The Jaguar I-Pace is a pure electric SUV and sportier alternative to the Tesla Model X. It’s worth a look if you’re after a high-tech family SUV that’s packed with futuristic features.
Where the Tesla comes with one vast portrait touchscreen, the Jaguar I-Pace has three smaller displays. One behind the steering wheel replaces conventional analogue dials while the two on the centre console control all the car’s climate control, satellite navigation and media playback functions.
Its screens are all bright and responsive to use, with easily navigable menus, although the way the dash-mounted ones are angled means they can reflect sunlight quite badly, making them difficult to see clearly while driving. Still, at least DAB radio, Bluetooth, sat-nav and are all included, and it’s reported that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on the way soon too.
The I-Pace’s interior is futuristic but also genuinely plush – something you couldn’t honestly say about a Tesla – with lashings of leather, cool brushed aluminium and soft plastic trims dotted around its cabin.
There’s loads of adjustment – including at the lumbar – in the front seats to help you get comfortable and plenty of headroom so you won’t feel cramped, even if you’re very tall. There are numerous handy storage solutions, too, such a generous door bins on all four doors, two cup holders in the front and two on the rear armrest, as well as a smartphone slot between the front seats and iPad shelf beneath the rear bench.
Space in the back is pretty generous, too. You can carry two adults in the rear without anyone having to fight over shoulder room, but three adults sat across the rear seats is more of a squeeze. The middle passenger has good leg room but poor head room, while the outside passengers will find their head forced sideways against the ceiling, too. And, you can’t get the Jaguar I-Pace with a third row of seats in the back like the Tesla Model X.
At least the Jaguar’s boot is impressively roomy – it’ll happily swallow 100 litres more luggage than an Audi Q5, BMW X3 or Mercedes GLC and manage a couple of large suitcases or a large pushchair.
The I-Pace is faster than some sports cars and its taller body means there’s enough space inside to bring a few friends along for the ride, too
Even with four passengers on board and a boot full of luggage, the Jaguar I-Pace drives more like a sports car than a high-riding SUV. Its two electric motors drive the front and rear wheels kicking out 400hp, helping it accelerate from 0-60mph in a scorching 4.5 seconds. That’s faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera sports car.
Plus, the Jaguar’s heavy batteries are tucked neatly under the floor which stops its tall body from leaning excessively in tight corners. In fact, the I-Pace is genuinely good fun to drive, with well-weighted steering and an eagerness to change direction. That does come at the expense of some comfort on bumpy roads at low speeds, but it’s much smoother on the motorway and certainly never crashes into ruts and potholes.
The I-Pace isn’t all about speed, though – Jaguar claims it’ll do up to 298 miles between charges. That’s not quite as much as the Tesla but more than enough for the daily commute. As things stand with our charging infrastructure, spending 60 minutes using a public 50KW fast-charger is enough for a 168-mile range, while a full charge takes around 13 hours from a 7KW household wall charger. Use a standard three-pin socket and a full charge will take considerably longer. We’re talking days, not hours.
That impressive range means the Jaguar I-Pace is suitable for long distance motorway drives, so it’s good to see it comes with bundles of safety kit and (in top-spec HSE models) advanced autonomous driving features that’ll accelerate, brake and even steer for you on motorways – perfect for taking the sting out of rush hour on the M25. It’s just a shame there’s quite a bit of tyre roar kicked up at these higher speeds to be put up with by those inside.
So if you’re looking for a practical electric family car that’s packed full of tech and fast enough to put a big grin on your face then the Jaguar I-Pace deserves your full attention.