Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Shares redesigned cabin with F-Pace SUV
  • Simple layout for controls
  • Much improved styling and usability

How is the quality and layout?

The XF Sportbrake’s interior underwent the same redesign as the saloon car for 2021, so you can expect the sombre, monochromatic grey interior of the earlier models to be replaced with something that's much more appealing to use and look at.

You can choose from a range of lighter materials for the seats and dash to lift the ambience to full effect, accompanied by silver highlights on the dash and wood trim.

The rotary climate control dials and steering wheel are lifted from the futuristic, electric I-pace, while the rest of the dash is simple to get to grips with.  The ergonomics are good thanks to the variety of switches used on the steering wheel and centre console - the XF doesn't suffer from being inundated with buttons to choose from, or the complete opposite, like the Volvo V90, which almost completely relies on the touchscreen for everything. The tactile drive mode selector is positioned to the left of the gearshift dial.

The haptic controls on the centre panel for the climate ontrol are a little tricky to press on the move, but since they are rarely used, it's less of a problem.

On the whole the driving position is very good – positioning you low down (should you wish) for a more sporting experience. The steering wheel buttons are nicely damped, but sometimes need a firm press.

Infotainment and tech

The 11.4-inch, curved centre touchscreen is not only bigger, but much clearer than previous XFs, with the Pivi Pro infotainment system being quick to respond and offering greater connectivity than before. The screen may not sit flush within the dash, but the square format benefits the menu layouts, with more icons displayed, making them easier to glance at. Plus, we found it to benefit usability, being a little bit closer to reach.

Standard models come with a mixture of dials and a large centre screen for the driver, but a larger 12.3-inch digital cockpit screen is available on higher-spec models. There are a lot of menus to scroll through when using the steering wheel buttons - rivals make it easier to sift through with their rotary controls - but the information presented is clear and easy to read.

The optional head-up display has also been tweaked over the years, with big, clear, coloured font, even if the unit itself looks rather crudely grafted onto the top of the instrument binnacle.

The optional Meridian surround sound system on our R-Dynamic S model was punchy enough, if lacking a little clarity.

Is it comfortable?

  • Plenty of space for passengers
  • Comfortable yet supportive seats
  • Choice of suspension set ups

We’ve been impressed with the Jaguar XF Saloon’s interior comfort and for the most part the Sportbrake is no different.

The seats themselves are thickly padded and supportive for long journeys. Redesigned rear seats (altered to allow a flat load floor when collapsed) are still well-bolstered and cushioned, but you’ll want to avoid making a large adult sit in the middle chair for an extended period. At least those sat in the rear seat get a centre armrest, a pair of air vents and a 12v power socket.

The XF Sportbrake is a little noiser in the cabin compared with its saloon counterpart, but remains refined over most roads. The diesel engine sends a few vibrations into the cabin when accelerating, but remains hushed and settles down on a cruise, when you'll mainly hear wind noise around the front windows.

Where the Jaguar falls behind on rivals is the amount of road noise resonating in the cabin at motorway speeds over rougher surfaces. Most rivals are better at isolating occupants from this in the cabin, despite Jaguar installing a road noise cancelling system as part of the 2021 facelift.

What makes matters worse is the P300 petrol, as the fake engine sound piped in through the stereo speakers constantly hums away in the background when cruising on the motorway.

A choice of suspension set ups

You get the same standard and adaptive suspension choice as the saloon, the latter offering a wider breadth of settings from comfy to firm and sporty. R-Dynamic models come with a sportier suspension setup to match the looks.

On the whole though the XF Sportbrake rides as you’d expect a Jaguar to – there’s an inherent stiffness owing to its sportier nature but it’s plenty comfortable enough. We actually think this estate version has the best balance of ride and handling in the sector.

Four-zone climate control, heated seats and a huge panoramic sunroof (which can be operated using gesture control) boost comfort levels even further.