Why You Need to Know About This Headline-Grabbing Electric Vehicle

We got behind the wheel of the award-winning 2019 Jaguar I-Pace SUV to see what all the fuss was about

A red 2019 Jaguar I-Pace drives along the curve of a mountain

Driving the Jaguar I-Pace feels like taking a spin into the future. Its smooth handling and stylish interior remind you it’s a luxury car, its snappy acceleration reminds you there’s performance in its bloodlines, and its near-silent operation tells you this is no ordinary SUV.

How Jaguar is stealing Tesla’s thunder

Named AJAC’s 2019 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year and Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year, this Tesla competitor has won numerous other international awards, including World Car of the Year. In short, the I-Pace is a big deal.

Not only is it Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle, it also blurs the lines between car and SUV. It feels much more like a car than a truck, though it has a roomy 638 litres of rear cargo space along with another 27 litres under the hood.

What’s on the inside of the I-Pace

As you’d expect from a Jag, especially one with a starting price tag of $89,900, the I-Pace’s interior is clean and elegant. The typical shifter is gone, replaced by push buttons. Climate and audio controls use a combination of touch and rotating dials, which allow you to adjust the temperature and audio levels without taking your eyes off the road.

Why this electric vehicle is so powerful

Beneath the vehicle’s floor is the 90 kWh lithium ion battery, which feeds two electric motors to generate 394 horsepower. Jaguar says the battery is good for a range of 470 kilometres, and it’s pretty efficient. My tester had 361 kilometres of range remaining when I picked it up in Mississauga and still had 332 kilometres remaining when I arrived in downtown Toronto. A few days later I topped up the battery in just under two hours, adding 44.4 kWh.

An SUV that’s a quick start—and stop

The I-Pace’s total system torque is 512 lb-ft, which can send the car from zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Acceleration is almost instantaneous.

You can also use single-pedal driving. As you lift your foot off the throttle, the regenerative braking system kicks in and slows the car, sending some of that power back to charge the battery. It’s a great system, but when it’s set on high, the I-Pace slows a bit too abruptly.

The verdict: the I-Pace lives up to its award-winning hype

While it doesn’t have a sticker price that’s geared toward the average person, the I-Pace is a great driving experience and points in the direction that the auto industry is heading.

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Keep reading

Learn more about EVs in the fall 2019 issue of CAA Magazine.

Plus, ever wondered which luxury cars are the most affordable or what it’s like to drive hands-free?

Image: courtesy of Jaguar

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