Review and Test Drive: 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE

By Jonathan Spira on 8 August 2019
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2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE

Close your eyes for a moment. Wouldn’t you imagine that the first electric SUV from a European automaker would be from, say, BMW, or perhaps Mercedes-Benz, given those companies’ highly publicized EVs? You’d be wrong, as the first electric SUV from a European automaker is actually from Jaguar, and it’s a doozy.

Designed by Sir Ian Callum, the I-Pace was unveiled in concept-car form at the 2016 Los Angeles International Auto Show and officially announced in early 2018. Simply put, the I-Pace is a long-range EV with sumptuous accommodations. It’s a purpose-built EV – not another model that was adapted – and, as such, is the personification of the electric vehicle.

What’s equally important are the car’s jaw dropping good looks. While so much of it is different, one thing – the Jaguar grille – is a constant and reminds people of its heritage. When the I-Pace silently arrives at a destination, everyone notices. Sir Ian, who designed cars for Ford and Aston Martin before landing at Jaguar, in what was certainly an understatement, said that the I-Pace is “one of the most exciting cars” he ever worked on.

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Approach the I-Pace and the car recognizes the driver. It automatically adjusts settings – think seats, AC, entertainment options – to suit. The door handles pop out as a welcome. The car is smart, too. It learns driver preferences, such as a different radio station for the drive to work and another on the route home.

As an EV, the I-Pace has to be efficient. It will only heat or cool occupied portions of the vehicle, for example, and an Alexa-enabled smartphone app will allow the driver to check on range, charge level, and vehicle status remotely.

Inside, the driver will find a rather posh interior with high quality materials befitting an offspring of Sir William Lyons. Storage space abounds and the panoramic sunroof and infrared filtering windshield – this helps reduce heat build-up on hot days – adds to the feeling of luxury. The dual touchscreens in the center stack – Jaguar calls this the Touch Pro Duo – work quite well although in the first of the two I-Paces we had in our short-term fleet, we ran into difficulties when using the phone with Apple CarPlay. We had no such issues with the second I-Pace.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace

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