The 2.0-litre diesel engines have impressively low CO2 emissions, so they make excellent choices for company car drivers. In fact, the entry-level rear-wheel-drive 2.0d 163 is one of the cleanest estates of this size. We’d still suggest the 2.0d 180 will be the pick of the range for the best blend of performance and running costs.
The V6 diesel is competitively efficient but costs a lot to buy, because it's available only in range-topping Portfolio and S trims. Meanwhile, the only petrol engine, a 247bhp 2.0-litre turbo, is surprisingly frugal – officially, at least.
In terms of equipment, entry-level Prestige comes with plenty of kit including air-con, an 8.0 touchscreen with DAB radio and sat-nav, as well as a digital instrument cluster. However, we’d opt for R-Sport, since you also get front parking sensors and more aggressive styling – the latter including black detailing, bigger alloy wheels and a bespoke bodykit.
A more luxurious choice is Portfolio, which features all the R-Sport kit (minus the bodykit and sports seats) but adds a reversing camera, keyless entry and an upgraded 380W sound system. Range-topping S is available exclusively with the six-cylinder diesel engine and isn’t really worth the extra outlay unless performance is a priority.
Every XF Sportbrake gets a host of safety equipment as standard, including automatic emergency braking, a lane departure warning system and six airbags. There’s also an optional Active Safety Pack, which adds driver attention monitoring and a feature that warns you if another vehicle is about to cross your path while you’re reversing. The XF (including both the saloon and Sportbrake) received a maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, scoring solidly in all four test categories.
An alarm and engine immobiliser are on hand to deter thieves. Indeed, security firm Thatcham Research has run its security test and awarded the XF full marks for its resistance to being driven away and four stars (out of five) for its ability to resist a break-in.