I fell in love with the i-Pace when I first saw it in pictures. The pictures don't do it justice, it's even better looking in the flesh - aluminium?
Finally got a chance to take one on a test drive yesterday. As luck would have it, the Jaguar and Audi dealerships are right next door to each other and there was a eTron sitting outside so I got a chance to drive both back to back.
Both cars are on my list as potential replacements for my 2015 i3 once I decide to get rid of it.
First impressions of the eTron? How can I say this politely? Boring. Probably exactly what Audi were going for, but boring none the less. It looks just like any other smallish SUV.
The Jag....it's a Jaaaaaag. Gorgeous. Nice hips, great roofline, love the vent in the hood. It looks fast sitting still. There is not an angle on the i-Pace that isn't awesome!
Score 1 to Jag for first impressions.
Both interiors are upmarket. The buttons for P/N/D in the Jag are functional, but uninspired. The P/N/D selector on the Audi is just weird. Unnecessarily big and very non-intuitive.
The dash layouts on both cars are functional and upscale. I have an e-Pace, so the infotainment system in the Jag is familiar to me. It works, but it's not the prettiest. The Audi's looks prettier, but both were easy to use.
The interiors are both nice and upscale. I really disliked the fake wood effect trim in the Audi. What were they thinking?
I *love* the look and feel of the seats in the i-Pace. Comfy, supportive and they look great! (way better than the seats in my e-Pace and comfier than the boards that BMW passes off as seats in my i3). The Audi seats are comfy, but a little bland and not as supportive as the Jags.
The i-Pace wheel just looks and feels better to the touch. Both are festooned with buttons that would take a little to get used to.
The Audi feels big. No, the Audi feels huge. It's a little longer and taller than the Jag, but it feels so much bigger! Cargo capacity is 3 cu.ft. more and that is very obvious when you look under the rear hatch. Even though externally the Audi is narrower than the Jag, the interior feels a lot bigger.
The i-Pace feels cozy, not cramped just cozy. I liked it. It felt a good place to be. In the Audi I felt like I was driving a huge SUV. In the Jag, other than the higher viewpoint, it felt like I was in a sports sedan.
The make or break category for me. I did not like the way the Audi drove. It felt big and cumbersome. You can really feel that extra 1000lbs it's carrying over the i-Pace. By default, single pedal driving is turned off. Audi have done a ton of work to make the eTron drive like a "normal" car. It coasts when you let of the gas, and the brake pedal increases the regen level the harder you push until the friction brakes cut in. The transition from regen to friction was completely seamless. I had no idea if I was using the friction brakes or just regen. As a current EV driver, I *love* the single pedal driving and really missed it in the Audi. I guess there is a menu item buried deep in the system that allows you to turn single pedal driving on, but I couldn't find it in the short time I was in the car. I understand why they did this, but I still don't like it.
The i-Pace driving experience however was amazing. Just as I would hope for a Jag. It felt light and nimble - no mean feat for a 4700lb car. The steering weight was spot on and it just felt *right*. Acceleration was amazing. Yes, it has the equivalent of almost 400bhp, but it also weighs 4700lbs! The Audi's acceleration by comparison just felt OK.
Bottom line, I'm excited that the i-Pace lived up to my expectations and equally happy the eTron did not. I thought I was going to have a tough decision to make with what car to replace my i3 with, but the Audi was so disappointing it's a no-brainer.
I'll be a 2 Jag family soon