Aspirational practicality

Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
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The XF is a much improved model in the Jaguar line up but while the market has responded to the improvements that have been made, there’s not been a lot of variety in the choice of bodystyles on offer - until the XF Sportbrake arrived.

This sporty estate model features a 550-litre boot and sleek styling.

The XF Sportbrake is the first Jaguar to be launched without a petrol engine in the engine line-up. Jaguar reckon never to say never on that particular score, but for the time being at least, Sportbrake customers get to choose between a 2.2-litre diesel and a 3.0-litre - and both come in two differing states of tune. The 3.0-litre diesel is available in 240 and 275PS flavours and there’s an economical four-cylinder 2.2-litre, good for either 163 or 200PS. Why such a focus on oil burners? Jaguar’s figures show that the XF saloon sells overwhelmingly in diesel form and given that estate buyers tend to be even more practical, it really made sense to focus on offering economical, low emission engines.

The entry level 163PS 2.2-litre diesel will be quick enough for most, stopping the watch as it passes through 60mph in 10 seconds. The 200PS version, which is actually just as clean and economical, manages it in 8.2s, on the way to a 142mph maximum.

Jaguar is off to a good start on the Sportbrake as the XF is widely acknowledged as one of the cleanest pieces of styling in its class. The rear glasshouse is artfully integrated into the car’s existing chassis hard points, with a genuinely sleek roofline which arches over the rear quarter-lights.

The Jaguar XF was always an easy car to recommend if you wanted a saloon. Unfortunately, not that many people actually do. They want the status of the aspirational badge, but also want an element of practicality, of being able to get the goods in at IKEA or get the rubbish out to the tip. The XF Sportbrake does the practical things very well.

So far it’s hard to pin a single black mark on TATA Motors’ stewardship of Jaguar. Everything is bang on the button and the XF Sportbrake continues that winning run of form.