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake in addition to offering outstanding new car deals on the Sportbrake.
Estate cars do not come more elegant than the XF Sportbrake, which with hidden C-pillars and a steeply raked windscreen really is the gentleman’s load-lugger. The overall driving experience is also excellent, with plenty of feedback and a supple chassis.
Unfortunately, the XF Sportbrake comes equipped with engines that are showing their age, and although the diesels are reasonably frugal, fuel economy and emissions are some way behind its German rivals. Interior build quality isn’t always what you might expect from a so-called premium brand, either.
Aesthetically, Ian Callum and his design team have executed the conversion from saloon to estate with maturity and panache. The Sportbrake retains the XK-inspired windscreen at the front and at the back the C-pillars are gloss-black, creating an unusual and eye-catching wrap-around effect. On almost every model, the alloy wheels fill the wheel-arches beautifully, too, and the entire car is characterised by creases that run from the front to rear lights, uninterrupted.
Inside, it’s business as usual for Jaguar. Consequently, buyers can choose between milled aluminium, carbon fibre or more traditional wood inserts, but the cabin still has that slightly ropey, Victorian cabinet-feel to it. Call it charm, poor workmanship, or both, but there’s no doubt that the Sportbrake is nevertheless a reassuring place to be on long journeys and offers a more unique experience than either a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class.
The Sportbrake’s slightly firm ride around town pays dividends on the open road, where it unsurprisingly feels most at home, with little in the way of body roll and fantastically tactile steering for a car of its size. Indeed, the XF belies its five-metre span – and a kerb weight over 1,800kg – and proves surprisingly entertaining to put through corners with commitment. The Sportbrake’s driving position is class leading, too.
Drawbacks include a marked lack of boot capacity, which is due entirely to the same seductive roofline that makes the Sportbrake such a desirable piece of product design. There is, however, ample space on the rear bench for passengers and self-levelling rear suspension is standard across the range. The other significant shortcoming is the efficiency of both the petrol and diesel powerplants. They simply can’t match the opposition, and even the most economical 163PS four-cylinder 2.2d struggles to break 45mpg in real world conditions.
The XF Sportbrake is certainly flawed, but not to the extent that buyers shouldn’t consider it against rivals. It’s not quite as practical as a BMW 520d Touring, and won’t be as cheap to run as the equivalent Audi A6 Avant, but it’s more rewarding to drive and better to look at than both. The question is, is that enough?