If there was a criticism of the previous Jaguar XJ, its yesteryear-aping appearance aside, it’s that its cabin was short on space. Not any more. At least, certainly not in long-wheelbase form, which has ample rear legroom and respectable headroom, and whose front cabin also has sufficient room for the tallest of drivers.
Nevertheless, despite the adequate interior volume, Jaguar has retained the XJ’s cockpit-like feel with a high transmission tunnel which, like those of the XF and current XK, features a rotating gearknob as part of the ‘welcome’ when one starts the car.
The XJ’s driving position is fine and features a particularly well shaped and sized steering wheel, with gearshift paddles to its rear. Ergonomically, this is a fine cabin.
It’s also one that looks the part both at a distance and in detail. Leather and well finished wood adorn most surfaces, and there is a new-to-Jaguar digital dashboard display, in place of conventional analogue dials. Its resolution is fabulously high and there are some neat graphics: speeds closest to the car’s current velocity are highlighted, manual gearchange selection is shown beautifully and the left dial is replaced by a small sat-nav map prompt at times.
However, it serves to make the central touchscreen display poorer than its mediocre resolution and design would otherwise appear, while in a few other places the cabin doesn’t quite come up to scratch; the materials of the air vents and centre console facia, for example, can’t match their appearance. In 2015, the infotainment was upgraded to the far superior InControl Pro unit and features a 360-degree camera.
Unfortunately, despite revisions throughout the car’s lifecycle to date, our grievances with some of the interior trim still stand: they lack the tactility of some German rivals.
The XJ’s extended brightwork package also creates some harsh reflections, especially when the shades for the panoramic roof are folded away.
A taller profile at the rear of the XJ has given it one major advantage over its predecessors: boot volume has increased to 520 litres, a volume that’s now class average and betters that of a BMW 7 Series.
The entry-level Luxury models come with features including 14-way adjustable electric front seats, four-zone climate control, all-round heated seats and a panoramic sunroof. Upgrading through the specs see other luxuries such as cooled seats, massaging front seats, Meridian sound system, digital television and driving assistance systems added. The range-topping XJR models gets an aggressive bodykit, quad-exhaust system and active differential control. The Autobiography trim, available only on LWB XJ comes with rear business tables and entertainment system, including 10.2in displays, 360-degree camera and reversing control and 1300W Meridian sound system.