2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Review – Cars.com


this is the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake a
wagon version of Jags midsize luxury sedan
now other luxury brands like Audi and BMW have been running for the exits in
this class in recent years as they’ve dropped wagons from their lineups and
that got us thinking what is this car doing in America right now of all times
does it offer something different that those now gone luxury models didn’t that
might get shoppers to reconsider one of these over an SUV let’s find out if you
hang around car enthusiasts long enough you soon learn that many have an
affinity for wagons preferably with a manual transmission and a diesel engine
or in other words the automotive equivalent of a needle in a haystack the
XF Sportbrake doesn’t offer a diesel engine but it does have something for
the enthusiast driver with its supercharged v6 engine which offers
effortless acceleration unfortunately the engine works with an 8-speed
automatic transmission that’s uncooperative when you want to get the
most from that v6 is power full throttle kick downs are a drawn-out affair as the
transmission is in no hurry to down shift to a lower gear the XF Sportbrake
stays flat and planted in corners but numb steering feels a downer
you can tell Jaguar wants this wagon to appeal to driving enthusiasts but
all-in-all I don’t think there’s enough here for them the XF sedan starts at a
little less than $50,000 but to get the sport brake body style you have to spend
considerably more like around $22,000 more add in optional features and it
gets even more expensive the as-tested price of this sport break s is around
$85,000 that kind of pricing puts the sport brakes squarely in competition
with luxury models from Audi BMW and mercedes-benz but compared with the
German offerings the sport brakes cabin looks decidedly mainstream both in its
overall design and in the type of materials used you only have to look as
far as the delightfully luxurious cabin of the Mercedes e-class to see all that
you’re missing here the XF Sportbrake is more successful however when it comes to
carrying passengers and cargo front seat comfort is good and the side bolsters
keep you firmly in place in fast corners and the back seat is big enough
to comfortably carry it out passengers – if you need more space than the 31 point
7 cubic foot cargo area offers the back seat folds flat with the cargo floor for
a total of 69 point 7 cubic feet it’s a useful obstruction free space the only
thing compromising its utility somewhat is the shorter opening because the cars
raked roofline the SUV has replaced the wagon as America’s family vehicle but
wagons still have that utilitarian family hauler image even though they’re
now nothing like the ones of years past the XF Sportbrake drives the point home
it’s stylish and sporty with the same low slung stance as its sedan
counterpart and has an intimidating-looking front end with
gaping grilles finished in Firenze –red paint piano black accents and black
wheels it turns heads it wasn’t that long ago when Jaguar exclusively sold
cars but the British brand has jumped into SUVs in recent years first with the
mid-size F pace model and more recently with the compact e pace with the
popularity of SUV soaring the move makes a lot of sense but we still don’t know
what this thing is doing stateside even though its silhouette closely resembles
the F pace it’s low ride height is the critical difference in the thing that
will prevent it from ever being more than a niche model in the US you