Most car enthusiasts I know love the sportbrake shape, I love it too. There’s something about all that performance in all that ‘shape’ which gets all my attention.

The XF isn’t really flying off the dealerships here in our region. The Germans with their capable and competitive line-up have a far higher market share and that’s been a bit of a bother for the XF not just here but globally.

The only Sportbrake Jaguar sold before launching the XF Sportbrake version was the X-type Sportbrake which was based on a Ford Mondeo chassis. That one didn’t do that well globally, so why bother with one again?

The XF S sits between the entry-level Prestige model and the bonkers XF R Sportbrake model. What separates the S from the other variants is the

Because it’s cool and also because Jaguar isn’t really your conventional ‘stick to the rules’ kind of a car company. If you’ve seen their recent advertising campaigns, you know what I’m talking about.

I can guarantee that Sportbrake sightings will be rare in the Middle East and Jaguar hopes the Sportbrake can carve out its own niche within a niche. You need to look at it as a sporty driver’s car that offers all the space of crossover but doesn’t sit that high up and corners like a sports car.

This car is that it’s only available in one drivetrain configuration and I don’t think anyone will complain about that. You can ONLY have this car with a supercharged V6 that delivers 380-hp which is sent to ALL 4 wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Even though the power is comparatively higher than some of its competitors, there is a bit of a laziness in this setup. I think it’s the gearbox that could’ve been better. I’m expecting it to be quicker given the specs of the car but it just doesn’t feel that way.

Once you drop the family off from a supermarket run, you can drive straight to the track in this one. It’s got that familiar chassis prowess that we’ve seen on all Jaguars and everything feels well balanced in a car that’s almost 5 metres long.

While cornering hard, you get support from a brake-based torque vectoring system and if you’re planning to buy the F-Pace for its space and practicality, then you might as well take a good look at this car. It does one does all of that but adds a sporty drive which the F-pace will never match.

The XF S Sportbrake surely scores top points in terms of looks. Matching the performance is its body styling complemented with red brake callipers, 19-inch alloy wheels, twin exhausts, a sleek rear spoiler and unique interior styling specifically for this trim with its Dark Hex Aluminium styling.

Personally, I don’t give a damn (BEEP) about the numbers because I drove around for a few days and never felt like I wanted more out of this car. I kept playing around with its drive modes which feel poles apart for a change.

The standard setting keeps the car tame and the suspension neutral, absorbing all the bumps with ease. Switch to Dynamic mode and you feel the car stiffen up in every way. The dash turns red, the throttle response becomes sharper, the car gets louder and the steering becomes wonderfully heavier.

And thank the gods for superchargers. With everything from your three-door hatchback to track cars getting turbocharged these days, it’s fun to drive something that’s out of the ordinary. Yes, there is an audible supercharger whine but I can live with that. I love the linear power delivery of this engine, thanks to that supercharger.

There’s not much to fault in this car. For what it’s designed for, it does everything well. The Sportbrake isn’t the most loved shape in the Middle East and that will surely have an impact on how many of these Jaguar sells.

Most SUV buyers never go off-road, they just need the space. If you are one of them, don’t miss the chance to take this out for a test drive just to gauge its practicality. Also, almost everyone has an SUV here. Why not look at something different?

But brace yourself for this, the price of this test car with its long list of options is AED 410,000. Yes, that’s right. However, the XF S Sportbrake range starts at AED 230,000 which is fairly good for what the range offers.