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?

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.

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.

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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.

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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
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blomersam 31 March 2019

Jaguar I Pace SE 2019

I have two month with I Pace and I'm very dissapointed , with full battery charge you only have 336 kilometers of autonomy , but only if you don't use the air conditioned, without lights on, without use media, only if you go no more than 65 km/h

Two times I need to return to my house in Taxi, because I had not enough battery to return

 

 

 

Melben 31 August 2018

I-Pace

Hoping against hope this Jaguar would be value for money despite being a new entry. Nope. That £81K smacks of greed.  I got to £74K beofre realising it just wasn't value for money. I suspect sales aren't all that - an enquiry wiith a dealer said early delivery 2019 was easy. 

JLR has lost its way IMO. Behind the ball, too expensive and a miserable dealer network. Pre-Brexit I wanted something non-German, but have now placed an order for an Audi E-Tron. My loyalty to UK (?) car companies other than AM is sadly muted. 

Nice car, poor value. They could have cleaned up!

vinylnutter 3 March 2019

Now we know the etron is not

Now we know the etron is not only heavier and slower than the ipace but actually starts at £71500 your thoughts about ipace value for money might need a second look?

The Audi is also a very safe and dull design, a boring missed opportunity.

spqr 7 July 2018

JLR have got there before the Germans but

the i-Pace may have missed a trick. The body is constructed of steel and aluminium which is great for strength and familiarity for the buyer but bad for weight. As in any electric car the batteries and motors weigh quite a lot the aim should be to reduce weight elsewhere for example using carbon fibre like the BMW i3/i8. The reason BMW is slower getting larger BEVs to market is probably due to 2 reasons - development of a larger safe carbon fibre body and of course trying to sell all those Diesel engines. But when the new German BEVs arrive I cannot help but speculate that they will be lighter due to carbon fibre and thus have a greater range. But JLR will have established themselves in the market already. As for the article at least the writer does remind you that a BEV carries significant compromises which if you cannot accommodate in your use of the car then you should avoid a BEV. As for concerns about ancillary systems affecting battery range these concerns are very real. My neighbour’s i3 can have it’s “summer” range halved in winter due to using heated seats and the heating from the climate control. 

The Apprentice 8 July 2018

spqr wrote:

spqr wrote:

the i-Pace may have missed a trick. The body is constructed of steel and aluminium which is great for strength and familiarity for the buyer but bad for weight. As in any electric car the batteries and motors weigh quite a lot the aim should be to reduce weight elsewhere for example using carbon fibre like the BMW i3/i8. The reason BMW is slower getting larger BEVs to market is probably due to 2 reasons - development of a larger safe carbon fibre body and of course trying to sell all those Diesel engines. But when the new German BEVs arrive I cannot help but speculate that they will be lighter due to carbon fibre and thus have a greater range. But JLR will have established themselves in the market already. As for the article at least the writer does remind you that a BEV carries significant compromises which if you cannot accommodate in your use of the car then you should avoid a BEV. As for concerns about ancillary systems affecting battery range these concerns are very real. My neighbour’s i3 can have it’s “summer” range halved in winter due to using heated seats and the heating from the climate control. 

It will be very little to do with your neighbours heated seats which typically would be about 300 watts (and on a timer).. but as you partly correctly surmise the actually electric heating has a drastic effect which will be more like 3000 watts plus and on all the time the vehicle is in use.

On my plug-in hybrid, cold months shave at least a 3rd off battery range due to heating and no doubt that scales up similarly on all electric vehicles.

Summer is a joy as air con takes a comparatively small amount of power and the range rises again drastically.  Sadly we live in a cold damp country more days than a warm dry one.

The other ancillary equipment in the vehicle, especially phone charging really is inconsequential.

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