I picked up the new family wheels, a 2019 Jaguar I-Pace, on January 12th. Current plans are for this blog fragment to get updates for the next couple of weeks, through a planned road trip, per the “diary” part of the series title.
The wait · I’d reserved a spot in March and ordered the car in July, so it’s been a wait, and I’ve been in a sort of Gatsby-and-the-green-light mode. It’s not as simple as expectations being high, although the car’s won loads of awards; the early shipments have not been problem-free, and the car has picked up a legion of haters — chiefly $TSLA longs, but still.
JLR fail · During the 5-month wait for the car, the number of times Jaguar contacted me: zero. The number of status updates they gave me: zero. The typical delay when I emailed asking what was up: Days. Mind you, I was dealing with salespeople and, from their point of view, the sale was already made.
Maybe I’m just dealing with a particularly lame salesperson or dealership, but in the event that I want to consider another JLR product, you can bet I am not going back to Jaguar Vancouver and I wouldn’t particularly recommend them.
In fairness, they handled the Big Day processes of paperwork shuffling, insurance coverage, taking my money, getting the remote-control app set up, and explaining the car’s workings, with perfect competence.
About as expected · First important finding: If you’ve been tracking the online traffic about the I-Pace, which I summarized in Jag Diary 3: What We Know, getting in the car and driving it around won’t present that many surprises. It is more or less what it says on the box, and what the Internet said about the box.
So I’m going to try to restrict myself in this space to findings that are new or refreshing or surprising, which probably means of specific relevance to those who are some combination of Pacific Northwesterners, Internet geeks, urban dwellers, environmentalists, and parents of teenagers.
Day 1 impressions · We picked up the car in the morning, then drove from Vancouver down to Steveston for lunch, then back home with stops for photography and shopping. To the right, the Journey graphic from the I-Pace remote app, which gets scathing reviews on Google Play.
It’s smaller than you’d think. My carport’s still under construction so the Jag’s parked on the street in front of the house, and it’s not one of the larger cars along the block. The contrast between small outside and spacious inside is shocking.
It’s nimble! That electric-motor acceleration is awesome; Unless you’ve stomped the accelerator in a Tesla or I-Pace you just can’t imagine what it feels like. But in practice, it means that if you’re trying to get out of the supermarket parking lot across a couple lanes of oncoming traffic you can Just Do It, it feels like teleportation.
The seats are just awesomely comfortable — I sprung for the upscale-but-not-racing level, with some huge number of adjustments, and it feels like I’m being cradled by a huge warm benevolent being.
The Meridian audio, at first listen, is underwhelming, the bass sounding unnaturally light to my ears. Will report back after further adjustment.
The regen braking is fun, but when Lauren was driving and I was passenging, I found it a little uncomfortable. Perhaps a combination of us developing better one-pedal driving skills and passengers just getting used to it will change this finding. But in the online I-Pace forums, a lot of people are recommending low-regen for comfort, especially on the highway.
Lauren, who’s 5’5" with a light build, found the driving position perfectly comfortable and loved the handling. She’s right — this car loves to warp around a corner at speed.
Parking takes some getting used to. It has lots of sensors and alarms which moan piteously if you get anywhere near the curb or cars fore and aft. My first attempt left it halfway out in the street, and crooked.