The Joyful Jaguar I-PACE SE All Electric Car Review 2019

The Jaguar I-PACE SE was delivered in its own individual trailer by a very nice chap and we admired the grey and black styling together as he winched the impressive looking car onto my drive. It’s clearly not photogenic as it looks better in the flesh, much lower and sportier than you’d expect. It resembles a Paris Dakar rally car more than an SUV, so I was very much looking forward to taking this on a distance test the next day. A 200 mile hike up north to see if it has range enough to be practical as well as luxurious.
The Jaguar I-Pace does 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds, has regenerative disk braking, two electric motors with all wheel drive, 400PS or 395 BHP with 90kWh batteries and a maximum speed of 124mph. My SE model had 20”, 6 spoke wheels, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, high speed emergency braking and blind spot assist. Full details below.
The exterior is muscly without being overbearing. In fact this car feels medium size from the outside, but incredibly roomy on the inside, with a refined futuristic body shape that eschews the larger pumped up SUV. There is a sizeable bonnet hood vent that is used for downforce and adds a little character. The side window line starts low at the front and sweeps down, then up to the rear, imparting a lovely forward motion even a rest. It is a subtly impressive car that will get noticed on the second look and will age well.
The interior is plush and gets lots of cooing admiration from passengers. Silver framed dark panels and grained white leather sports seats with memory adjustment. The interior is luxurious enough, but I’d like to see more Jaguar DNA in there. It’s too generic and needs more nods to Jaguar’s rich heritage throughout the panelling, materials and fabrics. You need to know it’s a Jaguar even without the badge on the wheel. The three back seats are large and plenty of room for three, or fold down the middle arm rest for extra cup holders for two. Boot space is huge too.
It did take me a while to work out the cabin controls, which uses two circular knobs that require pushing or pulling to control temperature, fans and seat heating. However once mastered, you feel quite clever controlling multiple settings with a mere flick of the button height. The cabin atmosphere appears to be something Jaguar put time into, it’s certainly a powerful system. CarPlay works swiftly and efficiently as does bluetooth. The heads up display is marvellous, showing the speed limit and your speed as well as sat nav arrows.
The batteries are all in the floor, so the weight distribution gives the I-PACE a low centre of gravity, plus the two motors weigh half that of a petrol engine for the same power and are set around the axle. The all wheel drive has superb cornering which, matched with the air suspension, delivers a very stable and luxurious ride. It handled some vicious speed bumps with consummate ease. The car also holds perfectly steady as you accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds, with no shimmy at all.
The 20 “ wheels are humongous, their height puts the axle on the same level as the chassis. Another benefit for handling and performance. They’re also positioned far forward and back with the body only pushing out a foot and a half either side which delivers impressive traction and manoeuvrability. No wonder they use these for the Jaguar eTrophy Racing!
The only way you know the car is on is by the word “ready” on the drivers console, as it is totally silent at rest. There is a pleasant low whine as you accelerate which further reminded me that it was using super cheap electricity with no emissions and not burning expensive petrol. The acceleration is linear at every speed, delivering a perfectly consistent response, no waiting for the revs to hit a sweet spot to enjoy the full torque. Electric driving isn’t just about economy and saving the planet (once we sort out the battery chemicals), there are real performance advantages too.
The gears, are there any? That’s right the I-PACE transmission is a one speed automatic. Just one gear, so there are no clunky changes, no pauses to switch up or down. It’s totally smooth, however good a multi-gear box is, it will never be smoother than a one speed. So the I-PACE only has two gear control buttons, one for drive and one for reverse.
Dynamic setting is hardly needed, just there to tick the boxes, the normal eco settings are more than powerful enough. Unless you manage to break into the e-Trophy circuit whilst it’s on and hope no one notices the extra I-PACE without the roll cage. Otherwise the eco setting is the one you’ll stay with.
Steering has been upgraded on this new model and is super smooth and responsive, with good feedback in the corners and a splendid turning circle.
I drove round to my nearest fast charge point located in the forecourt of a well known German sports car manufacturer to test the ease and use-ability. Their salesman were pretty helpful despite the badge, kindly lending me a charge card, necessary at this particular point for payment purposes. It was a 47kWh charger and it told me that it would recharge my missing 8% in 20 minutes. The Jaguar I-PACE passed the first test with flying colours.
Then I started planning for my journey north. This meant downloading various apps, including Zap Maps, which gave me the location of all the different charge points, such Ecotricity, Instavolt, Polar and Charge My Car.
The battery has a total of 90kW and the range on the dashboard gave me 201 miles on full charge, so not a lot of room for error on a 400 mile journey. The I-PACE uses regenerative braking, which generates power as you brake, feeding it back to the battery, improving braking and range. In fact I swiftly became enamoured with this system as normally when someone pulls in front of you forcing you to brake, your lose momentum and waste petrol, but with regenerative braking it essentially puts petrol back in the tank. So every time you are forced to slow down you actually get free power. Brilliant.
I loved the whole battery recharging system almost immediately. I have a two car garage at home and would just pull up to the doors and plug in the recharge cable. I have always disliked throwing hundreds of pounds away on petrol every week, just to burn it into the atmosphere. The pleasure I took just plugging the car in and watching the battery charger logo, a picture of the I-PACE, fill up with green light, was immense. And don’t worry about driving off with the cable plugged in, it does prevent you doing that, a boon for the absent minded (me).
My trip was 200 miles up and 200 miles back. Would I make it in one day? My intent was to drive up in the morning, take a four hour meeting, recharging all the while, and then drive back. On the way up I drove conservatively not knowing if I would get the full 201 miles or not. If you accelerate ferociously you will use more power, so I drove using the one pedal system, just releasing the accelerator when I wanted to slow down. In fact I only really used the actual brake a few times on the whole journey.
I arrived ten minutes later than predicted by my sat nav driving slowly. They always say leave ten minutes earlier and you will have a much nicer drive, which I did. The meeting went on a little longer so I stayed at a good hotel and charged overnight. The next day I drove the 200 miles back, but used the accelerator a lot more while keeping to the speed limits. The car gave me exactly the same as on the journey up, so the small change in driving style made little difference. It accomplished the 200 miles with 30 miles remaining, so Jaguar are actually under estimating the range so you don’t get caught out. In line with the empty petrol light, I guess, which normally gives you another 30 miles. The dash range indicator is spot on until you reach half the capacity and then it starts to give you miles back at a slow trickle, which is how it ended up with the extra 30.
So the top journey you could practically do is 690 miles in a day. Drive the 230 miles in the morning, then have lunch and recharge (two hours with a 50 kWh), then do another 230 miles, then have an early dinner whilst recharging and then complete another 230 miles and charge over night. So a total range of 690 miles in a day. You could drive from London to Orleans, stay the night in a nice chateau, then drive all the way to Montpellier on the Mediterranean the next day.
Jaguar also claim that you never need to change the batteries as they will give you a 1000 cycles of zero to 100%. So if you can go 230 miles on a single charge, that’s 230,000 miles. Jaguar also plans to prolong the life of I-PACE batteries with new recycling partnerships and second-life energy storage trials, so they do appear to be somewhat future proofed already.
In all I stopped at three recharge points, which can be hard to find as usually stuck behind a bin somewhere. Only Instavolt offer normal bank card payment which is a huge relief compared to those that need an app download. Absolute hell if you have no signal or require online membership which takes ages. For the boy-scouts out there be prepared and register with every company offering any form of electric charging anywhere. This will take the better part of an afternoon. Do this over a glass of fine Bordeaux while while reading through the newly purchased car manual. Some like BP Charge Master cost £10 an hour over one hour thirty to avoid point hogging, but their 24 hr help service is staffed by excellent motoring experts who are very helpful.
The Jaguar I-PACE is one of the most highly decorated production cars ever, winning 62 international awards. In 2019 the I-Pace won the European Car of the Year award, the 2019 World Car of the Year, and Best Design and Best Green Car awards, the first car to ever sweep three categories.
The I-PACE is, as it says on the dashboard, ready now. The combination of luxury, performance and price make it the car for luxury, electric adopters. You will never really need to go faster than 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds, hard enough trying that out on normal roads. The range is more than enough for 99% of annual real world use. Plus once our ludicrously backward government catches up, every parking space will have a recharge socket in the floor, so range will become much less of an advantage for petrol cars. The pleasure of recharging a car overnight and never having to visit a petrol pump again is monumental.
This is a superb high performance all electric car and Jaguar were daring in being the first in the UK, it will stand them in good stead for the future. Get the first British luxury electric car and enjoy every minute of high performance petrol free driving.
Recharge times:
Jaguar I-Pace
Time to charge
EVBox 1-Phase, 32A
7.4 kW
EVBox 3-Phase, 16A
11 kW
EVBox 3-Phase, 32A
22 kW
EVBox DC Fast Charger
50 kW
Options on my car
    •    Corris Grey - £700
    •    Light Oyster and Ebony Interior
    •    Ebony Morzine Headlining - £250
    •    Electronic Air Suspension - £1,100
    •    Fixed Panoramic Roof - £960
    •    Meridian Surround Sound System - £600
    •    360º Surround Camera - £500
    •    Matrix LED Headlights with signature DRL and Adaptive Driving Beam - £750
    •    Head Up Display - £900
    •    20" 5 spoke 'Style 5068' with Gloss Black finish - £800
    •    10-way heated electric memory front seats with heated rear seats - £600
    •    Black Exterior Pack - £260
    •    Privacy Glass - £375
From: £69,995  On The Road
On the Road Price inc: PiCG - £66,495