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The Top Gear car review:Jaguar I-Pace
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
Perhaps surprising, given the Jetsons exterior, is that the inside of an I-Pace isn’t nearly as future-gazing as a Tesla. You still have several acres of screen, split over three displays, but also physical buttons. Fancy that. A floating centre console jazzes things up, as does an inexplicable slab of old-school veneer in our test car. Particular mention must go to the Recaro seats: the driving position is spot-on and comfort levels higher than the skeletal backrest suggests.
Switch it on – the screens do a dance but no noise – something that baffles the delivery driver as he attempts to back it off the trailer. “Know how to turn the engine on?” Sigh. But otherwise it’s as per a Range Rover Velar, or anything else in the upper echelons of Jaguar’s range, to operate. It’s refreshingly similar to ‘normal’ cars, with just the right amount of future. Problem is, JLR’s latest infotainment tends to over-promise and under-deliver – the interface isn’t as intuitive as a Tesla Model 3’s, for example – so half the time you’ll end up using the satnav on your phone.
Space-wise, the I-Pace excels. Because the front wheel have effectively moved forward and the rears stayed where they are, Jag claims it has the interior space of a Porsche Cayenne, but the footprint of a Macan. As well as a 27-litre cubby in the Jag’s foreshortened snout there’s roughly the same bootspace (577/1,453 litres seats up/seats down) as a 3-Series Touring.
It’s hard to know, I suspect purposefully, where the I-Pace fits into a conventional model hierarchy. It looks slightly like a hatchback, but, inside, the 656-litre boot (frunk included) is twice the size of a Golf’s and outside it’s well over 400mm longer. When you step out, your foot goes down further than you expect (unless you’ve set the suspension to lower automatically), and inside the driving position is surprisingly commanding. It’ll also handle four adults with ease. It’s a well-packaged, spacious car that just happens to be electric.