New Jaguar XF Sportbrake features fresh tech

Gesture control sunroof, air purification system and Activity Key for ‘sports-car-inspired’ estate

The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake may not represent a huge aesthetic departure from the car it replaces, but Jaguar has fitted it with several new features the company hopes will draw in fresh customers.

Jaguar is proud of the XF Sportbrake’s panoramic sunroof, for example, which has a blind that can be opened with a swipe of the hand thanks to a new gesture control sensor.

Other high-end tech includes soft close doors, a driver fatigue warning system and an air purification system, which Jaguar says is capable of “neutralising odours and removing bacteria by releasing fine e-ion charged particles into the air stream.”

We've driven the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake – read our review here.

Engine range

The new XF Sportbrake is the estate version of Jaguar’s XF saloon – itself a rival to cars like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class.

While the Sportbrake shares much of the saloon’s engine range, Jaguar won’t offer it with the latter’s 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine – at least for now. Aside from that the engine options are identical, and weighted heavily towards diesel.

That means there are 161, 178 and 237bhp versions of Jag’s 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine, as well as a 296bhp 3.0-litre diesel. The sole petrol offering is a 247bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, though warm ‘S’ and hot ‘R’ models may be released at later dates. Rear-wheel drive is the default setup, though the 178 and 237bhp diesels can be had in 4x4 format. An automatic gearbox is standard across the range, while a manual is offered with the humblest diesel.

Economy ranges from 62.8mpg for the 161bhp diesel to 41.5mpg for the petrol engine, while company car drivers will gravitate towards the first of these thanks to CO2 emissions of 118g/km, which lead to a Benefit-in-Kind rating of 25%.

The fastest model is the 3.0-litre diesel (which goes from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds) and the slowest is the 161bhp diesel, which takes 9.3 seconds to do the same. Order the adjustable suspension if you like to fine-tune the suppleness of your ride, or choose from Standard, Eco, Dynamic and Rain driving modes.

All cars come with self-levelling air suspension, which has been designed to help manage a heavily-laden XF Sportbrake, or one making use of its 1,900-2,000kg towing limit.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake design

The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake is largely identical to the saloon at the front, with the same narrow light clusters, classic Jaguar mesh grille and chromed air vent strakes.

Things are obviously quite different at the rear, where the XF Sportbrake’s designers have catered to modern tastes for tapered rooflines and pronounced spoilers, designing a sleek and smooth back end.

The LED lights are inspired by the F-Type coupe’s, while – despite being fractionally smaller than the outgoing XF Sportbrake - the new car has been stretched under the metal, so its wheels are closer to the corners of the car. This leads to a more assertive stance and greater interior space.

Practicality

At 565 litres in volume, the new Sportbrake’s boot is just 15 litres larger than the outgoing car, while the 1,700-litre load area revealed when all seats are dropped represents a similar increase.

Individually-folding rear seats, a gesture-controlled electronic tailgate and a fully flat load floor mean despite this marginal growth, the Sportbrake should be easy to live with.

Interior, technology and equipment

Don’t expect big changes from the saloon, as the XF Sportbrake is offered with the same eight-inch Touch and 10-inch Touch Pro infotainment screens found in the saloon.

The air purification system is new though, as is the gesture-controlled sunroof blind. These, taken with the driver fatigue system and optional 12.3-inch digital dashboard mean the XF Sportbrake is no slouch in the tech department, and has enough toys to interest the most bored of executives. Those seeking to up the gizmo count will find Jaguar more than happy enough to please, thanks to the ambient lighting system, while the Activity Key strikes a happy balance between gadgetry and convenience.

The Activity Key is a waterproof wristband that allows you to lock the actual key inside the car and enjoy all manner of sports and pastimes, safe in the knowledge your car is secure. Once you’ve finished, the Activity Key enables you to unlock the car, retrieve the actual key and resume driving duties.

Other options range from the frivolous (personalised treadplates at the bottom of the doorframes) to the sensible (a 320-litre roof rack and rails with a 100kg capacity).

Safety

Adaptive cruise control, a blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert and a self-parking system are among the assistance systems on offer, in addition to the fatigue warning system previously mentioned

2017 Jaguar XF Sportbrake: price and on-sale date

The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake is available to order now, priced from £34,910.

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