Hit­ting the brakes

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

EDP Norfolk - - MOTORING - WORDS: Andy Rus­sell

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


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.


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 folds 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.


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.


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.


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

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