Jaguar I-Pace reviews: can it rival the Tesla Model X?

Crossover EV has 298-mile range and does 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds

The new Jaguar I-Pace is on course to become one of the most significant new cars of the year.

The I-Pace, which was announced at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2016, is Jaguar’s first entry into the electric vehicle market and the British carmaker’s third attempt at building a crossover.

The car has a power output of 395bhp and a battery range of up to 298 miles under the new worldwide harmonised light vehicles test procedure (WLTP). With a price tag of £63,495, the I-Pace will be going head-to-head with Tesla’s all-electric Model X SUV. Customer deliveries are expected in the next few weeks.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the electric SUV:

What do the critics think?

Pocket-Lint hails the I-Pace as a “game-changer” that’s a “joy to drive”. It says the car is fitted with helpful technology in the cabin and comes with an “arresting and appealing” design.

Established carmakers with an electric line-up, such as Tesla and BMW, should be concerned, the tech site says, as the I-Pace is now the best EV on the market.

Auto Express agrees, adding that the I-Pace not only moves the game on for the electric car market, but also marks a significant step forward for Jaguar.

Not only is the I-Pace impressive on the road, but its cabin is “wonderfully airy” and packed with technology, the magazine says.

The ride is one of its few drawbackssays Autocar, as the I-Pace is significantly heavier than its petrol-powered rivals. This means it leans slightly around bends, although Jaguar’s engineers have kept body roll to a minimum.

But the rest of the vehicle is “seriously refined” and makes the I-Pace arguably the best car in its class, says the magazine.

How does it compare to the Tesla Model X?

Jaguar’s sole competitor in the electric crossover market is the Tesla Model X, which is £7,000 more expensive in entry-level 75D guise than the base-spec I-Pace EV400 S.

Not only does the I-Pace trump the Model X on price, it also has a better battery range. According to Wired, the entry-level Model X comes with a range of 259 miles under the New European Driving Standards (NEDC) system, which is an older test format for EVs.

The I-Pace, meanwhile, has a claimed range of 298 miles as measured by the WLTP, which the tech website describes as a new and more accurate measurement.

Opting for a mid-range Model X increases the battery range to 351 miles under the NEDC system but inflates the price to £87,200.

Where the Model X comes out ahead of the I-Pace is in space and practicality. Folding down the rear seats in the Tesla opens up a cavernous boot space of 2,367 litres, but the I-Pace’s boot is significantly smaller at 1,453 litres.

The Model X can be specced with a seven-seat configuration but the I-Pace is currently limited to five.

Release

Orders are open now, although Jaguar has yet to reveal when it will begin delivering its EVs to customers. Buyers will get an eight-year battery warranty and a service plan that kicks in at 21,000 miles or after two years, depending on which comes first.

Design

On the surface, there is little difference between the I-Pace concept and the production model.

Jaguar’s design chief, Ian Callum, told Autocar that the EV is “the closest we’ve been in terms of a concept and a production car”.

The new model features the same curvy bodywork down the wings and angular rear end as the concept version, along with similar black highlights at the bottom of the doors, and identical head and tail lights.

But there are some small tweaks, including a slightly different front and rear bumper. The wheel rims are also smaller than the concept, probably in a bid to improve ride comfort.

Inside, the production car “has been toned down” compared with the “bold interior” on the concept, says Car magazine. The cabin is “minimal and modern”, featuring a pair of touchscreen panels similar to the Audi A8.

It’s also packed with ports to charge your mobile devices, the magazine says, including six USB ports and an HDMI video socket.

Specs and battery performance

The I-Pace is driven by a pair of compact electric motors that are located on each axle, says Auto Express. Together, the motors produce 395bhp and 513lb-ft of torque, helping the electric SUV go from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds.

Judged under the upcoming worldwide harmonised light vehicles test procedure (WLTP) - a tougher alternative to the New European Driving Cycle test for EVs - the I-Pace can achieve a range of up to 298 miles on a single charge.

Powering the vehicle from zero to 80% battery takes around 85 minutes using a conventional DC charger, though that time drops to 40 minutes when using an ultra-fast 100kW charging stations.

Although 100kW charges are not currently available for public use in the UK, that is expected to change within the coming months.

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