Home / Auto / Jaguar XF Sportbrake REVIEW – Should you still be buying an estate car in 2019? 

Jaguar XF Sportbrake REVIEW – Should you still be buying an estate car in 2019? 

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019 (Image: JAGUAR)

Estate cars are becoming a fairly maligned market segment as the colossal rise of the SUV charges on without any hope of slowing down. A victim of circumstance much like the saloon as compact, mini, medium and large SUVs embed their claws deeper. 

Do they still have a place? Should you realistically out your money down to purchase one when for around the same cash you can get arguably more practicality elsewhere?  Of course, this is wholly subjective, but they do still have a place. 

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake is a prime example of a capable estate car. It’s fast, comfortable, has a good driving position and when specified with all-wheel drive (AWD) it can really hold its own when the terrain gets tough.

Cars like the XF Sportbrake make you wonder why estate vehicles have become less popular as it is good-looking, practical, fast and drives really well. 

It ticks all the right boxes and is not as ugly as some of the older estates which haven’t aged too well. The rear is almost designed like a compact SUV which I think helps buyers in the current market who are gravitating towards the larger form factor of an SUV. 

Jaguar’s styling has been some of the most consistent as of late, as its peers such as BMW go on a pursuit of the giant grilles that nobody asked for. It has fierce competition from the competent, assured and stylish Germans producing stunning Audi’s and Mercedes but the Brit firm still has a lot to offer.

The premium XF Sportbrake is a gorgeous creature with a sporty and dominant front-end. The strong bonnet contours, chunky air intakes, and chrome lined grille and overall front end design puts it ahead of its rivals which include the Mercedes E Class Estate, Volvo V90 and BMW 5 Series Touring. It’s 2019 minor facelift is evolutionary, instead of revolutionary which isn’t a bad thing as it was already so good looking. 

It isn’t, however, as consistent on the inside of the car. The interior, on the whole, is lovely with sporty leather seats which hug your body and soft-touch materials across the dashboard and centre console. It has a great seating position which is comfortable and makes you feel in control at all times. 

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019 (Image: JAGUAR)

There are a few telling signs where Jag cut a few corners in the car’s cabin. Some of the plastics used that flank the centre console and on the door panels but overall the car feel cheap.

There are a number of handy features including the USB ports in the centre console which allows you to tuck your phone away but enjoy the functionality of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

In the rear, there isn’t so great for three people but is a lot better than the smaller XE and probably worth the relatively small premium. Two passengers could fit fairly comfortably in the rear but adding the third in the middle may feel a little cramped.  

The vehicle also has a 565-litre boot, and with the 40/20/40 rear folding seats folded down, it can be extended to 1,700 litres. The boot is also well designed as it has no load lip and is boxy in shape means it is easy to land and has a useful and usable boot space. 

When sitting in the driving seat you feel like the car’s controls and dials wraparound you. 

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019 (Image: JAGUAR)

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019 (Image: JAGUAR)

The 10.2-inch infotainment system is not the best and sometimes the navigation has some odd anomalies. There are also at times too many screens you have to go through to achieve a simple task such as pairing your phone and getting music playing.

Of course, if you specify car to have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto then these issues quickly wash away but it is, all the same, a little frustrating. The sound system is good, however, and it punchy, balanced and loud and one of the better features of the car’s interior. 

The automatic transmission is responsive and handles it shifts well on the motorway but when you want to kick up the revs you can use the manual shift paddles to give it a little more roar. However, there are a few instances where it can’t make its mind up which gear to be in and you sort of hang in limbo for a split second or two until it figures out what gear it should be in.

The petrol variant has significantly more oomph and a satisfying roar from the engine but the diesel options are going to allow you to go further so you’ve got to look what your priorities are. 

It’s really nice to drive and is fun over long distances and if you choose the diesel variant then you’ll get better fuel economy. The steering is responsive and sharp which is good for a vehicle of its size and allows you to corner confidently without the car feel lied its lumbering around.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019 (Image: JAGUAR)

The HUD is a great feature and is clear and accurate and when using navigation it displays where you need to turn in front of the driver and on the digital instrument cluster which means that you on’t have to look away. 

When the terrain gets tough and you feel the wheels spinning out you can whack it into a dedicated snow mode which will provide extra grip and allow it to correct itself any time that you may slip around.

During Express.co.uk’s testing of the car in the snowy South of France it handled the ice and snow with assurance. It was also tested on a ski run pulling people on skis behind it.

The car managed to put its power down confidently without spinning out. This will be in part due to the AWD as RWD cars aren’t famed for their prowess on icy terrains. If you think you’ll regularly be driving on icy terrains then the AWD would be a sensible choice but the RWD will be suitable for most motorists. 


While you wouldn’t regret driving the XF and owning one, you may look out your rear window one day and see the F Pace and wonder if you made the right call. 

However, if you want an impressive estate car which is capable, comfortable and practical as well as stylish then you can’t really look past the XF Sportbrake. 


Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019 (Image: JAGUAR)

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2019 (Image: JAGUAR)

Specs sheets

Diesel tested 

Jaguar XF Sportbrake S 3.0l 300ps diesel RWD

  • Engine: 3.0 litre V6 TwinTurbocharged Diesel
  • Power: 300PS
  • Torque:  700Nm
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
  • 0-60mph – 6.1 seconds
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • Fuel economy: 46.3 mpg
  • CO2 emissions: 160g/km
  • Price: £54,010

Petrol tested

Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport 2.0l 300ps petrol AWD

  • Engine: 3.0 litre 4 Cylinder Turbocharged Petrol
  • Power: 300 PS
  • Torque: 400Nm 
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
  • 0-60mph: 5.7 seconds 
  • Top speed: 155mph
  • Fuel economy: 36.2 mpg 
  • CO2 emissions: 155 g/km
  • Price: £44,700

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