2019 Jaguar i-Pace Year 2 Review: Continuing the British BEV Response to Tesla Amongst a Beginning German BEV Onslaught
If the past year of Tesla Model 3 production has proven anything to us, is that people want what they want. iPhone and Android users, Democrat and Republican voters, Apple and PC users, Camaro v. Mustang owners, et. al. will go back and forth, and so will Tesla and non-Tesla electric car hounds. Chevrolet of all brands has already proven to make a better built, some say a more practical and cheaper BEV that hasn’t swayed present and potential Tesla owners. Its sales of its BEV is presently down at the moment. That demographic would be wise to at least take pause on the other luxury end of the BEV market when it comes to the Jaguar i-Pace:
Jaguar I-PACE EV400 - Technical Data
- Configuration Two permanent magnet electric motors; synchronous
- Single-speed epicyclic transmission; concentric with motor
- Power PS (kW) 200 (147)
- Torque Nm (lb ft) 348 (256)
- Total system power PS (kW) 400 (294)
- Total system torque Nm (lb ft) 696 (512)
- Configuration Motor and transmission integrated into front and rear axles;
- Electric all-wheel drive
- Configuration 90kWh Li-ion; liquid-cooled; pouch cells
- Number of cells/ modules 432/ 36
- Charging 0-100% on AC 7kW (hours) 12.9
- Charging 0-80% on AC 7kW (hours) 10
- Charging 0-80% on DC 100kW (mins) 40
- Front suspension Double wishbone
- Rear suspension Integral Link
- Front brake diameter (mm) 350 (Ventilated)
- Rear brake diameter (mm) 325 (Ventilated)
- Springs Air or coil
- Dampers Continuously-variable or passive
- Steering Rack-and-pinion; electromechanical
- Battery (kWh) 90
- Maximum Power (hp) 394
- @ rpm 4,250
- Maximum torque (lb-ft) 512
- @ rpm 0
- Transmission Auto
- Charge Time - Level 2 - 0-80% (hours) / 0-100% (hours) / DC 50 kW - 0-80% (mins) 10.1 / 12.9 / 85
- Top Speed (mph) 124
- Acceleration 0-60mph (secs) 4.5
- Front Track (in) (exact dimensions depends on wheel selected) 64.7 (18" Wheel)
- Rear Track (in) (exact dimensions depends on wheel selected) 65.5 (18" Wheel)
- Overall Height (in) 61.3
- Wheelbase (in) 117.7
- Overall Length (in) 184.3
- Overall Width inc. mirrors (in) 84.2
- Overall Width with mirrors folded in (in) 74.6
- Ground Clearance fully laden (in) 5.6
- Turning Circle (ft) 39.3
- Trunk/Cargo Volume (cu. Ft.) 25.3 / 51 with rear seat folded
- Weight From (lbs) 4,784
- Gross Vehicle Weight (from - lbs) 5,886
- Length (mm) 4,682
- Width incl./ exl. mirrors (mm) 2,139/ 2,011
- Height (mm) 1,565
- Wheelbase (mm) 2,990
- Front track (mm) 1,624 – 1,643
- Rear track (mm) 1,647 – 1,663
- Weight; EU Unladen (kg) From 2,208
- Weight; DIN (kg) From 2,133
- Luggage compartment volume (litres) 656 plus 27 (front)
Performance and Range
- 0-60mph (sec) 4.5
- 0-100km/h (sec) 4.8
- Top speed mph (km/h) 124 (200)
- Range (WLTP) Up to 470km
- Manufacturer Estimated Range (miles) Up to 234
- Brake Type : N/A
- Brake ABS System : 4-Wheel
- Brake ABS System (Second Line) : N/A
- Disc - Front (Yes or ) : Yes
- Disc - Rear (Yes or ) : Yes
- Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness : in 13.8
- Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness : in 12.8
- Drum - Rear (Yes or ) :
- Rear Drum Diam x Width : in
- Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year : N/A
- EPA Greenhouse Gas Score : N/A
- Drivetrain : All Wheel Drive
- Trans Order Code :
- Trans Type : 1
- Trans Description Cont. : Automatic
- Trans Description Cont. Again :
- First Gear Ratio (:1) : N/A
- Reverse Ratio (:1) : N/A
- Clutch Size : in N/A
- Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) : 9.04
- Transfer Case Gear Ratio (:1), High : N/A
- Transfer Case Gear Ratio (:1), Low : N/A
- EPA Classification : Small Sport Utility Vehicles 2WD
- Interior Dimensions
- Passenger Capacity : 5
- Passenger Volume : ft³ N/A
- Front Head Room : in 39.9
- Front Leg Room : in 40.9
- Front Shoulder Room : in 57.6
- Front Hip Room : in N/A
- Second Head Room : in 38.1
- Second Leg Room : in 35
- Second Shoulder Room : in 54.6
- Second Hip Room : in N/A
- Weight Information
- Base Curb Weight : lbs 4784
- Curb Weight - Front : lbs N/A
- Curb Weight - Rear : lbs N/A
- Maximum Payload Capacity : lbs N/A
- Curb Weight : lbs N/A
- Total Option Weight : lbs 0.00
- Dead Weight Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. : lbs N/A
- Dead Weight Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. : lbs N/A
- Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. : lbs N/A
- Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. : lbs N/A
- Maximum Trailering Capacity : lbs N/A
- Engine Order Code :
- Engine Type : Electric
- Displacement : N/A
- Fuel System : N/A
- SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM : 394 @ 4250
- SAE Net Torque @ RPM : 512
- Cold Cranking Amps @ 0° F (Primary) : N/A
- Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps) : N/A
- Cooling System
- Total Cooling System Capacity : qts N/A
- Suspension Type - Front : Double Wishbone
- Suspension Type - Rear : Multi-Link
- Suspension Type - Front (Cont.) : Double Wishbone
- Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.) : Multi-Link
- Shock Absorber Diameter - Front : mm N/A
- Shock Absorber Diameter - Rear : mm N/A
- Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Front : in N/A
- Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Rear : in N/A
- Front Tire Order Code :
- Rear Tire Order Code :
- Spare Tire Order Code :
- Front Tire Size : P245/50R20
- Rear Tire Size : P245/50R20
- Spare Tire Size :
- Front Wheel Size : in 20
- Rear Wheel Size : in 20
- Spare Wheel Size : in
- Front Wheel Material : Aluminum
- Rear Wheel Material : Aluminum
Spare Wheel Material :
- Steering Type : Rack-Pinion
- Steering Ratio (:1), Overall : N/A
- Lock to Lock Turns (Steering) : N/A
- Turning Diameter - Curb to Curb : ft 39.3
- Turning Diameter - Wall to Wall : ft N/A
- Wheelbase : in 117.7
- Length, Overall : in 184.3
- Width, Max w/o mirrors : in 74.6
- Height, Overall : in 61.3
- Track Width, Front : in 64.1
- Track Width, Rear : in 64.9
- Min Ground Clearance : in N/A
- Rear Door Opening Height : in N/A
- Rear Door Opening Width : in N/A
- Liftover Height : in N/A
- Engine: EV400 Dual Electric Motors (394 HP) -inc: 90kwh battery pack
- Transmission: Concentric Single Speed Automatic
- 9.04 Axle Ratio
- Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
- Full-Time All-Wheel Drive
- Battery w/Run Down Protection
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- 4-Corner Auto-Leveling Suspension
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Automatic w/Driver Control Height Adjustable Automatic w/Driver Control Ride Control Adaptive Suspension
- Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- Permanent Locking Hubs
- Double Wishbone Front Suspension w/Air Springs
- Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Air Springs
- Regenerative 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Descent Control, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
- Brake Actuated Limited Slip Differential
- Lithium Ion Traction Battery w/7 kW Onboard Charger, 12.9 Hrs Charge Time @ 220/240V and1.5 Hrs Charge Time @ 440V
- Wheels: 20" 5 Split-Spoke (Style 5070) -inc: Technical grey w/polished finish
- Tires: 245/50R20
- Spare Tire Mobility Kit
- Clearcoat Paint
- Fixed Glass 1st And 2nd Row Sunroof
- Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Black Bodyside Insert
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Black Side Windows Trim
- Body-Colored Power Heated Auto Dimming Side Mirrors w/Power Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
- Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
- Deep Tinted Glass
- Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Jets
- Front Windshield -inc: Electrically Heated Glass
- Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
- Wing Spoiler
- Black Grille w/Metal-Look Surround
- Power Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
- Perimeter/Approach Lights
- LED Brakelights
- Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Led Low/High Beam Daytime Running Auto-Leveling Auto High-Beam Headlamps w/Washer and Delay-Off
- Front And Rear Fog Lamps
- Radio: Meridian 825W Surround Sound System -inc: 14 speakers, subwoofer, Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM radio, SiriusXM satellite radio and HD Radio
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Aux Audio Input Jack, Steering Wheel Controls, Voice Activation, Radio Data System and External Memory Control
- Digital Signal Processor
- Streaming Audio
- Integrated Roof Antenna
- 3 LCD Monitors In The Front
- Real-Time Traffic Display
- 18-Way Heated & Cooled Sport Seats -inc: electric memory front seats w/heated rear seats, electric fore and aft, electric cushion height, electric recline, electric lumbar, electric cushion tilt, electric cushion extension, electric adjustable bolsters and manual headrest
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Traction Battery Level, Power/Regen, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows
- Voice Recorder
- 4g Wi-Fi Hotspot Mobile Hotspot Internet Access
- Sport Heated Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Proximity Key For Doors And Push Button Start
- Valet Function
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
- Remote Releases -Inc: Proximity Cargo Access and Power Fuel
- HomeLink Garage Door Transmitter
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Distance Pacing w/Traffic Stop-Go
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Headliner/Pillar Ducts
- Dual Zone Front And Rear Automatic Air Conditioning
- Rear HVAC w/Separate Controls
- Locking Glove Box
- LuxTec Leatherette Door Trim Insert
- Interior Trim -inc: Genuine Wood/Metal-Look Instrument Panel Insert, Genuine Wood Door Panel Insert, Piano Black Console Insert, Metal-Look Interior Accents and Windsor Leather Upholstered Dashboard
- Full Suedecloth Simulated Suede Headliner
- Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 3 12V DC Power Outlets
- Front And Rear Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
- Carpet Floor Trim
- Cargo Area Concealed Storage
- Rigid Cargo Cover
- Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
- Trunk/Hatch Auto-Latch
- Cargo Space Lights
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
- InControl Navigation Pro Integrated Navigation System w/Voice Activation
- Tracker System
- Smart Device Integration
- Memory Settings -inc: Door Mirrors, Audio and HVAC
- Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins and 2nd Row Underseat Storage
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Digital/Analog Display
- Head-Up Display
- Redundant Digital Speedometer
- Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest w/Storage
- 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
- Seats w/Leather Back Material
- Perimeter Alarm
- Engine Immobilizer
- 3 12V DC Power Outlets
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- InControl Protect Emergency Sos
- Park Assist Automated Parking Sensors
- Lane Keep Assist Lane Keeping Assist
- Lane Keep Assist Lane Departure Warning
- Blind Spot Assist Blind Spot Sensor
- High Speed Emergency Braking Forward Collision and Rear Traffic Monitor Rear Collision
- Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Power Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera
- Front Camera
- Left Side Camera
- Right Side Camera
- Warranty and Crash Test Results
- 5 Years/60,000 Miles
- 5 Years/60,000 Miles
- 6 Years/Unlimited Miles
- Hybrid/Electric Components:
- 8 Years/100,000 Miles
- Roadside Assistance:
- 5 Years/60,000 Miles
- 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Already on the market well into year two of production as it increasingly proliferates the landscape and way ahead of its German competition, the British Jaguar i-Pace is making its presence known. The slickishly raked crossover feline formed saloon utility is no doubt a trail blazer in design and technology, but like a meowing stray cat that comes to your door for you to open it to hear the purring and fall in love with it, this cat too, gives you plenty to love about it.
What is it:
The Jaguar i-Pace is a high performance all battery electric BEV luxury utility crossover four door sports saloon by Jaguar Cars, a division of Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. (JLR) of Coventry, UK. These are also the makers of the storied Range Rover (RR).
Where Does it Come From:
Land Rover is the sixth oldest car company in the world, first known as Lancashire Steam Motors, Leland Motors, then British Leyland Motors, the anchor company that once included Rolls Royce in the British nationalization of its motor car industry. After the British government takeover and subsequent bust up, LR went on to become the Rover Group and in 1978 became Land Rover. Land Rover was acquired by Ford in 2000. They sold it to Tata in 2008.
Beginning as the Swallow Sidecar Company, Jaguar started life in 1922 making side cars for motorcycles before changing over to passenger car production. After a 1945 name change to Jaguar, the company got sucked up into the holding that owned LR that was named British Motor Holdings in 1968, which merged with Leyland Motor Corporation, which was renamed British Leyland.
The British nationalized the whole British car industry in one big mess, and eventually as each got spitted out to either somehow survive on their own, die, or get taken over by the Germans or the Americans. This is what happened to Jaguar in 1990 by Ford. Ford sold Jaguar to Tata in 2008.
Ford sold both as separate companies but together at the same time. They are now one and the same. There was once an SUV side for LR and a side for Jaguar to take care of the sports cars and the saloons. But the car industry and the market it serves makes for strange bedfellows under unusual circumstances. Customer demands means the industry must redefine what a passenger and a utility vehicle are. JLR had to do some hard thinking. This is where both sides within itself began its journey of crossing over to either side to make the vehicles they’ve recently produced.
i-Pace is one of the results, the first electric in now a series of SUVs built on Land Rover platforms that are Jaguars. And in a strange twist, LR will have its share of passenger cars for sale in the near future as well, starting with an all electric shooting brake estate variant of the upcoming all electric flagship saloon, the all new BEV Jaguar XJ.
JLR is independently operated by charter as a joint company since 2013, but wholly owned by Tata Motors Ltd. of India.
i-Pace is manufactured under agreement by Magna Steyr AG & Co KG since June, 2017, in their final assembly plant in Graz, Austria. For the past year deliveries to customers have been made in Europe; JLR now is focusing on North America. This is year two of production.
What and Where was it tested:
I tested a 2019 Jaguar i-Pace black on red and black tester at the Anaheim Convention Center during the 2018 Orange County International Auto Show.
What’s it up Against:
i-Pace is in a segment that competes with the Tesla Model X, the soon coming Audi e-Tron Quattro, the Porsche Taycan crossover utility that comes after the debut of the Porsche Taycan saloon, and the Mercedes Benz EQC crossover SUV. Because that segment for now is small, some say it also competes as a saloon with Tesla Model S and the upcoming Porsche Taycan, Lucid Air, and Faraday FF91. It may compete as an SUV with the upcoming smaller Tesla Model Y as a crossover, and the upcoming smaller Volvo XC40 electric SUV.
When other BEV models populate their appropriate segments over the next five years with the five year electrification plans from at least the major automakers, enabling them to release Tesla from cornering the BEV market it presently does, we’ll start to see these models fall in line with their competitor models more directly.
How is it Made:
i-Pace sits on a JLR engineered all aluminum platform de rigueur battery tray centered with two electric motors at each axle. This is the same platform that will house a LR variant to i-Pace, rumors to be possibly the next generation Land Rover Defender, which might include a pickup variant. All electric. But this is speculation not confirmed.
How Does it Perform
There’s a trade off in consuming gasoline that now you have a 1300 lb battery pack that’s a third of the weight of the car underneath you that gives it a low center of gravity. This makes the two motors that crank out 294 kW together, work a little harder. The two power plants seem to know what they’re up against and are prepared for the challenge. But at nearly 5000 lbs gross weight that’s still a lot of car you have throw around. i-Pace is almost as heavy as a Range Rover, and if not careful, equally as dangerous if you don’t know how to drive one.
With an identical motor at each axle and no driving settings to regulate power, this car is designed with the most modern technology, but purposed designed to be driven old school like a gas car in performance and refueling. So it doesn’t come with different modes of driving like a Tesla does, no Ludicrous Mode, or Sport or Economy, that if you need Jaguar power you just put your foot down on the damn pedal and prepared to be blasted Jaguar style to warp speed.
And with over a staggering 500 lb feet of torque under your foot, why would you need a switch to help you get there? Just be careful putting your foot on the juice pedal as the car is quite torquey to either lurch you to warp speed and if in low regen setting you take your foot off the pedal it’ll lurch out of warp right down to full impulse power. They’re are no towing capacities available, but 500 lb feet is more than enough power to pull a boat, caravan camper, or trailer of goods.
A 124 mph top speed is revealing. That the vehicle that harnesses this much power can’t go any faster because of its mass and weight is a warning to be careful handling.
With regenerative braking you have two settings high or low, and with the low selection, which looking back I think I loved even more, as it gave you the feeling of driving a manual stick shift downshifting as you let your foot off the juice pedal and the reverse torque was activated to give you a transmission creep feeling. The only thing was that you had to remember to let off “the gas” a bit easier so that you don’t lurch the car. But otherwise I did have the urge to put my left foot down to find the clutch and takeover shifting, even though these electrics have only one forward gear to our dismay.
With the e-switch in low setting the one foot regen braking mode can come awfully handy on hilly curves and steep declines in the road.
What About the Range
The biggest problem I see for this car is the range. It seems that the European car makers have hit a brick wall with their SUVs with ranges, and not being able to top them off near 300 miles. If that’s the case then when it comes to side by side comparison with these paltry ranges by Mercedes and Jaguar, the Model X still remains the competitor to beat and a better value with its 289 mile range.
Porsche has a certified a 310 mile range and 600 hp on its sports saloon the Taycan, so it appears that the SUV variant that comes after shouldn’t be that far different than the car. Audi’s range just barely squeaks by for a big heavy SUV and falls just within the radar with a 250 mile area of 248. They could do better.
If the Chevy Bolt set the standard of the 238 mile range minimum for a BEV which i-Pace meets, then the Model X sets the long distance standard at up to 289 miles of range, where i-Pace is woefully insufficient. This was an issue on the Mercedes Benz EQC with their 240 mile range that they need to address before production.
Mind you I‘ve been criticized for that but people forget that owners of an i-Pace like the Mercedes and Audi and Porsche are more likely going to drive longer distances and haul heavier things than a Bolt owner, and 234-248 miles for a car more likely to be driven long distance than a Bolt can eventually become problematic. And don’t forget, 234 is ideal, not the usual mileage we get and that’s usually less. At 65 mph you’re going to have to recharge every 3.5 hours on a long distance trip. That’s at 65. Great for tiny bladders. Most of you will be going faster. Any of you up for all that frequent highway supercharging?
These cars are supposed to compete against Tesla okay? Well, here we are. If Mercedes, Audi, and Jaguar want to stay in the kitchen, they need to do their jobs and compete! If not, step aside if their battery trays are getting too hot! Other journalist howled on Mercedes about this as I also do here on Jaguar, so I’m not the only one.
It’s one thing for a Bolt to have a 238 mile range as that’s a sweet spot for a BEV commuter car to occasionally do long distance driving. For an SUV doing a long haul or handling bikes, luggage, a canoe, skis, a boat on top, or fishing gear et. al. that range is going to drop off to an even lower number, and constant recharging is going to become annoying for the owner and taxing on the battery cooling system.
That 51 mile X advantage on i-Pace, e-Tron, and Mercedes counts when driving at length, and this means you’d have to stop for more fast supercharging. That might not have a big impact on a week long getaway, but think about it, on a weekend trip or even a day excursion that time is of the essence to maximize enjoyment time to wait 45 extra minutes each way for recharging, might be a crimp, especially when it’s about Sunday traffic on the way home and now you have to stop to recharge when you can do that at home.
No Tow Rating and No Dedicated Supercharger Network
What complicates this issue is that in a race to become first at the finish line as a Tesla competitor, Jaguar doesn’t have its own dedicated supercharger network like Tesla and Porsche does, a selling point for the two other cars, and it’s been two years now. Jaguar had plenty of time to fix this over the past year. It’s one thing to leave Jag customers with a 300+ mile range to say you’re on you’re own, another when it’s barely over 200 miles! Two years poor range and two years no supercharger and two years no tow rating and two years of not fixing these issues. Bad cat!!
What most annoyed me to downrate the Jaguar is Tesla Model X is rated to tow 5,000 lbs of tow capacity. With 234 miles of range Jaguar isn’t even going to attempt to tow rate their car as they complain the range suffers too much.
You can join a supercharger network on your own, and I’m sure Jaguar dealers will help you with that, but a manufacturer of a luxury marque should already have something like this feature in place, especially for first time BEV owners as they’ll despite advances will still be a bit anxious to get their toe in the water, as Tesla then Porsche have set the standard to make this almost mandatory for an luxury electric car. This is why Lucid is joining Volkswagen’s Electrify America supercharger network when it shortly launches the Air.
Long distance driving becomes an issue when living in remote suburban or rural areas and/or for where frequent trips are part of a routine as well. This is another reason why Jaguar needs to fix this. For most BEV owners a level 2 home base charger is most likely the only charger a BEV usually uses if it has a long range. Charging is not like refueling gas, the dynamics are completely different. You need a charger app on your phone to find a nearest AVAILABLE charging station. Jaguar’s navigation system is set up to direct you to one and calculate ETAs with that in mind. Jaguar says it’s committed to having its own supercharger network but from my research that seems in other places not here in North America, at least not yet. I tried calling a local Jaguar dealership here in Los Angeles during business hours to see what they could do for i-Pace customers needing a supercharger network, but after being connected to the sales department the phone rang for an eternity for me to hang up right there. So much for Jaguar customer service!
Ride and Handling
Driving around the residential sections of Disneyland in Anaheim with their deep water channels across intersections, you have to be careful not to scrape the bottom of a car. Some of them are like speed bumps in reverse. Beside the fact i-Pace has more than enough ground clearance, it seemed to negotiate them well.
In typical Jaguar fashion, however, Roll Royce floaty this car is not, and while it was nice to have some kind of feedback from the road to gauge how things are doing on the outside, at times it seemed a bit too much to bear even when crawling over them. These are water channels. I can only imagine climbing over rocks and terrain. This is an all wheel drive utility vehicle alright. Remember that when you consider purchase. If you’re looking for Mercury Grand Marquis this vehicle isn’t yours.
My other minor complaints about the car handling other than the slightly choppy ride is the electric steering is so typical well, electric steering, as faster you go there’s less feedback from the road. It’s nice to have it on turns and parking but if there was only a way to dial it back off or outright shut it off on curves it wouldn’t make for such a loud complaint.
Spending lots of driving time in a 2008 Jaguar XF when it was a new model at the time, I anticipated what changes I would expect inside Jaguar product like a 2019 i-Pace. I loved the XF mini saloon, it was the precursor of the flagship XJ saloon to follow at the time when Jaguar was resetting the entire brand and model range.
When I sat inside the i-Pace for the first time, the first thing I noticed was how the fit and finish was typical Jaguar, no detail was spared in the design, styling, and assembly process. No rattles or squeaks inside the car.
This electric feline is designed by now legendary Ian Callum, Chief Designer at JLR, considered to be the Harley Earl or Virgil Exner of the British motor car industry. If a Harley Davidson is the embodiment of the iron horse, then the progression of thinking would be that this Jaguar is the embodiment of the electric iron cat.
From the black fangs in the front induction air dams, its snarling front teeth in the grille, the curved, raked, and flared fenders matched with fat tires of muscular feline legs and gigantic paws, and its squinting, staring-down challenging eyes of the headlamps complete a front fascia that matches its very cat-like appearance with its performance, starting with that stalking to sprinting 512 lbs feet of torque, oh my!
But this cat isn’t for everyone. It’s rakish design is far from the boxy truck-like design of her Land Rover cousins that fans love and we’ve been used to over the decades, and her soon coming platform sister she’ll share with LR. But JLR is doing this apparently on purpose. i-Pace is raked so that she slices through the wind faster and more efficiently like a Jaguar, flesh or iron. If you are a truckster kind of SUVer, then stick to the LR/RR side of JLR! There’s plenty of opposite styles to go around!
On the insides one of more notable features JLR is taking departure from is from the dial a direction gear selector it abandoned for this car it’s been using the last two decades. Instead, three silver gear buttons and one black park one replaces the retractable silver dial a gear. Remember that these electric cars have only one forward gear.
As if it were an Android response to an Apple feature, the minimalist movement in interior design started by Tesla hasn’t really taken hold inside an electric Jaguar cabin. Traditional gauges are in front of the driver accompanied by a not as large driver screen inside a Tesla Model 3, but the environment controls are on a separate panel as they would be in any other kind of car.
I love the extreme red inside the cabin contrasting the black leather hided accents inside, to the black on the car’s exterior. I’ve been noticing that Jaguar has been painting their cars some really off beat colors that do get people’s attention.
Inside the convention center they had a demo that was so sherbet orange that you could swear you were able to lick the color off the car, in fact it temped me to find an ice cream shop that has the flavor! I’ve seen purples and greens for paint jobs not quite seen before on a Jag to wonder if the customer demographic would like these colors, maybe Millennials would as they soon too, if not already are entering the demographic to afford such a car.
Then it occurred to me that these kinds of colors are perfect for leasing and subscription cars you’re only going to keep for a month or so, or 2-4 years and then turn them over when you get tired of looking at the same kindergarten purple paint. These kind of cars also make perfect colors for some rich guy to keep an example of in his Jaguar collection 20-30 years from now.
Jaguar has put together a fine machine for its four years of development but two production years with time out on the road makes a world of difference especially in both the SUV and electric market. The fit and finish unmistakably are Jaguar at its finest, and you have no reason still to be disappointed.
Torque has always been a selling point of the sleek cat and the Supercharged performance you expect in those models over the years are electrified here in a compelling package that has no problems passing, highway merging, and maintaining high speeds. Same goes with handling as the cat still has the prowess of her fleshy counterparts.
But there are also slight drawbacks that if you intend to use this car mostly for suburban and city driving will be an nonissue. If your the getaway adventure kind of person, the drawbacks will glare themselves to irk you from time to time.
What were once forgivable faux pas in year one when only Model X was the competition, have become glaring deficiencies in year two, especially when an Audi, a Porsche, and a Mercedes are bearing down on you. Three peers, four with the Taycan crossover, three super saloons, and at least three other electric SUVs or hatches. The competition is getting stiff that these car makers need to improve to stay viable.
With 500 lb feet of torque there’s no excuse frankly not to have a tow rating. And with a 1300 lb battery tray as it is already there’s no reason to add the weight necessary to get to at least nearly a 300 mile range. 1300 is 1300. Adding more pounds to get there to sacrifice something isn’t going to kill anyone.
If this was about supplying power to the baby Jaguar XE, then hands down with a 234 mile range, that’s the Bolt sweet spot. But for an SUV used to haul things and people and at time long distances, I know JLR can do better. If this was about a Range Rover you know this range would be at 300+ miles. You get there by starting with i-Pace.
And leaving your dealership to set up your customers with a supercharger network instead of having one on your own that Tesla, Porsche, and Audi does, that VW Group has with both IONITY and Electrify America, is at the least troubling. Mercedes has a paltry range also but at least they’re already hooked up to a network.
Jaguar needs to fix these things with i-Pace if they intend to stay a serious competitor in the SUV BEV luxo market, and if they intend to expand their electric model range. If you are essentially looking for a four door saloon that has the versatility you’ll occasionally need, then this car is for you. If you are a ritualistic weekend adventurer, this car will eventually find a way to annoy you between the range, towing, and for some at the beginning, no network.
Otherwise, I’d strongly recommend i-Pace as a continuing contender in a tightly competitive luxury BEV market you’re sure to enjoy.
Pros and Cons
More TORQUE! A sprinter just like the fleshy fast cat!
Decent so so range better than a PHEV.
No complex drive settings; just hit the damn pedal and GO!
Design is still fresh.
Comfortable front seats.
Driving dynamics and performance still genuinely Jaguar.
Lots of interior/cargo space.
It’s electric so hopefully it’ll be more reliable than a gas Jaguar.
It’s not a Tesla.
It's heavy at nearly 5,000 lbs.
It’s expensive especially for first EV step from $70,000 USD.
A bit too much road feedback.
Not enough steering feedback.
Deal breaker: the 240 mile range is decent local but not for long distance driving.
Deal breaker: two years and still no supercharger charging network
Deal breaker: 2 years and only one battery option.
Deal breaker: No tow cap and no excuse: Same weight as a Range Rover and 500 lb ft of torque. Model X has tow cap 5,000 lbs.
The feline rakish sleek crossover design is not boxy truck-like Range Rover, Ford Explorer, or Jeep Wagoneer traditional and may take getting used to.
Infotainment a bit getting used to and still no CarPlay/Android Auto.
It’s electric so hopefully it’ll be more reliable than a gas Jaguar.
It’s not a Tesla.
Photo Credits: All shots by Jaguar USA Media, except the interior seats by me, Al Castro.
Spec sheets are from Jaguar USA Website, and several other news sources on the Internet. I took various spec sheets so some numbers may conflict or contradict. I do that on purpose so that you can judge and gauge for yourself the information reported on i-Pace specifications. I tried my best to evaluate the car based on these sources, I’m not perfect, okay?
What do you think of the 2019 Jaguar i-Pace? Let us know below!