Station wagons are back, and it isn’t hard to see why. With sedan-like comfort and added utility, these cars are the ultimate crossovers. That said, modern station wagons are far from the boxy grocery getters of yesteryear. For an illustration, look no further than the all-new 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
This isn’t Jaguar’s first station wagon, as that distinction goes to the X-Type Sportwagon, which was a compact model built from 2005 until 2008. The new Sportbrake is based on Jaguar’s midsize XF sedan – specifically the XF S – giving it more room, better performance and in our opinion, far better styling than the X-Type.
Not too long ago, the station wagon landscape was barren, but the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake joins a growing segment that includes the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, Mercedes E400 Wagon, Volvo V90 and even, to some degree, the Buick Regal TourX. If you’ve never considered buying a station wagon, maybe it’s time.
2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Exterior
Coming off a redesign in 2016, the XF sedan is already a sharp-looking car, but there’s something cooler about a car’s design when you get rid of the trunk. Jaguar pulled off some real magic, too, by keeping the XF’s sexy proportions intact, as the Sportbrake maintains an identical wheelbase, and virtually identical length (it’s only longer by 0.1 inches). The sloping roofline and stretched rear windows give this wagon a profile similar to a classic shooting brake design – hence the Sportbrake name.
Since all XF Sportbrakes are the sportier S trim level, they all get the more aggressive appearance courtesy of the front and rear bumpers, dual exhaust outlets and split-spoke 20-inch wheels. In our opinion, the two-tone wheels and bright red brake calipers made this car even more eye catching. Best of all, this is exactly how all Sportbrakes come, as our tester only added the optional $565 Indus Silver paint job to spice up the exterior.
2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Interior
Unlike the E400 Wagon that offers a small rear-facing jump seat to allow for seven passengers, the XF Sportbrake retains a five-passenger seating configuration, while providing for 31.7 cubic feet of storage. Drop the rear seats, and cargo volume more than doubles to 69.7 cubic feet. Jaguar says that this is enough to haul almost 30,000 golf balls, or one standard refrigerator. Add in the 1,653-pound towing capacity and 220-pound roof rack limit, and the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake shows that it’s a legit station wagon! While most buyers probably won’t be using this Jag to make runs to the home improvement store, but it’s important to note they could.
While the Sportbrake’s exterior matches that of its sedan counterpart, the interior is actually an upgrade. This is thanks to the open and airy feel you get thanks to the added window space and standard panoramic roof. You also get a quite stylish interior, with two-tone leather seats and carbon fiber trim accents. One of the features that impressed our passengers was the power-actuated gear selector and outboard HVAC vents that retract when the car is shut off. It’s a pretty trick setup.
Our tester was loaded with plenty of options, including the $3,265 Technology Package (adding a ten-inch wide navigation screen, 825-watt Meridian surround sound system and a Wi-Fi hotspot), the $2,860 Premium Interior Upgrade Package (with four-zone climate control, suede-like headliner, illuminated door sills and configurable ambient cabin lighting) and the $1,805 Convenience Package (including heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and soft-close doors).
2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Powertrain
While the XF sedan offers four different powertrain options, the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is only available in the top S configuration with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 under the hood. This engine produces 380 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, and it returns EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.** It’s a noticeable – but expected drop – from the XF S AWD sedan, which gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg** on the highway.
One reason the old X-Type Sportwagon wasn’t a big hit was its lack of punch, and that’s definitely not a problem for the XF Sportbrake. The eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-biased, all-wheel drive system help deliver smooth acceleration, and propel this wagon from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The extra body work adds about 160 pounds compared to the XF S AWD sedan, making this model slightly slower — 0.3 seconds — to 60 mph , but it’s still pleasantly quick for this segment. If you want to go any faster, you’re going to have to step up to six-figure, performance-tuned competitors. Overall, the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is a perfect balance between performance and comfort, and offers responsive handling (especially in Dynamic mode) without sacrificing its smooth, family-friendly ride.
2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Safety
The 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This tester added the $3,495 Driver Assistance Package, which includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot assist, park assist, surround camera system and traffic sign recognition.
2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Overall
The 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is a reminder that cars can deliver plenty of utility without sacrificing performance. The Sportbrake might not have the finish of a Mercedes or the technology of a Volvo, but it is easily one of the most attractive wagons on the market, and it garnered immediate attention wherever we took it.
That being said, with a starting price of $70,450,* the XF Sportbrake is pricier than your grandpa’s wood-grain wagon from back in the day. While that may seem like a high price for the base model, it’s actually only a slight bump from the $66,685* XF S AWD sedan. As amazing as it’d be to see a version packing the 575-horsepower supercharged V8 from the XJR575, this is currently the only Sportbrake model planned. With all the options and added features, this loaded XF Sportbrake had an as-tested price of $84,245.* We think it was worth every penny.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Jaguar dealership and test drive the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2018 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.