Electric Vehicle Review Jaguar I Pace 2021 SUV
There are award winners, and then there’s this car. Jaguar’s first all-electric model, the I-Pace, which has won 62, that’s 62 awards, including managing an unprecedented travel at the world car of the year awards. That’s design car of the year, green car of the year, as well as the top spot world car of the year. The first ever car to clock up three awards in one go, and the first ever EV to win the overall title. That’s really quite a list, isn’t it? So I guess it’s safe to say that it’s probably pretty good. Well, spoiler alert, yes. Yes it is. It is brilliant in fact. But before I tell you what’s so good about it, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel, then you get a notification when the latest video from Tom, Nicky and I has landed, and please come and say hello to us over at Electrifying.com.
So the Jaguar I-Pace, an SUV that defies convention and in all the best ways. First of all, there’s the way it looks. It’s an SUV, but not a tall one. It’s more slinky than that. It looks modern and classy, a bit like a subtle spaceship. Jaguar embraced the opportunity when it came to making their very first electric car and produced something quite radical, that somehow still manages to look like a Jag, which takes someone as clever as its designer, Ian Callum, to pull it off. I mean, just look at it. There is so much that I love about this car. I adore its side profile, a swooping arch on the top there. And I like the way the handles just pop elegantly in and out of the doors. And I do think it looks great with massive wheels. The bigger, the better, and these are huge designer wheels, aren’t they?
At the front here, the low nose and then the way that the wheel arch is just sweep out of it, gives it a real purposeful look. Don’t even get me started on that massive vent there, which again just looks fantastic. The whole thing is really modern and interesting without ever being flashy. The thing I like the most about it, is that every time I see it, I think it looks even better. It’s one of those cars that might be, I don’t know a couple of years old now, but still looks fresh and it looks really modern. And it’s the same here on the inside. Just really thoughtful, elegant design without too much shouting us. This is definitely not in your face design, which I like a lot. I like the floating console here with the gap at the back and the handy storage compartments there. Great for keeping your phone completely out of the way when you’re driving.
And that’s just loads of nice little details in here. And you know what people, the details really make the difference because this is where you spend all your time, not looking at it from the outside. The seats are very comfortable with plenty of adjustments, and the seating position is nice and raised, but not too high. I mean, generally in here, it’s just a lovely place to be. There are two touch screens, a 10 inch one here, and a five inch version just underneath. Jaguar calls it Touch Pro Duo, and it works pretty well most of the time. It can get a little laggy sometimes, a common criticism of Jaguars entertainment, but it’s not a deal breaker. Then there’s a 12.3 inch screen right in front, and that can be set up to show pretty much anything you want it to, from certain nav instructions to Spotify playlists.
It is a bit clunky and fiddly to navigate though. And the first time I drove it, it took me absolutely ages to get my head around how the climate control was operated. Safe to say intuitive, it isn’t. So, looks great. It has a beautiful interior, but you know what the best bit is? The way it drives.
Now, the I-Pace is classed as an SUV, but it isn’t really. It feels far lower than that because it actually is, and in fact, I think it’s a mistake to really try and classify this car. The battery is in a traditional skateboard arrangement. Now that one is where the engineers load the heavy batteries in the floor of the car, between the wheels to keep the center of gravity low. So it has a motor on each axle and it’s also got all wheel drive, and while distribution is roughly 50-50, which is very good news for balance, which in turn is very good news for one of my absolute favorite things about the I-Pace. The way it goes around corners.
It just sticks to the road beautifully. This thing just works. I’ve driven this car a lot and it takes me roughly, I don’t know, 10 seconds behind the wheel to remind me exactly why it has picked up all those awards. There’s only one model available, the EV400, but that comes in three specs, S, SE and HSE. So that means you get just one size of battery, a fairly big 90 kilowatt unit and one power output just with three different levels of luxury. The other thing to say, is that it is definitely not slow even by standards of an electric car, which are notoriously very quick off the mark. It’s a car that’s true to Jaguar’s sporting DNA. It really doesn’t disappoint using its 396 horsepower and 513 pounds of talk to hit 62 in just under five seconds.
Top speed is 124 mph, but that’s not really the point, because it’s the way that the I-Pace manages to pull out for a quick overtake or accelerate onto a motorway slip road, that just really impressive. It means pulling out of a junction and getting up to speed, is just a near instant operation. And it is the kind of thing that as a driver just gives you loads of confidence, particularly in bad conditions when you throw the all-wheel drive into the mix. It’s got the kind of real world punch that makes traditional sports car owners really get quite annoyed. But the best bit is that this is an EV that actually drives like you’re supposed to enjoy it. Like you’re supposed to love it. Of course most EVs do feel fast from a standstill, but they can also feel just a little bit numb. Not with the I-Pace. It really is a standout in this price range at the moment.
You’re going to have to pay way, way more for a Porsche Taycan to get anywhere near this level of fun from a pure electric vehicle. It’s not all good news though. The claimed range is some 292 miles, but to be honest, we’ve struggled to get anywhere near that. That figure is the absolute best case scenario based on a car with all the lightest options available and really good weather conditions. The kind that just are optimum for a battery. A loaded car has a predicted range of 258 miles. But even so if you want to stay comfortable, warm, more cool, listen to music, just kind of, you know, go about your business enjoying the car, then you’re probably looking at sticking to a couple of hundred miles without charging. I mean, saying that Jaguar has offered a complimentary update to the I-Pace, so the upgrading cars offer over the air updates, along with a tweaked program for the battery.
That gives you another 10 miles or so of pure electric range on a full charge. Now, that constant evolution is one of the real benefits for pure EV, and it’s really good to see that Jaguar is getting in on the over the air action. In fact there are loads of neat but quite subtle touches. You can pre-condition the battery and heat or cool the cabin when it’s charging before you get in by using the app on the smartphone. And that happens without depleting any of the charge. It switches off the air vents if it knows that there’s nobody sitting in the seat to appreciate them, and it can be programmed to automatically change the car settings depending on which key is being used. And this is all very good stuff. So what about its rivals? Well, you’d be daft not to look Tesla’s way.
The Model 3 is a little smaller, less expensive. The Model S is a bit bigger. They both though do a sterling job. You should also check out our videos of the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC if you want something more traditionally SUV shaped, and I guess a bit more traditional all around really. The I-Pace is a serious bit of kit. You know, I’d go so far as to say that this is the best car that Jaguar make. It looks fantastic, it’s forward thinking, it’s brilliant to drive. Yes, it would be good if the range wasn’t quite so optimistic, and that entertainment system could probably do with an upgrade. But really, it’s well worthy of all those awards it’s won, every 62 of them.