2020 Jaguar I-Pace review: Good and getting better
I had my reservations about the Jaguar I-Pace when I first drove the electric SUV two years ago. and there were parts of the experience – like dealing with Jaguar Land Rover’s fussy cabin technology and driver assistance electronics – that I absolutely feared. Yet here I am, after hundreds of kilometers of testing, quite impressed by Jag’s electric SUV.
- Gorgeous good looks and streamlined style
- Acceleration and handling are well balanced
I do not like
- Regenerative braking can be inconsistent
- The Touch Pro Duo infotainment system needs to be replaced
In fact, the pace (huh) is about to improve again next year, with subtle changes including faster charging at home and revisions to infotainment. But for all intents and purposes, this 2020 Jaguar I-Pace HSE EV400 AWD Cesium Blue Metallic should be mechanically identical to that updated model. The lowered wedge-shaped exterior design – the best looks in this class, in my opinion – is unchanged, as is the performance optimized for sport and mid-range.
The I-Pace boasts standard all-wheel drive thanks to two electric motors – one per axle – that produce a combined output of 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration is super satisfying as are most modern electric vehicles; the nearly silent wave reminds me of a magnetic levitation train, but with seating for only four and a 0 to 60 mph time of about 4.5 seconds.
Maneuverability is also neat, balancing the planting feel offered by keeping its most massive pieces – the batteries – close to the ground. Combined with well-thought-out, responsive steering and a ride that’s firm enough, the I-Pace is as enjoyable to drive around town as it is on winding back roads.
I’m not that thrilled with the I-Pace’s erratic regenerative braking, which is kind of a blemish on the electric SUV’s otherwise commendable performance. I prefer to drive electric vehicles in their highest regenerative braking setting which allows for one-pedal drive and greater efficiency in the city. However, when I lift the throttle into Jag’s highest regeneration setting, the amount of regenerative deceleration I get is inconsistent. This makes it difficult to plan my stops for a smooth ride around town and leads to some “yikes” moments where I have to jump decisively on the friction brakes. Even outside of high regeneration mode, switching to friction brakes is occasionally jerky at low speeds, which is odd (and particularly annoying) because the brakes feel perfectly predictable and smooth at highway speeds or during dynamic driving .
Recharge and autonomy
Powering the I-Pace is the same 90 kilowatt-hour battery as before with an estimated range of 234 miles. It’s still significantly less than the current 371 miles of the largestor the 326 miles of similar size , but it is a skosh more than the 222 miles of the .
With regular home charging and popular fast-charging options, 234 miles is a well-sized roaming reserve for all but frequent roadtrippers. However, apartment dwellers who can’t depend on nighttime plug-ins are sure to appreciate the Tesla’s significantly longer driving time between charges.
With a 240-volt level 2 home charger, the I-Pace emits electrons at 7 kilowatts, which runs at about 12.6 hours for a full charge from a plate. Of course, the I-Pace also features a 50 kW CCS connection which can quickly recharge the battery to 80% in about 45 minutes at a public DC fast charging station.
Next year, the I-Pace 2021 onboard charger will be upgraded to an 11 kW unit which is expected to reduce charging time at home to around 8.5 hours.
400 miles, 7,000 feet
All of my charging took place at fast-charging stations when I drove the electric SUV on a 400-mile round trip from the San Francisco area to Truckee, California where I drove the. Just looking at the GPS, a trip of this length should have been within the I-Pace range, but don’t forget that traversing the Sierra Nevada mountains meant a 7,000-foot climb uphill.
I started with the I-Pace with an 81% state of charge with 179 miles of estimated range. The first stop was a 91.8-mile journey to my first fast-charging station just outside Sacramento, where I plugged in for 42 minutes to squeeze up to 73%, bringing my estimated range back to 161 miles. My destination was only 110 miles away, so eager to go, I unplugged and left.
However, this second stage would prove to be the most challenging, with most of the 7,000-mile climb between me and my hotel for the evening. It was a nail eater, but I managed to pull it off. Unfortunately, the hotel only had Tesla-compatible chargers, so I returned to the I-Pace and headed into town, arriving at my second DC fast charger of the day with 15 miles (only 7%) left in the box. At 122 miles driven, that’s a good 24 miles below where I expected to be thanks to the extreme climb. Again, I logged in and, 53 minutes later, was greeted with an 84% charge.
After a day, I jumped back on the I-Pace for the return trip. That meant I had to make my way back down the mountain, arriving at my first charging station after 124 miles with a 42% charge – 41 miles over the estimated range. Another plug-in and the I-Pace was 95% and 218 miles of range. Now on relatively flat ground and with plenty of range to play with, I’ve been less careful with the throttle for the last 89 miles home. I played around with the various driving modes, tested the throttle and braking, and eventually arrived with a 48% charge with 105 miles of displayed range remaining.
The Jaguar did a pretty good job matching its estimated range during the rest of my week of testing. A few hours crunching the numbers leads me to believe that my entire trip was only about 5% less efficient than Jaguar’s estimated range, not bad taking into account the losses on the climb and the gains on the descent. Of course, your mileage will certainly vary depending on your driving style, driving habits and the topography of your area.
InControl Touch Pro infotainment
I found that Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pro Duo cabin technology suite was slow and buggy-prone in previous vehicles. However, it would appear that the software has benefited from some over-the-air updates since my last release, feeling a more responsive touch than I remember. At the very least, it didn’t crash once during my week of testing and standardsis connectivity is available for those who prefer to take their apps on the road.
The current onboard navigation software features no integration with EV systems, although it will allow you to search for nearby charging stations. This is probably the most compelling reason to wait for the 2021 model with its new Pivi Pro software. Not only should it be better designed and more responsive, but its navigation software will also include the missing EV features for localization, availability determination. of charging stations and the estimation of costs and charging times. Likewise, the InControl Touch Pro doesn’t even trigger a notification when you select a destination outside of the I-Pace’s current range, so I’d advise a little to plan your stops and recharge before a long journey.
As a top-of-the-line HSE model, my example has all of Jaguar’s driver assistance technology, including adaptive full-speed cruise control that works in stop-and-go traffic, automatic emergency braking assistance, the lane keeping steering assistance, 360 degree camera system, semi-automatic parking and more. It also includes amenities like a gesture-activated electric tailgate, wireless phone charging, and a panoramic glass roof, which can be covered with an awkward removable fabric panel with flimsy clips that look easy to break or lose.
Competition and price
There are many reasons to like the I-Pace, but the price probably isn’t one of them. The 2020 Jaguar I-Pace starts at $ 71,000 (including a $ 1,150 destination tax) before any electric vehicle tax incentives or rebates it qualifies for. As tested, with fully loaded HSE finishes, my example costs $ 84,276.
The price and the estimated range are more or less competitive with the Audi E-Tron. I would give Audi an advantage in terms of cabin technology and charging speed. But they both pale in comparison to the range offered by Tesla’s Model X for about the same money. Electric vehicle buyers have been conditioned to think range is the most important metric for electric cars and, for many, that means Model X is still king. Now if you don’t need to drive 300 miles between charges – and, personally, I think the 200 mile mark is a good balance – the Tesla just gets a touch less compelling with its spartan interior, higher price, and worst build quality. There is also the, which is perhaps closer in scale to the Jaguar, still offering over 300 miles for far less money.
In addition to Tesla and Audi, the I-Pace is setting the barrel of more competition than ever in 2021 with 300 milesis , the 250 miles and 220 miles enter the fray. This is great for you, the consumer who benefits from more competition-driven choice and innovation, but Jaguar will need to remain agile with its updates for 2021 and beyond to remain relevant in this fast-growing class.