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In-depth reviews

Jaguar XJ review - Interior, design and technology

Swoopy styling marks out the XJ from its more upright rivals; interior is just as gorgeous too but is short on space

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.3 out of 5

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With this car Jaguar ditched the old classic styling of the XJ that had changed little since the 1970s. While it won't please traditionalists, we think the XJ is a great move away from the old design; the front end, with its slim lights and imposing grille, looks the business, while the sweeping profile is gorgeous. It's only the Jaguar XJ’s slightly curious blacked-out C-pillars and fussy tail-lights that let down an otherwise stylish luxury saloon, although the former can be mitigated if you go for black paint.

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The hand-crafted Jaguar XJ interior mixes traditional woods and leathers with the latest technology – and it mostly works. Some may think the digital dashboard – borrowed from the Range Rover - is a bit gimmicky, but we like the way it moves the rev counter to the centre in Sport mode. For 2015-facelift models, the screen can also become a full-width sat-nav much like Audi's Virtual Cockpit; unfortunately it's not as detailed as the Audi's and can look a little Fisher Price at times, but overall it's a good addition.

Rear visibility in the Jaguar XJ is not as good as some rivals though and while most of the interior feels well made, some of the switchgear is flimsy and dated - in particularly the audio controls mounted on the large deep-dish steering wheel.

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The model range is quite simple but also surprisingly varied. The Luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio and R-Sport models can be ordered as a standard wheelbase XJ, while the long wheelbase version is available in Luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio and Autobiography form.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

From 2015-onwards all XJs come with the 12.3-inch configurable TFT instrument cluster and InControl Touch Pro infotainment. The latter is a massive step-on from the previous, clunky system and joins the InControl Touch systems in lesser Jag models like the XE. 

InControl Touch Pro uses an eight-inch touchscreen in the fascia and is Jag's in-house developed version of BMW's iDrive and Mercedes' Comand systems. There's a variety of different functions and app available, but the most important is the sat-nav. It has door-to-door route planning and guidance, including public transport options. A companion smartphone app allows you to plan your route offline and then load it into the system at the start of the journey.

For the 2018 model year, the updated range added a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display with pinch and zoom functionality, along with a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot that supports up to eight devices at once. Frustratingly, the XJ still doesn’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The system also offers a Commute Mode, which learns your daily drive and can automatically offer alternative routes to avoid congestion. The system can also direct you to a parking space when you're near to your destination.

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