What is it?
This is our second opportunity to drive Jaguar’s latest XF Sportbrake, the rather handsome estate variant of Jaguar’s current executive-class saloon.
Last time around, we drove it with the 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel powerplant, which is mated exclusively to all-wheel drive. Here, we’re adding the 3.0-litre V6 diesel to that and the only petrol XF variant, the 2.0-litre 247bhp four-cylinder from the same Ingenium engine family as the diesel, both as rear-drive variants.
By calling this car Sportbrake, you might think the design team have been cut a little slack to prioritise style over practicality, but the important estatey numbers are pretty good. Boot volume with the rear seats up is 565 litres rather than the saloon’s 540, and with the seats down it raises to 1700 litres, which puts it on a par with the BMW 5 Series Touring, if not the vast Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon. This time around, too, as well as flat sides to the interior of the boot, the rear seats have been tweaked to allow the floor to be flat when folded. The kind of thing that’s more useful, as a rule, than an additional five litres here or there.
Otherwise, things in the Sportbrake are as they are in the XF saloon. It’s a predominantly aluminium-structured car, with double-wishbones at the front and an integral link set-up at the rear. Unlike the saloon, the Sportbrake comes with air-springs at the rear to keep the body level under loads, which can be whichever fridge or dog you throw in the boot or up to 2000kg pulled via the towbar.