Priced from £48,640, Jaguar’s 296bhp XF Sportbrake R-Sport sits towards the expensive end of the executive estate car spectrum. That said, there are few four-cylinder rivals that offer comparable levels of performance for the money.
The £48,315 BMW 530i M Sport Touring undercuts the Jaguar on price by a few hundred pounds, but develops 47bhp less and is exclusively rear-driven. Audi’s 242bhp A6 Avant 45 TFSI Quattro S Line, meanwhile, comes in at £47,355.
The Jaguar’s roster of standard equipment is lengthy. A 10in touchscreen infotainment system, powered tailgate, sports suspension, 18in alloys, R-Sport body kit and leather upholstery are all included; and yet, even at this level, it’s unlikely that XF customers will escape the showroom without splashing another 10% of the sticker price on options. With extras such as 20in alloys (£2095), a fixed panoramic roof (£1125), a head-up display (£1270) and more besides, the total cost of our test vehicle came in at a breath-checking £62,020.
Less impressive was the XF’s economy: we saw a 24.1mpg average, while a sustained 70mph cruise returned 36.8mpg. These figures aren’t too far off what you might have expected from the old XF V6 S, despite being two cylinders down.