Jaguar I-Pace: long-term test review

22 Aug, 2019 10:15am Steve Fowler

First report: Will daily life change our view of the Jaguar I-Pace?

Verdict

5
The multi-award-winning I-Pace has got off to a good start. It’s further proof that electric cars are great fun to drive, and is proving easy to live with so far – let’s hope the EV shine doesn’t wear off any time soon.

Mileage: 883
Economy: 2.5m/kWh

The latest arrival on our fleet has a lot to live up to. A year ago, the Jaguar I-Pace was the first pure-electric car to be crowned jumbo-bg Car of the Year. Then in April this year, I was one of the jurors who voted it World Car of the Year. 

So it’s fair to say I’m already a fan of the I-Pace, but living together day-in day-out can change any relationship – so let’s see what happens over the coming months.

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With the first few hundred miles under its stylish 22-inch alloys, things – like the car – are looking good. I collected my I-Pace from the swankiest Jaguar dealership I’ve ever been in: Lookers, Park Royal in London. 

I drive past the site twice a day on my daily commute, but I had never been in, and it’s seriously impressive. It’s modern, minimalist, clean and a world away from the big wooden desks and Chesterfield sofas of Jaguar dealers of old.

As are the sales staff. Ryno Nortier is a certified Genius, recognised by Jaguar as being an I-Pace expert. So he was the perfect person to talk me through the many features of my new car, especially the important stuff like connecting my phone to the car (Apple CarPlay in a Jaguar at last!), going through the maze of menus to adjust the various settings, and starting me off with the Jaguar Remote app that allows me to keep tabs on charging, every journey I take, and even warm up or cool down the car remotely.

Jaguar has learnt a thing or two from its rivals when it comes to speccing a car, too. Although my top-spec HSE comes nicely equipped, it has a fair few enhancements, ranging from the rather comfy sports seats, to a long glass roof, head-up display and a black exterior pack with privacy glass to up the cool factor, and keep things cool inside.

The end result is a list price of £71,495 after the plug-in car grant, rising to £82,200 all-in. A big chunk of that comes from the beautiful 22-inch wheels, which I worried would boost the look, but ruin the ride. 

Yet with the addition of air suspension, Adaptive Dynamics and Adaptive Surface Response, my well over two-tonne car (plus driver) on big wheels that should – at least in theory – ride dreadfully actually soaks up the bumps brilliantly and handles just as well – a marvel of engineering, but at a cost.

So dynamically, the I-Pace stacks up, but of most importance is how far it can go on a full charge. Jaguar claims 258 miles (WLTP), but with limited running so far, 200 seems closer to the mark. We’ll see what we can eke out of it in the coming months.

One thing I’ve noticed is that every time I turn the car off it goes back to Comfort mode rather than my preferred Eco setting. Maybe that can be fixed by an over-the-air update, which is coming soon to Jaguars.

I’ve also struggled with the boot release. You’re supposed to be able to wave your foot under the rear bumper and the tailgate will open. It worked for Ryno, but not for me. Maybe it’s my small feet or dodgy footwear!

I do like the pop-out handles, though. My car has keyless entry and start, so I just touch a button on the handles and they jump out to attention to let me open the door.

So far, I’ve only charged the I-Pace using my home wall charger, which gives me around 100 miles of charge overnight, so it’ll be interesting to see how I get on with the national charging network. 

I already know that if I want to charge in the public car park we use for work I’ll need to get up early – the charging points fill up quickly, often with plug-in hybrids that stay there all day but clearly don’t need to. I feel a campaign on EV etiquette coming on…

Other than that, the I-Pace is living up to its award-winning, five-star billing. It’s already proving to be a conversation-starter, and I don’t miss trips to the filling station.

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Build quality is good, there’s plenty of space on board, I’m really enjoying driving the car, it’s comfortable and packed with tech. Also, it looks absolutely fantastic. Our long-term relationship is off to a great start.

Key specs

  • Model: Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE
  • On fleet since: July 2019
  • Price new: £71,495
  • Engine: 90kWh battery & two electric, 395bhp
  • CO2/tax: 0g/km/£320
  • Options: Metallic paint (£700), suede headlining (£900), 22-inch alloy wheels (£2,400), air suspension (£1,100), Adaptive Dynamics (£800), privacy glass (£375), 14-way heated and cooled seats (£1,400), panoramic sunroof (£960), Black Exterior Pack (£260), Adaptive
  • Insurance: Group 50
  • Mileage: 883
  • Efficiency: 2.5m/kWh
  • Any problem?: None so far
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