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2019 Jaguar I-Pace: New Car Review

If you’re looking for a fashionable electric luxury car, your search will no longer have to begin and end at a Tesla store. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is the first in a series of EVs coming from luxury makers to provide greater choice to eco-minded car shoppers. The I-Pace delivers the sort of long electric range, sling-shot acceleration and useful interior space we’ve come to expect from Tesla, but it has the sort of overall polish that’s been missing. In particular, the cabin features richer materials and tighter construction.

Then there’s the driving experience. Electric cars typically feel a bit disengaged, as if you’re along for a ride rather than part of the experience. That’s not the case with the I-Pace: there’s plenty of feedback, an abundance of cornering grip and legitimate fun to be had. At the same time, the standard adaptive air suspension provides a surprisingly comfortable ride.

There’s also the matter of practicality. The I-Pace isn’t really that big on the outside, but by pushing the wheels to the corners and the cabin as far forward as possible (there’s no engine, remember) there’s a ton of room inside. Four 6-plus-footers can fit comfortably with enough space in the back for their luggage.

In short, the new Jaguar I-Pace is incredibly impressive. If there’s a hang up it’s the thing that applies to every non-Tesla electric car: there’s no Supercharger-type network that allows for relatively easy long-distance journeys. Instead, you’ll have to search for ChargePoint or public stations, which just aren’t as convenient. Yet, if you’ll mostly recharge at home and have another vehicle for longer journeys, perhaps it won’t matter.

What’s New for 2019?

The I-Pace is an all-new model for 2019. See the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace models for sale near you

What We Like

Legitimately fun to drive; spacious interior; tall seating position; more conventional interior than Tesla competitors

What We Don’t

No Tesla-like Supercharger network; slow-responding touchscreens; uses more electricity than other electric cars

How Much?

$69,500-$85,900

Fuel Economy

The I-Pace has two electric motors, one at each axle, which provide all-wheel drive. Together, those motors produce 394 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Its 90-kWh battery is capable of an estimated range of 234 miles.

This is comparable range to Tesla’s 75D Model S and Model X, however, they use less electricity to accomplish it. Over the course of 100 miles driven, the I-Pace will use an estimated 44 kWh of electricity — the Teslas are in the mid-30 range. Based on national average utility prices, the I-Pace would cost an extra $150 to $200 per year. However, compared to a similarly powerful gasoline-fueled SUV such as the Jaguar F-Pace, you would save about $1,500 per year by going with the electric Jag.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is available with only one power output and battery type, a combination dubbed EV400. There are then four trim levels for 2019: S, SE, HSE and First Edition.

The base S ($69,500) comes standard with 18-in wheels, an adaptive air suspension, a fixed panoramic glass roof, automatic and self-leveling LED headlights, rear fog lights, automatic wipers, proximity entry and keyless entry, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, driver inattention monitoring, lane-keeping assist, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, an automated parking system, dual-zone automatic climate control, "Luxtec" simulated leather upholstery, height-adjustable front seats (power-recline only), a 60/40-split folding back seat, a 12.3-in digital instrument panel, the Touch Pro Duo tech interface (10- and 5-in central touchscreens), integrated navigation, 6 USB ports, in-car Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 11-speaker Meridian sound system with AM/FM/satellite radio.

The SE ($75,850) adds 20-in wheels, adaptive cruise control, higher-speed automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, LED accent/running lights, a power lift gate, power-folding mirrors, leather upholstery and 8-way power front seats with memory settings. Heated front and rear seats are optional.

The HSE ($80,500) gets different 20-in wheels, a hands-free power lift gate, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view parking camera, upgraded leather upholstery, upgraded front seats (heated, ventilated, power-adjustable side bolsters and cushion extension) and a 15-speaker Meridian surround sound audio system. Extended leather interior trim is optional.

Most of the upper trim levels’ upgrades are available on lower trims.

Options on all trims include configurable drive settings, Adaptive Surface Response (adjusts various vehicle elements based on traction conditions), the Cold Climate pack (heated windshield, washer jets and steering wheel), a variety of 20- and 22-in wheels, front fog lights, 4-zone climate control, multi-color ambient lighting, front sport seats, suedecloth headlining, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, a suedecloth-wrapped steering wheel and carbon fiber or gloss black exterior trim packs.

The First Edition ($85,900) is available in a special Photon Red color (as well as black or gray) and includes most optional equipment.

Safety

Every I-Pace comes with a comprehensive amount of standard equipment, including forward-collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, driver inattention monitoring, lane-keeping assist, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-traffic warning. Blind spot monitoring and a high-speed automatic emergency braking system are optional on the S and SE trim levels, but standard on the HSE.

The I-Pace has not been crash tested by a third party.

Behind the Wheel

The I-Pace’s combination of AWD, a low center of gravity, large wheels pushed to the corners, a 50/50 front/rear weight distribution and a standard adaptive air suspension is a recipe for astonishing grip around corners. That it was engineered by Jaguar, a company renowned for its superior-handling cars, only adds to the leger of attributes that make the I-Pace a genuinely capable and engaging car to drive. There’s no "for an electric car" qualifier needed.

As an electric car, though, you do get the typical trait of effortless, immediate torque that pins you into your seat. You can also take advantage of strong regenerative braking (recoups energy for the battery) to "one-foot drive" in most situations. This is an indispensable feature in traffic, but you can also take advantage of the adaptive cruise control system that will handle the accelerator and brake for you, even in gridlock (much like Tesla’s Autopilot system).

We’re also fans of the Active Sound Design system. It masks the usual high-pitched electric car whine, and when the car is in Dynamic mode, pipes into the cabin a sort of deep warble that’s a sort of futuristic exhaust note. It adds a little extra bit of character to the driving experience.

As for the cabin, you’ll find a ton of space for four passengers, a generous amount of cargo space (25.3 cu-ft., similar to a compact SUV), and strong quality that eclipses that of most other Jaguars. We also like that the I-Pace is highly customizable — you don’t have to get the priciest model to get access to certain interior or feature upgrades. If you just want a base car with fancier upholstery, you can do that.

In terms of in-car tech, the I-Pace has Jaguar-Land Rover’s latest Touch Pro Duo interface consisting of a 10.3-in touchscreen that handles most infotainment functions and a 5-in touchscreen below that mostly deals with the climate control system. Frankly, it’s a bit slow to respond and some menus are convoluted. Most rival interfaces are better, but we also think you can live with it.

Other Cars to Consider

Tesla Model S — In terms of performance, electric range, interior space and price, the I-Pace aligns closest with the Model S 75D model. Tesla’s Model X is a bigger vehicle, but like the I-Pace, is considered a crossover.

Audi e-Tron — The e-Tron is Audi’s new electric vehicle that has a more conventional crossover body style than the I-Pace. Its range should be comparable, its acceleration should be slower, and its interior even nicer.

Mercedes-Benz EQ C — This is Mercedes‘ first dedicated electric vehicle. It too has a crossover body style, but there’s more differentiating it stylistically from its Benz siblings than the e-Tron.

Hyundai Kona Electric — If the I-Pace and these other EVs are too pricey, the Kona is vastly cheaper, still pretty cool and will use far less electricity to achieve comparable range.

Autotrader’s Advice

We would start with at least the SE since there’s no way to get full power seats on the base car, and when you’re spending this much money, you shouldn’t have manual seats. Otherwise, we would recommend opting for adaptive cruise control since it allows for the sort of partial autonomy on the highway and in stop-and-go traffic that Tesla is renowned for. Find a Jaguar I-Pace for sale

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