JUST about the most stylish ‘estate’ car about just now – though, in this instance it’s called a Sportbrake – is the one based on Jaguar’s MkII XF model.

This fits snugly in the executive sector of the market but that puts the Brit up against some pretty tough competition, like the Audi A4/A6 and BMW’s 3/5. It’s about the same size as the smaller of those two competitors, but in my mind it’s streets ahead of them on looks alone. But what’s it like to drive?

First off, the version on test was the all-wheel-drive variant and that already puts it up the step ladder a bit, plus there’s a roomy 1700 litres in the load area with the seats down, and in the model tested, this came with some pretty comprehensive racking to allow loads to be held safe and secure.

Power, in the main, will come from either a 2.0-litre Ingenium turbo diesel or petrol motor – as used so successfully on the F-Pace and I-Pace SUV models, plus some Land Rover units. The petrol version hits 248bhp, while its diesel counterparts are rated at 178bhp or tweaked to 237bhp. If you want fuel economy, then the diesels to deliver on that, but you’ll be hard pushed to get into the mid-30mpgs with the four-cylinder petrol. However, there is also a V6 3.0-litre petrol which ups the ante to just under 300bhp and sooks up fuel. The more powerful variants are offered with the option of AWD.

While the twin-turbo petrol makes the most of the eight-stage auto gearbox, probably most of the XF sales will be for the ‘normal’ diesel variants. So, with a 0-62mph in about six seconds, the roaring V6 will be the one to go for if you value the fun factor, while the others fit in with what the ‘head’ says.

You’d be hard pushed to find a better looking estate and with some pretty nifty handling from a typically good Jag chassis and suspension set-up, you can make the most of the ‘S’ mode on the turnbuckle gear selector should you need to.

The click of a switch on the key operates the one-piece tailgate, which incorporates a rear spoiler, with integrated high-level stop light and a chrome blade finish, while there’s an under floor ‘secret’ compartment useful for hiding valuables. The usual 60:40 split rear seat set-up adds even more dimension to the luggage capacity.

The range starts at ‘Prestige’ level and then runs through ‘R-Sport’, ‘Portfolio’ and ‘S’ trim levels, but even the base trim gets soft grain leather seats, xenon headlamps and interior ‘mood’ lighting. Top of the range spec’ adds 19-inch wheels, a stylish bodykit and and ‘Adaptive Dynamics’, which is Jag’s version of a clever damping system for the handling set up.

Infotainment comes via the InControl Touch system, with an eight-inch touchscreen across the board, though this can be upgraded to a 10.2-incher, with Dual View.

To sum up, if ‘buying British’ is your thing, then the Jag XF Sportbrake will certainly fit the bill and you won’t find yourself lagging behind continental contenders. Prices for the R-Sport version start from £48,640 upwards, though further down the food chain, the range starts at about £37,000.