Jaguar I-Pace Review
The first of Jaguar’s premium battery powered electric vehicles comes with a £60,000 plus cost, but for that you get rewarded with an environmentally friendly comfortable car that’s equally confident around town as it is off-road.
Select's rating score* - 4.5 / 5
The Tesla Model S has had the all-electric premium market sown up for well over five years, until Jaguar announced the I-PACE. Bringing a Tesla-rivalling 290-mile plus battery life but with handling mobility that Tesla’s stable can only hope for. Tech giants move aside - car manufacturers have come to the electric vehicle party.
In an attempt to raise the handling standards in the EV market, Jaguar have put the 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack between the I-Pace wheels with the introduction of two electric motors, to allow for an all-important 50/50 weight allocation. The result gives this 'performance' EV an impressive 395 brake horsepower, with 0-60 taking only 4 and a half seconds. Keep in mind that driving like that may use up the battery quite rapidly.
They also offer plenty of different suspension choices for maximum comfort. The electric four-wheel drive system comes with all specs and can transfer power to any wheel, as and when your driving demands it. All this, plus the off-road capabilities which includes the I-Pace’s ability to drive through more than 50 centimeters of water.
Though technically, the I-Pace is a sports utility vehicle, it almost morphs into a series of different bodytypes, including saloon, coupe or sports car. The introduction of a new ‘short bonnet’ marks a significant shift from traditional Jaguar designs – helping to give the I-Pace a sleek and stylish frame. The I-Pace does however keep Jaguar heritage, in the form a large front-grille.
The interior has Jaguar’s trademark look and feel and comes with plenty of creature comforts including ‘faux-leather’. You can also add real hide leather and a wood trim for an additional fee. The focal point is undoubtedly the digital infotainment display, which can be used to control the in-car functions and connectivity and is completely unique to the I-PACE. In storage terms, there’s plenty to satisfy with a 656-litre boot and a further 27-litres of space under the bonnet.
The I-Pace offers options. Three spec levels are available - 'S', 'SE' and 'HSE'. Prices start at around £63,500, with fixed monthly leasing prices from as low as £315.99 excluding VAT*. ‘S’ is the entry level spec and comes with enough kit and equipment to make-up for the cost, including a 'Nav Pro' infotainment system and a rear view camera. The 'SE' models add a ‘powered’ tailgate for easy access to the boot, leather seats as standard and power-folding mirrors, with the 'HSE' providing an all-round equipment upgrade and a ‘Driver Assist' pack which offers useful tech features such as a 360-degree parking camera, speed limiter and adaptive cruise control.
The I-Pace can be charged upto 80% of battery capacity in under three quarters of an hour from a DC rapid charging point with a 100kW output. These are rare though, and you're more likely to be using a 50kW charging point to power your I-Pace, which will take twice as long. Installing an electric car home charge point is certainly the most convenient option, but it will take more than 48 hours to reach full power from zero charge.
Jaguar has you covered with an app that calculates how often you’ll need to charge and allows you to set times that fit around your lifestyle. You can also now easily find public charging points from the UKs growing network, using the I-Pace’s navigation features which will flag these sites up.
Now, of course you want the first serious luxury SUV. But what should you factor in before taking a serious look yourself? If your buying outright, the premium price-tag might sting your wallet, however leasing with a series of fixed monthly payments can help to make the cost much more manageable**.
Other important considerations include the 2.2-tonnes weight of the vehicle, which at times can be felt in the ride and handling - this is a common theme of electric vehicles and until battery technology becomes lighter, it will continue to be the case. That being said, the manufacturers are also coming up with new ways of combating this and the result is a car that to most of its owners will feel just as dynamic and subtle as its combustion engine rivals - a testament to the engineers at Jaguar. The I-Pace is one of the first EVs to take electric cars into the mainstream premium market and has all the marks of a true future classic.
*Select's unique rating score takes into account the average score from six of the UK's leading car review websites.