Jaguar XF Sportbrake

R-Sport 25d 2.0 AWD

Jaguar XF Sportbrake, front
Jaguar XF Sportbrake, profile
Jaguar XF Sportbrake, rear
Jaguar XF Sportbrake, interior
Jaguar XF Sportbrake, dashboard
Jaguar XF Sportbrake, boot

IT CAN be hard to look beyond the usual German suspects when shopping around for a premium estate car.

Mercedes has some particularly handsome offerings at the moment, BMW's Touring models are known for their dynamic abilities and Audi's Avants offer plush interiors, smooth performance and tech aplenty.

Jaguar is not shy of taking on this Teutonic trio in the prestige arena, though, and while it may be relying on SUVs - electric and otherwise - to break into the bulk sales arena, its XF Sportbrake estate is well worth a look if you're after an executive load-lugger.

This car is certainly a match for the Mercs in the looks stakes, especially when specced in the R-Sport trim of our test model.

At the front end the distinctive Big Cat curves are identical to those of its saloon sibling while at the rear a swooping coupe-esque roofline flows into a spoiler to create an impressively athletic profile.

The sporty looks don't come at the expense of space or practicality, though, as rear head and leg room is plentiful and the boot, at 565 litres, offers the the load capacity you'd expect of a capable estate.

That rises to 1,700 litres with the 40:20:40 split rear seats folded flat and there are a variety of hooks and lashing points as well as floor rails, which accommodate a variety of optional load restraint fixings.

The baggage space is also square and unhindered and accessed, in all models, via an automatic tailgate and with no load lip to negotiate.

As well as room aplenty the XF Sportbrake's interior offers a premium environment to ensure passengers travel in the comfort and style they're paying Jaguar prices for.

Although Jaguar has been doing it for some years now, the way the rotary drive selector rises and the air conditioning vents swivel open when you spark up the engine never gets old, creating a little touch of theatre that rivals just don't have.

Grained leather upholstery and plenty of plush soft-touch surfaces complete the upmarket feel with heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system ensuring passengers travel in comfort.

Power for the range comes from a selection of Jaguar Land Rover's Ingenium petrol and diesel engines offering between 163 and 300ps, with carbon emissions as low as 134g/km. Most are mated with a slick eight-speed automatic transmission and also available with all wheel drive.

This car sported both of those and had the most powerful 240ps version of the 2.0-litre diesel power pack under the bonnet, boasting a spritely 0-62mph sprint time of seven seconds and a top speed of 150mph.

With the sports suspension R-Sport cars get, torque vectoring and the self-levelling rear air suspension the XF Sportbrake is equipped with added to that sort of pace this is actually quite an engaging and entertaining car to drive despite it's estate dimensions.

Cornering is flat and settled, unless you go really mad, steering quick and precise and power delivered smoothly, with the automatic gearbox going about it's business effectively and largely unobtrusively, while the AWD system offers plenty of grip.

Much of the time, unless you glance behind you at that capacious boot, you wouldn't know you weren't driving the saloon.

Generous kit includes navigation, rear parking camera, cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.

This is certainly a high-end package that will hold its own in the executive car park or at the golf club - but if you still need an extra flourish to impress than you can also get it with Jaguar's wearable Activity Key.

This waterproof wristband is aimed at sporty, always-in-a-rush types and allows drivers to lock their conventional key fob inside the car while they go off jogging, swimming or whatever.

The Activity Key disables the key left inside and is then used to automatically lock and unlock the vehicle by holding it close to the Jaguar lettering on the tailgate.

FAST FACTS

Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport 25d 2.0 AWD

Price: £47,235

Mechanical: 240ps, 1,999cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:150mph

0-62mph: 7.0 seconds

Combined MPG:41.5

Insurance Group: 34

C02 emissions: 157g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty:3yrs/unlimited miles

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