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.