2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S AWD, Review
Denis Flierl's picture

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S AWD; Low-Slung and Handsome

The 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S is an all-new wagon offered in the US. Will Americans warm up to it?
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The new XF Sportbrake is Jaguar’s first wagon they’ve offered in the U.S. since the X-Type Sport wagon was discontinued in 2009. Americans aren’t fond of wagons, but this low-sung handsome model could change some minds. The Sportbrake rolls on the same platform as the XF sedan and offers the same sporty driving dynamics with the extra load carrying capacity and winter road capability.

What’s new for 2018?

The XF Sportbrake wagon joined the U.S. lineup and comes with the most powerful engine the XF has to offer. Sportbrake wagons also come standard with all-wheel drive.

Features & Options

The 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S AWD ($70,450) comes loaded with features like 20-inch wheels and an S-specific body kit, which includes front and rear bumpers with gloss black accents, gloss black side sills, a trunk lid spoiler and badging. Also standard are both Adaptive and Configurable Dynamics systems, which includes a self-leveling air suspension that adjusts on the fly and allows you to configure vehicle systems individually.

The XF S Sportbrake is largely the same as its sedan counterpart, though it also includes a panoramic glass roof, roof rails, and a hands-free tailgate. This XF Sportbrake tester comes with the Technology package ($3,265) upgrades like a 10.2-inch touchscreen, navigation, and the 825-watt Meridian surround-sound system, and the driver's analog instrument panel is replaced with a large 12.3-inch digital display.

The Comfort and Convenience package ($1,805) includes front and rear heated seats, cooled front seats and a soft door close. The Driver Assist Package ($3,495) came with adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, adaptive speed limiter, 360-degree parking aid, surround camera, and blind spot and park assist. Also included was the Premium Interior Upgrade Package ($2,850). Total MSRP including destination: $84,245.

Interior Highlights

The cabin of the XF Sportbrake is as gorgeous as the outside. The cockpit is functional, logically organized, and fit and finish is above the norm. The huge 10.2-inch touchscreen sits in the middle of the dash and offers easy to see graphics. The cabin feels extra plush with lots of leather and soft-touch materials throughout and gets you ready for the sporty driving experience.

cab

The front seats are well-contoured and supportive and won’t leave you tired after a long trip. The driver enjoys considerable elbow room. While passenger space is ample, the rear seats are less accommodating for adults and we felt they could use softer cushions, and greater support. Yet, they hold both occupants neatly in position. The XF offers sufficient space for 6-foot occupants in the back seats.

Sportbrake wagons hold 31.7 cubic feet of cargo behind the back seat, expanding to 69.7 cubic feet with seatbacks folded flat, though the cargo hold isn’t tall if you need to carry large items.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The centerpiece of the XF Sportbrake S trim is the high-output supercharged V6, the most powerful engine offered in the XF. The 3.0-liter engine produces 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The power plant is mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels.

EPA fuel miles estimates come in at 18/25 city/highway mpg and 21 combined mpg.

Driving Dynamics

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake offers consumers something a typical SUV/Crossover can’t. It has the driving dynamics of a performance sports sedan. We found the XF’s strong V6 provided powerful acceleration and transmission offered smooth transmission shifts as we pushed the Sportwagon hard this week.

On the tight mountain curves, the suspension is tight with supple enough handling to provide a thoroughbred sports sedan dynamics in the XF S. The ride is comfortable on the open road and it soaks up the bumps well enough for long road trips. The steering is communicative as we navigated through heavy traffic and made quick lane changes this week in Denver.

Jaguar says the XF Sportbrake has a 50/50 weight balance and we could feel the neutral feel when cornering, and the XF always feels well-controlled giving the driver confidence on any road surface.

Superior ride quality is further enhanced with the optional Adaptive and Configurable Dynamics systems. The suspension adjusts on the fly and allows you to configure vehicle systems individually. You could combine the most dynamic engine-transmission setting with the softest suspension mode.

Conclusion

The 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S has handsome good looks, excels in performance and offers the driving dynamics few if any SUVs can. The Sportbrake offers the same sporty driving as the sedan but comes with the extra load carrying capacity and standard all-wheel-drive for winter road capability.

Photo credit: Jaguar USA


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