For luxury buyers who want a sports sedan but need more capacity for runs to Home Depot or the polo field, Jaguar offers the new XF Sportbrake, a wagon version of its latest XF sport sedan.
The wagon body style builds on the redesigned-for-2016 XF sedan in styling and interior, and it adds cargo utility and more room for knees and heads in the backseat, as well as a sleek hatchback profile. While it appears longer than the sedan, the models' footprints are about the same. The new model will be on sale in the U.S. this winter and start at $71,445 with destination.
"As with the XF sedan, every line on the Sportbrake serves a clear purpose, creating a fast sweeping silhouette," said head designer Ian Callum in a statement. "This gives the car a sense of speed and a very dynamic appearance. As a result, I think it looks just as sporty as the sedan, if not more so."
While such cars are popular and considered "the sporty one" in Europe, the XF Sportbrake will compete in the U.S. for a small but loyal group of European luxury wagon fans; rivals include the Volvo V90 and V60, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz E Class.
While Jaguar eschewed the SUV cues of some wagon variants in the U.S., such as extra cladding and a taller ride height, electronic all-wheel drive is standard as it on Jaguar's F-Pace SUV, whose taillights it echoes. Power for the U.S. market will come from Jaguar's 380-horsepower, supercharged V-6 through an eight-speed automatic, which Jaguar says is good for a 5.3-second zero-to-60-mph time.
Jaguar says the suspension has been specially tuned for use in a wagon, while retaining the sedan's handling dynamics, and offers user-selectable settings and a self-leveling rear end. The wagon shares the sedan's extensive use of aluminum and a polymer tailgate for weight distribution that is nearly 50/50.
In load capacity, the XF Sportbrake boasts 31.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat and a flat-floored 69.7 with the 40/20/20-split folding rear seat fully down. The width, Jaguar says, can accommodate full golf bags crosswise. Not enough space? The roof can support a maximum 220.5 pounds. The cargo area is outfitted with tie-downs and you can order a flip-out carpet to protect the sill and bumper for loading. A rail system will take a variety of available cargo management accessories. A foot-operated power tailgate is standard.
But in this upscale segment, the real competition is as much about the extra details, and the XF Sportbrake comes loaded with choices, from an electric retractable tow hitch to an available gesture-controlled blind for the panoramic moonroof and an ionization system to purify cabin air. There is also an available wristband Activity Key that secures the car and disables the fancy key fob so you can leave it in the car. Inside, there is a digital instrument cluster, 10-inch touchscreen and 10 colors of mood lighting available.