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Used test: Jaguar I-Pace vs Tesla Model 3 costs

You can save more than £20,000 on these desirable electric cars if you buy them at three years old, but which is the better option?...

Jaguar I-Pace driving

What will they cost?

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

New, the Jaguar I-Pace was the more expensive car by £8000, but a three-year-old example only costs £2000 more than a Tesla Model 3 of the same age. Such is the popularity of the latter car that it hasn't experienced as much depreciation as the I-Pace – although it hasn't exactly held onto its value exceptionally well, either. A three year-old Model 3 comes in at £36,000, versus £38,000 for the I-Pace. 

Both will cost similar, pricey amounts to insure. The I-Pace is in insurance group 49, and we received a quote for £1178. The Model 3 is in group 50 and we were quoted £1195. In terms of servicing, Jaguar offers fixed-price plans, and we were quoted £261 for a service of an I-Pace. Tesla doesn't offer fixed-price servicing, but Model 3 owners have said that a service costs around £250. 

Tesla Model 3 driving

Both cars offered similar levels of standard equipment from new. It’s to Jaguar’s credit that the cheapest I-Pace got so much kit, including keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, a heated windscreen and a heated steering wheel.

The Model 3 features adaptive cruise control, so it can automatically maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, plus it has the ability to steer itself on the motorway. Indeed, dubbed Autopilot, Tesla's driver-assistance system is the best of its kind. Find a car equipped with the optional Full Self-Driving Capability and, in theory, it can pilot you on motorway journeys, including overtaking slower cars. It also allows you to slowly move the car remotely via your phone with a feature called Summon, plus a recent upgrade gives it the ability to recognise and respond to traffic lights, thereby enabling semi-autonomous urban driving. Note, though, that fully self-driving capabilities are currently illegal on UK roads.

In contrast, the I-Pace’s standard driver assistance technology is limited to the self-parking function, lane-keeping assistance and conventional cruise control. Adaptive cruise control and steering assistance were both optional.

Jaguar I-Pace charging menu

Both cars received the full five-star rating from the safety experts at Euro NCAP, but the Model 3 outscored the I-Pace in every area. In addition, it gets something called Sentry mode, which uses the car’s external cameras to film any break-in attempts or collisions when it’s parked and then saves them onto a USB stick.

In our latest What Car? Reliability Survey, the I-Pace ranked 13th out of 14 cars in the electric car class, disappointingly. The Model 3 came fifth. As brands, Jaguar placed 26th out of 32 manufacturers, while Tesla came 19th. 

Their warranties should give some confidence to prospective used buyers, though. The Model 3 is covered for four years or 50,000 miles from new, while the I-Pace gets only three years but no mileage limit. Jaguar covers the battery and motor separately for eight years or 100,000 miles, while Tesla does the same for eight years or 120,000 miles. Both pledge that the batteries will have retained a minimum 70% of their original capacity by the end of that period.

Tesla Model 3 charging port

The I-Pace and Model 3 both charge via CCS sockets. This means that, unlike other Teslas, the Model 3 works with all public chargers, rather than just Tesla’s network of 120kW Superchargers. The Model 3 can accept a charging rate of up to 200kW (a software update increasing this to 250kW is planned), so you can take it from 0-80% in half an hour.

The I-Pace, in contrast, can take no more than 100kW. While some providers are installing 150kW and even 350kW charging stations, a more typical rate is presently 50kW, at which the I-Pace takes an hour and a half to go from 0-80%.