Future Collectibles: 2018-2020 Jaguar XF Sportbrake | The Daily Drive | Consumer Guide® The Daily Drive


2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2021 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.

Camaro ZL1New-car buyers continue snapping up SUVs of all sizes, while increasingly snubbing traditional cars. It’s a bit puzzling, then, that the most SUV-like of car styles, the station wagon, has fallen out of favor even more than sedans. Jaguar entered this rapidly shrinking space with the striking and athletic 2018 XF Sportbrake. But after three model years Sportbrake remained largely invisible and didn’t return to American showrooms for 2021. 

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Jaguar XF Sportbrake

 

How invisible? According to a recent report from Road & Track, Jaguar sold fewer than 250 XF Sportbrakes in the United States. That’s total sales over three model years, or on average, less than seven cars a month. Of course one era’s overlooked cars can become candidates for collectibility in another, so let’s give this one a once-over.

The 2018 Sportbrake was based on the second-generation Jaguar XF sedan that made its debut in America as a 2016 model. Jag offered a wagon in the first XF generation, but not in the United States. Like the premium-midsize XF sedan, the wagon used what Jaguar described as “aluminum-intensive” body construction. Its 116.5-inch wheelbase and 195-inch overall length were shared with the sedan as well, but the wagon’s overall height was fractionally less than the sedan’s.

Styling closely followed the handsome XF four door, with the main difference of course the roofline. Sleek and smooth, the roof came with low-profile rails that could support more than 220 pounds using available “lifestyle” accessories including a storage box, bicycle racks, watersports carriers, and ski and snowboard holders.

The Sportbrake’s one-piece polymer tailgate gave access to a 31.7-cubic-foot cargo area. Four tie-down points were included to secure large items, and an optional flush-mount floor-rail system offered additional ways to restrain cargo. The rear seat was split 40/20/40 and folded flush with the rear cargo floor. With all three segments flat, cargo capacity increased to 69.7 cubic feet.

Our office mates at Consumer Guide® found their 2018 Sportbrake S test car quick off the line with road manners described as “comfortable and highly competent.” Sportbrake came exclusively with XF’s top engine, a 380-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6—much more power than competitors like the V6 Mercedes-Benz E400 and four-cylinder Volvo V90 T6 wagons carried. A ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive were standard. Jaguar claimed a 0-60-mph time of 5.3 seconds. Top speed was electronically limited to 121 mph. Suspension changes from the sedan were modest: modified front dampers and self-leveling air springs rather than steel coils in the rear. Curb weight rose 165 pounds to 4045.

The Sportbrake bowed in two models for ’18. The First Edition priced from $73,095, while the S started at $71,445. First Edition received a few extras including a gesture-controlled powered sunblind for the standard fixed-glass panoramic sunroof. The 2019 Sportbrake lineup was comprised of the 3.0T Prestige with a base price of $65,570—now more competitive with the E-Class and V90 wagons—and the S returned at $72,210. For 2020 the 3.0T Prestige ran $66,145 and the S cost $72,795. 

What’s a Sportbrake? Let Me Explain…

 Pros:

• Beautiful styling, luxury ambiance, and exclusivity.

• Added practicality doesn’t compromise the XF’s sport-sedan moves.

 

Cons:

• With fewer than 250 XF Sportbrakes roaming the American landscape, finding

   one won’t be easy.

• Already-steep pricing increased quickly with pricey options, so grabbing a 

   lingering new one will be costly.

 

Final Drive:

With buyers ignoring traditional station wagons, Jaguar marketers dubbed the long-roof XF the Sportbrake, doubtlessly inspired by the largely British “shooting brakes” of another era, coachbuilt station-wagonlike vehicles for old-money sportsmen. Of course today’s descendants of those well-to-do shooting-brake owners are probably buying Range Rovers. Still, we think this lovely—and scarce— Jaguar wagon will be rediscovered someday.

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