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Old 11-15-2021, 07:25 PM   #1
robg
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Test drove an I-Pace this weekend

Was picking my car from having it serviced and noticed an I-pace on the showroom floor. Eventually got the attention of sales guy, who unlocked it for me and we started talking. Turns out he has had an I-pace for a year and a half so was very excited and knowledgable about it. I started to like him when he made a reference to Saab 900s.... seemed like someone who truly liked cars.

Anyway, I asked him about a test drive and he sent me a text with a link where I basically had to agree to some terms (like return the car within 20 minutes, etc). I guess it has to do with the salespeople not accompanying people on test drives-- but the Porsche dealer seemed much more laid back when I drove the Taycan earlier this year. He mentioned that the demo wasn't for sale since they are so low on inventory they want to keep atleast one of each model for demo purposes.

The car was better than I thought it would be in nearly every way.
Likes:
-Compact exterior footprint; not too big
-The car I drove had saddle colored leather seats - love that interior color
-Very comfortable seats and seating position. Tried the backseat and it seemed comfortable and roomy. On paper I think the combined legroom of this car is similar to an x3 or 3 series but in practice it felt slightly roomier than that. Similar in comfort to my RRS which is what I was hoping.
-Really nice looking and feeling steering wheel.
-Nicely weighted and natural steering feel with good on-center feel and precision. This is something that I think Audi and BMW have forgotten how to do. Similar to my RRS in that respect.
-Great ride quality as you'd expect given the air suspension. Actually felt smoother than my RRS surprisingly. I purposely sought out potholes and bumps to try it out. This car had 20" wheels.
-Acceleration (obviously since this is an EV)
-Strong regen; I dont think I had to touch the brake pedal at all during the drive
-Little road or wind noise at highway speeds...again, just feels like a very well built car.
-Great build quality-- everything shut with a nice thunk, nothing misaligned and if you pressed on various interior parts nothing moved or squeaked. Surprisingly, the Taycans I looked at and test drove weren't as good in that respect.
-Still has some physical knobs and buttons for stuff like climate control, driving mode, volume etc. A dedicated tuning/scroll knob would be nice though you can use the scroll wheel on the steering wheel for some things
-Great handling from what I could tell though I didn't really try and "shred it".

Dislikes (mostly nitpicks)
-Fixed glass roof with no ability to open it and no sunshade. This seems to have become a thing with most EVs unfortunately.
-Knobs for climate control have an odd feel; almost like there's some sort of artifical feedback in place (like a 1st gen i-drive knob). They dont feel cheap; just kind of odd
-No physical control to change regen level. From doing some research it sounds like the best you can do is setup the homescreen on the infotainment system to have a shortcut button to toggle the regen mode. I'm not sure why everyone hasn't just started using paddle shifters for this (as some do). It would make so much sense...Porsche is guilty of this as well though altleast they have a button on the Taycan steering wheel. Having never owned an EV, I"m not sure how much I'd really mess with it in practice though. When I switched from city to highway driving I did feel an urge to turn off regen....but again I'm a newbie.
-No power adjustment for the steering column. Given the overall vibe/slickness of the interior I expected this but apparenlty its not even an option! (Not due to supply chain either- the ipace has never had it as an option apparently). The manual adjustment lever was a bit stiff getting in and out of position. This is a small feature that I had on my F10, then missed on our X3 and was happy to have again on our RRS. Nice when you regularly switch between 2 drivers.

Neutral
-The latest JLR infotainment system (PIVI) is atleast responsive and pretty easy to use. Seems to have most of the features you'd expect in a modern system but nowhere near what BMW offers in terms of features/configurability/etc. Much better than the system in our current car though.
-In the right color, with no chrome trim and with the right wheels this car can look really good IMO. The one I drove was white w/ black wheels which i didn't like as much. It is kind of its own thing-- not quite a hatchback, not quite a crossover. Not conventionally attractive but interesting to look at (in a good way).

Pricing
With the pricing adjustments they made for 2022, this car wouldn't cost much more than an x3 40i or S5 sportback when similarly equipped (and factoring in the 7500 tax credit). Given current lease rates, I think the i-pace would cost slightly more to lease than the x3 and slightly less than the s5 but factoring in total cost (lower energy costs), it'd be slightly cheaper than both overall.

That being said, the salesguy mentioned that its about an 8 month wait now, so if I was interested I should get my order in soon given my current lease is up this summer . Weirdly, he didn't try and sell me on the showroom model (which appeared to have some dealer accessories + a markup). I left it at that, thanked him and left.

Overall
I think if I decide to go with an EV, this is the right choice for me. I can't see spending 30-40k more on a Taycan CT just to get faster charging and slightly better handling (in theory maybe I use that "savings" to buy a used Boxster one day when prices return to earth). None of the mainstream EVs appeal to me for various reasons. The Q4 atleast doesn't have any deal breakers but it'll be a first year car and I doubt I'll enjoy driving it as much. The big etron SUV is priced similarly but is way bigger, and heavier with even less range. The upcoming i4 ticks a lot of boxes in theory but is too ugly to consider (and would have first year issues most likely). I also like that you just dont see many I-paces on the road.

Yes, having an EV will be more of a hassle on road trips than something like an x3 but I think i'll enjoy it more on a daily basis for the reasons described above. I know Jaguar reliability is always a concern, but this car has been out for a few years now so atleast they've had time to address issues. I think i'll have better luck with that than some of the latest EVs that have come to market (every manufacturer seems to have to go through a period of 12v battery issues for example). I do still have my hesitations about going with an EV but when I really think how we use our car 95% of the time, it would be a better choice.

I'm currently toying with the idea of atleast putting an order in and then seeing how I feel come August.
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Old 11-15-2021, 09:15 PM   #2
clyde
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Look forward to seeing how this turns out...
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