It might look a million dollars but you can pick up a good example of the handsome second-gen Jaguar XF Sportbrake for around £18,000, which seems like an exceedingly healthy return. What you’ll be getting is a fine-handling, well-equipped and practical estate that’ll cut a dash on your driveway for thousands less than a dynamically compromised SUV of a similar age.
Under the elegant bonnet, there’s a choice of six engines. The petrols on offer are 247bhp and 298bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder units. Propping up the diesel range are 161bhp and 178bhp 2.0-litre engines, while a twin-turbocharged version produces 237bhp. Topping the range is a silky-smooth twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6.
Trim levels are Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport, S and First Edition. Prestige models come with 17in alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear parking sensors and Jaguar’s InControl infotainment with an 8.0in touchscreen, sat-nav and a DAB radio.
Upgrade to Portfolio and you get 18in alloys, split folding rear seats, front parking sensors, a rearview camera, keyless entry and a 380W Meridian sound system. The R-Sport comes with an aggressive-looking bodykit and sports suspension. S gets you an even beefier bodykit and 19in alloys, while those after more exclusivity can opt for the tech-heavy First Edition.
All the engine options move the car around with decent suavity, with the petrol units and range-topping V6 diesel being impressively smooth if inevitably less efficient.
With self-levelling air suspension at the rear as standard, the Jag has great balance in corners, so threading it down a twisty road is a positive pleasure. It’s comfortable, too: larger road irregularities pass by with minimal fuss and its body stays well controlled over dips and crests.
It’s nearly as impressive inside. The driving position is low and adjustable and the dashboard is laid out logically and modern and crisp in feel, with Jaguar’s trademark rising gear selector and revolving air vents. The interior looks good, even if perceived quality and the infotainment system fall well behind those of its Audi and BMW rivals.