When Charlotte met the I-PACE

Okay, we have to admit, this one could be a big one!

The Jaguar I-PACE. Years in the making (like a blockbuster movie) we’ve been looking forward to this one for 3 long years when our MD was debating buying a Tesla. They found the drive slightly less rewarding than expected… for a self-proclaimed petrol head!

The Jaguar I-PACE is the first premium pure electric car to be released by a conventional manufacturer who is renowned for handling and build quality. Some may debate that statement, but much like religion, we won’t bother arguing the BMW/Audi/Merc/Jag preference. However, I’m sure we can all agree that such brands have a different positioning to brands such as Nissan, Kia, and Hyundai; all of which have excellent family orientated electric products. At £65,000 the I-PACE promises more, and with that price tag, it absolutely needs to deliver.

The opening night was a few weeks ago. Charlotte took delivery of an HSE spec I-PACE for a tour of some of our customers and a test to review. So, was it a hit or a flop? And what do you need to know if you’re looking at this as an option?

Looks wise the I-PACE divides opinion.

Most regard it as a very attractive car, with sleek lines following the rugged bonnet. This is a bold car but will delight many. The I-PACE is a big car, seating 5 comfortably. When you remove a traditional engine and all the trappings, you’re left with a lot of room. The I-PACE not only houses its passengers well, their belongings as well with a market leading boot. Inside, you’d be hard pressed to find a multiplex with more gadgetry. The I-PACE has great sound, integrates with both Apple and Google, and holds a true premium feel. Driver aids come plenty with this model, but you’d expect that for the price. The panoramic roof and 20-inch alloys really set it off, although only standard on the HSE.

Performance is where this car really excels.

For those of a certain generation, there are some iconic movie scenes. I mention ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and one scene springs to mind; Charlotte spontaneously recreated this when whacking the accelerator into a bend. The Tesla is quicker 0-60, but the I-PACE is more fun and more planted on curving around potholed British roads. The car is almost too quick, sports mode made our team ill! The more refined modes covered 250 miles in relative comfort albeit a firm ride.

Overtaking is simplicity itself, and motorway driving doesn’t seem to hurt range at all, as opposed to the Leaf and eGolf that suffer in this regard. Don’t expect the claimed 300-mile range, but with 250 miles useable range and fast chargers giving a 200-mile range in an hour, this shouldn’t pose any concerns. You can maximize range by ramping up the regen braking, and you can actually drive this car with one pedal.

So, could this be for you? Well, the price tag is steep, but on salary sacrifice, it’s around £550 per month all in (about the same as a personal lease on a decent spec Focus!). It’s a big car and that will suit some and deter others. It’s a car that delivers performance and range, all in all, it’s a Blockbuster! Not a Rotten Tomato in sight!


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