New Audi E-tron vs Jaguar I-Pace

Competition in the electric car market is hotting up with the arrival of Audi’s E-tron luxury SUV. Let’s see if it’s good enough to beat our current favourite, the Jaguar I-Pace...

Audi E-tron driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

The £3500 grant you get from the Government when buying any pure EV is jolly nice, but it doesn’t make a huge dent in these cars’ colossal list prices. It’s worth knowing that you can buy an I-Pace for quite a bit less (from £60,995, including the grant), but you’ll need the SE model that we’ve lined up here to roughly match the standard specification of the E-tron.

If you were to buy the car outright, the pricier E-tron would actually cost you about £3200 less to own over a three-year period. That’s because the I-Pace is predicted to shed its value at a faster rate. There’s barely anything in it for servicing and insurance costs, and while the I-Pace uses about 25% less electricity for every mile travelled, that still only works out to a saving of around £170 every 12,000 miles (assuming you charge up at home).

If you sign up to a PCP finance agreement instead, with an £8000 deposit, a three-year term and an annual limit of 10,000 miles, the I-Pace will cost you £731 a month –a fiver more than you’ll pay for the E-tron on the same terms. Both will be remarkably cheap options for company car drivers paying benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax when the Government reduces the tax levy on pure electric cars next April.

Jaguar I-Pace driving

You’d expect plenty of luxuries for this sort of outlay, and both come with leather (or part-leatherette) seats, climate control, 20in alloy wheels and cruise control. The E-tron adds heated front seats (a £300 option on the I-Pace), but the Jag hits back with a heated steering wheel (£200 on the E-tron) and its cruise control system is adaptive, so it can automatically maintain a set distance from the car in front while you just steer.

The I-Pace has more standard safety kit to keep you out of harm’s way, too. That said, in Euro NCAP’s crash tests, the E-tron scored slightly better marks for its ability to keep both adult and child occupants protected, while the I-Pace’s automatic emergency braking system wasn’t very good at detecting cyclists.

Both cars can be charged using either a Type 2 or CCS charging connector. The former is what you’ll have at home if you install a wallbox, and assuming you get one with a 7kW output (roughly £400 after a government grant), the I-Pace will charge from completely flat to 100% in around 13 hours. The same charge in the E-tron takes 14 hours.

Plug in at a regular 50kW public CCS point and a 0-80% charge will take roughly 90 minutes in both cars. The I-Pace can actually charge at rates of up to 100kW (80% in as little as 40 minutes), while the E-tron can take up to 150kW (80% in about 30 minutes), but there are only a handful of these high-powered charging points in the UK at the moment. In emergencies, you can also charge both cars from a domestic three-pin socket, but this isn’t a viable long-term solution, because a full charge will literally take days.