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2007 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas

The Jaguar Vanden Plas is an XJ model with added interior luxuries and a long wheelbase. In 2007, a tire pressure monitoring system was added along with laminated side glass to reduce interior noise, a Conti-Teves foundation for increased stopping power, a chrome mesh grille and available Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The Jaguars are neither the quickest nor the quietest, and all wheel drive is not available; however, the Jaguar XJ series might be the friendliest and most charming of the luxury sedans. The XJs also deliver the best EPA fuel mileage ratings in this class, and does not carry a gas-guzzler tax. ABS and traction/antiskid control are standard, as are front side airbags and curtain side airbags. The Vanden Plas also has a load-leveling suspension.

Features for the Vanden Plas

The 2007 Jaguar Vanden Plas includes standard features of all XJ models: heated front and rear seats, Bluetooth cell-phone interface and Xenon headlights with power washers, leather seats with contrasting piping, and 18-inch wheels. Features special to the Vanden Plas include an electric rear sunblind, a twin-stitched leather dashboard, Peruvian boxwood inlays in the standard burl walnut trim, rear-seat picnic trays and deep-pile lamb's wool rugs. It also comes standard with a DVD-based navigation system and a 320-watt Alpine stereo with 12 speakers and a six-CD changer.

Jaguar Powertrain

In normally aspirated form, Jaguar's 4.2-liter V-8 now produces 300 hp, and is used on the Vanden Plas. The 2007 Vanden Plas uses a six-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Driving the XJ

The Jaguar XJ series offers elegant and effortless driving. Passing and merging on the highway is reasonable, but civilized. Downshifts on upgrades are easygoing. On tight corners, the Vanden Plas, considering its size, grips the surface well. The power steering is precise without being too heavy, and the XJ gives the driver control. The tires stay pressed to the road, thanks to its double-wishbone suspension design and Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS), which continuously and instantly adjusts damping according to forces pushing the wheels up toward the car. CATS promotes stability and a nice, even body height, whether the car is accelerating, braking hard or traveling over an undulating road surface. Although the XJ is very quiet, its exhaust can be heard when pushed hard. The air suspension absorbs bumps well. The Jaguar Vanden Plas is built on an all-aluminum monocoque, or integrated body/chassis. It weighs about 400 less than a similarly sized unit-body fashioned of conventional steel. At the same time, it is as crashworthy and as strong as steel. The Jaguar's body is built in essentially the same fashion as the airframe of a commercial airliner: riveted (with about 3200 rivets) and bonded (120 yards of adhesive) to form a stiff shell. This rigidity and reduced weight on the Jaguar Vanden Plas promote a better-riding, better-handling car.

Cabin Features for 2007

Jaguar XJs feature polished burl walnut trim and comfortable leather seats. The Vanden Plas has soft, long-pile wool rugs in the footwells, only adding to the comfort.  Acoustic laminated side glass cuts down on noise from outside the cabin. The 2007 Vanden Plas sedan can seat up to five occupants. A higher roofline for this model year helps increase interior space. This models also has power front seats. Power-adjustable pedals complement an electronically adjustable steering column. An electronic parking brake was installed. Vanden Plas sedans contain fold-down picnic tables. The XJ's trunk offers 16.6 cubic feet of volume, which is more than the Audi A8 (14.6 cubic feet) and BMW 7 Series (16.3). The Vanden Plas is built on a long-wheelbase, offering much more legroom in the back. These longer versions were originally developed for Europe's chauffeur-driven executive class. Five extra inches in the car's length is entirely behind the B-pillars. The rear seatbacks also recline, and a switch is provided for the person riding in the right-rear seat to power the front passenger's seat forward. All of this allows plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the luxury.

XJ Vanden Plas Design

The Vanden Plas is built on a 124.4-inch wheelbase that stretches the overall length of the vehicle from the standard 200.4 inches to 205.3 inches. The hood has the traditional curves that flow back from the top edges of four round headlights. The wide grille protrudes forward slightly and the trademark jaguar sits on top of the hood. The rear of the Vanden Plas features iconic triangular taillight clusters. This Jaguar has a high belt line and this makes the side windows appear shallower. The windshield is set at a modern, raked angle. All the glass is laminated, with two layers separated by an ultra-thin acoustic interlayer, which cuts interior noise and protects trim from the damaging effect of UV radiation. The long wheelbase XJ models are the longest cars in their class, but they are also the lightest, thanks to their aluminum intensive construction. Overall, the 2007 XJ sedan has a slightly more cab-forward profile than pre-2004 models, with the wheels brought closer to the corners.  A self-leveling air suspension and Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension system are standard.


In addition to an occupant-sensing system for the front passenger seat, the XJ Vanden Plas has dual front airbags, side-impact and side curtain airbags. Four-channel antilock brakes incorporate emergency brake assist. A Dynamic Stability Control electronic stability system enhances handling. Reverse Park Control is standard. The XJ's tire-pressure monitor is one of the most sophisticated available, measuring absolute pressure in each tire.

For 2007, the XJ has become an even better value, with front and rear heated seats and Bluetooth wireless cell phone capability standard on all models. The Jaguar Vanden Plas competes with the best luxury cars in the world, and holds its own while at the same time it is attractively priced compared to Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes. The Jaguar Vanden Plas is truly a beautiful and stately sedan. Though it lacks the progressive modern design that many luxury cars of today have, it keeps a feel of traditional British heritage instead. Its rigid aluminum chassis and sophisticated suspension offer a smooth ride and good grip and the long-wheelbase Vanden Plas offers more rear seat space without significant trade-offs in response or ease of handling. The 2007 Jaguar Vanden Plas averages 19.7 mpg and uses premium-grade fuel.


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