Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.2D 200 Sport
Week ending August 30
Current mileage 9130
Miles this week 210
Read the full Jaguar XF Sportbrake review
Another week, another observation about the XF Sportbrake's boot space.
Rory might have had some concerns about the swooping roofline when trying to cram five people's luggage into the back of the Jag, but my loading requirements were a little different.
Now that the roof bars have been taken off the top of the Jag (leaving them there would only make the XF's already poor fuel economy even worse) I was left having to slot two mountain bikes into the boot.
Height is rarely an issue when I do this, as we take the front wheels off the bikes so the handlebars lie flat, but width and ease of access can be.
However, the XF couldn't have been easier to load. The seats dropped weightily via the two handles in the boot (a blessing when you are trying to cling onto a wheel-less bike) and the resultant loading bay was totally flat so there were no obstacles to be lifted over. The totally flat entry-lip meant I had a handy and comfy seat to change my shoes as well. Who needs roof bars anyway?
By Tom Webster
Week ending August 23
Current mileage 8920
Miles this week 332
With a weekend trip to the Isle of Wight planned, and five people to transport, our Jaguar XF looked the perfect tool for the job.
My only concern was boot space. Yes, 550 litres seems a lot, but the Sportbrake’s swooping lines make for a shallow space, leaving me wondering whether five people's weekend luggage could be crammed in. It could, just.
The Jag impressed in other ways, too because even with bags piled to the boot ceiling and the weight of five people it had plenty of pace and managed to return 35.3mpg.
The only annoyances concerned the Jag’s sluggish gearbox, which requires you to plan ahead when pulling out on busy roundabouts, and a squeaky driver's seat. The squeaks aren’t loud enough to be heard over the radio, but it’s enough that it should be looked at. A trip to the dealer is in order.
By Rory White
Week ending August 9
Current mileage 8588
Miles this week 488
My dad is a big Jaguar fan, so it seemed only right that I borrow our XF Sportbrake to take him and his better half to the airport this week.
The Jag estate was an excellent upmarket taxi. Despite being a bit shallow, the boot took four suitcases and a couple of smaller bags, so all their luggage fitted easily enough. The revolving air vents and rising gear selector got the thumbs up for adding a touch of glamour, while the rest of the interior’s appearance was praised.
Things got even better on the move, where the XF was comfortable and quiet on the motorway, so the 10-mile journey to Heathrow felt even shorter.
It was a first-class experience all round, so I’m sure that if I'd been a real taxi driver I’d have got a big tip!
By Barnaby Jones
Week ending August 2
Driven this week 2100
Lots of miles last week, very few of which were covered in the UK. The Jag took myself and two friends down to the southeast of France for a week of sunshine, cycling and following the Tour de France.
The car absolutely chomped through the 600 miles on the other side of the Channel, so we stopped only once for fuel on the way down and once on the ay back. This was despite the car’s aerodynamics being significantly affected by the addition of a roof-mounted cycle carrier and two bikes. As well as a bootful of holiday luggage.
The car itself was pretty quiet, although the bikes obviously affected wind noise somewhat, but interestingly (and irritatingly), the cycle carrier made more noise when the bikes weren’t on it. The whistling was constant and loud – every single mile we did above 50mph was accompanied by what sounded like the opening refrain from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on constant repeat. Still, the Meridian audio system in our car did a good job of drowning out Ennio Morricone’s finest effort.
The Jag did the whole trip at an average of 35.2mpg, which was as good as expected, and everyone commented on how comfortable and roomy it was. It may not have quite the space of executive rivals such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but it was still more than roomy enough for our needs.
It dealt with long motorway miles with ease and was surefooted and stable on the twists of the many mountain passes we used too. We even slept in the boot on one memorable night before the Alpe d’Huez stage. On top of that, it drew loads of glances, although this may have been partly because the Team Sky cycling team and Tour de France winner Chris Froome (well done Chris – allez allez allez) are supported by black XF Sportbrakes wherever they go.
The Jag dispensed with the trip back easily and cleaned up quickly once back, a testament to the quality of the materials used outside and in.
If the Jag has a downside, it’s the eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is far too keen to change up at the earliest possible moment, and which is too slow to change down when you need it to, such as when entering roundabouts.
Nonetheless, one thing’s for sure, if I have another long mile-heavy holiday trip in the offing, I’ll be asking for the Jag’s keys again.