Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

The two-tone Ebony and Oyster leather in our test car grants the XF Sportbrake a light, airy and pleasant interior, but the Jaguar otherwise shows its age from behind the wheel.

While undoubtedly cleanly drawn and methodical in its design and execution, the car’s cabin fails to offer the sense of occasion that you find in an equivalent Audi or Mercedes.

R-Sport introduces sports seats to the XF’s cabin. They’re plenty comfortable but short on lateral support when really pressing on.

JLR’s older 10in InControl Touch Pro infotainment system comes as standard on all XFs, as opposed to the new dual-screen set-up found in the Jaguar I-Pace and newer Land Rovers.

While it is easy enough to learn how to use and integrated cleanly into the XF’s dash fascia, the software and graphics are now starting to show their age – particularly against the increasingly advanced systems now offered by all three of Jaguar’s German rivals.

That said, most of the features you’d expect to find at this price point are present. Satellite navigation, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity are all standard, although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are conspicuous by their absence. JLR’s InControl software provides an alternative in this regard and enables apps such as Spotify to be used on the go.

The dual-view display (an £890 option), meanwhile, allows the front passenger to view a different screen to the driver, but the digital displays seem antiquated compared with those in a current A6.

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Likewise, its driving position isn’t as enveloping or driver-focused as that of a BMW 5 Series and the car doesn’t conjure the ambient richness of a Mercedes E-Class. And there, in a nutshell, is the clearest evidence of the XF’s age relative to its key rivals.

Our test car’s satin grey ebony veneer and piano black panelling around the centre console did inject a touch of class, but with the game having moved on since 2015, the XF inevitably seems a little yesterday in this mid-sized range.

The XF Sportbrake remains impressively competitive, if not class-leading, in terms of outright space. A typical rear leg room figure of 770mm is 30mm less than in the BMW 520d saloon, although it trumps the Lexus ES 300h’s 760mm. Regardless, taller adults won’t want for leg or head room, and smaller children should sit comfortably three abreast.

The Jaguar’s boot provides generous storage capacity, although not quite as much (at least in terms of claimed seats-up literage) as the biggest estates of its size. Still, a usefully square aperture with no real load lip makes loading and unloading the boot a simple undertaking, while the 40:20:40 split rear bench can be folded entirely flat, which helps with the loading of longer items. A powered, gesture-controllable tailgate completes a strong showing on practicality and convenience.