This makes the second year in a row for the Jaguar XF, but this time it’s the turn of the Sportbrake to take the honours in its class.

You’d expect the estate version of the XF to be more practical than the saloon, and you’d be right. But that’s not the only reason the Sportbrake has the edge over last year’s winner.

For some subtle reason the Sportbrake felt that bit better tied down than the saloon, and it was even more unshakable when pulling a caravan at high speeds and through extreme manoeuvres.

Strong crosswinds caused problems for several cars in this year’s tests, but the XF Sportbrake was one of a handful which seemed largely impervious. Through the lanechange test, too, the Jag was resolute and in control, however much the caravan slid around behind it.

As well as being exceptionally stable, our Sportbrake came with the 3.0-litre six cylinder diesel engine rather than the 2.2-litre four-cylinder in the saloon. The smaller engine wins the financial argument, but in terms of performance and refinement, the six-cylinder is a noticeable improvement. The 10.7-second 30-60mph time shows the Sportbrake to be one of the quickest cars in this year’s tests, but it’s not so much what the Jag does as the way it does it that makes the car seem special.

There’s a sense of occasion to the cabin, where the gear selector rises theatrically from the centre console when you prod the engine’s start button. And although there are more spacious estate cars, it’s reasonably practical, taking all but one item of our typical holiday luggage.

Any doubts about quality or reliability should be quashed by Jaguar’s first-place finish in the 2013 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Index.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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