Read Rusty Blackwell's comments on driving the 2008 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas.
I agree with Sam in many ways: the interior in particular is woefully outdated, but it barely bothers me because the car is so special. I actually like the sexy look and the grand presence of this car, even though it looks so much like its predecessor. I can't think of another big, new car that feels so svelte and slender from behind the wheel.
The heated steering wheel, including the solid(?) wood section, is brilliant. The thick-pile carpet in the floor mats also feels very upper-crust; remarkably, it didn't get too crusty during my wintry weekend with the XJ. The Blizzak winter tires ensured that I got where I wanted to go with no unintended drama.
Despite its age, this car impresses a lot of people: -A young dentist friend of mine has always loved Jags because of their appearance, but she'd never really been inside one before. She sat in the driver's seat of the XJ and her Jag-ophile feelings were fiercely reinforced. I inadvertently became her personal Jag salesman, whether I like it or not. -My dad was instantly smitten at the sight of this car (and the tray tables in the back), particularly since he thoroughly enjoyed an evening in our long-term Jaguar XK a few months ago. -My father-in-law is a lumber salesman, and he was so impressed by the wood trim in the XJ that he gave me a 10-minute lecture on selecting fine woods for luxurious furniture.