2012 Jaguar XJ Photo
/ 10
On Quality
On Quality
The Jaguar XJ is plush and glitzy, but rear-seat space is tight, and some of its interior trim looks more shiny than substantial.
8.0 out of 10
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

...Unlike most previous XJs, the space is huge, especially in the stretched models.
Car and Driver

Everything is handsomely wrapped in French-stitched leather, plated aluminum (such as the distinctive rotary-style gear selector), a piano-black finish—yes, I know it's really plastic!—or wood.
Wall Street Journal

...[The XJL] gives rear seat occupants more than enough room to comfortably stretch out or cross their legs.

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.

...There could be more room for the royal footwear beneath the front chairs and the rear seats could use a motorized reclining system...
Inside Line

Jaguar is betting the brand on distinctive styling. The XJ's dramatic new roofline makes an elegant statement, but it clips rear-seat room in the process, and the XJ's reskinned interior suffers a bit from some shiny trim pieces.

Clamber into the XJ, and you'll find a little less room even in front than in the Lexus LS or Audi A8. It's roughly as large as the former, formally styled XJ, but the space is arranged differently, with more tapering at the ends that leaves valuable cubic feet under the windshield and rear glass. The front seats don't lose much space, except maybe at the knees, where the console's spread out some. Headroom is the clear loss-leader for the XJ's glam new styling: it's tight in all seating positions, but especially in back, where the roofline dips right at the scalps of taller passengers. Leg room is no problem, though, particularly on long-wheelbase models, which get 5 extra inches of rear seat space.

Also noticeable is how Jaguar's stiffened up its seats. The XJ's new buckets are less cozy, flatter and firmer. They do offer up 20-way power adjustments in front, though, and in both front and back, can be fitted with massage and heating functions.

Jaguar says the 18.4-cubic-foot trunk is the biggest in its class, and has a power-closing decklid. Ford's newest Taurus has more interior room and shorter overall length, but its trunk is bigger. That skimpy Jag tail exacts a bit of a penalty.

The XJ's interior is smothered in chrome, wood and leather, some of it achingly gorgeous, but in places the shinier trim goes over the top to cater to Hollywood tastes. We're not sure the piano-black trim and rings of metallic trim speak volumes to true high-end luxury shoppers, and some of those pieces give and flex to the touch, something that doesn't happen in a similarly priced S-Class or 7-Series.


The Jaguar XJ is plush and glitzy, but rear-seat space is tight, and some of its interior trim looks more shiny than substantial.

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