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2020 Jaguar I-Pace Review

The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace is a luxury compact crossover powered solely by electricity. And even though Jaguar is a British marque (but owned by Tata, an Indian conglomerate), the I-Pace is built in Austria by Magna Steyr, a facility that also produces the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Which goes a long way to explaining the excellent cabin materials and build quality.

As well as being luxurious, the I-Pace is practical, especially for its size. By setting the wheels far into the corners and the cabin forward (electric motors take up less space than combustion engines), there’s a lot of room inside. Four adults can fit comfortably, with a sufficient trunk area for their luggage: 25.3 cu ft.

Only Tesla vehicles can offer a longer range at the moment. But the I-Pace still has the rapid acceleration that comes with electric motors. And potential buyers will be happy to know that the battery pack in the I-Pace has an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty. It will be replaced if its efficiency falls below 70%.

The I-Pace is customizable — there’s no need to buy the priciest model to access certain features. If a buyer wants a base version with fancier upholstery, that’s possible.

If there’s a downside, it’s the same that applies to every non-Tesla electric vehicle (EV): There’s no Supercharger-type network that could make long journeys more feasible. Instead, drivers have to search for ChargePoint or public stations, which aren’t as convenient. But that may not be an issue for owners who do most of their recharging at home and have another vehicle for road trips.

What’s New for 2020?

Even though the I-Pace was all-new for last year, Jaguar has performed a software update for the battery, extending range from 234 to 253 miles. Other tweaks include lowering the point where regenerative braking becomes active, changing the cooling system and active shutters for optimal thermal and aerodynamic efficiency, and refining the torque split between the front and rear axles when driving in Eco mode. This all enhances the accuracy of the I-Pace’s range readout. Owners of a 2019 I-Pace can receive these updates at a Jaguar dealer. See the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Engaging and involving
  • Spacious interior
  • Arguably pleasing exterior design

What We Don’t

  • No Tesla-like charging network
  • Slow-responding touchscreens
  • Not ideal for towing

How Much?

$70,875-$81,925 — before any federal or state incentives.

Fuel Economy

The I-Pace has one drivetrain, which the company refers to as EV400. It features two electric motors, one at each axle, providing all-wheel drive (AWD).

The whole system produces 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque. The 90-kWh lithium-ion battery now provides a range of 253 miles, using the methodology of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Connected to a Level 2 230-volt charger, a full recharge would take almost 13 hours. A faster charger could do it in 85 minutes, or take it up to 80% in around 40 minutes.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace comes in S, SE and HSE trim levels.

The S ($70,875) has 18-in alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, a fixed panoramic roof, automatic and self-leveling LED headlights, rear fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry/start, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, 60/40 split/folding rear seats, front/rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic warning, automated parking, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, driver attention monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, Clear Exit monitoring, a 12.3-in digital instrument panel, a Touch Pro Duo interface (10-in and 5-in central touchscreens), navigation, six USB ports, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration and an 11-speaker Meridian sound system with AM/FM/satellite radio.

SE ($77,275) adds 20-in wheels, adaptive cruise control, higher-speed automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, LED daytime running lights, a powered lift gate, power-folding mirrors and leather upholstery. Heated front and rear seats are optional.

HSE ($81,295) has its own design of 20-in wheels, hands-free lift gate operation, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree camera system, upgraded leather upholstery, upgraded front seats (heated, ventilated, power-adjustable side bolsters and cushion extension), heated rear seats and a 15-speaker/825-watt Meridian surround sound system. Extended leather interior trim is optional.

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

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

Safety

As well as the mandatory safety features, every I-Pace has forward-collision mitigation with low-speed automatic emergency braking, driver attention monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and rear cross-traffic warning. Clear Exit monitoring is also standard, raising an alert if it’s unsafe to open a door.

The I-Pace has not been crash tested by any agencies in the United States, but a similar program in Europe gave the vehicle its maximum score of five stars overall.

Behind the Wheel

Some electric cars tend to feel a little detached, as if the driver is along for a ride rather than part of the experience. That’s not the case here.

The I-Pace is genuinely capable and engaging. And no "for an electric car" qualifier is necessary. There’s plenty of feedback and fun. AWD, a low center of gravity, large wheels set far into the vehicle’s corners and an ideal 50/50 front/rear weight distribution all combine to achieve astonishing grip around corners.

Yet it does so without compromising ride quality. The standard adaptive air suspension provides a surprisingly comfortable ride. This array of attributes is typical Jaguar.

The usual EV trait of effortless, immediate torque brings an impressive 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds. The only EVs that beat it are made by Tesla.

Strong regenerative braking (drivers have a choice of two levels) brings a "one-pedal driving" aspect in many situations. This is particularly useful in traffic. The adaptive cruise control system will also handle acceleration and braking, even in stop/go traffic (similar to Tesla’s Autopilot).

An Active Sound Design feature masks the usual EV whine and, when the car is in Dynamic mode, plays a deep warble (a kind of futuristic exhaust note). It adds extra character to the drive.

In terms of in-car tech, the I-Pace has Jaguar’s Touch Pro Duo interface with a 10.3-in touchscreen for the most infotainment functions in addition to a 5-in lower touchscreen that deals mostly with climate control. Responses are a bit slow and some menus are convoluted. Other manufacturers might have better interfaces, but they aren’t always in electric vehicles. And someone using the system day in and day out will quickly become accustomed to a regular set of sequences.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Tesla Model 3 — Although the Model X is essentially a crossover, it’s bigger than the I-Pace and more expensive. The range-topping Performance version of the Model 3 compact 4-door car, on the other hand, has a range of 310 miles and costs $61,100.

2020 Audi E-tronAudi’s first all-electric crossover. Range is 204 miles, its interior is even nicer than the I-Pace’s, and it can tow 4,000 pounds. The I-Pace doesn’t have a tow rating.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4Matic — The first production electric crossover to wear the 3-pointed star. Not a lot of information was available while compiling this review, but it’s sure to be a serious contender.

2020/2021 BMW iX3 — Again, still in the pipeline with not many details, but apparently it will be made in China and has a super-fast charging capability.

2020 Hyundai Kona Electric — Much less expensive than the others mentioned here, but still interesting. Range is 258 miles. Available only in PZEV states so far.

Autotrader’s Advice

It’s a big financial step from S to SE. It might be a good idea to go with the S and choose adaptive cruise control as an option. Find a Jaguar I-Pace for sale

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