Jaguar’s XF Sport­brake es­tate

Berkshire Life - - Front Page - WORDS: Andy Rus­sell

Jaguar has fi­nally launched the se­cond-gen­er­a­tion XF Sport­brake es­tate, a hand­some life­style load-car­rier

with all the driv­ing ap­peal of the Big Cat brand

Purists may not con­sider the XF Sport­brake a ‘proper’ Jaguar be­cause it’s an es­tate car – I sus­pect they’re in melt­down over three SUVs. But they’re new mod­els peo­ple want and it’s given the mar­que a new lease of life.

LOOKS AND IM­AGE

With the SUVs, I won­dered if Jaguar would do a se­cond-gen­er­a­tion XF es­tate, which comes two years af­ter the sa­loon. It’s one of the most hand­some pres­tige es­tates with a slop­ing roofline, strong shoul­der line and sleek wrap­around LED tail lights mak­ing the back end far more el­e­gant than the sa­loon.

SPACE AND COM­FORT

Look­ing for a roomy ex­ec­u­tive es­tate? The Sport­brake mea­sures up with acres of rear legroom and enough head­room for six­foot­ers with that slop­ing roof, even if you opt for the huge panoramic sun­roof.

The Sport­brake is more life­style es­tate than ul­ti­mate load-lug­ger. The 565-litre boot makes up for what it lacks in depth by go­ing back a long way and ad­justable se­cur­ing points on run­ners along the floor add to its ver­sa­til­ity.

The es­tate’s rear seat backs split 40/20/40 and fold flat with the floor, re­leased via levers in the boot, to trans­port long, thin items along with two rear pas­sen­gers. A tyre in­fla­tion kit makes space for some un­der­floor stor­age.

HOW IT DRIVES

The Sport­brake gets self-lev­el­ling air sus­pen­sion to keep it on an even keel with its larger load-car­ry­ing du­ties, but still drives like a true Jaguar with a well­bal­anced agility on twisty roads that be­lies a big car nearly five me­tres long. The ride is even more im­pres­sive, de­spite 20in wheels in­stead of stan­dard 18in ones. It’s firm enough to let you know what’s go­ing on be­neath the wheels, but won’t shake your fill­ings out, although there’s no­tice­able tyre roar on cor­ru­gated mo­tor­way sur­faces.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Plenty of choice with In­ge­nium fam­ily 2.0litre turbo units – 250 and 300PS petrol and 163PS, 180PS and 240PS diesel – plus a 300PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel. All-wheel drive is avail­able and eight-speed au­to­matic stan­dard on all but the 163PS diesel.

The twin-turbo 240PS AWD test car sounded a bit gruff when worked and, while mak­ing light work of over­tak­ing, doesn’t feel as quick as the fig­ures sug­gest. Real-world MPG was 37 run­ning around and 43 on a run.

FI­NAL SAY

Es­tate cars fit mine and my wife’s life­style per­fectly. Even bet­ter, should the op­por­tu­nity ever arise, the XF Sport­brake fits our garage… just.

SPEC & TECH Price: Jaguar XF Sport­brake 2.0 25d 240PS R-Sport, AWD, £46,210 (range from £36,545)Engine: 1,999cc, 240PS, four-cylin­der turbo diesel with eight-speed au­to­matic gear­boxPer­for­mance: 0-60mph 6.7 sec­onds; top speed 150mphMPG: Ur­ban 37.7; ex­tra ur­ban 58.9; com­bined 48.7CO2 emis­sions: 153g/km

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