Jaguar I-Pace review
The Jaguar I-Pace was the first electric executive SUV to match a long driving range to serious desirability and truly entertaining handling
- Good standard equipment
- Great handling
- Striking looks and performance
- Suspension is firm
- Others charge more quickly
- Disappointing real-world range
|Car type||Official range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||292 miles||13hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||47mins (10-80%, 100kW)|
The Jaguar I-Pace is an electric SUV that targets a similar kind of customer to the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC – those who want an upmarket and luxurious family car that runs on electric power only. You could argue that the Tesla Model X fits the bill too, but that's a lot larger and much more expensive.
The I-Pace was the longstanding British brand's first fully electric car, and it uses a 90kWh battery to power an electric motor on each axle. This means it has active four-wheel drive, 396bhp and an impressive official range of 292 miles. In our experience, that range figure is more like 210-220 miles as real-world factors such as traffic and weather play a big part.
We have seen 230 miles on an easy run in good weather, yet cold weather or a lot of motorway miles could well see it drop to 200 miles. It's about on a par with rivals like the e-tron and the EQC, but it's more disappointing in the Jaguar given its promising claimed figure.
While it's not possible to use Tesla's Superchargers on any car that isn't from that brand, the network of public charging points of 100-150kW speeds is expanding fast, so it's easy to get a lot of range in the battery in a short space of time. In the I-Pace, if you plug into one of these then you'll see a 10-80% top-up in around 45 minutes.
The I-Pace can charge from to 80% in 90 minutes at a 50kW charger, which is the most common type you'll see in places like motorway service stations. A 7kW charger installed at home (which costs from about £300 thanks to a government grant) can charge the I-Pace in around 13 hours and will cost around £12 depending on your home electricity tariff, which will be the main way most buyers use their car.
Even the cheapest Jaguar I-Pace is well equipped, but most buyers shopping in the £60,000 and up bracket will go for the plusher SE or HSE trims. While the I-Pace is officially and undeniably an SUV, its low roofline, squat nose and tapering windowline give it the appearance more of sports hatchback or even a coupe; it’s taken the idea of a sports SUV further than most in the looks department, for sure.
It has the performance and handling to match the looks, with a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds. But it’s the fact that the car delivers quite playful, involving cornering that really sets a new benchmark for four-door executive electric cars. Only the Porsche Taycan handles better, as it should given its price and evident sports-car aspirations, but the Jaguar certainly outclasses even the Tesla Model 3 and Model S for handling panache. It really is very special to drive. Ride quality suffers a little in the name of impressive handling, but while the Jaguar I-Pace feels wooden over sharp-edged potholes, it’s still well controlled and comfortable over most roads.
The I-Pace is roomy enough inside for four adults to be comfortable – it’s roughly on par with an Audi Q5 for space and practicality – and there’s a big boot complete with an underfloor cable-storage area that means you won’t have cable bags taking up the space. The dashboard is a big step forward for Jaguar, with a clean, modern look surrounding the standard 10-inch touchscreen, complete with dense-feeling, classy materials and a perceived solidity that surpasses any recent model from the brand.
Insurance could be one of the higher costs involved with running an I-Pace, but most sporty SUVs with this sort of brutal performance are similarly expensive to cover. Otherwise, the Jaguar I-Pace will of course be cheaper to run than an equivalent petrol or diesel car, since it costs so much less to plug in than to fill up. The I-Pace also benefits from low company-car tax and business lease deals are surprisingly competitive. Safety equipment is good, too; the I-Pace received a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating
In 2019, Jaguar used lessons learned from the eTrophy racing series to make improvements to the car's thermal management system, regenerative brakes and torque delivery that it says should help owners eke out a little more distance from a fully charged battery.
Overall, the Jaguar I-Pace sets a new standard for electric SUVs. It’s a sports car, executive fat-cat and eco warrior all in one. The scarcity of public superchargers (of 100kW and more) is the only real niggle with the I-Pace, as it’ll make long-distance touring trickier than it would be in a Tesla.
Still, that doesn’t stop us from recommending the I-Pace. It’ll be interesting to see how the competition compares when it finally arrives, as Jaguar has set the bar very high indeed. For a more detailed look at the Jaguar I-Pace, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Jaguar I-Pace was the first electric executive SUV to match a long driving range to serious desirability and truly entertaining handling
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Jaguar I-Pace has an impressive official range, but real-world range isn't much better than you'll see in its rivals
- 3Running costsThe Jaguar I-Pace is expensive to buy, but still very competitive with its rivals on purchase and running costs
- 4Electric motor, drive & performanceThe Jaguar I-Pace is the best-handling pure electric car you can buy, short of the more expensive Porsche Taycan
- 5Interior & comfortThe I-Pace's interior is smart and modern, but there are more intuitive infotainment systems
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe Jaguar I-Pace’s boot is a good size and has dedicated cable storage, and there’s plenty of space for rear passengers
- 7Reliability & safetyGiven the general reliability of electric motors, the Jaguar I-Pace should be the most reliable car in carmaker's range