Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Much more modern looking cabin
  • Two big screens replace most controls
  • Large digital cockpit instead of dials

The Jaguar I-Pace’s cabin is a massive departure from what's come before. And that's a very good thing, given the uninspiring interiors of the E-Pace, XE and XF models. Your first impressions are that it's ultra-modern, great looking and screams Jaguar, save for a smattering of wood and leather (in certain models), which will no doubt please marque traditionalists.

That’s not to say it doesn’t look like an attractive dashboard, with a trio of screens where one might ordinarily expect to see traditional analogue dials and physical buttons. Those screens made their debut in the Range Rover Velar and proved to be easy to use, but prone to greasy fingerprints, disturbing the slick aesthetics.

The controls are logically laid-out, and the touch points all feel better than standard Jaguar products – such as the column stalks, which are basically the same as the JLR lineup, but have additional chrome inserts, which make them feel nicer to use. This attention to detail is enough to distance it from the Tesla Model S and Model X, but we're also hoping that these uplifts will find their way back into the rest of the model range.

Comfort

  • Air suspension works well
  • Well-suppressed wind noise
  • Very comfortable overall

Riding on our test car’s air suspension with 20-inch alloys – conventional coil springs are standard, while wheel sizes range from 18- to 22 inches – the I-Pace feels impeccably cushioned and controlled, even over the roughest surfaces. The steering weight is relatively heavy, but it’s pleasingly precise, responsive and accurate, and far from overbearingly meaty.

The smooth ride continues to define the driving experience at higher speeds, along with wind- and road-noise that’s impressively suppressed, right up to high motorway cruising speeds – the quietness of an electric car tends to emphasise any shortcomings in this department, but the I-Pace’s cabin is hushed and relaxed.

There is noise, however, a kind of arcade-game jet engine soundtrack that captures both the alien driving experience and the increasing sense of drama as speeds rise – again, this can be dialled up or down via the touchscreen.

As well as the air suspension of the higher-spec I-Pace, we tried the standard coil spring set-up, and on UK roads, we challenge most buyers to tell the difference. Yes, you get more driving modes and height adjustment with the air set-up, but if you're not likely to use these, you might want to consider saving the money and going with the standard set-up.

As with the air suspension, the I-Pace on coils is a very comfortable car to drive, with excellent ride quality, and impressive high-speed body control.

In terms of interior comfort, the I-Pace scores highly, too. The front seats are supportive and well-shaped, while the rear is as roomy as you'd expect in what Jaguar describes as an SUV. Despite the adventurous roofline, there's plenty of headroom in the rear, and even with a panoramic roof, there's more than enough up front.

Another area where the I-Pace scores is in its mechanical refinement. The absence of an internal combustion engine is largely responsible for this, but there's a hush at speed that's as much about careful attention to aerodynamics and body engineering. It feels premium in a way that we weren't entirely expecting.