★★★★☆ | Jaguar XF R-Sport 250ps Sportbrake
In the summer THEGAYUK went to the unveiling of the new XF Sportbrake set in a Wimbledon style setting. Much was to be made of the new Jaguar XF with added room.
Sadly on the day, the cars were all kept locked so I was only able to look at the outside. It’s easy to say “yes it looks ok” when you haven’t got up close and personal. Thankfully two bridges have been crossed because THEGAYUK has enjoyed time with the XF saloon and now the Sportbrake.
Running wise the two cars were identical in having the 2-litre petrol turbo Ingenium engine making 250 horses. Oddly the official performance figures are somewhat chalk and cheese for both cars. The Sportbrake will do the 0-60 dash 0.5 seconds slower but will achieve 3 mph more.
These figures aside, it is the overall package that I was looking briefly at on a Jaguar play day. Now having been able to play with both I can say that I actually prefer the looks of the Sportbrake. There is often a little bit of style lost and extra length added to a saloon when it becomes an estate. However, Jaguar has been clever in keeping the 2 cars on the same platform equating to both being the same length of 4954mm.
As expected, around 70kg of extra weight has been added to a car capable of carrying extra cargo. This being made up of the hefty tailgate and extra metal required to retain rigidity around the opening. A small price to pay and yet for a car with an aluminium construction, it is anything but light with a kerb weight of 2260kg.
Load area with the seats up gains an extra 25 litres too. Increasing to a maximum of 1700 litres with the 40:20:40 split folding rear seats down.
What can become problematic for the estate style body is humming from the wheels reverberating around the cabin because the boot area is left fully exposed to the cabin. As you’d expect in the refinement of the Jaguar, there is no such noise. Being as the car glides effortlessly with little fuss, any noise would be amplified. I’m glad to say it wasn’t.
What is quite disconcerting is the sheer amount of openness you get when inside. Look over your shoulder and it does feel like the cabin goes on for miles. It’s big and yet no more than the saloon.
Here though is the big question. Is there room for another estate on the market when the rise of the SUV doesn’t seem to be stopping? It’s a tricky one to answer. As it is, Jaguar has 2 SUV’s in their range and those 2 are evenly matched by their Range Rover counterparts.
It will have buyers. Not everyone wants an SUV. For one thing, an SUV, no matter whose badge it wears, lacks visual prestige a saloon or in this case, an estate can offer. And with the handling credentials of the saloon being evenly matched to this Sportbrake l can’t see anyone who opts for the XF being remotely upset in having a car that sits lower down. In terms of style, the estate offerings of the XF really do make Jaguars slogan of Grace, Pace and Space come true.
Car – Jaguar XF R-Sport 250ps Sportbrake
Price – (from) £42,435
MPG – 41.5 mpg (combined)
Power – 0-62mph – 6.7 seconds
Top Speed – 150 mph
Co2 – 155 (g/km)