Jaguar I-PACE ­– the future is here

Driving the Jaguar I-PACE was an out-of-this-world experience for Embassy Automobile Club member Mike Guy of the IMO

Embassy magazine invited car enthusiasts Mike Guy and Grant Butler to test-drive the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE. Both were new to electric vehicles (EV), so they paid a visit to the impressive Sytner Jaguar Land Rover showroom in South West London for a briefing from diplomatic sales specialist Alex Watts on all the features of this sporty SUV. Once they felt confident to try it out, Mike and Grant put the I-PACE through its paces on London’s streets before taking a scenic road trip to Falmouth. Afterwards we caught up with them to find out how they enjoyed the experience. Here’s their verdict.

We hear you were EV novices – so what were your first impressions driving the I-PACE?
The I-PACE is super quiet. It has this amazing spaceship hum, which is surprising because it’s quite a big car. It was like arriving from Back to the Future!

What did you think of the design?
The exterior styling of the car is really nice – it’s sleek and was a head turner everywhere we went. We’d joke with curious onlookers that it was our spaceship!

In terms of the size, it’s almost a combination of a sedan and an SUV. It’s higher off the road than a standard sedan and a bit lower than a standard SUV. It’s spacious inside and there is ample luggage room for two people.

 And what about the driving experience?
It’s a dream to drive. It has so much power. People have this misconception about electric cars but the technology has advanced so much. When you put your foot on the accelerator it just rocketed – much faster than a petrol car. And there’s also no changing of gears, so it’s very easy to drive.

You tested the I-PACE on a road trip to Cornwall – how did it fare on a long journey?
It was very comfortable, ideal for long journeys. The ergonomics were flawless. It also has this great feature on the seats where you can adjust the lumbar section so it feels like the car is giving you a hug. The infotainment system was easy to use and the sound system was fantastic.

It was also very calming. It has smooth lines and soothing lighting at night. And it has an amazing sky roof  – it runs the entire length of the vehicle.

What about the battery range?
We really tested the I-PACE battery range on our road trip! It’s just under 300 miles from London to Falmouth. On a full charge, we managed 280 miles, which was pretty impressive.

A charge stop in the countryside


And how does the cost compare with a petrol vehicle?
It is definitely more affordable, especially with the current petrol prices. We paid a fraction – probably only a third or even less – than what we would have paid if we did the same journey in a petrol car.

The other thing we noticed is how efficiently the I-PACE uses power. For instance, when you take your foot off the accelerator, it uses the motion of the vehicle to self-charge, albeit in small percentages.

So the I-PACE is great on country roads. How was it in town?
The I-PACE is ideal for driving in London – you have more than enough power for your day-to-day errands. It’s quite a big car for London roads, but it has a very good park assist tool with rear, side and overview camera.

On the subject of tech tools, how did you find charging tech in the I-PACE?
As novices, we were a bit anxious to start with but the I-PACE has these useful tools to help you. The dashboard is very clear – it tells you the battery level and there is a range indicator as well which tells you how many miles you have before you should charge the car.

It also has this journey planner feature [Go I-PACE], so when you input your destination in the satnav, the I-PACE will calculate the charge required to get to the destination and suggest some charge stops along the way. It also has the Jaguar Remote app which you can download to your phone so you can check on the charge level while you’re having a rest break. So after a while we got the hang of it and just relaxed.

Grant and Mike enjoying the I-PACE’s sky roof


Do you have any tips for other EV novices in the diplomatic corps?
Our advice would be to download the EV charging app, Zap-Map which tells you where all the charging points are across the UK and ones that are online and available.

You also have to approach driving an electric car with a different mindset. In the big cities like London, it’s easy because the charging infrastructure is good and there are lots of fast charging points where you can just plug, tap and charge. You can charge your car overnight at home or at work and then top it up whenever you need to.

For longer journeys you just need to be organised and plan for charge stops. Also, in remote rural areas, availability is more patchy so you may not have access to the latest charging technology and it may take a little longer. There are many service providers and sometimes you need to download their apps to start charging. But it’s clear the infrastructure is expanding fast and technology is improving all the time.

After three days we’d figured out the ‘charging curve’ – this is where the battery charges very fast up until 80% and then drops off, to protect the battery. So for our return journey we realised it’s much easier to run the battery in the mid-range and do quick stops to top the battery up. And this is also good practice to preserve the battery life.

How would you sum up your overall experience?
We fell in love with driving this car. It was super comfortable, with lots of power. It’s reinforced our view of going forward with an electric car. Not just because it’s good for the environment but because the I-PACE is such a nice car to drive.

There is a six-month delivery time for the Jaguar I-PACE. If you would like to experience the Jaguar I-PACE please contact Simon Pilgrim, the appointed diplomatic sales specialist for Jaguar Land Rover on 020 8398 4222 or you can email him on

Main Photo: : The I-PACE looking sleek outside Sytner Jaguar Land Rover South West London