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New car review

Jaguar I-Pace test drive

The electric I-Pace ticks all the boxes for performance, practicality and range

What is it?

Electric cars have seen huge growth in their first decade as a readily available mode of transport – but they’ve still not made it into the public consciousness as a viable vehicle for everyday life.

Try now to forget all your preconceived ideas about EVs. Forget the gimmicks and concept-like design, and instead imagine a performance Jaguar with enough practicality to suit your nuclear family.

Not only has Jaguar produced a car that looks as desirable as any other car from the marque, it’s apparently capable of travelling up to 298 miles on one charge, takes just 45 minutes to charge to 80% and it’ll be available from just under £60,000 with the government grant. You’re right, it sounds too good to be true.

What’s new?

The I-Pace is a completely new car, designed from the ground up specifically for Jaguar. It’s the first electric car created by the brand – if we forget about the one-off electric E-Type – and follows on from the design language of the Big Cat’s existing SUV ‘Pace’ range.

That said, while it is recognisable as part of the family, this electric vehicle has a unique style as it’s been created with maximum range in mind.


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How does it look?

Jaguar I-Pace review | The Car Expert

There are some key style points that make the I-Pace stand out from other Jaguars. It might be billed as an SUV but it doesn’t really look like one. Designer Ian Callum explained that to accommodate the batteries the car had to be taller, which led to this profile, but at 1.5m the I-Pace still has a sleek, sporty look.

The wheels sit flush with the body of the car, giving it a stockier appearance but aiding with the aerodynamics too. It’s also got a cutaway in the bonnet for cooling that you might not even notice unless you’re standing next to the car.

What’s the spec like?

While the whole car might be new, you’ll recognise the infotainment as very JLR. In particular, the dual touchscreen on the centre console is from the Range Rover Velar.

You also get a third screen behind the wheel and can specify the car with a head-up display. These features all look the same, but for an EV there are some extra touches to make life simpler.

If you’re planning a route, the I-Pace can tell you how much battery will remain at each destination and this data will update as you drive. It also has other electric-specific features, such as a false futuristic noise you can have pumped around the cabin as you drive.

If you’d rather just enjoy the silence, though, you can turn this off, which acts as an exterior noise canceller too.

Next page: Step inside and take a drive

Rebecca Chaplin
Articles by Rebecca Chaplin are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.
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