The Jaguar I-Pace is a front-runner—the first fully electric, longer-range vehicle from a long-established luxury brand. But it’s not a “Tesla-fighter” as the I-Pace has often been called. More accurately it exists not to conquest Tesla drivers but to keep electric-car-seeking Jaguar owners in the fold—to give them a tailpipe-free choice and, perhaps, to woo other EV-curious luxury-car owners. For that set, the I-Pace offers a lot to love, mostly concerning how it was conceived to look, perform, ride, and drive—all Jaguar strengths. We’ve found it has surprisingly many less-desirable traits in its execution, however, apart from those core design and performance points.
But first, the I-Pace is a very attractive vehicle outside and in. The design team, headed by Ian Callum, has turned an inherently challenging shape into something that from most angles looks beautiful, curvaceous, and planted. Inside it feels like no details are amiss. The cabin’s materials and textures are well-coordinated, and each of the cars we’ve sampled in pre-production form have been soundly assembled, with no squeaks, rattles, or loose pieces.
Four adults can fit quite comfortably, with a beautiful glass roof overhead—although there’s less headroom than you might expect in back—and the rear seats fold forward for larger cargo. One gripe: On a longer-distance cruise, the taller members of the editorial staff couldn’t find a way to avoid resting their knee against the hard trim piece alongside the center console. Ride quality is an I-Pace strength, too. Especially at highway speeds it might very well be the quietest electric vehicle we’ve driven yet. The I-Pace drives brilliantly. Its dual-motor system always feels coordinated for traction and free of fluster, and the air suspension feels on-point, keeping pavement jolts out of the cabin and able to raise the height for off-roading or entry/exit.