The Jaguar I-PACE went on sale in 2018 but it’s still one of the best EVs to drive; it has received updates throughout its life, and now there are some minor changes for 2024.
We’ve reviewed the Jaguar I-PACE a number of times since it went on sale in 2018, and each time we’ve been highly impressed with the car. However a number of rivals have entered the market since 2018, so although the I-PACE has received updates throughout its life, is it still competitive?
Design is a subjective thing, and so we generally don’t make a big deal of commenting on the styling of cars, because drivers can make their own judgment. However we thought the I-PACE looked fantastic when it was first launched; the overall design hasn’t changed very much since then, and we still think that the design stands the test of time very well – inside and outside. One obvious styling element that has changed for 2024 is the grille, which is now smooth.
The I-PACE is a spacious five-seater, and the boot is a useful size at 505 litres; the boot is long, but you do lose some height compared to a traditional SUV due to the ‘crossover’ fastback shape. There’s a small compartment under the boot floor, and a small ‘frunk’ under the bonnet, both of which can helpfully accommodate a charging cable.
The I-PACE can tow up to 750 kg, it can carry up to 75 kg on its roof, and it comes with a rear bike carrier preparation kit.
The basic powertrain remains unchanged. That means a 90kWh battery, 400PS of power, 696Nm of torque and all-wheel drive.
Our test car colour was Eiger Grey, with 22-inch black alloy wheels.
We’ve tested the I-PACE a number of times before, in summer, in autumn, and in the snow in winter. This time we actually sampled two I-PACEs, an R-DYNAMIC HSE model and a top of the range 400 SPORT variant, which had to undertake a drive to an event in the Lake District in the epicentre of Storm Debi. This meant 60 mph winds, torrential rain, and huge quantities of surface water on roads ranging from the M6 to the A66.
The headline is that the I-PACE demonstrated incredible amounts of traction on wet roads. This will be due to the all-wheel drive system, the evidently extremely well-engineered traction control system, and the Continental PremiumContact 6 tyres. Numerous wet corners were tackled in the Lake District and the I-PACE managed to stick to the road at all times, yet also feel adjustable.
The car’s stability was also demonstrated in a straight line on the M6 at Shap, which threw a combination of gale force winds and flooded sections of road at the I-PACE and the car felt as secure at 70mph as it would on a dry motorway in normal weather conditions.
So the I-PACE seems to somehow successfully combine surefooted traction with adjustable handling, as well as comfortable ride quality, and responsive and well-weighted steering. And then there’s the performance: a power output of 400 PS and torque of 696 Nm results in what feels like supercar-like acceleration with a 0-62 mph time of 4.8 seconds – which is pretty impressive for an SUV weighing 2,226 kg. A well-judged simulated sporty soundtrack accompanies acceleration in Dynamic mode, which is an effective accompaniment to the theatre of the I-PACE’s performance. The EV’s other drive modes are AdSR (Adaptive Surface Response – for rain/ice/snow), Eco, and Comfort, which are selectable via buttons on the centre console (as are the gears).
The ride height of the I-PACE can also be increased, up to 230mm, giving it off-road ability, and we’ve tested the car in snow and ice previously, when it proved very capable.
The cabin features a main central touchscreen (which isn’t particularly large compared to many newer cars), with a secondary smaller screen below for climate controls and heated seats – as well as two rotary dials which can be pushed/pulled to allow adjustment of temperature, fan speed and heated seats.
The Pivi Pro infotainment system was new in 2021 and is faster than the previous system, and it generally works well. There are some helpful shortcut buttons on the screen, but trying to navigate around car controls when the screen is taken over by Apple CarPlay is a challenge.
Making changes to the level of brake regeneration is definitely an area that can be improved. The best way of doing this on an EV is by having steering wheel-mounted paddles, but this isn’t the solution on the I-PACE. Instead, to adjust the level of brake regeneration, you have to press a cog symbol in the bottom left-hand corner of the touchscreen, then ‘All’, then ‘Vehicle’, then ‘EV’, then ‘Regenerative Braking High or Low’. So that’s five presses of buttons on screen to control a fairly important function that’s very hidden away and which many owners will probably never find.
The Jaguar I-PACE R-DYNAMIC HSE has a WLTP combined electric driving range of 255 miles. This is one aspect of the I-PACE that has fallen behind some rivals, and driving in the wind and flooded roads of Storm Debi didn’t do the real-world driving range any favours (and the huge 22-inch wheels have an impact on the car’s range). When driving in less extreme weather conditions, the I-PACE’s real-world range was averaging 215 miles.
The car’s combined electric energy consumption is 250.7 Wh/Km, which isn’t a particularly user-friendly way to present the car’s efficiency, but suffice to say that the I-PACE isn’t the most efficient of EVs.
The I-PACE’s maximum rapid charging rate is 100 kW – another area where many other EVs are well ahead. If you’re charging at home, a 0% to 100% charge at 7kW AC wallbox should take 12.75 hours.
Electric cars do not charge at their maximum charge rate for an entire charging session – their charge rate typically starts off high with a battery with a low state of charge, then the charge rate decreases as the battery charge increases. See the charge curve for the Jaguar I-PACE from Fastned:
The Jaguar I-PACE R-DYNAMIC HSE BLACK costs £77,495. Our test car had a number of options, including Dynamic Pack, featuring Jaguar Drive Control with Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR), Electronic Air Suspension, Active Suspension with Adaptive Dynamics, tailgate spoiler, 22-inch gloss black alloy wheels (£3,300); four-zone Automatic Climate Control (£630); lockable cooled glovebox (£100); Wi-Fi enabled with data plan (£440); Secure Tracker, extended 36-month Subscription (£340); and powered gesture tailgate (£115). All options took the total price of our test car to £83,775.
The 2024 Model Year I-PACE range is comprised of the R-Dynamic S (£69,995), R-Dynamic SE Black (£73,495), R-Dynamic HSE Black (£77,495) and 400 SPORT (£79,995).
Just as the design of cars is subjective, so too is their driving experience. So we’re going to qualify our conclusion by saying that as well as ticking our boxes for design, the I-PACE also ticks our own personal boxes for its driving experience: we like its handling, ride, steering and performance. And the whole package feels premium, as well as sporty. In fact it’s a highly competent all-rounder; we’ve proven in previous tests that it’s very effortless and refined on long motorway journeys, yet it’s also capable off-road and in the snow; and our latest test shows that it has incredible traction and stability in torrential rain.
However the I-PACE’s driving range, efficiency and maximum rapid charging rate are all behind the curve compared to many newer EVs, but the car has been around since 2018, so it’s testament to its original design and engineering that its styling and driving experience still stand up so well. We should also acknowledge that our I-PACE test car cost £77,495, so it’s not the most affordable of EVs. Perhaps the biggest issue is that the I-PACE is still the only pure electric car on sale from JLR. Until we can test a new EV from the brand, the Jaguar I-PACE just about holds on to its Green Car Guide rating of 10 out of 10.