With good power and confident handling, the 2021 Tesla
Model Y and 2021 Jaguar I-Pace all-electric SUVs are both quick and fun to drive. But a closer look reveals stark differences. Let’s compare them.
2021 Tesla Model Y
2021 Tesla Model Y Starting Price: $51,690
Above average: Very quick; excellent driver-assistance tech; long range; optional 7-seat capacity; over-the-air updates.
Below average: Fit and finish; no Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto integration; all touch screen, no buttons.
Consensus: A size below the Model X, the 2021 Tesla Model Y is the electric car company’s small crossover. It boasts plenty of space and excellent acceleration and handling, although there can be some issues with fit and finish.
2021 Jaguar I-Pace
2021 Jaguar I-Pace Starting Price: $69,850
Above average: Excellent driving manners; good power; sharp styling; some mild off-road ability.
Below average: Expensive; no towing capability; slow charging; rear legroom’s a bit tight.
Consensus: Quick, sleek, and with a 234-mile range, the 2021 Jaguar I-Pace is surprisingly sporty and fun to drive, with lots of style. It’s expensive, however, and it’s best for four passengers rather than five.
Model Y vs. I-Pace: mind or heart
Tesla Model Y
The newest member of the Tesla fleet, the 2021 Model Y is the smaller brother to the Model X and is based on the platform of the Model 3 compact sedan. It is impressive, with extremely quick acceleration and a range of up to 326 miles, well above many of its competitors. With a low center of gravity and all-wheel drive, the Model Y also exploits its power well, with confident driving manners and cornering, as well as a few different levels of regenerative braking.
Inside, the Model Y is spacious, with seating for five or seven, although expect those in the back to be cramped. It’s best to stick with the two rows of seating. Cargo space with all seats folded is 68 cubic feet, with some additional storage up front where the engine would be in a gasoline-powered car.
Cabin materials are premium, although build quality is not as good as it could be. Our test cars exhibited some poorly aligned panels as well as some squeaks and rattles. The centerpiece of the Model Y is a 15-inch touch screen that controls everything. There are no buttons. It should be noted that neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto compatibility is available in the Model Y.
Safety equipment includes forward-collision warning with automatic braking, steering assistance, and blind-spot monitoring. There are also various levels of semiautonomous driving, including a cool feature that lets you summon the car and have it come to you in a parking lot. Prices are competitive, although the top Performance model starts in the low $60,000 range. Given that this is only the Model Y’s second year of production, resale values are yet to be determined, although the Model S sedan retains its value very well.
As one might expect from a Jaguar, the 2021 I-Pace is very fun to drive, with loads of power and an active suspension that allows it to corner both quickly and comfortably. With electric motors at each end sending power to all four wheels, a low center of gravity, and excellent suspension tuning, the I-Pace is not only stable but very composed while cornering quickly. And quick it is, with 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque hustling the I-Pace to 60 mph in a claimed 4.5 seconds. That’s Porsche
Boxster territory. The adaptive suspension also allows the I-Pace to be raised up for winter weather conditions and even light off-road driving.
Inside it’s comfortable for four adults, although five can fit in a pinch. As with most crossovers, the I-Pace provides a raised driving position and decent outward vision, although there are some thick pillars. Luggage space is decent, with 25.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats expanding to 51 cubic feet with all seats folded. There is also a small storage space is under the front hood. One thing the 2021 I-Pace is not is cheap, starting close to $70,000, but it comes well equipped. Standard equipment includes a fixed panoramic sunroof, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, and simulated leather upholstery.
Driver-assistance features include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and automated parking assistance. Infotainment comes via an 11.4-inch touch screen with navigation, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, and an 11-speaker/380-watt Meridian sound system. Upper trims get things such as 22-inch wheels, a 360-degree camera system, and a 15-speaker/825-watt Meridian audio system. Prices can climb into the $80,000 range. As the I-Pace has only been around a couple of years, resale values are yet to be determined.
Quick; good handling; all-wheel drive.
2021 Tesla Model Y advantages
Much lower price; longer range; MPGe; shorter charging time; cargo space; rear legroom.
2021 Jaguar I-Pace advantages
Luxury feel; interior quality; mild off-roading ability; adjustable ride height.
Which one is right for me?
There’s no escaping that the 2021 Tesla Model Y starts $18,000 lower than the 2021 Jaguar I-Pace, with even the top Performance trim is still more than $5,000 lower. With more room for cargo and passengers, better MPGe, and a significantly longer range, it’s pretty much a walkover.
Yes, the Jag is less practical. But it’s luxurious, elegant, great to drive, better looking, and its 234 miles of range is more than anyone will need 90%+ of the time. Your brain says Tesla, while your heart says Jaguar.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.