Car Reviews SUV of the Year

Jaguar I-Pace: 2019 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Finalist

The future, now

The future, now

WE LIKE Dramatic design, smooth performance, balanced ride and handling

WE DON’T LIKE Real-world driving range falls short

Toyota, please note: The future does not have to look ugly. The I-Pace’s superbly executed exterior design may well define Jaguar’s identity in the 21st century as emphatically as the E-Type did in the 20th.

“The I-Pace might be Ian Callum’s masterpiece,” Christian Seabaugh said. “Debate all you want whether it’s an SUV, but it’s arguably the best-looking and most original automotive design in years.” The interior likewise won kudos from judges for design and materials selection, though JLR’s infotainment interface drew criticism for being slow and finicky to use.

There was no argument about the drive experience, however. “Pure joy!” Stefan Ogbac enthused as he stepped out of the electric Jaguar, echoing the sentiments of many of the judges. “It’s a lovely handling machine with instant electric power and torque. There’s next to no body roll and plenty of composure on the turns, excellent high-speed stability, and great steering that’s accurate and precise.”

The I-Pace was easily the fastest of this year’s contenders on the winding road, quicker even than the mighty Mercedes-AMG G 63. Off-road, with its height-adjustable suspension and terrific traction, the Jag handled our sand pits and steep dirt hill better than most.

Concerns over value—and the I-Pace’s real-world driving range falling well short of the claimed 240 miles (386 km) (without access to Tesla’s Supercharger network)—were the key factors that stopped the I-Pace from becoming our first all-electric SUVOTY. “Never has there been such a philosophical battle for the award,” Frank Markus said as he contemplated the spaceship Jaguar parked next to the old-school Jeep Wrangler. That says it all. It’s the future, now.

READ ABOUT 2019 SUV OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

READ ABOUT 2019 CAR OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD HSE
Base Price/As tested $81,495/$86,895
Power (SAE net) 394 hp @ 4,250 rpm (comb)
Torque (SAE net) 512 lb-ft @ 0 rpm (comb)
Accel, 0-60 mph 4.0 sec
Quarter-mile 12.6 sec @ 110.5 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 112 ft
Lateral Acceleration 0.87 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 25.6 sec @ 0.74 g (avg)
EPA City/Hwy/Comb 80/72/76 mpg-e
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-/rear-motor, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE/TRANSMISSION 2 147-hp/256-lb-ft electric motors, 394 hp/512 lb-ft combined/1-speed auto
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,946 lb (53/47%)
WHEELBASE 117.7 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.3 x 74.6 x 59.4-63.2 in
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 42/47 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.00 lb/mile (at vehicle)