Sunday, September 30, 2018

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Jaguar XF SportBrake AWD
  • ENGINE: 3.0-liter supercharged V6  
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with paddles 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 300 hp/332 lb.-ft.  
  • WHEELBASE: 116.5 in  
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 195.1 x 82.3 x 58.9 in. 
  • TIRES: P275/55R20   
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 20.0/60.0 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)  
  • ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway/19.8 mpg test  
  • FUEL TANK: 17.4 gal.  
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,200 lbs. (est.) #/HP: 14.0  
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 4,400 lbs.  
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volvo V90
  • STICKER: $84,245 (includes $995 delivery, $ 12,800 options)
  • BOTTOM LINE: Combine the practicality of a station wagon with the luxury and handling of a Jaguar XF, and you have the XF SportBrake, a vehicle with very few flaws. 

            I have driven station wagons in my day. Heck, I even owned a Ford LTD Country Squire back in the day. But the Jaguar XF SportBrake is a new take on the old theme. Yes, despite its name, it is a STATION WAGON. Get over it. 
            Unlike the Country Squire, the SportBrake has excellent ride quality. It’s hard to believe you’re driving one of these. Handling is excellent, but then, it is a Jaguar. We had the opportunity to drive the SportBrake over some unfamiliar winding roads at a high rate of speed, and never felt out of control. We also got to play with it on our usual assortment of roads and had a ball.
            On back roads and highways the ride is firm, but comfortable. We had issues with the cruise control and limit control on the highway, but once we sorted these out, we were fine. You see, the XF has a speed control that looks like cruise control. What it does is keep you at or below your set speed. My problem was that the switches look like cruise control switches, but they aren’t. On the other side, the cruise control has no on/off switch, you just set it. 
            My grandkids loved riding in the back seat, even with limited leg room. They’re addicts to side window shades, so the XF was in their wheelhouse.
            With the second row seats up, cargo capacity is very good. On our trip up we took clothes for the weekend plus food. We returned with three large chrysanthemum plants and still had plenty of cargo capacity. 
            In this modern world of SUVs, styling of the XF SportBrake is sleek and low. It still evoked aahs and “ooh it’s a Jaguar” comments.
            The supercharged 3.0-liter V6 delivers good power. There was never any need for more, even though we traveled a few Interstate miles. It also drove well at normal speeds.
            IN front of the driver is an interesting speedometer. It has enough tick marks to reach well over 100 mph, but only displays the nearest 10 mph around the pointer. In general, the controls are clear, but there is a learning curve, as with the cruise and limit controls.
            Thankfully, there is a good HVAC system. We drove the XF during some hot Indian summer weather, but the HVAC cooled the cabin quickly and efficiently. 
            Front seats are comfortable with good side support, but don’t forget, this is a Jaguar. Rear legroom is adequate but limited. Rear seats are comfortable and heated, plus they have their own HVAC controls. My granddaughters liked the huge sunroof that extended all the way to the backs of the rear seats. Rear seat back releases are located in the cargo area. 
            All in all, the Jaguar XF SportBrake has all the qualities of the XF sedan plus the added advantage of station wagon utility. And, unlike SUVs, that utility comes without compromising style.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate 

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