2019 Jaguar I-PACE EV400 HSE Review

Jaguar builds a truly special crossover EV


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Looks like nothing else on the road, face-pulling acceleration, elegant and futuristic interior, great steering and handling, perfect amount of usable range, tons of standard safety tech, truly roomy, not a Tesla Model X.
Negatives: Expensive, complicated infotainment and controls, questionable projected reliability could hamper the experience.
Bottom Line: The Jag I-PACE is easily the brand's most interesting model. Not only is it a superb EV, it's beautiful to behold and a total thrill to drive. It's price of entry is high, but you get a vehicle that's exotic, efficient, roomy, comfortable, and seriously quick. It's just not going to be very reliable.
Who would've thought Jaguar would do their first EV as an all-new vehicle instead of a spinoff of one of their existing models like the F-PACE? The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is the company's first all-electric vehicle, and it's a looker. Is it a car? Is it a crossover? A tall, sleek wagon? Regardless of which segment you think it belongs in, the I-Pace puts the likes of Telsa on notice, not because it will outsell the Model S or X but because it offers the best of everything. We drove the I-Pace in top trim EV400 HSE guise for a week to see what it was all about. Read on for our detailed full review.
 

Driving Experience

9.4

 

The I-Pace is really a marvelous car to drive on just about every front. Though it doesn't look like a sports car, it certainly drives like one with great agility, speed, and composure we didn't expect.

Ride Quality: The ride is firm but not upsetting in the least. It manages bumps and gaps well but doesn't feel soft or isolated.

Acceleration: The two electric motors will launch the I-Pace to 60 in a mere 4.3 seconds but because of the immediate torque and responsiveness, it actually feels faster.

Braking: The regen brakes are strong and feel better than most in this class. Single pedal driving is possible just by lifting off the gas when you want to slow down. It makes commuting far less exhausting.

Steering: Great effort, solid feedback levels, and excellent precision give the I-Pace's steering kudos from us.

Handling: The body roll is negligble, and the I-Pace feels balanced and confident in the turns. It is a very fun vehicle to drive like you stole it.

Technology

8.8

 

Jaguar might not have the easiest infotainment and control system to use (two screens make things confusing in most models, not just Jaguar), but they are stunning to behold. The instrument panel actually counts as a third screen, so there's that. Once you figure out what information shows up where, it's easier. But we'd prefer more physical buttons rather than on-screen controls.

Infotainment System: The 10" center screen is vivid and houses most of the infotainment and vehicle controls, which can be frustrating at times. It's distracting but beautiful. The system's responsiveness also needs work.

Controls: The climate system is controlled on the lower screen, and the large physical knobs help despite the fact they they are multi-function. We dislike the gearshift buttons located on the center stack (in lieu of a traditional shifter), but they do look nice.

Styling

9.1

 

Though we wouldn't call it a beautiful Jaguar (the F-Type Coupe gets that label, hands down), the I-Pace is a very attractive vehicle that's elegant and muscular all at once. Of course, famed (and now retired) designer Ian Callum did a masterful job of making this EV truly special to look at.

Front: The iconic Jaguar grille with dark mesh is flanked by Jaguar signature LED headlights. The short hood gets a deep vent that adds sportiness.

Rear: The abbreviated back end is one of the best in the crossover business. The angular and wraparound taillights mimic the F-Pace's but with added sharpness.

Profile: It's like a fancier version of the BMW X2 crossover. Short overhangs and a tall, rising beltline give it presence. The steeply raked rear glass adds drama to the roofline.

Cabin: It's easily one of Jag's best interiors with rich materials, high level of tech, and visuals that belie the brand's past interiors. We didn't expect it to be this nice.

Comfort

9

 

There's ample space for five, and the level of comfort is at the top of Jaguar's game. They also make a short roofed cabin feel spacious. Jaguar listened to its owner complaints about interior quality and upped the I-Pace's in huge way that pays off big time.

Front Seats: Well-cushione,d properly bolstered and rich in materials, the front seats are excellent with superb adjustability.

Rear Seats: Tall adults will have no problem sitting back here, and even the middle position seat cushion is flat. Seatbacks in the outboard positions are nicely contoured, as well.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The I-Pace is a serene ride, and there's no intruding engine noise of any kind thanks to its EV nature.

Visibility: The seating position is excellent, and views out the front and sides are untrammeled. The rear sides and rear view are compromised due to the low, sloping roofline, thick rear pillars, and short rear glass.

Climate: The climate system works well and responds quickly to inputs. Heated and cooled seats also activate quickly.

Safety

9

 

On our shores, the I-Pace has only been tested by the NHTSA, not the IIHS. It has also been tested by Europe's NCAP and did particularly well. The I-Pace also benefits from copious levels of safety technology.

IIHS Rating: Not tested.

NHTSA Rating: It earned the top score of five stars from the feds, and Europe's NCAP also gave the I-Pace their top score of five stars.

Standard Tech: The list is a long one and includes such features as Emergency Brake Assist, Driver Condition Monitor, Rear Traffic Monitor, Clear Exit Monitor, and Adaptive Cruise Control w/ Stop & Go and Steering Assist, and a great 360 Surround Camera.

Optional Tech: Our tester came with a clear head-up display that keeps your eyes on the road.

Storage/Cargo

8.8

 

The interior of the I-Pace, in terms of storage, is one of Jaguar's best. No longer an afterthought, Jaguar took the time to create great small items storage locations you'll actually use.

Storage Space: The front row is rife with storage options including a large binnacle at the base of the center stack, a center console tray and slot, armrest, and great door pockets. Rear occupants get a fold down armrest with storage compartment and cupholders. Everything's within easy reach.

Cargo Room: The rear cargo space has 25.3 ft behind the second row and a well-sized 51.95 cubes with the seats folded. While it's not nearly as much as the 87.8 cubes in the Tesla Model X, it's plenty of space for weekend gear.

Fuel Economy

9.5

 

The range on the I-Pace is 234 miles, and it was more than enough for us to drive it to and from work for five days straight. The mileage is also remarkable given the sheer weight (4,700+ pounds). We didn't get the combined mileage numbers because we pretty much drove it in Dynamic mode all the time.

Observed: 57.3 MPGe.

Distance Driven: 173 miles.

Audio

9.3

 

The I-Pace's standard Meridian premium sound system is simply superb. Big, clear sound with excellent bass and no distortion make it a pleasure to listen to. It fills the cabin with rich sound that's a perfect filler for the silence of the powertrain.



Final Thoughts

We really fell in love with the I-Pace. It's fast, fun to toss around, efficient, beautiful, and quite comfortable. The styling inside and out is top notch, and we love the fact that it thumbs its nose at the supremely popular but supremely ugly Tesla Model X. Jaguar has built a truly great EV that we think is the best in its class. It might not have the most range, but it certainly has the most polish, style, and fun-loving driving experience for an EV crossover. And for some weird reason, it's not at all pretentious.
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