Electric SUVs are one of the most fiercely competitive segments in today’s market, with a lot of big names bringing out new and cutting-edge products in the last few years. Among those, Jaguar has struggled to make much of an impact with the I-Pace SUV, despite launching it earlier than many of its competitors did. It’s not like there are any glaring flaws with the I-Pace – after all, it has performance and range figures that are largely competitive with the rest of the industry, and it’s a typical Jaguar in terms of luxury and craftsmanship.
So what exactly is it that’s stopped the I-Pace from being the runaway success that the company had presumably hoped it would be? Well, a lot of the Jag’s problems have more to do with the quality of its competition rather than anything to do with the vehicle itself. That said, look a little closer and the I-Pace does still make a solid choice for an electric SUV, even if it can’t excite buyers in the way many of its rivals can. Let’s break down five of the reasons why the I-Pace is struggling and then discuss five points that still make it a good choice to buy.
It’s Struggling: Jaguar’s Brand Image
Arguably the biggest single issue that the I-Pace faces is that the Jaguar name doesn’t carry anywhere near the same weight as it did thirty or forty years ago. Back when the XJ220 was making global headlines for its performance, the Jaguar brand was a mark of both classic British craftsmanship and gut-wrenching performance.
In today’s market, Jaguar has largely lost their brand identity, despite repeated attempts to rectify that. The F-Type is generally a good car but it has suffered a similar 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 they used to, and that’s something that they will have to fix fast if they want to stay profitable long term.
It’s Struggling: Lack Of A USP
The next biggest issue with the I-Pace is that despite being generally good, it doesn’t really offer anything that its rivals don’t already offer. Other electric SUVs come with unique selling points that can be leveraged to convince potential buyers, but Jaguar has so far failed to really single out anything that makes the I-Pace unique.
To give some examples, Tesla SUVs sport best-in-class ranges and the Mustang Mach-E pushes a lot of its marketing emphasis onto its performance capabilities. Jaguar hasn’t managed to single out anything that’s class-leading about the I-Pace, and that’s no doubt hurt their sales.
It’s Struggling: Lack Of Consumer Awareness
It’s not just the fact that the I-Pace isn’t unique that’s losing it sales, the other issue 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 significant fanbases that are generally quite vocal about their love for their preferred car.
That helps spread the word among the wider buying public, and of course the more units of a car get sold the more people will see others driving it around. Jaguar has struggled to cultivate as much enthusiasm for the I-Pace, and despite it now being on sale for three years, it’s still a pretty rare sight in most major cities.
It’s Struggling: A Lot Of Competition
It doesn’t help the I-Pace’s case that the number of other choices that consumers have to choose from has significantly grown over the past year. In 2021 alone, VW has released their new reasonably-priced ID.4, Audi has updated their e-tron and of course, Ford has released the Mach-E to customers.
This constant stream of new releases from other manufacturers has meant that any chance the I-Pace had of taking the limelight has been swiftly removed. Unfortunately, they had a chance back in 2018 when the car first released, but they failed to capitalize on it.
It’s Struggling: Questionable Design
Design is always a subjective matter, but it probably hasn’t helped the I-Pace that it’s not the best looking of the electric SUVs. Its slightly awkward proportions are in stark contrast to the more refined, flowing designs from rivals like Tesla.
The rear of the car is especially strange, with a squared-off trunk that clashes with the sloping lines of the rest of the car. These choices were undoubtedly all for aerodynamic reasons, but buyers of this kind of luxury vehicle will always care more about looks than the exact specifics of their car’s aero.
We’d Buy It: Qualifies For Federal Tax Credit
Moving onto reasons that the I-Pace is actually still a good choice despite the issues we’ve discussed, there’s one obvious plus point and it comes in the form of Federal Tax Credit. These credits are handed out by the central government and essentially mean that $7,500 of the list price of any new EV is paid for…