Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Modern but still user-friendly inside
  • InControl Touch Pro multimedia works well
  • Comfort and quality high

Jaguars are renowned for their elegant interiors, something that the XJ continues.

It has the feeling of a hand-crafted cabin with some wonderful styling touches, the classic aircraft-style air vents being just one example. The designers were influenced by high-end yachts and powerboats, something that is evident in the interior design with lots of high-gloss panels and a wide central console.

Despite all the on-board functions, the layout isn't too button-heavy. A large 10-inch centre touchscreen is standard, although the InControl Touch Pro multimedia system’s response time and occasional glitches means it lags behind the best rivals.

The low seating position and high shoulder line add to a cockpit feel from behind the wheel, with a high quality finish in most places.

All models come with heated seats front and rear, while the leather steering wheel in Premium Luxury models upwards can be heated at the touch of a button.

Jaguar has dispensed with physical instrument dials in favour of a high-definition 12.3-inch screen that displays virtual dials. It can be difficult to see in very bright sunshine, but aside from that, the graphics and fonts are crisp and clear, allowing you to alter certain sections to show varying degrees of information.

However, while this may include a large widescreen view for the sat-nav map, it doesn’t quite match the usability of Virtual Cockpit as found in Audi products; with a hard-to-read speedometer and absence of a rev-counter.

This is controlled via buttons on the steering wheel and while the number of menus and submenus can be an intimidating and slightly distracting at first, you soon get used to it.

  • Heated seats front and rear
  • Rides well, if not the most isolated luxury saloon
  • Select long-wheelbase for ultimate rear comfort

There’s a choice of two lengths in the XJ line-up – the standard car or the long-wheelbase version. The latter offers 121mm more legroom for those in the back giving it more of a limousine-like feel, complete with separate rear climate controls, electric blinds and rear privacy glass. However, the standard model is still very spacious with a similarly luxurious feel.

There’s plenty of space for four - the prominent centre tunnel limits space for a fifth passenger - but there are slight criticisms - the front seats are multi-adjustable but they aren’t particularly enveloping like they are in a Porsche Panamera.

Taller passengers may find they sit close to the roof; a result of that low coupe-like profile, which makes it a little claustrophobic. But all cars come with a panoramic glass roof (with retractable covers for the front and back) which adds a little light inside.

Thanks in part to the acoustic laminated windows and windscreen, there's practically no wind or road noise on the move, even at Autobahn speeds, giving the cabin a cosseting feel.

The petrol is the more refined choice but the diesel does remain remarkably hushed. Where the XJ appeals more over its competition is the sound of the petrol engine. While rivals filter out as much sound as possible, the Jaguar adds a sense of theatre by allowing a pleasing growl from the engine into the cabin. This also applies to the exhaust, which sounds louder when experienced from the outside.

The XJ may not waft down a road as well as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but bumpy roads are unlikely to unsettle you. Even though the XJR575 sports a slightly firmer ride, it’s never jarring, with little noise intrusion into the cabin.