5 reasons the Jaguar I-Pace EV struggles (& 5 reasons we would buy it)
Electric SUVs are one of the most competitive segments in the market today, with many big names releasing new and advanced products over the past few years. Among these, Jaguar struggled to make much of an impact with the I-Pace SUV, despite launching earlier than many of its competition. It’s not like there are glaring flaws with the I-Pace – after all, its performance and range is largely competitive with the rest of the industry, and it’s a typical Jaguar in terms of it. of luxury and know-how.
So what stopped I-Pace from being the runaway success the company had likely hoped it would be? Well, a lot of the Jag’s issues have more to do with the quality of its competition rather than the vehicle itself. That said, take a closer look and the I-Pace still makes a solid choice for an electric SUV, even if it may not thrill buyers like many of its rivals. Let’s break down five of the reasons the I-Pace is struggling, then discuss five points that still make it a good choice to buy.
It’s difficult: Jaguar branding
Perhaps the biggest problem facing the I-Pace is that the Jaguar name doesn’t carry the same weight it did thirty or forty years ago. Back when the XJ220 was making headlines for its performance, the Jaguar brand was both a mark of classic British craftsmanship and mind-blowing performance.
In today’s market, Jaguar has largely lost its brand identity, despite repeated attempts to remedy it. The F-Type is generally a good car, but it suffered the same fate, in part for the same reason. The uncomfortable truth for the company is that fewer people want to be seen in a Jaguar than before, and this is something they will need to fix quickly if they are to remain profitable in the long run.
It’s difficult: the absence of a USP
The next biggest problem with the I-Pace is that while it’s generally good, it doesn’t really offer something that its rivals don’t already. Other electric SUVs come with unique selling points that can be harnessed to convince potential buyers, but so far Jaguar has failed to really distinguish everything that makes the I-Pace unique.
To give a few examples, Tesla SUVs sport the best ranges in their class and the Mustang Mach-E emphasizes its performance capabilities. Jaguar failed to single out anything leading in the class from the I-Pace, and that undoubtedly hurt its sales.
It’s difficult: Lack of consumer awareness
It’s not just the fact that the I-Pace isn’t unique that’s causing it to lose sales, the other problem is that many potential buyers don’t even remember it exists. To use Tesla as a comparison again, cars like the Model X and Model Y have big fans who are usually pretty vocal about their love for their favorite car.
It helps get the word out among the general buying public, and of course the more units of a car sold, the more people will see others driving it. Jaguar has struggled to cultivate so much enthusiasm for the I-Pace, and although it’s been on sale for three years now, it’s still a pretty rare sight in most major cities.
It’s difficult: a lot of competition
It doesn’t help the case of I-Pace as the number of other choices that consumers have to choose from has grown dramatically over the past year. In 2021 alone, VW released its reasonably priced new ID.4, Audi updated its e-tron and of course Ford made the Mach-E available to customers.
This constant stream of new releases from other manufacturers meant that any chance the I-Pace had to take the limelight was quickly removed. Unfortunately, they had a chance in 2018 when the car first came out, but they failed to take advantage of it.
It’s difficult: questionable design
Design is always a subjective matter, but it probably didn’t help the I-Pace that it wasn’t the prettiest of all electric SUVs. Its slightly awkward proportions are in stark contrast to the more refined and fluid designs of competitors like Tesla.
The rear of the car is particularly odd, with a square trunk that collides with the sloping lines of the rest of the car. These choices were undoubtedly all for aerodynamic reasons, but buyers of this type of luxury vehicle will always care more about looks than the exact specifics of their car’s aero.
We would buy it: eligible for federal tax credit
Moving on to why I-Pace is still a good choice despite the issues we discussed, there is an obvious benefit and it comes in the form of a federal tax credit. These credits are distributed by the central government and essentially mean that $ 7,500 of the list price of any new EV is paid by it.
This credit ends once an automaker has sold 200,000 electric vehicles, but so far Jaguar has still not taken that step and therefore the credits are still available. This makes the I-Pace much more affordable, especially compared to Tesla which no longer benefits from any tax credit.
We would buy it: surprisingly sporty handling
A thing Car and driver noted in their review of the current model year I-Pace is its surprisingly sporty handling for an electric crossover SUV. They say it’s definitely fun to drive, which sets the car apart from many of its peers and even most luxury SUVs in general.
The car’s handling isn’t marketed much by Jaguar, which calls it a “real driver’s car” on its website, but doesn’t elaborate further. If done correctly, focusing on the car’s sporty dynamics could solve one of the issues listed earlier, which is that Jaguar does not currently have a USP for the I-Pace.
We would buy it: top notch interior
An underrated feature of Jaguars, in general, is their interiors, which are consistently among the best in their segment. The I-Pace is no exception, with a cabin that manages to be modern and sleek while retaining some of that traditional Jaguar feel.
There’s no shortage of technical features either, with optional four-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats and a head-up display. It’s a lot more of a traditional SUV feel than, say, a Tesla, but many buyers will actually prefer that to the strict minimalist feel of Tesla and similar brands.
We would buy it: low sales means room for haggling
Low sales may not be good for a business’s bottom line, but they can be great news for consumers. Jaguar dealers have to move inventory to make room for newer models, and with the I-Pace barely flying off the forecourt, there’s likely room for negotiations over the car’s asking price.
Most dealerships will be open to haggling, and those who aren’t will simply lose sales to those who are willing to cut the MSRP by a few thousand dollars. It’s also worth noting that I-Paces seem to depreciate faster than some other electric SUVs, so buying used could be another great way to save money.
We would buy it: classic British luxury
One thing Jaguar seems to have largely forgotten is that in many ways they have a unique place in the market. They have more racing and performance heritage than many of their competitors, and they are currently the only UK brand to make luxury cars in their price bracket.
The I-Pace is a very compelling combination of familiar luxury and cutting-edge technology, despite its flaws. Jaguar might have a hard time selling the car to the mainstream, but on closer inspection it’s clear that, if you give it a chance, the I-Pace really delivers on far more levels than it does. initially does not appear.
As rare as they may be, tastefully modified Jaguars can create some of the coolest combinations of class and sportiness on four wheels.
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