2011 Jaguar XJ Interior
This interior review was written when the 2011 Jaguar XJ was new.
The interior of the 2011 Jaguar XJ is extravagant, but some reviewers say that it might be too much. It’s a well-detailed interior with quality wood, metal and leather, but certain elements, such as the clock in the center of the dash, make the XJ’s center stack seem a little too busy. The front seats are comfortable, as well as heated and ventilated. But on the downside, some reviewers think that head room is a little tight for those over six feet tall. In the back, the standard seats are also heated. Still, some reviewers mention that the regular wheelbase model doesn’t have enough leg room in the back seat. The XJL, however, offers plenty of room for backseat passengers to stretch their legs.
The XJ’s dash features a healthy dose of tech, but not all reviewers are sold on its ease of use. They say that the central touch screen operates slowly. One reviewer says that user interfaces seen in German rivals like the BMW 7-Series or Audi A8 are easier to use, but if you don’t like these knob-based systems, the Lexus LS and the Porsche Panamera offer separate controls for most vehicle functions. Some test drivers like the gauge cluster, which displays virtual gauges that can be customized with different information. However, there are some complaints. A couple reviewers say that they can be hard to see in sunlight, while others think that they aren’t as attractive as the gauges in rival cars.
At 18.4 cubic feet, however, the XJ’s trunk is the largest currently available among super luxury cars.
- "Besides the extravagant exterior, the cabin is a fascinating departure for Jaguar. For one thing, unlike most previous XJs, the space is huge, especially in the stretched models." -- Car and Driver
- "Meanwhile, the interior ditches the stuffy fascia of wood, the ugly green lighting and crotchety old J gate shifter in favor of a cabin so exquisitely detailed and so dramatically designed that it may make a potential Rolls-Royce Ghost buyer think twice. Really, this would be like Susan Boyle walking into a pub and walking out looking like Keira Knightley. Perhaps it's not a look for everyone, but dang, what a makeover." -- Edmunds
- "The design isn't meant to communicate formality or businesslike status: It's about panache and extroversion and a bit of fun. Just look at that interior. The most stylish cabin in the world today? I wouldn't disagree." -- Motor Trend
- "The twin ceiling lights lend an airy quality to an interior which might otherwise appear cramped. The double-glazed side windows and insulation mean that wind noise is more muted than in any previous Jaguar model. " -- Popular Mechanics
- "Much like the luscious exterior, with its long lines and high-tech touches of luxury, the interior is magnificent." -- Cars.com
- "Design director Ian Callum says he urged his designers to add ornamentation. Nowhere is that more evident than on the center of the dash, where a pair of chrome-trimmed air vents and a chrome-and-blue clock stick out -- perhaps too much. The result is a contemporary and attractive, though somewhat busy, environment with bits of chrome trim that can occasionally shine in the driver's eyes." -- MSN
- "This is where things get a bit weird. The XJ's interior is an odd meld of continental disco, high gloss, high finish, low finish, sharp English style, self-conscious sharp English style, twee technoglitz, cool retro touches, and the inside of Robbie Williams's jacket." -- Jalopnik
The seats inside the Jaguar XJ are generally considered comfortable, but a couple reviewers say that head room might be a little tight if you’re over six feet tall – a common complaint among super luxury cars. And although leg room is impressive in the back seat of the XJL, some say that the standard XJ’s rear row is a little tight.
The XJ comes standard with heated seats at all four corners. The front row features a 16-way power driver’s seat and a 12-way power passenger’s seat which are also ventilated. The XJL gets all these features as standard equipment, but also adds front seat massage and back seat ventilation.
- "As before, the regular-length XJ's backseat is on the small side. If you regularly have backseat passengers, stepping up to one of the L models is definitely a good idea. The Jag's lower roof line provides enough headroom for most occupants, but passengers will feel less like they're in a limousine than they would in competitors." -- Edmunds
- "There's also a slight headroom issue in the rear seats. Six-footers will find their hair gently stirring as if they are walking through attic cobwebs. Anyone over that height will be forced to slump slightly and suffer for that sexy roofline. " -- Popular Mechanics
- "The well-bolstered leather seats hold you comfortably in place." -- Cars.com
- "Room inside the cabin is not an issue. The front seat's generous headroom and legroom combine with 16 standard seat adjustments and a standard power tilt/telescoping steering wheel to tailor a comfortable seating position for most anyone. The rear seat in the short-wheelbase version is plenty comfortable, but legroom may get a bit tight for a tall passenger sitting behind another tall person." -- MSN
- "Both front and rear seats are impossibly comfortable. Build quality appears to be impressive. The whole place feels special." -- Jalopnik
- "Our test car, the XJL, is the long-wheelbase version of the XJ. It’s 4.9 inches longer than the XJ, which helped when we installed rear-facing child-safety seats for our Car Seat Check." -- Mother Proof
Reviewer opinion on the XJ’s interior features is a mixed bag. Most like the cabin materials, which include high quality wood, metal and leather. Still, some say that certain small pieces -- such as chrome and black plastic trim -- feel cheap in comparison to the otherwise sumptuous accommodations.
The XJ’s gauge cluster, which features virtual gauges on screens rather than the analog gauges, is also up for debate. Some say the system works well, and like that the gauges can be changed to display different vehicle information. Other reviewers comment that these displays lack the attractiveness of the gauges in rival cars, and that they’re difficult to read in bright sunlight.
Many reviewers also take issue with the central touch screen, which controls all audio, ventilation and navigation settings. More than one reviewer says that it operates slowly and is more difficult to navigate than knob-based user interfaces such as BMW’s iDrive. The stereo system has been both praised and panned by test drivers for its sound quality.
- "Resembling a California landslide, the dash seems to have sunk a few inches from the windshield, with a band of the requisite burled wood filling in the gap and reminding one of the prow of a handmade yacht. The dropped dash puts everything lower, making the cabin more intimate and deemphasizing the car’s size." -- Car and Driver
- "In-car electronics are dominated by a large touchscreen, which works OK, but isn't as quick to operate as screen-and-knob systems like BMW's iDrive. Processing speed is also on the slow side." -- Edmunds
- "Not so successful is the digital three-dial fascia, which even Jaguar insiders admit is a bit ‘first generation,’ giving the impression of bogus instruments rather than a brave leap into modernity." -- Popular Mechanics
- "Instead of traditional analogue gauges for the speedometer and tachometer, the XJ offers a 12.3-inch high resolution display screen with virtual gauges on it. Somehow, these look even nicer than regular ones." -- Cars.com
- "Depending on the need, the two outer gauges can change their information or be replaced by warning messages, gear selections and trip or vehicle information menus. The system works well but lacks the watchlike beauty of other high-end gauges, and the screen can wash out in direct sunlight." -- MSN
- "The central touch screen is painfully slow; I have no programming training whatsoever, and I could teach myself to write code in Farsi in the time it takes to adjust the stereo volume." -- Jalopnik
If you need a super luxury car with ample cargo space, the XJ’s 18.4 cubic foot trunk is the largest in the class. Look to the Lexus LS and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class -- which offer 18 and 16.4 cubic feet, respectively – if you need room to stow your gear, but the XJ isn’t quite right for you.
- "The trunk, however, is a cavernous 18.4 cubic feet, which Jaguar says is enough for two full-size suitcases." -- MSN