A restyling in 2008 for the Jaguar XJ has marred its conservative elegance, without going the whole way to a fuller, more radical redesign. The front-end treatment seems to be the most controversial bit, with some comments suggesting that the bodywork below the front bumper appears to have been swiped from a BMW M5. "The 2008 Jaguar XJ received a major makeover with new front and rear fascia treatments and front fender-mounted 'power vents,'" while the back features "a chrome strip [that] spans the width of the trunk," reports Kelley Blue Book.
Automobile says the Jaguar XJ’s “interior and exterior designs are stuck in the past.” AutoWeek thinks “the facelift creates more road presence,” but “Jag appears to be compromising the car’s elegance in a bid to boost weak sales.” Cars.com more kindly comments, "a narrower front air dam draws visual continuity with the rounded grille."
The single detail that improves the XJ's looks is the fender vent in metallic trim. Other styling details on the Jaguar XJ include a "new grille, new mirrors (with signal indicators), new wheel designs and new bumpers, along with a subtle rear spoiler," as noted by Edmunds. The various wheel options are handsome, if a bit bling in some cases.
According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2009 Jaguar XJ retains such "signature styling cues as the curvaceous hood, four round headlamps, and tapered rear end," The familiar chrome cat pouncing from the front of the hood of the Jaguar XJ goes away for 2009, replaced by a grille-mounted emblem. However, the “leaper,” as it’s called, is available as an option.
When it comes to the XJ’s interior, Kelley Blue Book notes, "The handsome dash incorporates three circular gauges," which are surrounded by a generous amount of the aforementioned burl wood in the 2009 Jaguar. And Cars.com points to the "newly sculpted front seatbacks," which increase legroom for rear seat passengers. "Burl walnut wood trim, chrome and supple leather are liberally strewn about" inside the Jaguar XJ, Edmunds says, but adds, "It would be nice if the XJ's cabin joined the 21st century."
Edmunds declares, "This car is, quite defiantly, not an Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus or Mercedes." And maybe that's the whole point.