8
Petrol version of the Jaguar XF Sportbrake doesn't quite sparkle as much as you would think, but it gives the mid-sized exec car better overall refinement that the diesels can only dream of

Our Verdict

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Wagon version of Jaguar XF is intended to be just as good as the saloon. In many ways, though, the Sportbrake is better

  • First Drive

    Jaguar XF Sportbrake 25t R-Sport 2017 review

    Petrol version of the Jaguar XF Sportbrake doesn't quite sparkle as much as you would think, but it gives the mid-sized exec car better overall refinement
  • First Drive

    Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6 2017 review

    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
Richard Webber
18 December 2017

What is it?

Choosing a petrol version of the new XF Sportbrake means choosing Jaguar’s familiar 2.0-litre Ingenium turbocharged four-pot, presented in 247bhp tune (unlike the saloon, the load-lugger’s S variant comes exclusively with diesel power). It also means the equally familiar eight-speed ZF auto ’box and rear-wheel drive.

Although we’re testing it in aesthetically bolder R-Sport guise (which carries supplements of £2400 and 70kg versus its saloon counterpart), all Sportbrake variants come with firmed-up sports suspension, while adaptive damping is an £820 option that our car foregoes. As well as styling accents inside and out, the R-Sport also gets front parking sensors to supplement entry-level kit that includes heated, eight-way electrically adjustable leather front seats, rear parking sensors and an 8.0in touchscreen, as well as niceties such as roof rails, self-levelling rear air springs and power tailgate.

The Sportbrake fulfills the practicality part of its remit well, closely matching the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant for boot volume at 565 litres with its 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats up and 1700 litres when they’re folded flat. The load space is usefully regular, with an electric load cover, curry hooks and no lower lip. Cabin space impresses, too, with ample room for four large adults plus a halfling, and sufficient nooks in which to stow your daily detritus.

What's it like?

Materials in the smartly presented interior range from tidily stitched dashboard leather to both soft and hard plastics – although I wouldn’t choose the optional veneer, which has an odd, embalmed finish to it. Switchgear doesn’t feel quite as robust as that of rivals, but while the optionally upgraded infotainment could do with a manual controller to supplement its 10.2in touchscreen, it has lots of features and is pleasingly responsive. The sports seats are comfortable but not especially well sculpted among their type.

The petrol Ingenium is less of a workhorse than the 237bhp diesel version, giving away 99lb ft of torque and 100kg of towing ability to the oil-burner. But its refinement is far superior, emitting a gentle hum whose heightened pitch and volume as revs rise is barely noticeable once on the open road. Either dawdling in town or sitting at 2000rpm at 70mph, it’s both enjoyably hushed and unobtrusively managed by the gearbox, although downshifts can feel a bit lazy even in the toque converter’s most responsive setting.

Turbo lag is almost as gentle, but that’s partly because 247bhp doesn’t seem enough to make the 1705kg petrol Sportbrake feel that fast anyway. At 6.7sec, it’s 0.4sec slower to 60mph than the equivalent saloon, and although power delivery is steady all the way from 2500rpm to 6000rpm, it’s never especially keen, while Dynamic mode, which also firms the tiller and heightens gearbox mapping, makes the throttle a tad bitey.

Deeper potholes brought a thud from the optional 19in alloys, but otherwise the Sportbrake rides well and flows neatly over undulations taken at speed. Neither body control nor rear-end traction is much challenged when driving this car within the constraints of its modest powertrain, but the responsive front end and natural-feeling steering help make it an enjoyable thing to sweep along backroads. The helm gives decent feedback, too, but could be more settled at a cruise.

Should I buy one?

The petrol XF Sportbrake is no express wagon but, instead, majors on practicality, comfort and tidy handling – this makes it all the more of a shame that it isn't going to get 3.0-litre petrol unit found in the saloon S. Nonetheless, if it is a petrol engine you must have in your wagon, then the Sportbrake is dynamically the best out of its rivals, although the 5 Series Touring is a better all-rounder and has a much more tactile interior. 

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.0 25t R-Sport

Where Buckinghamshire On sale Now Price £42,435 Engine 4 cyls, 1997cc, turbocharged petrol Power 247bhp at 5500rpm Torque 269lb ft at 1200-4500rpm Gearbox 8-spd automatic Kerbweight 1705kg Top speed 150mph 0-62mph 6.7sec Fuel economy 41.5mpg CO2/tax band 155g/km, 30% Rivals Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TFSI S line, BMW 530i Touring M Sport

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Comments
10

18 December 2017

Where are these new Ingenium Straight 6s we've heard so much about?

I thought we would see them in 2017.

18 December 2017

Given how bad the Ingenium four bangers are, perhaps we shouldn't get too excited about the straight six. The engines are a real weak spot for Jaguar - either unpleasant to use, thirsty, or both.

18 December 2017
scrap wrote:

Given how bad the Ingenium four bangers are, perhaps we shouldn't get too excited about the straight six. The engines are a real weak spot for Jaguar - either unpleasant to use, thirsty, or both.

It's early days yet. The Germans have been doing this for decades. I'm confident that the teething issues with these Ingeniums will be ironed out in time.

And yes, the diesels are a bit rough but the petrol Ingeniums seem OK. Certainly the only complaint in this article is that it isn't powerful enough.

20 December 2017
TheBritsAreComing wrote:

scrap wrote:

Given how bad the Ingenium four bangers are, perhaps we shouldn't get too excited about the straight six. The engines are a real weak spot for Jaguar - either unpleasant to use, thirsty, or both.

It's early days yet. The Germans have been doing this for decades. I'm confident that the teething issues with these Ingeniums will be ironed out in time.

And yes, the diesels are a bit rough but the petrol Ingeniums seem OK. Certainly the only complaint in this article is that it isn't powerful enough.

 

Perhaps, although the disappointing fuel consumption seems more fundamental than a teething issue.

18 December 2017

Maybe a couple of grand to much but it's nice to see the 5th passenger half taken care of.  If you do big mileage a 6 pot diesel from the Germans would pay for itself though, for now!

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

18 December 2017

I wish Jaguar would sort itself out. This car would be brilliant with the 300PS and/or 380PS Petrol engines and AWD. Please stop pushing diesel and give us the cars we want.

18 December 2017

0-60 in 6.7 s. Not enough? I know Jags are meant to be fast, but how fast do you need to go? I must say that, to minimize emisssions, the throttle response on all modern cars seems to be damped. Once you get going there's usually way more power than you need, but pulling out at junctions, you just want some power NOW.

Happy motoring

jer

18 December 2017

The estate misses of on either 4wd or the Petrol 4cyl 300 ps engine potentially the pick of the range

 

19 December 2017

...this kind of power would have been considered ludicrous.

And the roads were way less crowded as nowadays.

-- Old fart with petrol in veins, so off the e-cars grid literally --

19 December 2017
BeamMeUpScotty wrote:

...this kind of power would have been considered ludicrous.

And the roads were way less crowded as nowadays.

I thought the same. When I started driving, the Ferrari 308s and Lamborghini Urracos of this world were generating similar 0-60 times. A 5.3 litre Jaguar V12 was probably a second slower, and all three were in the teens for mpg. That you can blow those cars into the weeds with a 2 litre, 4 pot, 5 seater estate and return 40mpg is pretty amazing.

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