The Jaguar I-Pace is a luxury SUV like few others – it’s electric. Both in terms of looks and engine power. You can expect 286 miles in this beauty. It’s powered by a 90kWh battery that drives a pair of electric motors and can even be recharged in your 3-pin socket at home – although it would be a lot quicker to use a purpose-built wall box.
The I-Pace might be Jaguar’s most radical model since the E-type sports car way back in the 1960s. Yet, you’d still know it was a Jag even without the badge.
The front of the vehicle features slim LED headlights, a contoured bonnet and a large, rounded grille. Arguably more dramatic is the rear end, which doesn’t extend far beyond the rear wheels and is squared off, with a large hatchback boot lid.
The I-Pace is largely made from lightweight aluminium but the SUV still tips the scales at more than a hefty 2 tonnes. There are also 5 trim levels, with entry-level S bringing 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome highlights around the windows, which are tinted at the rear.
The I-Pace might be Jaguar’s most radical model since the E-type
What’s it like to drive?
Phenomenally well. A 2-tonne SUV doesn’t sound like it’d be that fun to drive, yet this electric whizz shifts from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 124mph, where allowed, of course.
The best thing about electric cars is that they have oodles of shove the moment you press the accelerator pedal. There’s no hesitation when pulling out of a junction or joining a roundabout - and this is a Jag that has no trouble accelerating down a slip road onto a motorway.
Even better, the I-Pace handles very well for such a heavy car, with little body lean in corners, steering that inspires confidence and strong brakes that harvest kinetic energy and feed it back into the battery. Standard cars come with conventional suspension and higher trims bring air suspension and larger alloy wheels.
This is a Jag that has no trouble accelerating down a slip road onto a motorway.
Unlock the I-Pace, allow the fancy handles to pop out from the doors, step inside and you’ll find a very futuristic-looking interior. The dashboard features quality materials (some models even have wood) that feel great to the touch.
The dash features slim air vents and a responsive 10-inch touchscreen. This allows a couple of smartphones to connect simultaneously and enjoy the Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features. Beneath this, you’ll find another screen and dials for the ventilation system, plus physical buttons for the gearbox and suspension/traction control. A digital panel sits in front of the driver and some cars have an optional digital rear-view camera and more cameras that give you a 3D view of your surroundings.
The main touchscreen isn’t quite as responsive as Tesla’s but it’s intuitive and the sound system is impressive – some cars have an upgraded Meridian 3D surround sound system.
It’s easy to get comfortable in the driver’s seat, with base S trim giving you some electric adjustment. The front seats are comfortable and supportive and the rear will accommodate a couple of tall adults quite happily. There’s room for a third, central, rear passenger, but this seat isn’t as comfortable. Unlike the Tesla Model X, there’s no option for an extra pair of rear seats.
You’ll find loads of storage options for your odds and ends in the I-Pace. There’s a deep bin beneath the armrest between the front seats, door bins front and rear, a glovebox, trays in the centre console for your phones and even storage trays beneath the rear seats.
The boot is large and well-shaped, with enough room for a few suitcases. The rear seatbacks are split 60/40 (or 40/20/40 on some cars) and fold virtually flat to create a huge load area. Some I-Paces have an electrically assisted boot lid that allows you to open and close it hands-free.
There’s also a small storage area under the bonnet, which is handy for stowing the charging cables.
Running costs and reliability
Although the I-Pace’s official range is around 290 miles, in reality,it’s closer to 200. Thisstill more than enough for most people’s needs, especially if you have awall boxinstalled at home. One of these will fully charge the I-Pace overnight while a3-pin socket will take more than 24 hours.The fastest public chargers (100kW) will replenish the battery in around an hour. There’s a variety ofothercharging options throughout the UK and the I-Pace’s sat-nav will show you where they are.
What cinch loves
There’s plenty to like about the Jaguar I-Pace, from its large, practical interior, stunning performance and handling and sleek, well-designed dashboard. It also features a raft of standard safety tech such as lane-keeping assistance, emergency brake assist and adaptive cruise control that helped the Jag get a maximum 5-star score from crash experts Euro NCAP. The I-Pace is well suited to anyone thinking about making the switch to electric power.
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Town and country drivers
The Jaguar I-Pace is one of the best electric cars out there, thanks to a reassuringly useful driving range and fast-charging ability, excellent practicality, a quality interior and scintillating performance that makes it a hoot to drive. If this doesn’t convince you that the future of motoring is electric, nothing will.
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