Used Jaguar XF Sportbrake long-term test: report 4

Jaguar’s luxurious load-lugger has just been facelifted. However, we’ve acquired a used example to see whether its pleasures can be enjoyed on a budget...

Used Jaguar XF Sportbrake long-term test review

The car Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport 2.0i 300PS petrol AWD Run by Alastair Clements, special contributor

Why it’s here Now that the facelifted model has been released, there are some great deals to be had on nearly new XFs. How does it stack up as a used buy?

Needs to Offer driver appeal and practicality in equal measure as it juggles the dual roles of executive express and family hauler

Mileage 8779 List price new (2018) £47,415 Price new with options £55,315 Value now £21,406 Test economy 19.4mpg Official economy 28.9mpg (WLTP)

30 March 2021 – Luxury with practicality

That the Jaguar XF Sportbrake is good to drive comes as little surprise – in fact, it's just as good as its saloon sibling – but for an estate car practicality is at least as important, if not more so. And in this class that isn’t always a given: the dreaded ‘lifestyle' label is often applied, and the Jaguar wagon’s name conjures images of old-school shooting brakes that tended to prioritise style over outright load-lugging ability.

But in fact the Sportbrake is a brilliant estate car. Not as capacious as the Mercedes E-Class Estate, for sure, but far from a token gesture with more than 550 litres of space with the seats up, and a whopping 1724 litres with them folded. 

Used Jaguar XF Sportbrake long-term test review

During lockdown I have exploited that capacity to the full, volunteering for my local food bank, and discovered that outright capacity is far from the only quality. Once you've removed the fiddly cover, dropping the seats takes just a tug of the levers located just inside the boot aperture, and they tumble forward to create a completely flat and regularly shaped load area – ideally suited to the plastic boxes the charity uses to parcel up its donations. 

Perhaps more useful still is how well it takes to the mundane practicalities of family life. There’s plenty of room for my two spaniels, and when they get wet and muddy on a walk and shake themselves dry inside the car – as they invariably do – the ‘Ebony’ suede-effect headlining doesn’t show the dirt. A luggage net above the automatically retracting load-bay cover prevents them from jumping into the back, and the rubber boot mat fitted to my car keeps the carpet beneath clean.

Used Jaguar XF Sportbrake long-term test review

Safely protected from the grubby mutts behind, the kids have been delighted by travelling in the Jaguar. There’s limousine-like comfort, with plenty of legroom even with the seat well back for me, and they are well served with a charging point, ventilation outlets and heated seats – the latter part of the £760 Cold Climate Pack my car had fitted from new.

One of the joys of buying secondhand is being able to take advantage of all the expensive options the first owner chose without having to pay extra for them, and my car is no exception. Lockdown has so far prevented me from doing any towing, but when I do the electric fold-away towbar (a £990 option) has a useful feature to make life easier, with a button that sets all of the lighting functions working so you can check your caravan or trailer electrics are correctly connected even when towing solo.

Used Jaguar XF Sportbrake long-term test review

A powerpoint alongside those buttons is ideal for charging leisure items on the go, and the runners fitted to the floor of my car have adjustable tie-down points to prevent loads moving around when you take advantage of the XF’s excellent handling on a twisty road. The only gripe is that the fairly heavily grained black plastics that surround the boot are tricky to clean, and local restrictions haven’t been relaxed enough for the nearest valeter to reopen.

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