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

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2019 Jaguar I-Pace

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

If you’ve driven a Land Rover or Jaguar model recently, the controls will have a familiar feel. That makes driving the I-Pace relatively straight forward versus having to adjust to Tesla’s more radical single-screen user interface. The ergonomics are quite good – the switches and buttons (all of very high quality) are exactly where they need to be, within driver reach, of different shapes, and easy to use.

DRIVING THE 2019 JAGUAR I-Pace

While the driver’s seat is rather high, the driving position is nonetheless car-like thanks in part to the high floor over the battery pack. Make no mistake, while this is clearly a Jaguar, it’s not a throwback to when one might expect to see a cigar in the ashtray. It’s as thoroughly modern as Millie if not a bit futuristic in some aspects.

One thing is perhaps too futuristic, however: the buttons used for the gear selector. Simply put, the order of Drive, Neutral, Reverse, and Park go against what has become the natural order of Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive since the 1960s. While there’s still a buffer zone of Neutral between Reverse and Drive, the order is counterintuitive and the buttons cannot be differentiated by feel.

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Press the accelerator and be prepared for maximum torque without any hesitation. Jaguar says the I-Pace will take the driver from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.5 seconds but it feels even quicker. This is faster than the considerably more expensive Tesla X, which requires 4.8 or 4.9 seconds (depending on the model) to reach the same speed.

Once underway, you have to pinch yourself to remember that this is an EV, aside from the hushed cabin of course. You are not, at least directly, burning fossil fuels yet the I-Pace feels like no other EV. While other EVs feel contrived, almost go-cart like, this one has a rather natural and organic feel to it. The I-Pace’s Active Air Suspension, which lowers the vehicle when traveling at speeds of 65 mph (104 km/h) by 4” (10 cm) for an extended period of time, only adds to that impression.

It’s important to add that the driver can adjust the car’s throttle sensitivity, steering weighting, and damper stiffness to suit his individual taste.

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