A strong whiff of leather hits you as you step inside the XJ50. Although its nowhere near as modern looking as the space-age cabin of the new Audi A8 or the BMW 7 Series, the XJ’s inside has that old-school charm and appears like it has been handmade as opposed to assembled, thanks to the diamond-quilted seats and well finished wood adorning most of the cabin.
Besides a different grade of leather, this special edition also adds an XJ50 logo on the centre armrest, XJ50-badged illuminated tread plates, anodised paddle shifters and bright metal pedals. It’s a credit to the original dash layout that it still looks plush and expensive. That said, some of the materials like the window switches and the centre console buttons feel average for the price. The feel of Jaguar’s rotating gear knob, a novelty item no less, cannot match its appearance either.
The fully digital instrument cluster is impressive with its high resolution and some neat graphics, but the 10-inch touchscreen system on the dash is a little slow to respond and feels a generation behind the German rivals. Given that there are owners who spend a fair bit of time upfront, it has to be noted that the front seat comfort in the XJ50 is as good as it can get by modern limo standards, thanks to a gazillion adjustments and the massage function. The foot well though is quite cramped because of the wide central tunnel, something that has always bothered us in every version of the XJ we have tested.
As for the all-important rear seat experience, it’s akin to some airlines’ business-class seats as you fold down the tray tables or flip either of the 10-inch screens. Naturally, there is acres of legroom and the leather seats offer incredible amount of back and under thigh support. In fact, the backrest and seat base can not only be electrically reclined and adjusted, but also be used as effective stress busters, thanks to the eight-level massage function. All in all, the XJ50 is a proper limousine with plenty of legroom and more headroom than its couple-like roofline would have you believe.