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Used test: BMW 5 Series Touring vs Jaguar XF Sportbrake interiors

If you're after a plush, capable estate car for a reasonable price, look no further than used examples of these two. But which is the better buy?...

New Jaguar XF Sportbrake vs BMW 5 Series Touring


Driving position, visibility, build quality, practicality

You’ll be able to get comfortable fairly easily in the driver’s seat of either car, thanks to a wide range of adjustment for the steering wheels and seats. Electric seat-height adjustment came as standard on both, but fully electric seats would have cost the original owner extra, as would adjustable lumbar support. Lumbar support adjustment is well worth seeking out on a used car for long-distance comfort.

Visibility is excellent, helped in the dark by some impressive standard headlights. The Jaguar XF Sportbrake has xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights, while the BMW 5 Series Touring has sharper full LED units. Upgrading the XF to LED headlights (which turn with the steering wheel and provide automatic high-beam assist) cost £1275 when the car was new. Adding turning headlights and high-beam assist to the 5 Series would have cost £1295.

New Jaguar XF Sportbrake vs BMW 5 Series Touring

Unfortunately, neither car gets a reversing camera as standard, but self-parking systems with 360-degree cameras were available from new for £1095 in the 5 Series and £1690 in the XF. They're another useful option we would look for on a used car. 

The 5 Series is in a different league to the XF in terms of interior quality. The finish on its dashboard is plusher and more upmarket, and the way the dials and buttons operate makes the 5 Series feel like a Swiss timepiece to the XF’s 1980s Casio watch.

New Jaguar XF Sportbrake vs BMW 5 Series Touring

There’s enough room up front for two tall adults in both cars. However, a basketball player would appreciate the extra head and leg room in the front of the 5 Series.

The 5 Series has more rear head room too, and its broader interior makes it the better bet when you need to carry three adults in the back. Mind you, a couple of six-footers will be perfectly comfortable in the back of the XF and will have a little more space for their knees.

New Jaguar XF Sportbrake vs BMW 5 Series Touring

We managed to fit seven carry-on suitcases in the XF’s boot, but the 5 Series went one better with eight, thanks to its wider and longer load bay. Neither boot has an internal lip, so it’s equally easy to slide items in and out, although the 5 Series’ has a wider opening.

Dropping the rear seats is simple in both cars, achieved by pressing a button in the boot. The XF Sportbrake has a slightly longer load bay with the rear seats down and its seats lie flatter than in the 5 Series Touring. Both come with a powered tailgate as standard, and as a bonus, the BMW 5 Series enables you to open just the tailgate window.