JAGUAR I-PACE Estate driving position
You don’t sit especially high in the I-Pace by SUV standards, but even entry-level S cars have part-electric adjustment to help drivers of different sizes get comfortable, while the seats in pricier versions are fully electric and have a memory function. The standard sports seats in the front look great and offer brilliant long-distance support.
All I-Paces forgo traditional instrument dials for a slick 12.3in digital display that lets the driver decide exactly what information they want to be displayed directly in front of them and in what configuration.
JAGUAR I-PACE Estate visibility
Forward visibility is good, despite the I-Pace having a long dashboard, but thick pillars and a shallow rear window mean your view of what’s behind is very limited.
It’s fortunate, then, that you get a 360deg camera and rear cross-traffic alert as standard. However, the rear camera can be a bit laggy in its display, making it appear like you’re approaching an obstacle much faster than you actually are.
JAGUAR I-PACE Estate infotainment
As in other modern Jaguars, the upper dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen through which you access the sat-nav, phone and stereo functions. However, in the I-Pace, the lower centre console is also touch-sensitive and used to control secondary systems.
The downside of touch-sensitive panels is that they tend to be distracting to use while you're driving, because they force you to take your eyes off the road for quite a while to find the correct area to hit. However, the I-Pace’s screens are complemented by two physical dials that can change function depending on the menu selected.
This helps a bit, as do the separate buttons that let you cycle through the various driving modes, although some functions are still buried deep within the on-screen menus and can really only be operated safely when the car is stationary. Plus, the angle of the lower screen makes it hard to read under bright light or with a few fingerprints smeared across it.
If different drivers have their own key fob, the I-Pace can use this to learn their preferences and ensure their usual climate control and infotainment settings are ready every time they get behind the wheel. In addition, the I-Pace will be the first Jaguar to be offered with Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, although not from launch.
JAGUAR I-PACE Estate build quality
Material quality has long been a weakness of Jaguars, but the I-Pace feels classy inside. Okay, the plastics aren’t going to give Audi’s quality controllers sleepless nights, but they’re a step up from the F-Pace’s, and within the electric car class they're very impressive. The centre console (the spine the divides driver and front passenger) feels more solid than a Tesla Model's, for example.
The fact that the steering wheel is wrapped in soft-grain leather helps, while the fancy graphics on the various digital displays add some wow factor.
But while the stalks sprouting out of the steering column look and feel solid, the rotary dials on the secondary screen in the centre console feel a bit flimisier.