2009 Jaguar XJ Interior
This interior review was written when the 2009 Jaguar XJ was new.
The interior of the XJ, like its classic exterior, is built with an eye toward old-world luxury. Rich leather and burled walnut, Peruvian boxwood or light elm set the tone. Modern electronics are present, but not emphasized in the way many Japanese and German luxury cars tend to feature technology. Some buyers will love the classic feel; others will find it dated. It's also whisper-quiet, thanks to heavy use of sound dampening materials. A few complaints seem to recur in several reviews, however. Cheap plastic switchgear sourced from Ford strikes an off-note in such an expensive car, and some drivers will find that the dimensions don't suit their body type well.
- "Pleasing cabin materials on XJ8. Vanden Plas and Super V8 have upgraded wood and leather. No XJ's decor matches the class-leading Audi A8 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class for pure luxury ambiance, however" -- Consumer Guide
- "This thing is a tomb. Even at 100 mph, the cabin hushes wind and road noise. And with its soft leather trim, burl walnut veneer and commodious space, the Jag wouldn't be a bad place to spend your eternal slumber either." -- Edmunds
- "Inside, the 2008 Jaguar XJ exudes tradition and good taste. It may not be as avant-garde or precise as its German competitors or as Zen-like or techie as some from Japan, but it looks and even smells like success." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The XJ's interior is simple and elegant, if not as opulent as the high-tech cabins in the S-Class and 7 Series." -- Cars.com
- "I loved the doors; they're heavy but not cumbersome, and the handles and closing latches weren't flimsy. When the door closed it said, ‘Madam, this door is closed securely' in a British-accented voice. I know it's weird, but it's true." -- Mother Proof
Sixteen-way power-adjustable, heated and cooled leather seats with contrast-colored piping dominate the XJ's cabin. Most reviewers find them comfortable and supportive. There seems to be some disagreement about their dimensions -- a few reviewers say they don't suit the dimensions of large or tall drivers well, while others say they are adjustable to any need. You may need to drive the XJ yourself to find out whether it suits your body. Rear-seat room is perhaps a bit less than expected at this price point, except in long-wheelbase editions. In those models, the rear seatbacks recline, and the rear passenger has controls to slide the front passenger's seat forward in order to increase rear legroom.
- " While the XJ is a large car, everything adjusts to accommodate drivers from tiny to almost huge. All seats feature 16-way adjustment, and the foot pedals can be moved up to 2.5 inches at the touch of a switch. The XJR and Super V8 feature more heavily bolstered sport seats. We'd recommend them to drivers who like the occasional blast down a canyon road, but the standard seats are just fine" -- New Car Test Drive
- "The driver's seat doesn't slide back far enough to suit me, and I'm only 6 feet tall. It took a lot of maneuvering of the power seat to find a position that was tolerable, and "tolerable" doesn't work in a car this expensive." -- Orlando Sentinel
- "The seats are firm, comfortable, and supportive. Headroom and legroom are tight for the very large, but the power-adjustable steering column and pedals help most adults find an agreeable driving position." -- Consumer Guide
- "Long it might be, but it's not wide, so the back seats aren't as substantial as in some of the other cars here, and headroom is limited. Tall drivers don't enjoy a huge amount of room up front, either, even though the seats are comfortable and the surroundings utterly charming in that archetypal British way." -- Car and Driver
- "Front seats strike a nice balance between plush comfort and firm support, while rear passengers will find the long-wheelbase body equally welcoming. Beverages aren't so lucky, as the four cupholders are small and poorly placed." -- Edmunds
The 2009 XJ carries all of the cabin electronics expected in an ultra-premium car, but some reviewers find Jaguar's technologies dated when compared to those of more recently-designed rivals. The vehicle does not feature a single driver-interface device to control these electronics, like the almost-universally loathed iDrive controller from BMW. Instead, the XJ is a bit button-heavy, and many reviewers complain of hard plastic buttons and switches inappropriate to the XJ's price range.
- "As you'd expect, the leather and burl walnut trim in the cockpit is done to Jaguar standards, but the design and instrumentation seems a generation behind the best cars in this segment." -- Orlando Sentinel
- "The Jaguar brings many of the luxury category's obligatory gadgets to market without encumbering the car with a controller like BMW's iDrive or the stunning array of buttons we see in the Lexus." -- Car and Driver
- "Typical premium large car: lots of buttons that operate lots of controls. Most are clearly marked and conveniently placed. The navigation system absorbs some audio and climate functions, complicating their use." -- Consumer Guide
- "Unfortunately, the Jaguar XJ's interior design is so far past its prime, it deserves to be in a tomb. The flat dash and large swaths of wood certainly satisfy a traditional luxury aesthetic, but the puffy black buttons, green backlighting and antiquated touchscreen graphics are a throwback to the 1990s." --Edmunds
- "Unfortunately, the beauty of this cabin is marred by a few atonal notes. In our recent test drive of Volkswagen's new GTI, we found a higher grade of interior plastic than what you'll get in this Jag." -- Forbes
- "You might not love all the buttons, but they're pretty easy to use and labeled clearly." -- Mother Proof
The XJ's trunk, at 17.7 cubic feet, is large enough to meet the needs of most drivers, and similar to the size of its chief rivals, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series. Some reviewers say that interior storage is less than class-competitive, and that the car's cupholders are positioned awkwardly.
- "Plenty of usable trunk space. The lid opens wide on nonintruding hinges and has assisted soft-touch close. A large glovebox and padded map pockets are nice touches, but the center console compartment is tiny." -- Consumer Guide