It seems churlish to complain about a two-tonne estate car that can crack 60mph in a shade over seven seconds. Still, anyone paying £50,000 for an express load lugger should expect it to be pacey – at least as fast as its maker says it is, and ideally as fast as anything else for the price.
According to our timing gear, the hottest 3.0 diesel XF Sportbrake is neither of those. It took a second longer than Jag’s 6.1sec claim to sprint to 60mph and 18.4sec to break 100mph, the latter being less than a second quicker than the 228bhp Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI estate we tested in 2010. Bet your bottom dollar that a BMW 535d Touring would do it in little more than 15 seconds.
The case for the higher powered 3.0-litre model gets worse when compared to the performance of the higher powered 2.2. The lowest 160bhp version may take an agonizing 10.9 seconds to reach 62mph, but the 197bhp model will cover the benchmark sprint in 8.2 seconds, just over a second off the 3.0-litre S. With the prospect of more than 55mpg from the higher-powered 2.2-litre unit, that sort of performance is more than acceptable, especially if you aren't looking for searing pace. The 237bhp 3.0 diesel records a claimed 0-60mph time of 6.8sec, which is more than respectable, but the mpg is actually worse than that of the higher powered unit.