Jaguar XJ Interior
The Jaguar XJ's five-seat cabin has luxurious amenities and high-quality materials, but some say it's not comfortable enough to merit its premium sticker price.
Consumer Guide says the cabin materials are pleasing enough, but still notes, "No XJ's decor matches the class-leading Audi A8 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class for pure luxury ambiance." On the plus side, the Jag's controls are well-liked. Forbes finds that, unlike many competitors, "most controls inside the Jaguar XJ are straightforward and intuitive."
The Jaguar XJ takes several hits for interior comfort, with Edmunds noting, "Overall, comfort is passable. But luxurious? Not really." Car and Driver adds that the interior -- which seats up to five -- "felt a bit cramped at times, especially when loaded with four people."
Consumer Guide finds the front seats "Firm, comfortable, and highly supportive," but notes, "Headroom and legroom are tight for the very large." Forbes mentions that the cabin feels snug, but still says "tall and short motorists should find a comfortable driving position, thanks to the adjustable seats and standard power tilting and telescoping steering wheel and adjustable brake/accelerator pedals." Edmunds, however, complains that foot room is tight even in the long-wheelbase model and comments: "Although acceptable for a two-hour highway ride, the 12-way adjustable front chairs were nothing special. And when you're spending $65K, the cushioning and support ought to be exceptional -- as it is in the less expensive LS 430." In addition, the seats aren't really made for sporty driving, with Edmunds adding, "More lateral bolstering or a less slippery grade of leather would be a big help."
Rear seats get much better reviews, with Kelley Blue Book reporting "ample head and legroom for six-footers." Most test drivers, however, comment on the long-wheelbase model's rear sears, which are considerably larger and offer "class-leading rear head and knee room," according to BusinessWeek. This includes an additional 4.5 inches of knee space over short-wheelbase models. Consumer Guide describes leg room as "expansive" and compliments the "nicely bolstered cushions." To ease entry and exit, the rear doors are longer and swing wider.
Some reviews, however, still lodge complaints. Edmunds says the back cushion is "merely OK, with an odd curve to it where it contacts the upper back of the average-size adult" and mentions that "foot room under the front chairs is tight, for example, and the seat bottom is well contoured but short." BusinessWeek complains that, "though it's quite roomy in the back, front passengers fully reclining their seats can collide with the rear riders' knees."
Despite criticism, reviews are positive on the optional creature comforts available in the rear seats. "In those plush rear seats one can watch TV, run DVDs or connect with game players, camcorders and other entertainment feeds through two video screens integrated into the rear of the front seat headrests," says Road & Travel Magazine.
The XJ8 base model comes standard with a one-touch power moonroof, burl walnut interior trim, electrochromic self-dimming power-adjustable heated door mirrors, premium softgrain leather front and rear seats, 16-way adjustable front seats, power-adjustable pedals and steering column, Bluetooth wireless technology, and a 140-watt sound system with single-disc CD player. New for 2008 is an optional audio connectivity module for an iPod or MP3 player.
The interior of the long-wheelbase XJ8L model, however, left the Edmunds editors unimpressed: "Granted, the walnut trim on the console, dash, doors and steering wheel is gorgeous. And the stitch work on various leather and faux leather surfaces is quite handsome. But the rest of the materials are pretty ordinary and could just as well be found in a Camry. Also, for almost $66 grand, we hadn't imagined we'd have to go without heated seats, rear-seat temperature controls, xenon headlights and a high-quality sound system (the 140-watt, six-speaker affair in our test car was judged 'not bad')." Still, Forbes says that the XJ8 and XJ8L models come "well-equipped with a full range of features."
The high-end Vanden Plas model adds even more amenities. These include a DVD-based navigation system, a 320-watt Alpine audio system, power-folding door mirrors, folding rear picnic trays, and lambs wool rugs. These features especially enhance the rear seats, prompting BusinessWeek to note: "In the back seat you'll find levels of equipment nearly as lavish as cars three times as expensive. The mini-Maybach effect is obvious, from those business trays in the Vanden Plas and Super V8 cars to the power seat controls for the front seats accessible to rear passengers to the twin DVD screens and twin power sockets for the electronically obsessed."
Consumer Guide says that most of the Jag's major controls "are clearly marked and conveniently placed." However, they note that the optional navigation system "absorbs some audio and climate functions, complicating their use."
Stereo and Entertainment
Optional for the rear seat on the Vanden Plas is a Multimedia Entertainment Package that includes a DVD player, two 6.5-inch display screens, and a multimedia switch pack. Forbes thinks it's worth splurging on, noting, "For the traveling tycoon, the Multimedia Entertainment Package is a great diversion." However, it's worth noting that Consumer Guide finds the system's controls are "not intuitive, and DVDs load via an inconvenient trunk-mounted changer and only with the ignition engaged."
The XJ provides 16.4 cubic feet of trunk space, making it "one of the largest trunks ever offered on any Jaguar model," according to Kelley Blue Book. Consumer Guide says there's plenty of "usable trunk space" and appreciates that the "lid opens wide on nonintruding hinges and has assisted soft-touch close." Interior storage includes a large front console and glovebox, as well as map pockets.