HELLO! Road test: How does the Jaguar I-PACE stack up as a fully electric family car?

We review Jaguar's sleek electric car

The Jaguar I-PACE is described by the brand as a "true driver's car", but how does it drive for a family of four? Read below for HELLO!'s experience of the Jaguar I-PACE...

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The Jaguar I-PACE reviewers

A family of four over the Christmas period, visiting friends and family. One child is in a car seat, and we needed plenty of space for presents, overnights bags, and gear for all possible weather conditions.

Rosie and her family tested the Jaguar I-PACE on a family, festive trip

First impressions of the Jaguar I-PACE

We almost didn’t notice the Jaguar I-PACE arrive on the driveaway, so silent is this majestic car. The fact it is fully electric means minimal sound – so watch out when you’re pulling into crowded areas, as pedestrians often do not realise you are there (though I’m happy to report that no small children were harmed during the course of this review!) 

We were loaned the I-PACE for a fortnight over Christmas, whilst our Porsche Cayenne was in a repair shop, and it provided the perfect opportunity to discover whether we really are prepared to put the planet first and make a fully electric choice for our next vehicle.

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This experience suggests we are. It is no surprise that Jaguar have won plaudits for this important model – their most iconic since the E-Type. A small fortune was spent on its development and over 1.5 million miles were driven in prototypes across the globe to ensure they got it right.

First impression is that it looks great. I especially appreciated the sleek, modern-retro style of the interior, and it is oozing technology on the head unit which my tech-savvy other half enjoyed whilst I appreciated the fact that it is intuitive, with clear and easy to use displays. With around 250 miles between charges, you are unlikely to get caught short of power, although a full charge will take around 13 hours from a 7KW specialist domestic wall charger, so you do need to plan ahead – something that almost caught us out on one occasion.

How the Jaguar I-PACE drives

It’s fast off the mark. While my husband found it hard to restrain himself on the accelerator, I found the raw speed at my feet a little unnerving as it felt more like a sportscar than the SUV I'm used to driving. Although not as fast as a Tesla, but with a system that can do 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and two electric motors to enable four-wheel driving, do you really need more?

For motorway driving there are advanced autonomous driving features. Highlights were dynamic cruise control, enabling it to accelerate and brake, along with lane assistance. And in cities the 360 overhead camera enables confident parking in tight spots.

Rosie charging the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE

What the Jaguar I-PACE is like for passengers

Space in the back felt generous for two young children, but put three adults inside and it might feel a squeeze. The interior is so beautiful and plush, it almost feels impractical for a family car – the cream leather interior didn’t mix with muddy boots, but there is a myriad of options to customise it to your exact liking.

The boot is spacious, we could easily fit suitcases and there is ample space for a large pushchair. The charging cable sits in a dedicated front boot, meaning you don’t need to unpack each time you need to use it, which makes the experience very convenient. The sound quality is excellent, with two levels of Meridien sound system available and most high-tech features come as standard. Higher models come with wireless Carplay, ours needed to be wired for Carplay.

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Downsides of the Jaguar I-PACE

Charging on the drive at home is a lengthy process, you really need the speed of service station charging points to fill up quickly. This isn’t necessarily a downside – after all you wouldn’t expect to fill up on petrol at home – it just means careful planning on trips is essential, and if you can park overnight in a high-speed charging bay, as we managed to do once, then it will keep you topped up and happy.

A small gripe is that there could be better lighting around the charging socket for plugging in at night. It’s expensive, with an RRP of around £65,245 - £76,695.

There’s no denying that the electric market has grown and now there are many comparable options for cheaper electric SUVs from the likes of Ford and Kia, however they don’t cut it in the style stakes, so if you’re image conscious, the Jag is worth the extra cost. All in all, the feel-good factor is high whether you are a driver or passenger in this beauty of a car.

Jaguar I-PACE expert opinion 

HELLO!'s motoring expert Gareth Herincx gives the lowdown: "The all-electric I-Pace was a game-changer when it was launched in 2018. Not only did Jaguar become the first mainstream manufacturer to challenge Tesla in the premium sector, but it became the first car to complete an historic treble at the 2019 World Car Awards, winning the World Car of the Year, World Car Design and World Green Car titles.

"Stylish and spacious with SUV practicality, the I-Pace is loaded with tech and has a real quality feel. It also handles superbly and has genuine off-road capability. With an impressive range of up to 292 miles, it can be charged overnight at home if you have a wall box, or via a public charger (a 100kW rapid DC charging point will deliver up to 78 miles of range from just 15 minutes)."

Jaguar I-PACE facts

 

  • Price: from £65,245
  • Power: a 90kWh battery and two electric motors (one at the front, the other at the rear) delivering a combined 395bhp
  • Transmission: one-speed automatic and four-wheel drive
  • Acceleration: 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds
  • Range: up to 292 miles
  • Luggage capacity: (656 litres or 1,453 litres with the rear seats folded)
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