The interior layout, fit and finish
Inside, the Sportbrake is typical XF, with its signature 'peek-a-boo' revolving air vents, retractable rotary gear selector and fancy phosphor blue ambient lighting. Small touches, such as an optional gesture-control-operated blind for the panoramic roof, add some opulence to the interior, but perceived quality is still disappointingly far behind that of Audi and BMW.
Jaguar’s Touch Pro infotainment system comes with a high-resolution, 10.0in screen as standard, along with Bluetooth and a DAB radio. It’s a vast improvement over Jaguar's systems of old, but still isn’t as responsive or as easy to use as BMW’s class-leading iDrive infotainment, nor quite up to the standards of Mercedes’ Comand or Audi’s MMI.
It’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel of the XF Sportbrake. The pedals line up neatly with the driver's seat, while the R-Sport model's sports seats are particularly comfortable and hold you in position tightly through corners. As standard, both the entry-level Prestige and R-Sport trims come with an eight-way, manually adjustable driver’s seat. This doesn't feature adjustable lumbar support, but its reclining function is electrically operated. Meanwhile, the two top trims (Portfolio and S) bring a 10-way, fully electrically adjustable driver’s seat that includes adjustable lumbar support as standard.
Seeing out of the front of the XF is easy enough: its thin windscreen pillars mean very little is obscured at junctions. That said, look over your shoulder while reversing and you’ll find the steeply raked rear pillars and relatively small rear screen make seeing obstacles trickier than it would be in, for example, an E-Class Estate or 5 Series Touring.
Thankfully, all XF Sportbrakes come with rear parking sensors and only the entry-level Prestige model misses out on front parking sensors; you can add these as a reasonably priced option, though. Portfolio and S models add a reversing camera for added assistance.
At night, the standard xenon headlights prove effective and it's not drastically expensive to upgrade to even brighter LED headlights, which also bring an automatic main beam function.