although looking through the rear window; you do notice that your view is restricted through the small aperture...
Ride quality is a little on the hard side but it is never harsh and makes a good job of soaking up all but the most damaging of road imperfections. The self-levelling rear air suspension replaces the coil suspension of the Saloon, counteracting the weight of the rear load. The steering is relatively well weighted and accurate, with what body roll there is kept well in check – it is easy to enjoy a spirited blast without great concern, even when the car is loaded up.
Our test car was fitted with the optional Adaptive Cruise Control at £1,275, which is a great but expensive option. It was also equipped with forward alert which we found useful on the motorway but would probably look at other options if we were specifying our own vehicle.
What It's Like to Live With
It is a little more difficult to get into than some of its rivals, with the dashboard and swooping roof line being in the way. You can feel a little shoe horned into the cabin, although there is plenty of head, shoulder and leg room once inside. The rear is best suited to two adults or three pre-teen children as the rear transmission tunnel intrudes.
Finding the ideal driving position is easy as not only is the driver’s seat electrically operated so is the steering column, which can be allocated one of two memory positions.
All round visibility is good, although looking through the rear window; you do notice that your view is restricted through the small aperture. There are all round parking sensors and a reversing camera, so parking is pretty straight forward – but there is no option to self park, which is becoming more common in this price range.
You are probably looking at the Jaguar XF Sportbrake to carry something and with the rear seats in place there is space for 550 litres of luggage, with the split fold seats down (which is an easy operation from two levers in the boot) this increases to 1,675 litres with a 1970 mm long deck. But the boot is shallow and a little too narrow, so the idea of carrying home a chest freezer or taking your old sofa to the recycling centre might need more careful planning. We struggled a little with our family’s holiday kit for a week away with some luggage having to make its way into the cabin, good job we left the dog with friends. You may need to look at the likes of the Mercedes E-Class Estate if you need more room, 695 litres with the seats up, 1950 litres with them folded down.
We liked the soft close powered tailgate and there are rails in the boot floor so you can configure the boot to suit your needs. Although one caveat with powered tailgates is that if you have dogs they can make a bolt for it, in the time it takes for the boot to close/open.
The steering wheel is heated, the seats are air conditioned and heated but some of the controls have to be accessed via the central touch screen, which is relatively intuitive but can be a bit of a pain.
Our test car was fitted with a number of options, including Xenon Headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting, Cornering Lamps and Automatic Levelling an extra at £450 – in our opinion well worth it. Blind Spot Monitor at £460 is an option that is very useful but is pretty expensive and should be standard at the list price as should the Front Parking Aid & Rear Camera at £500. Our test car also had JaguarVoice for an additional £450, something we would not choose, we found it easier to access the cars controls with by hand.