Premium Electric Car of the Year 2018: Jaguar I-Pace
The Jaguar I-Pace is the 2018 Auto Express Premium Electric Car of the Year, with the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S commended
Jag has beaten its German rivals to the punch, delivering a technical tour de force in a premium package that breaks new ground in the class.
It’s genuinely great to drive, as any Jaguar should be. Factor in the 395bhp four-wheel-drive powertrain and it only adds to the appeal.
All models use the same battery and motor set-up for now and it delivers devastating performance. This might be a big and fairly heavy car, but it’ll sprint from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.
A lack of engine noise to drown out other sounds means refinement takes a hit with some other EVs, but not the I-Pace. The cabin is near silent at speed and is built from the kind of materials you would expect from a £63,000 premium electric car. There’s tech everywhere, with two touchscreens for the infotainment and climate control, plus a digital display behind the steering wheel.
The weighty steering inspires confidence, while the chassis has plenty of grip. Helped by the motors’ clever torque vectoring, there’s lots of agility that similar petrol or diesel SUVs couldn’t hope to match.
Importantly, it rides sweetly as well. There’s lots of travel in the suspension, so it tracks over even torn surfaces with a nice, plush feel. Over gentle undulations the body control is solid but there’s enough compliance to ensure plenty of comfort.
The car easily has space for four people and their luggage because the low position of the battery means the I-Pace’s packaging isn’t compromised. The near-300-mile range means there’s lots of flexibility. Plug into a rapid charger and you’ll get up to 168 miles of range back per hour, meaning with planned stops even longer journeys needn’t cause any range anxiety.
Jaguar I-Pace EV400 S (£63,495)
Even the entry-level S model gets all the kit you’d want, while all I-Pace variants feature the same powertrain and therefore stunning performance. This S-spec version is the most affordable option, which means you can spend a little more choosing the options you really want. No matter which trim level you choose, at the core of the Jaguar is a next-generation powertrain that thrills in all situations.
When it was launched in 2014, the i3 paved the way for premium EVs. A facelift late last year added more range and, with an S model joining the line-up, more performance for those wanting a sharper EV for urban travel. Constant development means a deserving commendation for the BMW here.
Tesla Model S
The electric car world is progressing relentlessly, but the Tesla Model S is still at the forefront of its sector. Incredible in-car technology, a choice of powertrains and strong real-world range across the board mean it’s a fine choice for anyone after a premium model that runs on battery power.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2018
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK today? The 2018 New Car Awards have the answer...
- 2Car of the YearThe Auto Express Car of the Year for 2018 is the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace
- 3City Car of the YearThe Volkswagen up! is the 2018 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2018 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the MINI 5-door and SEAT Ibiza commended
- 5Convertible of the YearThe MINI Convertible is the 2018 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet commended
- 6Compact Family Car of the YearThe Volkswagen Golf is the 2018 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Mercedes A-Class and Skoda Octavia commended
- 7Family Car of the YearThe Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2018 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
- 8Compact Executive Car of the YearThe Mercedes C-Class is the 2018 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE commended
- 9Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 5 Series is the 2018 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 commended
- 10Estate Car of the YearThe Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2018 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60 commended
- 11Small SUV of the YearThe Citroen C3 Aircross is the 2018 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc commended
- 12Mid-size SUV of the YearSkoda is on a roll, and the Karoq is proof that the Czech brand knows exactly what it’s doing in the field of family SUVs.
- 13Large SUV of the YearThe Skoda Kodiaq is the 2018 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Peugeot 5008 and SsangYong Rexton commended
- 14Small Premium SUV of the YearThe Volvo XC40 is the 2018 Auto Express Small Premium SUV of the Year, with the BMW X1 and MINI Countryman commended
- 15Mid-size Premium SUV of the YearThe BMW X3 is the 2018 Auto Express Premium Mid-size SUV of the Year, with the Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60 commended