The first time that we tested the Jaguar I-Pace back in February we focused our story on what the I-Pace has that Tesla vehicles do not. There is quite a list. Whether that matters to you depends entirely on if you are a Tesla (only) fan. If so, nope. The I-Pace is a doorstop dressed funny by its momma. If you are open to other green vehicle models from other manufacturers, the differences are pretty easy to understand and appreciate. In this overview, we will focus on the vibe one gets when driving the I-Pace in normal daily situations.
I-Pace Vibe - The Drive
Driving the I-Pace is a melding of the classic Jaguar feel and the modern electric drivetrain feel. The two in combination are brilliant. Having driven every modern Jaguar and Land Rover product except the E-Pace, we can tell you that this is by far our favorite. Yes, we even prefer it to the Amazing F-Type and the F-Pace, two of our favorite cars and crossovers. The I-Pace feels like an electric version of the F-Pace and the F-Type merged into one vehicle.
Off the line, the I-Pace is smooth and quiet, almost serene. Or, you can floor it and the landscape rushes by like the Falcon hitting lightspeed. It's totally up to you and your right big toe. The acceleration is real-world fast enough that you rarely have enough room to hold the power pedal down very long before you need to brake or turn. The thrust is amazing. Or, like we said serene.
There are various drive modes, but in fall weather normal mode is fine. The vehicle handles flat and steers very directly. The suspension and tires absorb bumps with ease and the I-Pace always feels comfortable. It is a pleasure to drive. Very nearly so much fun that you may take it for a ride on a Sunday just for the joy of driving it.
I-Pace Vibe - The Interior
Inside, the I-Pace is simply splendid. Every part of it is premium and upscale and the vibe is luxury with a hint of performance. The heated and ventilated seats are superb both in comfort and in look. The dash is modern Jaguar with no goofball EV gimmicks. It all works exceptionally well. The infotainment setup is super simple to operate and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work as expected. Rather than a frustrating mouse, the system uses touch.The Meridian sound system is outstanding.
The I-Pace feels very roomy up front, but also feels cozy. Jaguar nailed this interior and it is clearly a "driver's" cockpit. Seating in the back is also comfortable. There are larger vehicles of course, but this vehicle would work very well as a family car.
With over 25 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats, the I-Pace has more room than most sedans, but it is the hatchback design that really makes that space workable. Our tester had a high-quality soft rubber cargo mat. The crossover hints are all there.
The I-Pace occupies its own price point right now. There is overlap with other EV offerings, but none that we have ever driven offer as much real-world performance and as much real-world comfort and space for the dollar. The I-Pace starts at about $71K including delivery. There are three trims to choose from, all with AWD, and the top-trim HSE rises to the mid $80Ks. After one factors in the substantial federal tax break, local EV incentives, and possible dealer discounting the budget range is $60K to $75K. The word on the street is that Jaguar has plenty of I-Pace inventory and is looking for buyers.
In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.