By the Numbers: Jaguar XF Wagon vs. F-Pace SUV
Jaguar’s decision to add a crossover to its lineup may have been a little controversial, but it’s hard to argue with the results. The F-Pace S looks fantastic, makes plenty of power, sounds wonderful, and handles more like a car than an SUV. But Jaguar also recently decided to bring the gorgeous XF Sportbrake S to the U.S., setting up an interesting comparison. If you’re looking for a practical Jaguar, should you buy the station wagon or the crossover?
On paper, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake S and the F-Pace S should be pretty evenly matched. Both come with all-wheel drive and get Jaguar’s supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 380 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. But in testing, the XF Sportbrake hit 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, 0.4 second quicker than the F-Pace S. Through the quarter mile, it was the same story. The wagon did it in 13.6 seconds at 101.9 mph, 0.3 second and 2.2 mph quicker than the crossover. We blame the F-Pace’s extra 145 pounds.
Typically, you’d expect the taller, heavier crossover to lose badly here. Our numbers suggest otherwise. On the skidpad, the XF averaged 0.85 g of lateral acceleration, while the F-Pace S averaged 0.86 g. In our figure-eight test, the F-Pace also won, finishing in 25.9 seconds at an average of 0.72 g. The XF, on the other hand, took 26.4 seconds at 0.69 g. Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story. On the road, the wagon feels flatter and faster through the corners. You just might need stickier tires to make those differences measurable.
Even though the F-Pace S looks a lot larger, it isn’t necessarily more spacious in every dimension. Up front, it offers 43.0 inches of legroom, 37.8 inches of headroom, and 57.7 inches of shoulder room. Rear passengers get 37.2 inches of legroom, 37.5 inches of headroom, and 55.8 inches of shoulder room. The XF Sportbrake’s front seats, on the other hand, offer 1.5 fewer inches of legroom, 1.2 inches more headroom, and 0.6 inch less shoulder room. In the second row, legroom is a draw, and you give up nearly an inch of shoulder room, but you get an extra 1.6 inches of headroom.
With the rear seats up, the F-Pace offers 33.5 cubic feet of storage space. Drop the rear seats, and that increases to 63.5 cubic feet. Interestingly, while the XF Sportbrake only has 22.2 cubic feet of storage with its seats up, with the seats down, cargo volume increases to an F-Pace-beating 66.9 cubic feet. But before you declare it a win for the station wagon, it’s worth pointing out that the XF’s cargo opening is shorter. So while two road bikes will (barely) fit in an F-Pace, that’s not the case with the XF Sportbrake.
Since the F-Pace is larger and heavier, you wouldn’t expect it to match the XF Sportbrake’s fuel economy rating. On the highway, you’d be right. The EPA rates the XF at 25 mpg highway, 2 mpg better than the F-Pace S. Around town, however, Jaguar’s crossover is pretty evenly matched with its station wagon, with both earning a rating of 18 mpg city. That means owners should expect to only see a significant fuel economy difference if they do a lot of highway driving.
Unfortunately for XF Sportbrake owners, it will take more than a few long road trips to earn back the extra money they spent getting the wagon. That’s because it starts at $71,445 including destination, approximately $10,000 more than the $60,770 it takes to buy a base F-Pace S. Sure, an entry-level XF sedan only costs a few thousand dollars more than a base F-Pace, but the extra engineering required to turn a sedan into a wagon adds cost.