Used Jaguar XF Sportbrake long-term test review
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...
The car Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport 2.0i 300PS petrol AWD Run by Alastair Clements, special contributor
Why it’s here There are some great deals to be had on nearly new XFs, with the facelifted model just around the corner. 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 8020 List price new (2018) £47,415 Price new with options £55,315 Value now £21,406 Test economy 22.8mpg Official economy 28.9mpg (WLTP)
21 February 2021 – Dashing through the snow
It’s been a while since Jaguar dined at the top table of motorsport, yet the brand remains synonymous with racing success and its road cars, while clearly large and luxurious, are in most cases at or near the top of their respective classes dynamically.
Unfortunately, conditions – both climatic and due to the pandemic – have prevented me from enjoying the XF Sportbrake’s dynamic qualities to the full. I’d dearly love a bit of time on a track to explore its limits, but recently I did at least get to lap one of the UK’s most famous race circuits, albeit at less than 10mph.
In a clever piece of coronavirus-safe Christmas planning, Silverstone race circuit put on a brilliant event called ‘Lap Land’, for which it created an amazing light show that you could drive through in your car, on the hallowed Tarmac of the Grand Prix circuit.
Not only was it a great evening out for me and daughter Niamh – even if it was frustrating to have to trickle around the track at tickover – but also a good excuse for a motorway blast to Northamptonshire and back. Here the Jaguar is in its element, the ride comfortable without being wallowy, the seats brilliant despite their lack of adjustable lumbar support. The only challenge is keeping within the speed limit, such is the XF’s potency and serenity at speed.
Around town it can be a bit less serene. My car is a four-wheel-drive model and you really feel the embodied energy when you put your foot down; for example, the car can 'snatch' when pulling away with steering lock on. The gearbox whines like that of a classic car when it’s cold, too.
A more recent, particularly chilly snap, however, underlined the value of having all four wheels driven. During a sustained period of snowfall, the Jaguar felt surefooted and confident, cruising past a stranded rear-drive BMW and negotiating a roundabout that had claimed three Mercedes so far that day.
With the JaguarDrive control set to ‘Rain Ice Snow’ the engine’s power was kept in check and there was barely any wheelspin, making the car feel totally safe when we had to venture out. Toasty warm, too: the heated steering wheel and seats (part of the cold climate pack) are a godsend – and the children are particularly pleased that they get chair-warmers in the back as well.
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