|Jaguar's new model splurge continues with the launch of the second-generation XF Sportbrake, the estate version of its executive model.|
|Key rival:||BMW 5-Series Touring|
|Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.0i 250hp R-Sport|
Estate cars have always been favoured in the executive sector, tending to take a decent share of sales in Europe. However, that isn’t the case in America, which is one reason Jaguar pushed ahead with its F-Pace SUV ahead of getting the new XF Sportbrake to market. Still, it’s here now, and is a classy and stylish estate that costs around £2,400 more than the equivalent XF saloon. The estate range is slightly smaller than the four-door’s though; for example, there’s no manual 180hp diesel and no all-wheel-drive petrol models.
The available engines are 163hp, 180hp, 240hp and 300hp diesels, and 250hp or 300hp petrol engines. All are 2.0-litre units with the exception of the most powerful diesel, which is a 3.0-litre. Every engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission, although the smallest diesel also comes as a six-speed manual. On top of that, two of the diesels are offered with Jaguar’s all-wheel drive system as well as in rear-drive form. Emissions are a touch higher for the estate than the saloon, although it’s marginal and will take the car up one company car tax band at most.The new car is 6mm shorter than the previous XF Sportbrake, but has a wheelbase that’s 51mm longer, so interior room is good. Boot space is increased by 15 litres to 565, which is 25 more than the saloon, and mid-way between the BMW 5-Series Touring and Volvo V90, five litres behind the former and ahead of the latter.
The load area is a decent size but has a slightly narrow opening, so loading large items isn’t as easy as it might be. Self-levelling suspension is standard so heavy loads will have minimal effect on the drive.
The lower of the two petrol engines driven here, the 250hp 2.0-litre, has a lovely raspy note, and costs £2,480 less than the 240hp diesel, although that’s partially balanced by its emissions of 155g/km versus 144g/km for the diesel. That’s close enough that the petrol is two benefit-in-kind bands lower thanks to the latest BIK changes, and provides another example of the less-efficient car being more tax efficient. Meanwhile, a petrol BMW 5-Series gets down to 139g/km while offering 252hp, but the Jaguar is a touch more efficient than Audi or Volvo rivals.