Autotrader ad desktop

In partnership with Auto Trader

Used test: Jaguar I-Pace vs Tesla Model S interiors

Two premium electric cars do zero-emissions battle as we line up a Jaguar and a Tesla. You can save a packet on both by buying used, but which should you go for?...

Jaguar I-Pace


Driving position, visibility, build quality, practicality

Though interior quality isn’t always the brand's strength, the Jaguar I-Pace is different. Not only is the design suitably swish, but the fixtures and fittings also feel robust and built to last. Material quality still isn’t going to worry the likes of Audi, but the I-Pace is as classy inside as electric cars get and feels worth the asking price.

The Tesla Model S is more of a mixed bag. Our test car suffered some squeaks and rattles, something we’ve experienced before in other examples, while some of the dashboard buttons and panels feel a bit flimsy compared with their equivalents in the I-Pace. The overall impression is suitably futuristic, though.

Tesla Model S

There’s nothing wrong with either driving position. You sit much higher in the I-Pace, but whether that’s a good thing really comes down to personal preference. The electrically adjustable seats and steering wheels in both cars offer plenty of adjustment, but the I-Pace’s leather sports seats (standard with SE trim) are more supportive around the sides than those in the Model S.

Sticking with the interior of the Model S, there’s hardly a button in sight. Almost all functions are controlled using a 17.0in, portrait-oriented touchscreen. It works just like a tablet, and it doesn’t take you long to familiarise yourself with the menus. The voice command system is pretty effective too, and the icons on the screen are mostly large enough to be easy to hit while you’re driving. It’s still not a patch on BMW’s iDrive system, though, and there’s no proper Android Auto or Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring.

Jaguar I-Pace rear seats

Although the I-Pace has a modern dual-touchscreen dash layout like that of recent Range Rovers, its infotainment system is still flawed. The sat-nav, phone and audio functions are all controlled using the 10.0in upper screen, but it’s more complicated than we’d like and can be sluggish to respond to inputs, although the graphics are crisp. There’s no Android or Apple smartphone mirroring here, either. 

Visibility is acceptable rather than exceptional in both. The front pillars can impede views at junctions, but more so in the I-Pace. Despite their disparate body styles, the passenger space on offer inside both cars is very similar. As a result, taller adults sitting in the front of either will have no complaints at all.

Tesla Model S rear seats

In the rear seats, leg room is the same in both cars, while the I-Pace edges it for head room and the Model S for shoulder room. The I-Pace’s roof slopes down quite aggressively, though, so taller folk in the back will feel more hemmed in.

The Model S’s main boot is vast, plus there’s a good amount of underfloor storage and another small boot under the bonnet. The I-Pace is still decent for luggage, but its main boot is much smaller and its front boot is tiny.