From £63,4959
Fast, refined and the first of its kind from a European manufacturer, but how does Jaguar's I-Pace deal with UK roads?

Our Verdict

Jaguar I-Pace 2018 road test review hero front

It looks the part, promises 0-60mph in 4.5sec, has a near-300 mile range, and is among the first luxury EVs to arrive from an established brand. Can the I-Pace topple Tesla?

What is it?

The first premium all-electric large car from an established European brand, on UK roads for the very first time.

The Jaguar I-Pace may look like a rather funky but quite conventional SUV — and that strategy is quite deliberate, as you can tell from the entirely needless front grille — but underneath that rather pleasing shape lies a revolution, and so it would be were this an Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche. But it’s a little old Jaguar, and while BMW has the more narrowly defined i3 further down the scale, at this price point Jaguar has beaten the lot to market.

As previously reported, the I-Pace comes in a single mechanical specification, with a combined 394bhp from its front and rear electric motors, fed by a lithium ion battery pack laid out low down and entirely within a wheelbase that's some 116mm longer than that of an F-Pace, despite it being a physically shorter car.

All electric cars are heavy, although the I-Pace’s 2133kg kerb weight is similar to that of its closest conceptual rival, the Tesla Model S; but they are also laden with torque, meaning that so long as they have the traction, they are quick off the line. And the I-Pace is: 0-62mph in 4.8sec, if you please.

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What's it like?

This category really should be entitled ‘Is it a proper Jaguar?’ because that’s what everyone wants to know. And compared with many to which the leaper has been adhered over the years, the answer is a clear and resounding ‘you bet’.

Don’t be surprised that such an old name with a historically fairly, er, traditional clientele should suit such avant garde treatment so well; Jaguar is often prepared to innovate and, when it does, it (almost) always works. And rarely more convincingly than here.

The power delivery is very Jaguar, because it is effortless and instantly impressive. What you lose in aural involvement is more than offset by that silent lunge forward. Were this a sports car, I might feel differently; but it’s not and I don’t.

But that is not to say it is not a sporting car, for it very clearly is. Yes, its electrical architecture means it is heavy, but it also means that mass can be put in places no normal car could imagine. So it corners flat and fast, which is good. What is better is that it actually feels genuinely nimble, which is no mean feat given the weight and wheelbase, and it adjusts nicely to the throttle and steers exceptionally well for a two-tonne car. Yes, this is a Jaguar to drive.

And it’s also one in which to live. In design terms, the I-Pace is not just a hit on the outside, it’s got Jag’s best cabin in years. The wood in the test car looked absurd but happily it’s an option. The leather and metal look terrific, as do the TFT dials and two electronic touchscreens.

But the infotainment system is the same as that seen in more recent premium Jaguar Land Rover products and is as frustrating to use here as anywhere else. Also, there is a row of cheap plastic-looking buttons below the lower of the two touchscreens that look hideously out of place.

Even so, the cabin is airy and spacious, with room aplenty for four, even though I’d have been happier still if I could get more of my feet under the front seats when sitting in the back.

S trim cars like the one seen here kick off the I-Pace range, but our test car was outfitted with a plethora of options including a head-up display, Driver Assist pack with 360° parking cameras and adaptive cruise control, an uprated Meridian stereo system and powered tailgate. Boxes had also been ticked for adaptive dynamics, active air suspension and and adaptive surface response, bringing the total price as tested north of £80,000 - roughly the same as the top-end First Edition model. That's a big jump from the £58,995 base price once government incentives are taken into account.

The only nagging doubt left in my mind other than the usual, inevitable range issues (298 miles on the WLTP cycle) is the ride. I liked it because it’s soft enough to ensure good secondary comfort, yet is sufficiently controlled by its damping not to let its initial body roll in corners develop into anything unsettling, but I have a feeling that some might find the way it checks its body movements a little abrupt. And this model rides on optional air springs, so we’ll have to get back to you about how it rides on steel.

Should I buy one?

You must decide first if any electric car is suited to your circumstances. If not, turn over… I mean navigate away. There is nothing here for you, because the I-Pace comes with all the charging and range issues that, however mitigated, should still be by far the single largest factor to consider in buying any pure electric car.

If it is, I think Jaguar’s courage in being first among its historical opposition to market such a car deserves to be amply rewarded. This S model has the same look and powertrain as the top-end First Edition car, but with so may options ticked it's only marginally better value, and I'm not sure it feels quite like an £80k car.

But what matters most here is that the I-Pace looks right, it delivers on that promise when you drive it and it provides a gorgeous home from home from which to operate it. Having impressed with the F-Pace and stumbled over the E-Pace, the I-Pace puts Jaguar not merely back on form but right out in front.

If ever fortune indeed favours the brave in this business, it should not just smile on the I-Pace, but fully beam at it.

Jaguar I-Pace 400PS Electric S specification

Where Surrey, UK Price as tested £82,685 On sale now Motor Twin electric Battery 90kWh Power 394bhp Torque 513lb ft Gearbox single speed, direct drive Kerb weight 2133kg Top speed 124mph 0-62mph 4.8sec Range 298 miles (WLTP) CO2 0g/km Rivals Tesla Model S

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Comments
45

6 July 2018

Sometimes a car comes along which, while not the first of its type, completely tears up the rule, book, reinvents in and moves the games on massively. That's exactly what the I-Pace has done. Just like what the XE and XF have done in their classes. Telsa have established electric cars as the norm but what Jaguar has done is made one that is polished, feels premium, is fabulous to drive, looks amazing and is simply a brilliant all round car. Yet again Jaguar is showing the world that is a leader that makes truly gorund breaking and class leading cars.

6 July 2018
Roadster wrote:

Just like what the XE and XF have done in their classes.

 

Only, not really.

6 July 2018
Byzantine wrote:

Roadster wrote:

Just like what the XE and XF have done in their classes.

 

Only, not really.

Only, not at all, but Roadster never allows inconvenient truths to compromise his hilarious Jaguar cheerleading...always good for a laugh though!

6 July 2018
Roadster wrote:

Sometimes a car comes along which, while not the first of its type, completely tears up the rule, book, reinvents in and moves the games on massively. That's exactly what the I-Pace has done. Just like what the XE and XF have done in their classes. Telsa have established electric cars as the norm but what Jaguar has done is made one that is polished, feels premium, is fabulous to drive, looks amazing and is simply a brilliant all round car. Yet again Jaguar is showing the world that is a leader that makes truly gorund breaking and class leading cars.

I can only assume an employee of JLR wrote this.

This, along with the whole article misses the key point of the electric car transition. The reason the iPace will fail - and fail BIG! - is that its charging situation is constrained by the fact that the long distance options are few and far between, sloooow to charge and costs that are not far off petrol.

The article fails to explain to would-be electric car owners why Tesla is massively advantaged with its Super Charger network, that on Model S and Model X is free for the life of the ownership of the car. 

It really doesn't matter whether the leather is better (which its not) or the interior feels more premium (which is subjective). Its a completely impractical purchase, because the old car industry is still thinking in terms of third-parties providing the fuel. Just dumb! Did Apple produce an iPod and then expect others to provide the music. No - you have to take ownership of the complete transition when an industry is in transformation.

Anyone buying an iPace will be in for the same residual challenges as the BMW i3, not because the car is bad but because its only answered 50% of the exam question. 

 

 

Lotus Evora 400

6 July 2018
wheelman wrote:

Did Apple produce an iPod and then expect others to provide the music. No - you have to take ownership of the complete transition when an industry is in transformation.

So what sort of music do Apple provide? I didnt realise Apple produced music, unless you mean Apple Records that the Beatles used to be associated with. 

Apple the tech company, allow you to put other peoples music on an iPod, as long of course you use iTunes, just like Tesla allow you to use other peoples electricity as long as you use a Tesla charge point. 

As for the electricity from Tesla charge points being free for life, I think you will find that no longer the case. 

 

6 July 2018

 

[/quote]

 

As for the electricity from Tesla charge points being free for life, I think you will find that no longer the case. 

[/quote]

It remains free on Model S and Model X with a referall code that you can get from any existing Tesla owner.

Lotus Evora 400

7 July 2018

Well to all those who like to knock  Jaguar .Here we have a fully  electrically drive car that is at the top of the game with a interior  tht betters the  Teslar ,who wants a bloody great lap top on your dashboard well I certainly dont thank youy very much. Congratultions   Jaguar for such an outstanding car that beats BMW, Mercedes, and Audi(  who have infact delayed their  E Tron )  to the market place  Celebrate I say

7 July 2018
Antony Riley wrote:

Well to all those who like to knock  Jaguar .Here we have a fully  electrically drive car that is at the top of the game with a interior  tht betters the  Teslar ,who wants a bloody great lap top on your dashboard well I certainly dont thank youy very much. Congratultions   Jaguar for such an outstanding car that beats BMW, Mercedes, and Audi(  who have infact delayed their  E Tron )  to the market place  Celebrate I say

Do you want to try typing all that again, only this time properly.

8 July 2018
Roadster wrote:

Sometimes a car comes along which, while not the first of its type, completely tears up the rule, book, reinvents in and moves the games on massively. That's exactly what the I-Pace has done. Just like what the XE and XF have done in their classes. Telsa have established electric cars as the norm but what Jaguar has done is made one that is polished, feels premium, is fabulous to drive, looks amazing and is simply a brilliant all round car. Yet again Jaguar is showing the world that is a leader that makes truly gorund breaking and class leading cars.

What a load of rubbish.

6 July 2018

No more words required....

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