Jaguar’s first fully electric vehicle has arrived but for some strange reason it’s not called the “E-Pace”. I thought it would make more sense, E-Pace… Electric… Anyway, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is poised to compete against the Tesla Model X and the upcoming Audi E-Tron & Mercedes-Benz EQC. So how does the I-Pace stack up? Read on…
Motor – The Jaguar I-Pace can be considered an AWD vehicle because it has two electric motors. One powering the front and another powering the rear wheels. The combined power output is 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque. Like all other electric motors, power is instant regardless of how fast or slow the car is going. Although the I-Pace weighs in at just over 2 tonnes, the instant torque and response from the electric motors make it feel like it’s a lightweight sports car. It pulls very hard from a stop to approximately 120 km/h but after that the rate of acceleration starts to slow down. It’s a common characteristic of electric motors but in the real world, it’s 0-100km/h that matters more.
Battery & Charging – A 90 kWh Lithium-Ion battery pack sits in the floor of the Jaguar I-Pace between the front and rear wheels. This allows more storage space as well as helping lower the center of gravity. It has an EPA estimated range of 377 km under ideal conditions. But in the real world it’s more like 320 km of range depending on the outside temperature, whether you’re using climate control, and so on.
The I-Pace can be charged from either a 120V wall outlet, a level 2 charging station, or a level 3 DC fast charge station. From a wall outlet, don’t even think about it. I’ve heard estimates that it could take as long as 40+ hours to charge from 0 to 100%. From a level 2 charging station, it could take up to 13 hours to fully charge. Finally from a level 3 DC fast charge, it could fully charge in just under 2 hours however level 3 charging stations are very uncommon even in an eco-friendly city like Vancouver. So be prepared to wait in a queue for a level 3 charger to be freed up or wait hours at a level 2 charging station.
Braking – The brakes on the Jaguar I-Pace are what let the car down. There is a very discernible difference between regenerative braking and friction braking. When first applying the brakes, the car captures some of the energy through regenerative braking. But press the brake pedal harder and the disc brakes take over. It’s that step between regen-braking and friction braking that can give you, as the driver, an uneasy feeling. It’s also very hard to be smooth because the friction brakes are stronger than regenerative braking. You can switch to a stronger level of regen-braking but it’s still hard to be smooth with the brake pedal.
Handling – Despite the hefty weight of the Jag, it feels agile through corners. As mentioned earlier, the heavy battery pack is mounted low down and across the floor for a lower center of gravity and weight distribution. As a result, the I-Pace turns very quickly around corners and the electric motors shoot the car out of a corner. Despite its size and weight, it is a very fun electric car to drive.
Ride Comfort – Even with the 22” wheels and low profile tires that are equipped on this test vehicle, the height adjustable suspension copes well with bumps and uneven road surfaces. The suspension manages body roll through corners well but isn’t so stiff that it breaks your back when going over a pothole.
Interior Space – When looking at the Jaguar I-Pace from the outside, it’s a long looking car. But from the inside it doesn’t really feel that long. There’s just enough leg and head room for taller drivers but sitting behind a tall driver may not be all that comfortable if you’re also tall. Head room on the back is plentiful though thanks to the glass roof that extends right back to the rear hatch. The rear trunk is nicely sized but the opening is not very wide. There’s also a front trunk (“Frunk”) but it’s tiny; only big enough to store the charging cables and a small tool kit.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Like all other electric vehicles, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is quiet. When accelerating hard, there is a whine emanating from the motors like the starship Enterprise going to warp. But the rest of the time it’s quiet even on a highway.
Interior Design – The I-Pace doesn’t share much in terms of styling with other Jaguar models apart from the widescreen infotainment display. The climate controls are more reminiscent of the Range Rover Velar and the row of buttons and drive selector are all it’s own styling. It is a very pleasant cabin to spend a lot of time in and the glass roof gives the cabin a feeling of roominess with the amount of light it lets in.
Odds and Ends
Gadgets – This HSE trimmed I-Pace comes fully loaded with everything one would ever need. The infotainment system is compatible with both Apple CarPlay & Android Auto and it looks visually stunning. It is faster to respond to touches but there is still a slight delay when switching between the different built-in apps.
A full suite of safety features are also available on the Jaguar including emergency automatic braking, lane departure warning with keep, and blind spot sensors with parking sensors and surround vision cameras.
Exterior Design – The I-Pace looks like no other vehicle on the road. It is technically a crossover but it’s longer and wider than most other crossovers. So it has more sports sedan dimensions rather than traditional CUV dimensions. It shares a few exterior design cues with other Jaguar vehicles such as the grille and tail lights. But the rest of the design is unique to the I-Pace. To be honest, in my eyes, I don’t like the looks of the I-Pace. I can’t get past the odd dimensions of it being a long, wide, but also tall crossover. However in talking with others, they love the looks of it. So it all depends on your preferences.
The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace starts at $89,800 CAD and it can go upwards of $115,000 CAD with various options. Unfortunately here in BC, you cannot get the same government rebates as you would be able to on something like a Chevrolet Bolt because the Jaguar is too expensive. But the I-Pace is cheaper than the Tesla Model X and at the moment, it’s the only true competitor to the X.
Thank you to Jaguar Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Jaguar.ca