2019 Jaguar I-Pace First Review
Base Price: $70,495
Powertrain: 2-motor battery electric
Range: 240 miles (est)
0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
Similar: Tesla Model X
On sale: Late 2018
There’s no shortage of excellent luxury vehicles on the market today that offer impressive performance, cutting edge technology and high-quality interiors. Because of this embarrassment of riches, there are few, if any vehicles that stand out as being truly remarkable. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is the exception. The British marque’s first pure electric blends power, capability and flexibility with a sultry, fluid design that is unmistakably Jaguar.
Taking advantage of the opportunities available from the layout of its battery-electric drivetrain, the 5-passenger 2019 I-Pace has the roominess and utility of a crossover SUV with the added advantage of on- and off-road performance that can best be described as surprising. With the I-Pace, you can expect the unexpected. A recent driving experience with the I-Pace in the Algarve region of Portugal demonstrated that the EV future, so long full of promise, has finally arrived.
Positioned in its Pace range of crossovers between the recently introduced E-Pace and the larger F-Pace, the I-Pace is the first of what Jaguar promises will be a full family of electrified vehicles. The company believes that this new model combines the best of two growing segments, EVs and SUVs. With an estimated range of 240 miles per charge and its user-friendly package, the I-Pace is yet another important step in mainstreaming electric vehicle technology.
At first glance, the I-Pace looks right at home with both the E- and F-Pace. Essentially a 4-door crossover, the I-Pace has the general shape associated with the genre. Closer inspection, however, reveals a vehicle that is unique in its proportions. It rides on a 117.7-inch wheelbase with the wheels pushed all the way out to the corners with minimal front and rear overhang on its 184.3-inch overall length. The style is cab forward, in that the front hood is short and the touchdown point of the A-pillar minimizes the dash-to-axle ratio. This maximizes the cabin space and offers class-above interior space on what is essentially a compact vehicle footprint.
The lines of the I-Pace flow more freely than its siblings, and the greenhouse has a more coupe-like profile than the boxier rooflines favored by more mainstream SUVs. Much of the design and detailing is intended to make the vehicle as aerodynamically efficient as possible. The cleaner it cuts through the air, the farther it will go on a single charge. This aero influence can be seen at the front where the grille insert is rolled over at the top providing a channel just below the grille surround that directs flow onto the recessed outlet on the hood.
The grille is flanked by additional inlets that directs air over the front wheels providing a skirting effect that also improves the vehicle’s ability to slip through the air. And atop the rear hatch is a spoiler that further enhances aero, helping to lower the coefficient of drag to just 0.29.
In profile, the coupe-like roofline is contrasted by a muscular lower body and while the I-Pace does without the body cladding that most crossovers use to communicate SUV bona fides, a choice of wheels, from the 18-inchers up through optional 22-inch alloys, help fill the arches, and a lower sill design helps to break up the surface so it doesn’t look slab-sided.
The cabin layout is fresh and luxurious, doing a masterful job of integrating high-tech touchscreen interfaces with traditional controls. When it comes to materials and craftsmanship, there’s more than a dollop of luxury touches, as you expect from a British marque like Jaguar. Rather than having an ultra-modern stark layout dominated by a center screen, a look favored by Tesla, the I-Pace speaks of a more traditional approach to the cabin by an established manufacturer with a long history.
This also applies to build quality. The cabin leaves you with the impression that it is a luxury vehicle that just happens to be an electric, rather than coming off as some sort of high school science project that seeks to dazzle you with its technology at the expense of some traditional cues like hand-stitched leather and wood veneers.
The layout is traditional, with major gauges clustered in front of the driver as part of a 12.3-inch digital display, along with a head-up display on higher optioned trims. The center console, which Jaguar calls the flight deck, houses the InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment system consisting of a 10-inch touchscreen mounted in the dash, with a lower configurable 5-inch screen. The lower display has two large knobs to control the heating and cooling system.
The seating position is typical for a crossover, with good visibility, although the cab-forward design does put the rather hefty A-pillars in your peripheral vision. A standard, fixed panoramic glass roof adds additional light, giving the cabin an airy feel.
The interior offers midsize comfort with generous rear-seat legroom and headroom. There’s 25.3 cubic feet of load space behind the back seat and when the 60/40-split rear seat is folded down, it expands to 51.0 cubic feet. And thanks to the electric powertrain layout, there’s even an additional front storage area of nearly one cubic foot beneath the decklid.
The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is powered by a pair of electric motors, one on each axle. These permanent magnet motors individually produce 197 horsepower and 256 lb-ft of torque. The electric system allows for shifting virtually all that output from front to rear, as well as being able to vector that power from side to side to the wheel with the most traction.
Electricity is stored in a 90-kWh lithium ion battery pack located beneath the floor of the vehicle. The motors and battery pack positioning provide for an ideal 50:50 weight distribution, a low center of gravity and flat floor in the cabin and load area. The pack is good for an official U.S.-estimated range of 240 miles per charge (although in the New European Driving Cycle, Jaguar claims 298 miles). Jaguar says it takes about 12.9 hours to recharge the battery to 100 percent on a 230-volt AC Level 2 charger at home, and about 10 hours to 80 percent charge. A 50-kWh DC high-speed system takes about 85 minutes for a full charge or 40 minutes to an 80-percent level.
Here is another area where Jaguar’s expertise as an established manufacturer shines. It not only has a parts bin for suspension bits that are from the F-Type sports car (the front is a double wishbone with an integral link rear independent setup), but also Land Rover for the air suspension and adjustable shocks that allow for a variable ride height. It can lower the vehicle nearly a half-inch from the standard 5.6-inch ride height above 65 mph to improve aerodynamics, or raise the vehicle up high enough to be able to ford 19.7 inches of water.
Land Rover is also responsible for features like hill ascent and descent control, which essentially uses cruise control to regulate the speed going up and down steep terrain. There’s also four driving modes, the standard Eco, Comfort and Sport settings along with a fourth, called AdSR, which means advanced surface response. In addition to varying throttle and steering response as well as ride height and suspension damping levels in the regular modes, AdSR automatically senses wheel slip and helps the vehicle get going on low-grip surfaces or use braking or regenerative braking on slick roads to help maintain control.
All this technology comes together seamlessly to provide a distinct driving experience. The instant torque provides acceleration best described as just short of neck-snapping. The I-Pace can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 124 miles per hour. That speed comes on so quickly it makes two-lane passing a breeze.
The electric power assist steering is direct and communicative and the response is sharpened when Sport mode is selected. In most instances, regenerative braking, which can be set on high, can bring the vehicle to a stop without applying the brakes. Even when the brakes are used, a Jaguar engineer said that in up to 95 percent of the cases, regen provides the stopping power, which means a long life for the standard disc brake package. When the pedal is used, brake feel is linear and is just as you’d expect from a normal car. However, in driving through twisting roads, the high regen level is a bit too aggressive for smooth one-pedal driving. Lift off too much and you’ll find that you won’t be carrying much speed into a corner. The car felt much better balanced and easier to drive quickly when regen was in the light mode.
Speaking of which, trying to find that setting can be a bit of a challenge through the flight deck touchscreen. The screen itself seemed a bit too sensitive to the touch; I found myself calling up the wrong feature if I happened to brush past an icon on the way to my intended target. And the regen setting was buried two menus deep (not a good place when making adjustments on the fly). There was also a dynamic sound adjustment, which is supposed to either calm the cabin or raise your heartbeat with more noise from the nearly silent drivetrain. I fiddled with those settings, but couldn’t notice any appreciable difference in decibel output.
While the lower HVAC controls also have traditional knobs, they work in an unintuitive manner. For temp, you merely twist the knob. To get to the fan, you need to pull up on the knob, which switches the mode, and then adjust. It takes a bit of learning to figure out how to use it without looking at the knobs or the display.
More car than SUV
Overall, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace handles more like a tall car or hatchback than a traditional SUV. It’s comfortable and quick. The surprising part is how agile it is off-road and on a track. Part of our drive loop took us through a stream and up and down some fairly tall, narrow and rutted trails, where we were able to experience the advantages of the adjustable ride height and the hill ascent and descent controls. The I-Pace is not only the first EV for Jaguar, but is the first pure electric with this level of off-road capability. We also had a chance to push the vehicle on a track to get a feel of the all-wheel-drive capability. While I’m sure any heavy lapping would quickly drain the battery, it was instructive to feel how well the torque vectoring works in keeping the I-Pace pointed in the right direction when pushing the crossover hard through a corner.
Out on the open road, the car feels nimble, as it has ample power to haul around its 4,784-pound curb weight. Thanks to the long wheelbase relative to its overall length, the I-Pace has a comfortable ride, though I’d probably opt out of the available low-profile 22-inch wheels on our First Edition test car. They didn’t seem to work as well over uneven surfaces as the smaller 20-inch wheels we had on the standard model we drove the second day.
Infotainment and technology
As mentioned earlier, it takes just a light touch to work the flight deck. That quibble aside, the resolution of the graphics is excellent and there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips. The navigation is geared to work as an integral partner in calculating range and state of charge estimates. The I-Pace’s brain not only reads the route, but also learns the driver’s style to more accurately predict how much juice is left in this box. And it can inform you of nearby charging stations and other waypoints to make your journey smooth. In addition, smartphone connectivity allows you to remotely precondition the car with heating or cooling. The I-Pace can sense the key fob and your smartphone and will adjust the seats, infotainment system and other features to your preferences when you walk up. I-Pace is hooked into Amazon Alexa Skill through the Jaguar InControl Remote, which will allow users to ask Alexa if their car is locked, or the exact state of charge and if there’s enough range for the next trip. Jaguar will also be able to update all I-Pace software wirelessly.
While Tesla may have laid the groundwork for acceptance of EVs by the luxury market, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace clearly raises the bar. Offered in three trim levels, S, SE and HSE as well as a special First Edition model, pricing ranges from $70,495 to $86,895. While smaller than the Tesla Model X and lacking the crowd-stopping falcon-wing door arrangement, the I-Pace is significantly less expensive than the standard dual-motor 75-kWh Model X with 237 miles of range, which starts at $80,700. If you step up to the 100-kWh Model X, which promises a 296-mile range, it will cost you more than $97,000. Jaguar also includes a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, which includes maintenance and 24/7 roadside assistance as well as an 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranty which guarantees at least 70 percent battery health.
Wheelbase: 117.7 inches
Overall length: 184.3 inches
Height: 61.3 inches
Width: 79.2 inches
Turning circle: 39.3 feet
Battery: 90 kWh lithium ion
Motors: Two permanent magnet front and rear
Drive: All-wheel drive
Power: 394 horsepower
Torque: 512 lb-ft
Acceleration, 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
Top Speed: 124 mph
5-year/60,000 including maintenance/roadside assistance
8-year/100,000 battery to 70 percent health
2019 Jaguar I-Pace Exterior and Interior Photos
Pricing and Trim Levels
Leatherette 8-way power sport seats
Dual-zone climate control with cabin preconditioning
60/40-split rear seat
10-inch upper infotainment and 5.5-inch lower touchscreens
12.3-inch driver display
380-watt Meridian sound system
Blind spot monitoring
Traffic sign recognition
18-inch alloy wheels
20-inch alloy wheels
Blind spot assist
Adaptive cruise control
High speed emergency braking
18-way power heated/cooled leather front seats
Heated rear seats
Power gesture liftgate
825-watt Meridian sound system
Adaptive cruise control with steering assist
360-degree surround camera
First Edition: $86,895
Charcoal ash wood veneer accents
Heated steering wheel
Full-extended leather upgrade
Configurable ambient lighting
4-zone climate control
20-inch alloy wheels
Front fog lights
Adaptive Surface Response
More Jaguar I-Pace
Ahead of its Geneva Motor Show launch, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace was unveiled at the Graz, Austria, assembly plant where the full electric compact SUV will be built. The sleek I-Pace boasts a range of up to 240 miles from its 90-kWh battery pack.
Revealed in a dramatic virtual reality presentation on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Jaguar I-Pace Concept is the precursor of an all-new, all-electric midsize performance SUV set for production late next year for a 2018 launch.
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