by Michael Butler
The age of the practical electric car is here, and every auto manufacturer is tripping over its own feet to come up with an all-electric vehicle that can compete in a market that is currently still under the rule of electric giant Tesla. The Jaguar I-Pace is a surprising contender, with its fresh-faced look and fun-to-drive nature. It sports a futuristic exterior and interior, and while it may look like just another funky crossover SUV, this car delivers serious performance, excellent levels of comfort, and an interior to die for. With close to 400 horsepower and over 500 lb-ft of torque on offer, the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace will embarrass a bunch of traditional gas-powered sports cars off the line, while still carrying the groceries and kids. The electric SUV features some software updates that increases its range and improves overall powertrain efficiency. This side of the car market is heating up, especially in the USA, and the I-Pace has to contend with the likes of the Tesla Model X and Audi e-tron Sportback.
For 2020, the Jaguar I-Pace retains its exterior looks, paint colors and wheels from the previous year's range, and the interior remains the same as well, but Jaguar has spent some time under the hood and has improved on a number of notable systems, resulting in an extended range and a more efficient powertrain setup overall. Software updates to the I-Pace's battery system have increased range by up to eight percent, and improvements to the cooling system have also been implemented. A more efficient eco driving-mode is now in place, and the regenerative braking system has also been enhanced.
The new Jaguar I-Pace takes on the form of a crossover SUV, a style that is massively popular these days for its practicality, but this style isn't exactly as eye-catching as a coupe or even a traditional sedan, so Jaguar had to pull out a few stops to make it look as good as it drives. The front end is unmistakably Jaguar with its gaping front grille and growling cat logo. The slim LED headlights are also familiar. The side profile clearly shows that the I-Pace is part of the crossover gang, and the rear end shares an SUV look. We think that the overall design looks good, and Jaguar has done a commendable job of making its all-electric crossover SUV look futuristic without losing that Jag essence. The base model rolls on a set of 18-inch 15-spoke alloys, while the rest get 20-inch wheels. While the entry spec trim gets LED headlights, the SE and HSE get daytime running lights as well.
The I-Pace slots in below the medium-sized SUV class as a compact crossover SUV thanks to its slight dimensions, but thanks to a heavy battery pack, weighs much more than traditional gas-powered cars in this class. Total length is measured at 184.3 inches, and the wheelbase is 117.7 inches long. The I-Pace is 84.2 inches wide when you include the mirrors, and 74.6 inches in width, without. Total height comes in at 61.3 inches. As we've mentioned, the battery packs add some serious weight: with all said and done, the I-Pace tips the scales at 4,784 pounds.
Paint colors play a supporting role in making the hard work of design teams shine through, and Jaguar knows how to put together one mean color palette. Highlighting the I-Pace's angular fascia and sharp rear end is a range of colors handpicked for the I-Pace which include no-cost options such as Fuji White and Narvik Black. More sought after metallic colors include Santorini Black, Corris Grey, and Firenze Red, all of which will set new owners back $710. If you're after something a tad more exclusive, Jaguar offers its I-Pace in Farallon Pearl Black or Silicon Silver for $1,550. If we had the privilege of buying a new I-Pace, we'd get one in Caesium Blue, also a $710 option.
Yes it may look like a soccer mom car to some, with its trademark SUV rear liftgate and higher ride height, but don't judge a book by its cover: the I-Pace is a literal lightning bolt, and will blow the doors off of most traditional sports cars from traffic lights. Its electric motors produce close to 400 hp, but the main figure here is its ridiculous 512 lb-ft of torque. Driving around town in eco mode feels relaxed, but there's still a ton of power on offer, and when we say that, we mean it's there from the word go. This means that the I-Pace is one of the best city-driving cars we've ever taken for a test drive; it cuts through traffic without breaking a sweat and merging onto the highway is done in the blink of an eye. We love the duality of this compact crossover SUV that will get the kids to school, accelerate from 0 to 60 in only 4.5 seconds, and not use a drop of gasoline while pushing on to a top speed of 124 mph. Welcome to the future, folks.
With a zero to sixty sprint time in the mid-four-second range, you'd imagine the fully-electric I-Pace to have a serious turbocharged engine under the hood. Instead, you'll find two synchronous permanent magnet electric motors, which are packed concentrically to save space. Positioned on each axle, this setup makes the I-Pace an all-wheel-drive car, and with a low-mounted battery pack, creates a low center of gravity, which is a boon for the I-Pace's handling capabilities. Powering the twin electric motors in the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace is a 90-kWh battery which is made up of 432 high energy density lithium-ion pouch cells. All of this translates into a power output of 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque. Power is channeled through a single-speed transmission. An enhanced brake regeneration system feeds power back into the system for an increased range. The result of this setup is explosive acceleration when needed, and a serene driving experience when not in a hurry.
The I-Pace is a car with two distinct personalities; the one wants to race other cars at any given opportunity and exploit the 512 lb-ft of torque from every traffic light, but on the other hand, it must deliver a civilized driving experience for the majority of owners who will be driving this car with a modicum of responsibility. When it comes to the driving and handling experience, the I-Pace delivers a pleasing combination of dynamic ability and relaxed cruising. The standard air suspension system melts away low-speed bumps and offers a relaxing driving experience when sitting at cruising speed. In the same breath, the I-Pace can be thrown around a set of corners with surprising glee: it feels agile despite its heavy curb weight, and there's lots of steering feedback. Push too hard and the I-Pace will turn to progressive understeer. One issue we experienced was with the braking system, which felt uneven and grabby.
What gas mileage? The all-electric I-Pace makes use of a 90-kWh battery pack to provide juice to its twin electric motors, but with a bias towards performance, the I-Pace suffers in terms of maximum range. The EPA stipulates ratings of 80/72/76 MPGe city/highway/combined and estimates that the electric Jaguar I-Pace will do a maximum of 234 miles on a single charge.
The I-Pace also suffers from a longer than average charging time. With a 7kW AC wall box charger (using a 240-volt power supply), the I-Pace will charge up to 80% in ten hours, while DC rapid charging at 50 kW provides up to 80 percent battery power in under 90 minutes. 15 minutes of charging at 100 kW will give you up to 62 miles of range.
If the exterior of the I-Pace didn't already give it away, the interior is a feast for the eyes. Jaguar has gone all out to make the interior of their electric compact crossover look as futuristic and classy as possible, and we think it looks fantastic. The first thing you'll notice when you set foot inside the I-Pace is how slick the cockpit design looks: the design team has streamlined the dashboard and there's a distinct lack of knobs and buttons. The other notable feature is the sense of space you get inside the I-Pace due to its large windshield, and a panoramic roof. The end result of all of these elements is an interior that feels every bit as classy as its higher-priced siblings, and we're yet to find a compact crossover SUV with an interior close to what is on offer here. The Jaguar I-Pace's interior puts the Tesla Model X to shame.
Compact crossover SUVs aren't as popular as they are because they're sexy, they are popular because they strike a balance between traditional sedan dynamics with the added benefit of SUV levels of interior space, and this is exactly what the Jaguar I-Pace SUV offers. Headroom in the front is measured at 39.9 inches with the panoramic roof, while headroom in the rear is 38.1 inches. The sporty bucket seats up front offer excellent support and there is a generous 40.9 inches of front legroom, dropping to 35 inches in the rear. The I-Pace will comfortably carry five average-sized adults.
The interior of the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace not only looks great, but the fit, finish, and choice of materials is also top-notch. Base models are offered with Ebony Luxtec upholstered seats, while the S variants get grained leather seats in your choice of Ebony or Light Oyster. The top of the range HSE sports Windsor Leather sport seats in Ebony, Light Oyster, or Mars Red. Siena Tan seats with Ebony are also available. The headliner in the I-Pace is available in Light Oyster Morzine, Ebony Morzine, and a choice between Ebony or Light Oyster Suedecloth. In terms of trims, Jaguar offers the I-Pace with a Gloss Black veneer, Monogram Aluminum, Gloss Charcoal Ash veneer, or Aluminum Weave Carbon Fiber, with most of these requiring an additional charge. It all sounds suitably luxurious, and trust us, it is.
With close to 400 hp and a zero to sixty time of 4.5 seconds, you'd think that the I-Pace would be some winged sports car if you've never seen one, but this compact crossover SUV foregoes the go-faster bits in favor of everyday practicality, and this becomes evident when you lift up the rear hatchback-style liftgate: there are miles and miles of trunk space on offer, which is perfect for small families and those who live an active lifestyle. Behind the rear seats, a healthy 25.3 cubic feet of trunk space is enough for a massive grocery run. Flip the rear seats down, and that space opens up to 51 cubic feet. The I-Pace's main competition comes from the Tesla Model X, which offers a massive 88 cubic feet, however.
The upmarket Jaguar I-Pace leaves little to the options list, and we are thoroughly impressed with the number of standard features on offer throughout the lineup. Standard issue features you'll find across the range include a soft grain leather sport steering wheel, two-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, an interactive driver's display, keyless entry, as well as a universal HomeLink garage door opener. Notable exterior features include LED headlights, a fixed panoramic roof, rain-sensing windshield wipers and an auto-open tailgate on SE and HSE models. S models get eight-way semi power-adjustable front seats, SE models get ten-way adjustable memory seats, while HSE models get 18-way heated and cooled memory seats. Standard driver assistance features on offer are emergency braking, cruise control, a driver condition monitor, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, as well as a rear camera with park assist. SE models add blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and high-speed emergency braking, while HSE models add a surround-view camera system. Features such as a heated windshield and heated steering wheel are also available as part of the Cold Climate pack.
As is to be expected from a fully electric car in 2020, the I-Pace is decked-out in display screens from head to toe. Besides the 12.3-inch interactive driver's display, the dual ten-inch top and five-inch bottom display screens in the I-pace sit flush with the rest of the dashboard and look seriously slick. We found that some menu items are displayed too small, making it difficult to read or see the images clearly when on the move. Jaguar includes navigation as standard and the Connect Pro system works in unison to give points of interest such as parking spaces while en route. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are included, as is an AM/FM radio, dynamic volume control, Bluetooth streaming and voice control, as well as SiriusXM satellite radio, six USB power sockets and three 12V power sockets. Sound is channeled through an 11-speaker Meridian sound system with a built-in subwoofer. HSE models get an even more powerful 15-speaker system which sounds amazing, especially when blasting Mountain by the Meatbodies.
There have been two recalls affecting the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace. The first, issued in May 2019, was for a defective regenerative brake system, and the second, issued in February of 2020, was for missing seat fasteners on the passenger seat - the latter issue only affected a single vehicle, though.
If you're worried about reliability, Jaguar will back the 2020 I-Pace with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, a six-year/unlimited-mile corrosion protection warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty, as well as an impressive five-year/60,000-mile maintenance plan and roadside assistance for the same period or distance. Added to this, the I-Pace's batteries carry an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.
There have been no reviews of the Jaguar I-Pace by either the NHTSA or IIHS, which comes as no surprise, as this car is sold to a very niche market with low sales volumes, and its asking price doesn't help, either. What we can tell you is that 2018 models were put through their paces by the folks over at the Euro NCAP safety rating agency, and it passed with flying colors, scoring a full five stars. An added bonus is the fact that even in base form, the I-Pace comes packed with a good number of standard driver assistance features.
Despite not being subject to review by authorities, the I-Pace is given adequate levels of standard safety equipment and systems to keep occupants safe in the event of an accident. Every 2020 Jaguar I-Pace comes standard with a six-airbag system, emergency brake assist, as well as LED headlights and traction control, but this only tells half the story. Base models are fitted with a standard driver condition monitor, traffic sign recognition and adaptive speed control, lane keep assist, cruise control, as well as park assistance. SE models get blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, as well as high-speed emergency braking additionally. Top-of-the-range HSE configurations also get a surround-view camera system.
Most car manufacturers are in a tailspin to get an EV product to market, and as we've seen with the likes of Tesla, this can lead to shortcuts being taken, resulting in issues with panel fitment and interior fit and finish. Jaguar, on the other hand, is well versed in the ways of building good cars; the I-Pace brims with confidence and capability and offers great value for how much it costs. We think its crossover SUV body style and design features look great, especially when fitted with large 20-inch wheels, and we are in love with its sleek and stylish interior, which offers more refinement in comparison to the Tesla Model X. On the road, the I-Pace can be comfortable when needed, but also shows a sporty side, which outshines the Audi e-tron - not to mention the fact that it's blisteringly quick. If its charging times could be improved on a little, and its range extended by a few miles, this crossover would be leagues ahead of the rest.
Not only is the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace one of the most accomplished cars in its segment, but it's also on the cheaper side of things when compared to competitors such as the Tesla Model X and Audi e-tron Sportback. Entry-level models have a base price of $69,850 which excludes tax, registration, and a destination fee of $1,025. The mid-range SE will set you back $76,250, and the range-topping HSE has an MSRP of $80,900. This is quite a bit less than it's main rival from Tesla, with the Jaguar I-Pace's cost coming in around $10k cheaper than the Model X's Long Range Plus derivative.
Jaguar offers the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace in three different trim levels, starting with the S, and followed by the SE and the HSE. All trims are powered by a twin electric motor powertrain which sends 394 hp coursing to all four wheels.
S trim cars feature a fixed panoramic roof, LED headlights and 18-inch alloys on the outside. The interior of the S features eight-way power-adjustable seats wrapped in textured fabric, two-zone climate control, ambient lighting, push-button start, as well as driver assistance systems such as traffic sign recognition, an adaptive speed limiter, and lane-keep assist. The infotainment system utilizes dual displays with SiriusXM radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as navigation.
SE models roll on a set of 20-inch Gloss Sparkle Silver wheels and also get LED daytime running lights and auto-dimming power-folding side mirrors. Inside, the SE gets grained leather seats, and driver assistance features such as blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and high-speed emergency braking.
The HSE features a unique set of 20-inch Gloss Dark Gray alloy wheels and a power liftgate with a gesture feature on the outside. The interior of the HSE features Windsor leather sport seats and an upgraded 15-speaker sound system. Additional safety features include a surround-view camera system.
Starting with the base model, new owners can specify the $1,700 Drive Pack which adds high-speed emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot assist. The $3,000 Driver Assist Pack includes these features along with a surround-view camera system. For those living in colder climates, the $530 Cold Climate Pack adds a heated steering wheel and windshield. The SE is offered with a cheaper Driver Assist Pack at a cost of $1,300 which includes a surround-view camera and adaptive cruise control. HSE models, like the lower two trims, are available with the $500 Premium Rear Seat Convenience Pack which offers premium leather seatback storage.
The good news is that the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace comes with the same powertrain no matter which trim you go for, so you've all of 512 lb-ft to play with no matter the size of the cheque you've just written out to Jaguar. With the Jaguar I-Pace's price ranging between $69,850 and $80,900, it's competitively priced against its rivals and offers a good spread of features. If it was our money, we'd spend it on the mid-range SE, which adds daytime running lights, 20-inch alloy wheels and a power liftgate to the exterior. Inside, the SE also offers leather seats, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and high-speed emergency braking.
Audi has launched a full-frontal electric assault on its competitors, and one of its weapons of choice is the e-tron Sportback, which combines SUV practicality with svelte looks. Under the skin, the e-tron packs a massive punch: there are two asynchronous electric motors in play, with a total power output of 402 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque. The zero to sixty sprint will take around 5.5 seconds to complete. Audi claims a maximum range of 220 miles, which is slightly less than you get from the I-Pace. There's no doubting the fact that the Audi e-tron is a quick car, but on the road, and especially when pushing on, it feels disconnected from the driver, and we will happily say that the I-Pace is the better driver's car. The interior is typically Audi with its clinically precise layout and fantastic build quality. Interior and cargo space is also good. We'd still go with the more entertaining Jaguar, thanks.
The Model X is Tesla's luxury SUV offering growing in popularity in the US, and features a ton of modern driver assistance tech along with brutal acceleration. Tesla's SUV is powered by a pair of electric motors: the front axle gets an AC permanent magnet synchronous motor while the rear axle gets its own AC induction motor. Together, the two motors produce a combined 534 horsepower and 557 lb-ft of torque. We were blown away by this SUV's acceleration, which is listed by Tesla as only needing 4.4 seconds to get to 60 mph, as well as having an impressively long 351-mile range when driven with a light foot on a full charge, in the case of the Long Range Plus. The much pricier Model X Performance - which we review separately - manages 0-60 in just 2.6 seconds. Both the exterior and interior are stylish, and there's also a ton of cargo space in the back. Build quality lags behind the Jaguar, however, and the infotainment system can be somewhat tricky to operate when driving. Overall, the Model X is a very compelling package, and would win this comparison if the build quality was up to scratch. We'd opt for the I-Pace here.
Check out some informative Jaguar I-Pace video reviews below.