It’s been a while since Jaguar last dipped their toes into the estate market. However, incessant competition with premium rivals on the continent has refocused the spotlight on this once pragmatic and sober-headed corner of the motoring arena. The world once ruled over by the no-frills, utilitarian Volvo station wagon has, in the last decade, been injected with an industrial-sized dose of adrenaline. The premium estate of today is racy, pacey and above all, cool. It’s cars like the all-new Jaguar XF Sportbrake that personify just how far things have come.
Familiar XF design cues abound at the front end of the new Sportbreak, including the headlamp and LED daytime running light signature and range-defining front grille. It’s towards the elongated estate’s rear end, however, where the XF styling receives a significant rehash. Following the sleek silhouette of the Sportbreak’s gently tapered roofline with full-length panoramic roof and twin roof bars, your gaze comes to rest on the subtle rear spoiler. This aerodynamic upgrade is integrated into a single piece polymer tailgate which dominates the new XF estate’s rear fascia. Illuminated by a set of wraparound LED taillights, in the style of the F-PACE sports SUV and F-TYPE sports car, a signature chrome strip spanning the full width of the car tops off the rear end with some pleasingly premium sparkle.
As with any estate, premium or otherwise, practicality is the watchword. Standard-issue 40:20:40 split folding rear seats raise the XF Sportbreak’s maximum payload to a cavernous 1,700 litres. Even with a full complement of passengers on-board, you’ll be able to cram the shopping and the golf clubs into the 565 litre-boot space without the need for a return journey into town. As if all that wasn’t enough, the newly appointed roof spoilers are good for bearing a further 100kg of luggage. With all this stowage capacity, the Sportbreak is far more than just a pretty face.
Every aspect of life aboard the new XF estate, from driver assist systems like park assist and cruise control to infotainment on the go, is directed through a 10-inch Touch Pro display that plays the part of your on-board digital butler. From navigation to internal lighting, 20-point adjustable seats and even the air-cleansing Cabin Ionisation function, this central hub is your nerve centre for every trip out, whether it be long or short haul. In addition to the high-end creature comforts and top-grade upholstery already seen in the saloon variant, the Sportbreak debuts a full-colour 12.3-inch instrument cluster as part of the options list.
The XF saloon is, at heart, a performance-honed piece of machinery. The XF Sportbreak edition adopts its stablemate’s sports car-inspired character with agile handling and swift steering response. Balance is everything when it comes to designing an estate with salon-rivalling drivability on the road. To this end, the new XF Sportbreak throws its weight around evenly and efficiently, thanks to near perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. Saloon-worthy handling characteristics are bolstered by self-levelling air sprung rear suspension, adaptive dampers fitted, plus the option of fine-tuning steering, transmission and throttle settings on demand.
The overall stiffer and more lightweight suspension set-up familiar to many estates also makes use of several new traction-control technologies. Boiled down into layman’s terms, the acronym-heavy trio of All Surface Progress Control, Adaptive Surface Response and Intelligent Driveline Dynamics combine to optimise road-holing and cornering when grip is in short supply, thereby nipping understeering in the bud.
Beyond its handsome face and premium interior goodies, a big part of the XF’s ever-burgeoning appeal is down to its generous complement of powertrains. The Sportbreak roster gets a quota of five diesel and petrol units, each bringing customary big cat performance to the party
Anchoring the range is the turbocharged rear-wheel-drive Ingenium diesel, with 160 horses on tap. For their part, the middle-ranking 2.0 litre diesel units feature an incremental power hike plus the advantage of all-wheel-drive. Upscale to the range-topping V6 turbo diesel and feel the thrill of 296bhp and 0-60 in 6.1 seconds from this eight-speed automatic sports estate.
For those true petrol-heads in every sense of the word, a 247bhp 2.0-litre petrol is also on the menu, with rear-wheel-drive and automatic transmission.
The all-new Jaguar XF Sportsbreak will be produced alongside its existing saloon brethren at Jaguar Land Rover’s UK plant at Castle Bromwich. The four-tier trim list is topped by the XF Sportbrake S, with prices starting from £34,910.00 On-the-Road when order books open later this year.