Test: Jaguar XF Sportbrake D200 RWD Auto SE: a charming combination

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A diesel-powered estate car is the kind of proposal not to be dismissed. In our opinion, it’s the ideal way to swallow mileage. And when it doesn’t involve the inevitable German trio, it becomes even more desirable. Just because a Jaguar always brings a little extra soul and originality with it. So what’s new about this 2021 XF?

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The British brand’s beautiful mid-size estate has just been given a few modern touches both outside and inside. The 2021 XF headlights get the new light signature, an F-Pace feature, too. It consisits of a double LED « J » and a chrome-rimmed grille. The front bumper features slimmer air intakes, while, on most models, the tailpipes seem to disappear at the base of the rear one. However, it is the new wheels design that will stand out ; like the 20-inch ones on our test car. Under the bonnet, the 2.0 Diesel is fitted with a light MHEV hybrid to lower average fuel consumption values and reduced CO² emissions. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox and just one version is available, with 204 bhp and 430 Nm torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard but 4WD is available too.

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I like it

Inside, the fit and finish are quite impressive. Our test car featured beautiful materials such as leather and chrome elements… which, unfortunately, caused quite a few annoying reflections in certain situations. Obviously, the big news is the new central floating screen. Its diagonal size was increased from 10 to 11″4 while the digital instrument cluster in front of the driver was extended to 12″3. Several display choices are available. For a little more elegance, the steering wheel was slimmed down. On the connectivity side, there is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration in the Pivi Pro infotainment system, which is widely used by the JLR Group. Finally, the seats are comfortable and supportive, even when using all the power available in tight curves.

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Quite clever

On the road, this Jag is a very accomplished car. The diesel is very silent and kilometres are swallowed serenely. On dry surfaces, the rear-wheels always behave properly and we are convinced that, with its multiple driving aids, the XF Sportbrake never plays any bad tricks on its driver. Just like a British brand that has managed to make most owners forget about their rear-wheel drive cars. A leisurely drive is the best way to taste this beautiful British car… and fuel consumption even remained under 5.5 l/100 km.

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I don’t like it

Rear passenger room and boot space have never been strong points of the XF Sportbrake. However, its exterior lines elegance make up for many shortcomings. We regret the disappearance of the retractable gearbox control knob and the ventilation outlet mechanism which brought a nice touch of originality to the whole dashboard. The lever used now is much more mainstream.

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Why I buy it

You know what we think of SUVs and other crossovers, so just because it’s not one of them, the Jaguar estate seduces us. Its classic and sober lines, its refined interior and its sober and sufficiently powerful engine give it qualities capable of convincing those who like originality. Not to mention the well-designed and updated infotainment system. In shades of brown, it adds an extra touch of class to the atmosphere. Available from €56,250, the Diesel RWD is the cheapest model in the range. There are three trim levels: S, SE and HSE. Our test car was an SE version with, among other things, Premium LED headlights, 20-inch wheels (€ 1525), perforated grained leather seats with 16-way power adjustment, Engineered Wood interior finish and the 400w Meridian 13-speaker audio system (€ 584).

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Why I don’t buy it

The disappearance of V6 engines from the XF range is not fooling anyone. It’s time to hybridize everything, and this only concerns 4 cylinders, whether they are petrol or diesel doesn’t matter much.  In our view, this is obviously regrettable as we love aristocratic, nice engines. The rear passenger compartment space and the load bay are not the biggest around. However, we wonder why this XF is not more commonly seen on the road, , like a certain Alfa Romeo Giulia. Obviously, originality doesn’t pay off in a market segment where everybody wants the same German car as the neighbours… (Translation: Dimitri Urbain)

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