Review: Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2017)
Attractive and comfortable family estate, thanks to standard fit self-levelling suspension. Available with all-wheel drive. Flat load floor with up to 1700 litres of boot space.
Noisy engines. Sluggish four-wheel drive performance. German rivals provide better in-car entertainment.
Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2017): At A Glance
- New prices start from £42,605, brokers can source from £29,625
- Contract hire deals from £348.72 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 28–43
- On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure
The XF Sportbrake is a large and elegant estate, with great practicality and a rewarding drive. However, while undeniably attractive and luxurious, the family friendly Jaguar falls a little short against its German rivals when it comes to diesel refinement and in-car tech.
Like the BMW 5 Series Touring, Audi A6 Avant and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake is an executive mix of style, luxury and space. At the business end of things, the Jaguar matches most of its rivals on storage, with 565 litres of boot space when the rear seats are in place. It also provides a completely flat floor and 1700 litres when you flatten the rear bench, while accessing the wide boot is easy with a powered tailgate fitted as standard.
As well as a big boot, the swoopy-styled XF estate gets an opulent interior, with enough space to transport a family of four in limo-like comfort. Indeed, even entry-level models are kitted out in leather and soft-touch materials, along with smart features such as ambient interior lighting and in-car WiFi. Touchscreen infotainment has also been upgraded, although its useability remains a long way short of the tech found in the latest Audis and BMWs.
Like the saloon, the XF Sportbrake is extremely good to drive, with smooth and responsive steering that allows the driver to reach its performance limits with confidence. The self-levelling rear Integral-Link air suspension should ensure effortless towing for those more interested in the practicality of the XF, with it capable of shifting up to 2000kg - more than enough to cope with a standard caravan or horsebox.
Most buyers will choose diesel and the line-up includes three 2.0-litre engines, plus a performance focussed 3.0-litre V6. We'd recommend the 180PS diesel - returning an advertised 60.1 - 61.4mpg. Almost all powertrains are linked to rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed auto as standard, although four-wheel drive can be specified. Petrol buyers might feel a little short-changed, however, with just one option - a 250PS 2.0-litre engine.
Jaguar makes no bones about the fact that the XF Sportbrake's designed for those who want a large family car with dynamic handling and a comfortable ride quality. This means, for the most part, it feels very close to the standard XF saloon on the road, with positive steering and excellent composure at motorway speeds. However, a few areas blot the Sportbrake's report card. The diesels are gruff at start-up and noisy at low speeds, while the engine stop/start system is crude in its operation.
The XF Sportbrake doesn’t get anything dramatically bad, but equally it doesn’t excel in any particular area either. It is comfortable, efficient and luxurious. And for many family car buyers that will be more than enough for it to be a likeable alternative to the current crop of Germany executive estates.
What does a Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2017) cost?
Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2017): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
Luxurious, spacious and supremely comfortable, the XF Sportbrake is an undeniably special place to while away the miles. All cars are decked out with plush leather seats, while the quality of the switchgear and plastics is extremely high. Neat features like configurable mood lighting and air vents that open as you start the ignition only add to the exclusivity.
Technically speaking, the XF Sportbrake is a five seater; however the raised transmission tunnel severely reduces legroom for those sitting in the middle rear seat, which means this is effectively a four seater. That said, four large adults will find very little to complain about; head and legroom is plentiful and the seats are supportive and comfortable.
The 40:20:40 split fold rear seats provide plenty of flexibility when it comes to carrying people and bulky items. Folding the rear seats is easy with a plastic switch and the rear bench falls to provide a neat, flat floor. Some people might find the seats to be rather heavy - which means they require a fair amount of force to be pushed back - but there is no getting away from the fact that this is an extremely practical car.
With the seats lowered the XF Sportbrake will provide a van-rivalling 1700-litres. Accessing the large load space is easy, with the powered tailgate and wide boot opening making it easy to fit bulky items in without catching the top of the bumper or sides of the bodywork.
All versions are well-equipped as standard and Jaguar's Touch Pro infotainment system has been improved greatly over the old and slow touchscreens that adorned the previous-generation XF. That said, the system still lacks the effortless nature of BMW's iDrive and Audi's MMI, with both featuring better operating systems and higher quality graphics.
Portfolio trim provides the best balance when it comes to kit, mainly because it includes a parking camera that will prove invaluable when it comes to guiding the XF Sportbrake into a tight space. The thick corner pillars and large headrests restrict visibility somewhat and the camera provides a welcome level of reassurance that you're not going to clip anything as you reverse. The trim also includes a smart leather instrument panel finish and Windsor leather seats that - as the name implies - wouldn't feel amiss in a Royal household.
Prestige comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-functional xenon headlights with LED 'J' blade daytime running lights and power wash, perforated grained leather seats (8-way adjustable), heated front seats, rear armrest with cupholders, soft grain leather sport steering wheel, carpet mats, ambient interior lighting, InControl Apps - remote premium, protect, WiFi, rear parking aid, Jaguar 80W sound system, integrated roof rails, integrated roof spoiler, rear self levelling air suspension, automatic loadspace cover, 40:20:40 split fold rear seats, powered tailgate and a stainless steel loadspace scuff plate.
Portfolio adds 18-inch alloy wheels, perforated Windsor leather seats (10-way adjustable), Windsor leather instrument panel finisher, premium carpet mats, gloss figured ebony veneer, split fold rear seats (40:20:40), Meridian 380W Sound System with 11 speakers, heated front windscreen with timer, Jaguar Smart Key system with keyless entry, power folding exterior door mirrors, front parking aid and a reverse park camera.
Sport has 18-inch alloy wheels, R-Sport bodykit including sports front bumper, side sills and boot mounted spoiler, sports suspension, perforated grained leather sports seats (8-way adjustable), metal treadplates and multi-function steering wheel with R-Sport branding, gloss black side window surrounds, Dark Morse Code aluminium instrument panel finisher, bright sport pedals, ebony headlining, front parking aid, gloss black roof rails and a powered tailgate.
S comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, S bodykit including sports front bumper, gloss black side sills, rear valance and boot mounted spoiler, red brake calipers, perforated grained leather sports seats (10-way adjustable with 4-way electric lumbar adjust), grey figured ebony veneer, Dark Hex Aluminium instrument panel finisher, metal treadplates and multi-function steering wheel with S branding, split fold rear seats (40:20:40), Meridian 380W Sound System with 11 speakers, Jaguar Smart Key system with keyless entry, power folding exterior door mirrors, adaptive dynamics, reverse park camera, gloss black roof rails and a powered tailgate.
Child seats that fit a Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2017)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2017) like to drive?
- Engines range from 2.0i 300 Automatic 4WD to 3.0d 300 Automatic
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 22–54 mpg
The XF Sportbrake's engine line-up is adequate enough to cover most needs, but rather limited when it comes to choice. For example, there's just one petrol in the range, while the other options are four and six-cylinder diesels. There are no hybrid or electric powertrains. And almost all engines are linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with the exception being the entry-level diesel which gets a six-speed manual.
On the road, the XF Sportbrake is more than match for its German rivals with rewarding handling that is aided by well-balanced steering and high levels of grip. Available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, the XF Sportbrake is effortless to drive on twisty country roads, while its motorway manners are among the best in the business with its supple suspension ironing out the worst Britain's roads can pitch its way.
Unfortunately things are not so effortless at lower speeds or in town: the diesels can get quite noisy in the low rev range and the engine stop/start system feels like an afterthought, owing to the fact that it kick starts the engine with a crude jolt. The thick corner pillars at the front also provide considerable blackspots at junctions, which means it’s easy to miss a passing car or cyclist.
All of the diesels will tow up to 2000kg and the entry-level 2.0-litre four-cylinder 163PS diesel is the most-efficient, with an official 62.8mpg. However, we'd recommend opting up to the more-powerful 180PS version of the 2.0 engine. Advertised fuel economy for this unit peaks at 61.4mpg and buyers can choose between rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.
The 2.0-litre unit can also be specified with 240PS, but this engine is limited to four-wheel drive and lacks the pace you would expect, with sluggish acceleration. Economy is also poorer, with an advertised 48.7mpg, which means it will only appeal to those who have to tackle wintery roads and/or want a tow car that won't get bogged down on wet grass or light mud. The range-topping 3.0-litre V6 is the most-potent of all of the diesels with 300PS and 700Nm of torque from just 2000rpm.
Petrol options are limited to the 2.0-litre engine with 250PS. Returning a claimed 41.5mpg, the petrol isn’t the most efficient, but it drives well and packs a notable punch when it comes to acceleration. The fire-breathing a 380PS 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol won’t be making it in to UK models, however, with this being restricted to cars sold in the USA and China.
|2.0d 163||54 mpg||9.3 s||118 g/km|
|2.0d 163 Automatic||52 mpg||9.4 s||119 g/km|
|2.0d 180 Automatic||51–52 mpg||8.5–8.8 s||120–146 g/km|
|2.0d 180 Automatic 4WD||50 mpg||8.9 s||132–147 g/km|
|2.0d 240 Automatic 4WD||46 mpg||6.7 s||144–157 g/km|
|2.0i 250 Automatic||38 mpg||7.1 s||154–171 g/km|
|2.0i 300 Automatic 4WD||36–37 mpg||6.0 s||175–182 g/km|
|3.0d 300 Automatic||46–48 mpg||6.6 s||144–165 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2017)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What Cars Are Similar To The Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2017)?
Key attributes of the this model are: Comfortable seats, Diesel engine, Family friendly, Four-wheel drive, Generous head room, High quality interior, Large boot, Modern technology, Motorway cruiser, Room for a buggy, Petrol engine and Large premium.
Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.