AT A GLANCE

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - MOTORING -

JAGUAR I-PACE

PRICE $119,000-$159,700 SER­VICE/WAR­RANTY 5 years’ free ser­vice, 5 yrs/200,000km war­ranty

EN­GINE 2 elec­tric mo­tors, 90kWh lithium-ion bat­tery, 294kW/696Nm

SAFETY 5 stars, 6 airbags, AEB, driver mon­i­tor, lane keep as­sist, rear traf­fic mon­i­tor and 360 de­gree park­ing cam­era

THIRST 220Wh/km

SPARE None; re­pair kit

BOOT 656L leather costs more and ac­tive cruise control with high-speed au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing and blind spot warn­ing are in a $1740 op­tion pack. As an al­ter­na­tive to the Tesla Model X, though, it’s more than com­pet­i­tive.

Stan­dard fare in­cludes a high-def­i­ni­tion cen­tre screen and a con­fig­urable dig­i­tal read­out in front of the driver, two-zone air­con, sat­nav and wi-fi hotspot.

Safety gear in­cludes traf­fic sign recognition, lane keep as­sist and a “clear exit mon­i­tor” that helps when pulling out into traf­fic.

The cabin can be pre-warmed or cooled while it’s still plugged into the wall, so you don’t waste valu­able bat­tery life.

Jaguar ex­pects cus­tomers to do 90 per cent of their charg­ing at home and is sell­ing a wall charger from $2280 that will give roughly 35km of range for each hour plugged in, com­pared with 11km an hour for a stan­dard house­hold power point.

For long dis­tance trav­ellers, Jaguar says there are roughly 150 charg­ing sta­tions around the coun­try and the num­ber is grow­ing. The avail­able tech can re­plen­ish about 270km of the range in one hour at a cost of $5.70 per 100km.

ON THE ROAD

Be­hind the wheel, the Jaguar has all the wow fac­tor of a Tesla and more. The cabin is beau­ti­fully pre­sented with qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and mod­ern fin­ishes, com­ple­mented by crys­tal

clear, high-def­i­ni­tion read­outs. Leg and head­room are on par with mid-size SUVs and lug­gage space is de­cent.

Ac­cel­er­a­tion is neck-snap­ping off the mark, thanks to the in­stant torque and all-wheel drive trac­tion cre­ated by elec­tric mo­tors at each axle.

Ex­ten­sive use of alu­minium pan­els means the I-Pace is much lighter than a Tesla, trans­lat­ing to a more nim­ble car. You can still feel its weight through tighter cor­ners but pre­cise steer­ing and im­pres­sive grip mean it’s gen­uinely en­joy­able to drive. It can’t tow, un­like the Tesla, which is rated at 2250kg

With the stan­dard sus­pen­sion the ride can get a bit fid­gety over pock­marked roads but over­all it’s a good blend of lux­ury and sporti­ness. The op­tional air sus­pen­sion de­liv­ers a no­tice­ably smoother ride over rough roads.

Re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing means you can ac­cel­er­ate and slow by press­ing and lift­ing off the ac­cel­er­a­tor. It takes some get­ting used to, es­pe­cially in the more ag­gres­sive brak­ing set­ting, but af­ter a while it be­comes in­tu­itive.

The range claims ap­pear re­al­is­tic. On a hot day, with plenty of hills, high­way driv­ing and the odd ac­ci­den­tal de­tour, the I-Pace de­liv­ered pretty close to its 400km prom­ise.

VER­DICT

The I-Pace is the best lux­ury elec­tric ve­hi­cle on the mar­ket, if you can af­ford it.

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