Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Electric motor has 400hp and 696Nm of torque
  • Very fast, but equally as easy to drive
  • 0-60mph sprint takes 4.5 seconds

Press the ‘D’ button on the centre console and the I-Pace glides from its parking space into urban traffic, apparently silently from inside the cabin, but with a low hum to warn pedestrians. It feels very easy to use for a car with 400hp and 696Nm of torque.

Accelerate up to motorway speed and the I-Pace surges forward with such relentless vigour that it makes most petrol or diesel cars feel decidedly sluggish, and can embarrass even high-performance cars.

While the 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds is fast, the mid-range acceleration feels far stronger than that figure leads you to expect. Electric cars provide instant acceleration, and the I-Pace feels eager and responsive to throttle inputs. But it’s never excessively edgy during gentle manoeuvres.

More intriguing is the ‘one-pedal driving’ system. Simply releasing the throttle results in a relatively strong braking effort as the electric motors harvest electricity to replenish the battery.

You can tone down the strength of this via sub-menus in the touchscreen and rely more on the brake pedal, but while it takes a small amount of time to adjust to one-pedal driving, it soon feels natural.

Handling

  • One of the best handling EVs on sale
  • Huge grip but playful chassis
  • Agile and quick steering

The most surprising thing about the I-Pace is how enjoyable it is to drive. Considering it’s a heavy electric SUV, it’s a delight to pilot down a challenging road. Its balance of strong grip, instant performance and body control conspire to make the I-Pace feel astonishingly agile when driven enthusiastically.

A contributory factor here is that the weighty battery and electric motors are concentrated so low down in the chassis, and the lower the weight, the better the handling of any car. There’s some low-speed patter, which contributes to the feeling of sportiness, but overall, the quick steering and agility make this heavy beast feel far more agile than it has every right to.

On tight B-roads, there’s no disguising this car’s bulk. Dive into a tight corner too quickly and you’ll feel a lot of roll. But when up to speed, the I-Pace shrinks around you, and is a real joy to use. And it’s not all about its impressive acceleration – far from it, in fact. Its combination of talents will keep you amused for some time to come.