Jaguar I-Pace review

Find out more about the Jaguar I-Pace in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • - Smart design
  • - Long electric range
  • - Lots of interior space

Cons

  • - Quite expensive
  • - Firm ride
  • - Let down by public charging infrastructure
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model Review

For far too long Tesla has dominated the electric car sector with its luxurious and techy models, and for years it was the only choice as a premium electric model.

But gradually in the background, other manufacturers were making sure that Tesla wasn't always at the top of the tree.

One at the manufacturers at the forefront of this was Jaguar, which had been heavily teasing its all-electric I-Pace SUV since 2016.

Unveiled in March 2018, the powerful I-Pace is powered by a 90kWh Lithium promising an electric range of 292 miles, or around 250 in real-world driving. It’s not a Tesla-beating range but was a significant step forward from other manufacturers.

As with Tesla models, the I-Pace will regularly receive the latest software updates through ‘over-the-air’ updates and promises a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds thanks to its powerful 396bhp powertrain.

Its stylish looks, impressive technology and uncompromised practicality make the I-Pace a car that you have to admire, and as Jaguar’s first attempt at building an electric car, it’s hugely impressive.

Value for money

Prices for the I-Pace look quite expensive on paper, although when you consider the fantastic amount of tech fitted to it, as well as its great performance, it starts to look quite better value for money.

The I-Pace only comes as one variant—the EV400—which costs from £64,495 or £60,995 if you count on the government’s £3,500 electric car grant. There are not too many models to compare it with, but putting it alongside the Tesla Model S and new Audi e-tron are probably the closest comparisons you could make to other models, with the odds being in the I-Pace’s favour.

Standard equipment is also very generous, with all models coming with adaptive LED headlights, a digital cockpit, and a twin-touchscreen setup, to name but a few of its features. It also offers a great electric range, which is something to take into consideration.

At the time of writing, the I-Pace had only been on sale for a few months, with strong demand and lengthy waiting lists helping to keep values up. Nearly-new models were also retailing for more than their original list prices, which just goes to show the buzz the model has created. That initial demand is only likely to last for so long, though, before values start to drop.

Looks and image

The I-Pace is one of the most futuristic models on sale and keeps many of the styling details first seen on the original I-Pace concept car. It’s a fantastically-designed model and is yet another masterpiece created by Jaguar designer Ian Callum and his team. The proportions work perfectly, with small overhangs and a fantastic stance on the road, although thanks to the firm’s trademark grille and front and rear lights, it’s unmissably a Jaguar, which was an important aspect of the I-Pace.

The interior isn’t quite so bold, although the twin-touchscreen setup undoubtedly adds plenty of modern flair to the interior. But don’t worry, it’s still very stylish with its de-cluttered layout and use of leather or suede throughout the cabin. But what’s refreshing about the interior is that it doesn’t give you any clues about the I-Pace’s EV nature, with a discreetly-styled interior, and exterior too, for that matter. There are no gimmicks, just a well-thought-out dash which feels superbly well-built and using the best materials.

However, one standout area of the I-Pace which really impresses is the way it drives. It’s perhaps the best electric car to be behind the wheel of yet, and even with all those heavy batteries underneath it, it feels poised, agile and handles with hardly any body lean. There are also superb grip levels, too, thanks to an advanced all-wheel-drive system that can instantly send the power to the wheels which need it most. The only slight issue is with the ride, which just feels a touch too firm around town, although it’s by no means uncomfortable. The effortless acceleration from the I-Pace is also one of its stand-out features and makes the I-Pace feel every inch as good to drive as a Tesla, even if the acceleration figures don’t quite match it. The regenerative braking can make the brakes difficult to adjust to, with the anchors either feeling like they’re doing an emergency stop or doing nothing at all, but after a few drives, you soon adjust to them.

Space and practicality

From the outside, the I-Pace doesn’t look that big. It’s similar in length and width to the manufacturer’s XF saloon and is nowhere as imposing or as wide as the Tesla Model X. It’s no Tardis, but it’s still a practical model that would serve perfectly as a family model.

No gearbox means that you don’t have a transmission tunnel to interfere with rear floor space meaning that three adults can sit quite comfortably across the rear bench with plenty of headroom and legroom, although shoulder room isn’t quite as generous.

Unlike other electric models which have a limited amount of boot space thanks to the additional space taken up by the batteries, the clever packaging of the I-Pace means that there’s no shortage of boot space. It offers 656 litres, or 1,453 litres if you fold the rear seats down. There’s also the advantage of a little cubby hole under the bonnet to store small items, although it can’t handle much more than a small shopping bag.

The I-Pace was crash tested by the safety expert’s Euro NCAP not long after its launch, and scored an impressive five-star rating, with high marks recorded in all categories. A generous amount of standard safety kit is also offered – including traffic sign recognition, lane-keep assist, a driver condition system that can sense if a driver should stop and take a break, as well as adaptive LED headlights and a reversing camera.

Power and range

Just one battery back is offered on the I-Pace—a 90kWh Lithium-ion setup known as the EV400. It produces an impressive 394bhp and 696Nm of torque, which allows for a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 124mph (all electric cars tend to have lower top speeds than their petrol or diesel equivalents).

The range doesn’t offer the flexibility of rivals such as the Tesla Model S and X, but Jaguar will likely expand the offerings in the years to come.

Jaguar claims an electric range of 292 miles is possible, although a more realistic figure of 258 miles is given as a better representative of the miles you’ll achieve between each charge.

As the I-Pace features particularly large batteries, it does take quite a long time to charge. Using rapid charging, it can be charged from flat to 80 per cent in 85 minutes, with 30 minutes giving a range of around 80 miles. Most owners will have a wall box installed at their address, which allows the I-Pace to be charged from flat to full in around 10 hours.

Running costs

Once you’ve offset the I-Pace’s high list price, the running costs will get cheaper from there onwards.

Fuel costs will likely be minimal, with electricity being far cheaper than petrol and diesel -particularly if you take advantage of the vast number of free public chargers at shopping centres and convenient locations, and if you pick the best times to charge.

Sadly, though, the I-Pace is not road tax exempt, because all cars with a list price of over £40,000 have to pay a £310 surcharge between years two and six of its registration. This avoids paying the fixed £140 amount that petrol and diesel models have to pay.

As it’s a premium model, the I-Pace’s servicing will likely not be cheap, but with intervals every two years or 21,000 miles, it means it doesn’t need to be serviced as frequently as other models. Insurance groups are also high, and sit in either 49 or 50—the latter being the highest group. That said, it would be no costlier than other luxury models with similar acceleration figures.

Things to look out for

Jaguar doesn’t have the best name for reliability, with other conventionally-powered models being quite unreliable for such expensive models. As the I-Pace hasn’t been on sale for long and is Jaguar’s first electric model, and not like any other model in its range, there’s not a lot known about its reliability yet. But that said, there are fewer things to go wrong with an electric powertrain than there is a petrol or diesel one.

Rivals

The number of premium electric models on sale is still quite limited, so there isn’t a huge number of rivals to the I-Pace. Its closest competitors are undoubtedly the Tesla Model S and Model X, which have dominated the electric segment for some years. However, there’s a number of other electric cars soon to be on sale including the Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC and an upcoming electric SUV from BMW.

Depreciation

At the time of writing the I-Pace had only been in showrooms for a couple of months, with high demand helping to keep prices of nearly-new models higher than the original list price, with owners trying to flip early examples for profit. As time goes on, values will start to drop although it’s likely to be a car that will stay in demand throughout its production run.

Which I-Pace to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

294kW EV400 S 90kWh 5dr Auto

Most MPG

294kW EV400 S 90kWh 5dr Auto

Fastest Model (0-60)

294kW EV400 S 90kWh 5dr Auto

Summary

  1. Jaguar’s first pure-electric model
  2. Realistic range of 250 miles
  3. Huge battery can mean long charging times
  4. One of the best EVs to drive around
  5. Practical cabin
  6. Good-sized boot
  7. Stylish looks
  8. Firm ride at low speeds
  9. Can be pricey
  10. The I-Pace is excellent – Tesla should be concerned

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