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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Jaguar I-Pace

Overall verdict
Jaguar steps bravely into the unknown and nails it. A rapid, desirable, good-looking SUV that happens to be powered by electricity


Acceleration, interior space, big boot, brave exterior design


Not cheap, better infotainment systems out there, claimed range is ambitious


What is it?

It is the boldest of bold moves from Jaguar: an all-electric SUV, the first credible rival to Tesla’s premium EV dominance, a car that beats its German rivals to market and a radical piece of design. The I-Pace signals the start of something big, that mainstream manufacturers, not just Silicon Valley start-ups or BMW, are prepared to invest properly in building new-from-the-ground-up electric cars you actually want to own, and might be able to afford.

Headline facts are thus: the I-Pace uses two concentric electric motors, one on each axle for permanent four-wheel drive, producing 394bhp and 513lb ft of torque, delivered through a single-speed gearbox. The lithium-ion battery, placed under the floor – de rigueur these days – is sized at 90kWh, good for a claimed 298-mile range on the new, more stringent WLTP cycle. Give it the berries and 0–60mph in 4.5 seconds and a 124mph top speed is rapid by any measure. Charging takes a little longer – 10 hours to top it up from 0–80 per cent with a 7kW home charger, or 45 minutes if you can find a 100kW DC supply. It’s a lot to take in, and that’s before you’ve considered whether you’ve actually got anywhere convenient to plug it in, or whether a limited range is compatible with your lifestyle.

It’s easy to forget that the I-Pace is still just a new car: four tyres, a steering wheel, some seats surrounded by aluminium and glass. If anyone’s going to be persuaded to cough up at least £58,500 (after the £4,500 government grant), or £76,995 for the fully-loaded First Edition, it still needs to go, stop, steer and turn heads with panache.   

It does look good, doesn’t it? Those 20-inch wheels – standard on our HSE model and blacked out to merge with the rubber –are probably the Instagram/ride quality sweet spot… there are also 18s available if you want to look silly, or 22s if you must. But it’s the proportions that steal the show: the stubbed nose that brings the front wheels forward with it and the high, squared-off rear end set the template, while the rear spoiler, vented bonnet and flush doorhandles provide the detail. Its beauty doesn’t slap you like a botoxed Alfa, it’s a slower burn than that, but eventually its bravery hooks you in.

Read a long term review on the Jaguar I-Pace by clicking on these blue words.