Jaguar I-Pace SUV review
"The Jaguar I-Pace is a remarkable first attempt at an all-electric car from the brand, setting a new benchmark for EV handling while shaking up the sector as a whole"
- Impressive real-world range
- Great to drive
- Smart interior
- Firm ride
- Odd brake feel
- Lack of superfast chargers
The Jaguar I-Pace is Jaguar’s first electric car and currently counts the Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC and BMW iX as its main rivals. More electric SUVs are on their way but the I-Pace was the first of the ‘premium’ contenders to go on sale. An update in mid-2020 helped keep the car fresh against the competition and the I-Pace was named our Best Large Electric Car in the 2022 Carbuyer Best Car Awards.
The I-Pace is built on Jaguar’s new ‘skateboard’ platform, designed specifically to underpin fully electric cars, and uses a 90kWh battery to power an electric motor on each axle. The result is a four-wheel-drive SUV with 396bhp and an official range of up to 292 miles (220 miles is more realistic based on our tests). The I-Pace can be charged at up to 100kW but 50kW chargers are more commonly available and take around 90 minutes to get the battery to 80%.
On the road, the I-Pace looks muscular, athletic and unlike most other cars. Its looks are matched by a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds, but it impresses most on a twisty road; its poise and responsive handling trump what virtually any other production electric car can manage and give enthusiasts hope that a move away from conventionally powered cars won’t spell the end of driving fun. The only downside to this is an undeniably firm ride compared to most versions of the Jaguar F-Pace.
The I-Pace is spacious inside and practicality is enhanced by a 656-litre boot, putting the Jaguar on a par with the Audi Q5 for roominess. There are plenty of places to put your personal effects inside, and even a small extra boot under the bonnet. The interior is smart, modern and comes with a slick 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Buyers of the entry-level S model get plenty of standard equipment, with SE and HSE adding increasing amounts of luxury, while the Black and HSE Black trim levels add gloss black exterior styling and an extended list of standard equipment. At launch, customers could purchase a fully loaded First Edition model, which pushed the price into Range Rover territory.
A mid-2020 update introduced a number of updates to the I-Pace including standard-fit 11kW charging capability, upgraded technology, including JLR’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system shared with the current Land Rover Defender, and a refreshed range of exterior trim and alloy wheel options.
While insurance is expensive and the car has a relatively high price tag, the I-Pace should be very cheap to run once you’ve got it, because charging is so much cheaper than the cost of petrol or diesel. Company-car drivers will also be drawn to the I-Pace by its ultra-low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax liability, cutting monthly bills significantly. The I-Pace comes with plenty of safety equipment and all other current Jaguar models scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.
The Jaguar I-Pace is a truly accomplished electric SUV that’s fast, fun, luxurious and practical, with enough range to make it a car you can use regularly with little worry about running out of charge. It’s a shame there aren’t currently more superfast chargers for non-Tesla electric cars in the UK, but that alone doesn’t stop us from recommending the I-Pace. The Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC and BMW iX are better motorway cars but for keen drivers looking to switch to their first EV, 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.