2019 Jaguar I-PACE: A Very Rare Extended Test Drive

DEC 7 2018 BY TOM MOLOUGHNEY 27

We get behind the wheel of one of the first I-Paces in the U.S.

After only 5 customer deliveries in the month of October, Jaguar increased its US delivery total to 165 in the month of November. So with less than 200 I-PACEs on US roads, securing one for an extended road test isn’t easy. However, thanks to InsideEVs occasional contributor and new I-PACE owner John Higham, we were able to secure one for a 250+ mile road trip, less than 24 hours after he picked it up from Stevens Creek Jaguar in San Jose California.

Initial observations

Apple Carplay integration

I really liked the heads-up display (but then again, I haven’t seen a heads-up display that I didn’t like), and the feel of the steering wheel. The seats are supportive and comfortable, and they are ventilated as well as heated. There’s plenty of leg room in the back seats and lots of cargo space in the rear. The frunk has a tiny bin, like my BMW i3, which is pretty useless for anything other than a portable EVSE, connectors, and perhaps an extension cord.

The Apple Carplay was able to utilize the entire center display screen, but when we switched to Android Auto, it left a large bezel of unused screen which was so annoying we switched back to the Carplay. The rearview camera is very clear but a bit more of a fish-eye view than I prefer. The car felt balanced and stable in turns, and outward vision is fine. The Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist worked well, as did the Lane Keep Assist.

The large rear cargo area can hold a lot of gear. My suitcase, backpack and carry-on bag fit with a lot of room to spare.

The Good – Gorgeous interior 

 Maybe it’s me, but I just love the new interiors coming out of JLR. A good friend has a Velar, and I really like driving in it because of the interior. The I-PACE’s interior is unique, but retains the styling cues found in other JLR vehicles. It’s sleek and high-tech and has extremely comfortable and supportive seats. The center console angles up to the dashboard and has lower storage compartments for small accessories like sunglasses.

I like the implementation of touchscreens and physical buttons & knobs, it really feels high-end. But that’s not a knock against the Tesla Model 3. I also like Tesla’s minimalistic approach on the Model 3, and it fits that vehicle. Jaguar is focused more on luxury than Tesla, and I think the I-PACE’s interior will win over some people cross-shopping.  More choices are good, and there’s room for both in the marketplace.

Performance

While it may not be able to keep up with a Tesla P100D, it certainly has enough torque to push you back in the seat when you mash the throttle. Jaguar claims a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds, and after driving it, I have no reason to doubt that claim. With 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque delivered to all four wheels, accelerating from 40 mph – 80 mph was also very impressive. It felt nearly as potent as the Tesla Model 3 Performance I recently drove, and that was a bit of a surprise. As mentioned above, this car was brand new when our road trip began, so we didn’t test out any of the off-road capabilities. However, InsideEV’s Steven Loveday had a chance to do that on the I-Pace press drive in Portugal earlier in the year, and you can read his impressions on that here.

Handling & ride

The steering feels a little heavier than I anticipated, but it is crisp and engaging. Handling felt fine, but admittedly, I didn’t drive like I was auto-crossing. The height-adjustable air-suspension is firm while cornering, and also kept the ride smooth and insulated from road irregularities. Jaguar used a multilink front suspension from the F-Type, however the rear is an integral-link suspension, similar to what’s used in the F-Pace and E-Pace. It works.

Artificial creep & cabin sound

You might be surprised that I’ve listed artificial creep in the “good” column because I’ve previously stated that EVs don’t need it. Well, they don’t “need” it, but after driving the I-PACE for four hours in California traffic, I can see the use case for it, if it’s properly implemented. If you toggle the Vehicle Creep on the car it will softly move forward once you release the friction brake, giving the car a slight nudge before you depress the accelerator. It’s a nice feature in bumper-to-bumper traffic, but I’d personally turn it off for all other driving.

The artificial cabin sound was another story. Jaguar calls it Incar Driving Dynamic Audio, and it’s a weird mixture of the sound of an electric motor, mixed with the sound of the Jetson’s flying bubble car. It’s definitely not for me, but I’m sure some people will like it. I have both of these features listed in the good column because they can be turned on or off, allowing the owner to decide how they want their car to be set up. Offering more choices and letting the owner decide what they want is good, and I’m glad Jaguar understands that. Unlike some of the German manufacturers that like to decide for you, because “they know better.”

The regenerative braking and vehicle creep settings are found on the same screen of the vehicle settings.

Regenerative braking

 Jaguar uses a simple two-mode regenerative braking system, you choose High or Low. In Low mode the car almost freewheel coasts and the regen is very mild. It kind of feels like an automatic transmission that’s slightly holding the car back. Perhaps Jaguar wanted Low to mimic a conventionally-powered car for owners who were more comfortable with that feeling. However, flip the switch to High and the regen level increases dramatically, and you can pretty much drive with one pedal. The only thing I found a little annoying is that unlike some other EVs, the I-PACE seems to disengage the regen at about 7 mph.

You’ll be slowing down nicely coming up to a red light or stop sign in full regen, and once you hit 7 mph, the car seemed to fully release from regen and freewheel. I’m sure I’d get used to it, but in my limited time it was a little annoying. So, while it’s not the best implementation of regenerative braking I’ve used, it is good, and not over complicated. I think this system works well in the I-PACE.

The Bad – Efficiency

I know this has been stated already by others, but it can’t be ignored. Even though the I-Pace is EPA rated at 234 miles. We were only able to squeeze out 200 miles of range and averaged only 2.5 mi/kWh for the roughly 250-mile round-trip journey from San Francisco to the recently-opened Regargo high-speed DC Fast charge stations in Prunedale, California.

Touchscreen Lag

I may be nitpicking here, but it wasn’t quite as instantaneous as I’d like to see, and the owner, John, remarked that he was a little surprised that it wasn’t quite as snappy as some other cars. However, this isn’t just an I-PACE thing, it’s Jaguar’s user interface, and it’s just not as responsive as some competitor’s systems. Deal breaker? Certainly not, but it’s worth noting.

Charging up at the Prunedale Recargo DC Fast charge stations

Charging

OK, the charging isn’t really “bad,” and I really shouldn’t be complaining about this, but I was expecting (and excited) to see the big cat pulling 100kW from the new high-speed Recargo DC Fast charge stations in Prunedale, CA. Once plugged in it was immediately clear the Jag was topping out at 83 kW and not pulling any more than 200-amps. If I had done some research before this trip, I would have found that others, like Youtuber, Bjorn Nyland and E-Auto-Vlog had already tested out an I-PACE and found that 83 kW was currently the car’s limit.

 Electric vehicle enthusiast and author, David Bricknell put together a nice graph comparing the charging profiles of the I-PACE with three points of data including our charging experience in Prunedale.

Another aspect of the I-PACE’s charging profile that was disappointing was that the full charge rate began tapering down after only 20 minutes of charging, and with the state of charge at only 50%. I would have hoped to see it reach closer to 80% before the charge rate began to slow down, but that isn’t the case. There is hope for improvement though. After doing some research, I’ve found out that this is what Jaguar calls CCS1.0, and CCS2.0 should be rolling out soon in an OTA update which will boost the Jag’s maximum charge rate up to at least 100kW. So, while I’ve categorized this under “bad,” it’s really not all that bad, just a little disappointing, and it seems like an imminent future update will make improvements.

The Recargo DC Fast Charge stations in Prunedale have really nice display screens and offer a snapshot of the charging session profile.

Conclusion

Like any electric vehicle, the I-PACE isn’t perfect. However, it offers a nice balance of performance, luxury and has enough range to allow most owners to use it as their only car. Jaguar has brought the first real Tesla competitor to market, beating Audi by more about half a year, and Mercedes, Porsche and BMW by more than a year.  It’s a legitimate performer that can also haul the family, and go on road trips, and it does it all with comfort and style.

It will be interesting to see how the market responds to the new e-Jag, especially here in the US. Tesla has really captured the imagination and loyalty of many seeking high-performance, cutting-edge electric cars and their Supercharger network is an amazing advantage. The CCS high-speed DC Fast charge networks are lagging behind what’s being installed in Europe, and I think some US buyers are going to be concerned with that. Electrify America is just now starting to get stations in the ground, and should be accelerating deployment soon, which will help. Hopefully, the dearth of high-speed charging options won’t deter too many potential I-PACE buyers, because it’s really a great car.

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27 Comments on "2019 Jaguar I-PACE: A Very Rare Extended Test Drive"

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BoltEV (was SparkEV)

Typo: Regargo should be Recargo

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

2.5mi/kWh, what was the average speed while moving? Did you get overly excited about heater?

M Hovis

I have to say I still like the touch screen integrated into the dash, but I also look at the waste of space with the use of classic air vents. The Model 3 has really done something exceptional here. I still am not in love with the screen protruding like an add-on, but the functionality is near perfect. If/when Tesla adds voice-activated climate controls, you will never need to manually engage the touch screen.

Yeah, I loved a HUD and dreaded not having one until I didn’t. The placement is pretty close to where many people have been placing their phones for years. I think I will feel the same about rear view mirrors once regulations allow the removal.

A feature that I always thought the Chevy Volt got right was the pedestrian warning on the end of the right steering stalk. Anything like that in the I-Pace Tom?

jim stack

My Chevy Spark EV charges Faster that that CAT. I only get 44 kW but it seems to go full speed until 96% or more. Almost no slow down in charging. Our Tesla 3 also goes full power at close to 118 kW until about 80% or so. They need to help the I-Pace keep up a better charging PACE.

Mike I.

I think you’re overestimating the SOC that the Model 3 can maintain max charging speed. I think it’s more like 55% when it starts dropping below 117-118kW. I think I saw 80kW at 80% on ours. However, that’s not the main point. The more important point is that the Model 3 is so much more efficient that it gains many more miles during a fast charge than the iPace, e-Tron, and MB EQ-C ever could, even with higher power charging. For miles gained in 30 minutes of charging, I don’t think anything can beat the Model 3 LR. A Model S 100D is probably the closest.

Vertastic

Based on this video, the Spark EV starts tapering after 80%: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g-fTEVnYZY

Riggald

The Model 3 has a very peaky charge curve.
It maintains peak charge speed for about 8% of its SoC, from 21% SoC to 29% SoC.
(it remains within 95% of peak from for about 1/3rd of it’s charge curve, from 10% to 45%).
By 80% SoC it’s at 47kW.
(using the charge curve from
teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/supercharger-speed-116kw.107619 )

LevinK
It’s about time people stop complaining about the seemingly low range and efficiency of the Jaguar I-Pace, and accept the fact that approximately the same numbers are to be expected for vehicles of this class (see Audi E-tron). First, it is incorrect to compare range and efficiency of small/medium sedans (Bolt, Model 3 etc) or subcompact CUVs (Kona, Nero EV) with larger SUVs having a higher mass and aerodynamic cross section. It’s like expecting a RAV4 to have the same MPG as a Corolla. The only valid comparison that can be made now is with the Model X 75, which with a 17% smaller battery achieves about the same range as the I-Pace. However people forget that Tesla achieved that chiefly by making the vehicle body extremely streamlined, giving it a Prius like profile (plus some other aero optimizations not everyone likes). Not everyone (me included) is OK with that and a lot of people want more of a regular hatch like the one on I-Pace. Personally I think Jaguar made the right choice by sacrificing a little range and efficiency to that, after all once crossing the 200 miles additional range is not that important except on the rare… Read more »
Kbm3

Model 3 is roughly the same size as the Jag, so not too bad of a comparison.

LevinK

Is it? From Wikipedia (W:H:L):
Model 3 SR: 76 x 57 x 185, mass 1,611 kg
I-Pace: 79 x 62 x 184, mass 2,133 kg

While seemingly not THAT far, I-Pace has a 13% higher cross section and whopping 32% more mass. Add to that that Model 3 has a Cd of 0.24 vs 0.29 of the I-Pace it is obvious that the lower efficiency is mostly pure physics, not a bad vehicle.

Riggald

The Jag has a longer wheelbase than both the Model S and the Model X, (sacrificing the Teslas’ at long ICEV-style hood for a much more EV-style minimum overhang).

Pushmi-Pullyu

“It’s about time people stop complaining about the seemingly low range and efficiency of the Jaguar I-Pace, and accept the fact that approximately the same numbers are to be expected for vehicles of this class (see Audi E-tron).”

Or maybe we need to keep pointing out the inadequacy and the failure of vision from gasmobile makers who timidly insist on making BEVs with the look-and-feel of gasmobiles, and the consequence of that in inadequate energy efficiency, lack of one-pedal driving (in the e-tron), and other deficiencies.

There was a time, at the beginning of the motorcar revolution, when a “horseless carriage” really did look like a buggy whose horse had wandered off. Thank goodness that gave way to engineers designing motorcars to be true self-propelled automobiles!

The EV revolution isn’t going to advance by gasmobile makers trying to make BEVs that look like, and operate like, gasmobiles.

LevinK

@Pushmi-Pullyu, Model X has approximately the same cross section and a very close mass to the I-Pace. From Wikipedia:
I-Pace: 79 x 62 x 184, mass 2,133 kg
Model X 75D: 79 x 66 x 198. mass 2,330 kg
X is larger mostly because of its extraordinary length (14″ longer), however Jag primary markets are Europe and other narrow road countries, for which longer length is an issue.

Model X mass is ~10% higher but it doesn’t play that big of a role in EV efficiency and range because a big portion of the extra energy spent on acceleration is recovered through regen. The biggest factor is aero drag .

Model X’s aerodynamic cross section is only 6% larger than I-Pace due to being 4″ higher. However this is more than offset by the lower Cd of the X (0.24) compared to 0.29 on the I-Pace, 20% lower. 20 – 6 = 14% advantage to Model X on aero drag. Incidentally I-Pace has a very close to that number – 17% lower efficiency than the X judging by battery sizes and rated ranges.

LevinK

Wow… sorry to comment on myself but could help but note that I got only dislikes for a post that only states facts and numbers.
People don’t like those here?

antrik

The Model X is much larger than the I-Pace. The fact that it still gets much better efficiency makes the I-Pace look really poor… (Also note that the EPA range doesn’t give the whole picture: in real world driving at highway speeds, the I-Pace seems to be falling even further behind.)

It’s surely not a deal-breaker for everyone — but it’s undeniably a major downside.

Riggald

The X trades high speed rear lift for outright slipperiness. The I-Pace does the reverse.

Ray Hull

Regent braking in high knocks off at 7 mph? That sounds more alarming than annoying.

Bob Wilson

I know it is not your car but I would love to see the effect of a conformal cover to the front grill blocking air out the hood and a conformal sheet to make the hood uniform. Even a simple block of the hood ducting would be enough. To my eye, that hood duct is a significant drag source.

antrik

It surely causes less drag than a solid front of the same shape. That’s what they went for: make it look like a combustion SUV, while trying to keep the extra drag somewhat in check… If you really wanted to improve it, you’d have to chop off the entire phony front, leaving only the real hood that’s underneath.

antrik

I actually think the laggy infotainment system could be a major deal-breaker. The poor efficiency and slowish charging will be annoying on a longer trip — but the laggy controls will try your patience every single time you use it. That seems especially disappointing for a vehicle that has luxury as its main selling point…

Wonder whether there is any chance that can be improved with an OTA?

RDOCA

I drove it and liked it for the most part.I like the look and the general luxury of the I Pace. I did not like the strong torque steer under heavy acceleration and it did not beep when you put turn signal on with a car beside you as it only flashes the warning lite. The inside rear view mirror is not very good IMO as the rear window is small and it is very dark with not much coverage. It cry’s out for a camera mirror like the Bolt. The HUD is great and it is something the Mod 3 really needs and it is a deal breaker for me as after using one for a while I won’t have any car without a HUD. It is well done and if the mileage/charging and cost is a fit its a great choice.

Harold Sogard

As always Tom, great writeup. And amusing to see that John Higham has upgraded to the I-Pace! Just wondering if you could please offer any thoughts about the rear visibility in the I-Pace. I’ve seen a couple of them on the road and it looks like it would be VERY hard to see what’s behind you in this car. How was it for you?