Jaguar XF Sportbrake Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Car Review

Jaguar XF Sportbrake review

£35,720 - £54,125
Published: 23 Apr 2021


What is it like on the inside?

Starting at the back, we’ve got an electric tailgate as standard, and a 565-litre boot with all the seats up. Thanks to the facelifted XF’s redrawn bumpers, hot exhausts no longer protrude through the rear bumper and risk branding rings onto your shins while you’re loading in your outdoor leisure equipment. Result.

Lean through the metre-wide aperture, release the back seat clamps via robust plastic levers and they’ll spring forward and lie obediently flat. You can either drop the lot, or in the 40:20:40 split.

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This opens up a 1,700-litre load bay with all manner of lashing hooks. It’s a useful, flat-sided space with a sensibly low sill. Jaguar says, without a hint of irony, the space has been tailored to fit two golf caddy trollies and two golf bags.

Got other hobbies? Fancy towing the boat, the quad bikes or heaven forbid, the caravan? An electrically deployable towbar is a £990 option, or a detachable one comes in at £705.

In the back seats, the Sportbrake immediately wins out versus the saloon. The flatter roofline has opened up more headroom, and the XF’s never struggled for legroom, so it’s easily capable of seating adults over six feet behind similarly lanky front-seaters. They get their own climate control pod for an extra £640.

The seat backs fold flat (spring-loaded to drop the backrests quickly without complicated and heavy electrified mechanisms) while the boot’s side walls have been smoothed to stop wheelarch intrusions blocking bulky items. Roof rails are standard for mounting a roofbox. Or a canoe.

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Add in copious lashing points and removable dividers (fitted to the optional loadspace rails) and you’re looking at a well-thought-out estate car boot. Job done.

Up front, Jaguar’s completely binned the old XF’s entire dashboard with its eccentric rotating air vents and horribly dated switchgear. Front and centre is the new 11.4-inch Pivi Pro touchscreen from the very latest Land Rovers, complete with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus dual-core processors for swift over-the-air updates. At last.

Jaguar has been behind the times on infotainment since the invention of the smartphone. Here’s hoping this is the system to catch up. The curved display looks fabulous and it reacts swiftly, but one or two of the sub-menus remain fiddly, particularly in the navigation module. But you won’t use that now your phone can beam Waze or Google Maps up instantly…

Behind the refreshed, slightly tacky steering wheel is a 12.3-inch digital dial display which shoots for Audi Virtual Cockpit usability and misses, but it’s an attractive interface nonetheless.

A couple of the minor tweaks are a little less successful than hoped. The haptic flexi-panel for operating the climate functions between the tactile rotary dials looks and feels cheap, and the gear selector (while more intuitive than the old spinning dial) is easy to knock while you’re aiming to prod the screen.

Clearly Jaguar noticed this – thankfully you can’t accidentally select Neutral on the move. Oh, and the seats are a touch firm – a Volvo V90 offers a more welcoming, cosseting embrace. But overall, this is still a fine place to cover miles.

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