Range Rover Evoque
Second-generation family SUV promises improved practicality, ef ciency and technology to go with the familiar style On sale Spring 2019 Price from £31,600
Second-generation Suv-coupé promises improved engines, tech and practicality
WHAT DO YOU do when it’s time to replace something that has proved successful beyond your wildest dreams? That’s the question Land Rover faced with the Range Rover Evoque; the car we have here is its answer.
It may look like a facelifted version of the outgoing model, but everything you can see – and most of the stuff you can’t – is actually new. It’s just that with almost 800,000 cars sold in seven years and no sign of demand waning, Land Rover wasn’t about to jettison that winning styling.
“We always have a desire to be radical and change things,” explains the brand’s chief design of cer, Gerry Mcgovern,“but sometimes it’s important not to change. We’ve still moved the design on, but it’s smart evolution, not revolution.”
At the front, the Evoque has a cleaner look than before, aided by new super-slim LED headlights, while the indicators, both front and rear, now sweep in the direction you’re turning.
The rear lights are also joined together by a horizontal black bar that makes the Evoque appear wider than it actually is. Plus, all of the panel gaps are tighter than they were and the exterior door handles sit ush with the body, only sliding out when you unlock the car.
All of this hides a new platform that has been designed with electri cation in mind.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Differences between the old and new Evoque are more obvious inside, with the latter feeling
a lot plusher, thanks to a leather-trimmed dashboard that borrows heavily from a model that costs half as much again: the Range Rover Velar.
A large touchscreen automatically hinges forward when you start the Evoque’s engine, placing menus for the sat-nav, stereo and phone settings within easy reach. Meanwhile, the whole lower centre console is also touch-sensitive, being used to operate secondary systems such as the climate control and off-road driving modes.
The downside of low-mounted touch panels of this sort is that they tend to be distracting to use while you’re driving, because they force you to take your eyes off the road to nd the
‘Land Rover hasn’t enlarged the Evoque, because many owners live in urban areas’
correct area to press. However, Land Rover also provides two rotary dials that change function depending on the menu selected and can be found by feel alone.
A third digital display, which replaces traditional instruments such as the speedo and rev counter and lets the driver customise the layout, completes the high-tech look.
BIGGER BUT NOT
While most cars grow considerably with each generation, the new Evoque is just 1mm longer than its predecessor, due to research that showed many owners of the current model live in urban areas and therefore value its relatively compact size.
Practicality has instead been improved by an increase in the distance between the two axles, resulting in larger rear door openings and more leg room for those in the back. Don’t go thinking that the Evoque is now as spacious as boxy rivals such as the BMW X1; six-footers will still feel a bit cramped when sitting behind a similar-sized driver. However, smaller adults will be perfectly comfortable.
Similarly, the boot may not be class-leading, but it’s now suitable for golf clubs, thanks to extra width and a 10% increase in volume (now 591 litres, measured up to the roof) that was achieved by tting a more compact rear suspension design borrowed from the Velar.
Usability is further boosted by thoughtful touches such as a collapsible side net for holding small items in place and rear seats that split and fold 40/20/40 so you can run skis between two rear passengers. Plus, the Evoque has large front and rear door bins and several handy storage cubbies between its front seats. ECONOMY DRIVE
The engines available at launch are all turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder units
familiar from existing Land Rover models. A 148bhp diesel is the least powerful option, while a 296bhp petrol is the other bookend of the range. However, in what is a rst for Land Rover, Evoques speci ed with an automatic gearbox also get a 48V mild hybrid system.
This captures energy that would normally be lost during deceleration and stores it in a small battery beneath the oor.then,when you pull away, the energy is redeployed to assist the engine, reducing fuel consumption.
Land Rover claims this system brings an improvement in ef ciency of up to 6%.And while gures for the whole Evoque range are yet to be con rmed, the most frugal auto model (the front-wheel-drive version of the 148bhp diesel) returns 49.6mpg on the NEDC test cycle while emitting 149g/km of CO2.
By comparison, the 148bhp version of the old Evoque managed only 47.9mpg and pumped out 157g/km, but the new car still falls
short of many rivals, including our reigning Car of the Year, the Volvo XC40 D4 R-design (at least in the lab).
Aside from fuel economy, Land Rover’s main focus with the engines was to improve re nement, because its four-cylinder diesel units have traditionally been noisier and transmitted more vibrations into the car than their Audi and BMW equivalents.
The mild hybrid technology should help with this, too, reducing the strain on the engine under acceleration and allowing it to shut off altogether when you brake at speeds below 11mph. In addition, Land Rover claims to have put a lot of work into ensuring the engine mounts are in the optimum position for smoothness.
In early 2020, the Evoque range will be expanded to include a more frugal threecylinder petrol engine and a plug-in hybrid that’s expected to emit just 45g/km of CO2. THE GADGET SHOW
One of the downsides of the Evoque’s dramatic shape is that you end up with a letterbox slot for a rear screen.and when you add in rear passengers or bulky items of luggage, your view of what’s behind can be close to nil. However, to address this, the new model is available with a so-called ‘smart rear-view mirror’.at the ick of a switch,the mirror transforms into a high-de nition video screen that uses a camera positioned above the window to provide a wider (50deg) eld of vision and superior visibility in low light.
The new Evoque also features something called Ground View, which projects a 180deg image of what’s beneath the front of the car onto the upper touchscreen – something that could be useful when off-roading or simply negotiating high kerbs in the city.
The clever technology isn’t just limited to cameras, either. Land Rover is following the example of Tesla in offering wireless, over-theair updates to keep the car’s infotainment software and sat-nav maps up to date.
What’s more, if different drivers each have their own key fob, the Evoque can use this to recognise them, learn their preferences and ensure their usual climate control, infotainment and seat settings are ready as soon as they get behind the wheel. It will even remember commonly dialled phone numbers for different times and days of the week.
Less unusual, but at least as important these days, is the presence of Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring (previously Land Rover relied on its own system), six USB ports and a 4G wi- hotspot that can support up to eight devices at a time.
Combined with pricing that’s pretty much unchanged, it all suggests the new Range Rover Evoque will sell like its predecessor, in addition to looking like it.
‘Evoques with an auto gearbox feature mild hybrid technology that improves ef ciency by 6%’
1 Digital instruments are standard and can be con gured to show a range of information 2 Upper touchscreen features Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring 3 You get a joystick-style gear selector instead of the rotary dial found on bigger Range Rovers 4 There are lots of storage cubbies, including one behind the centre console
Door handles sit ush with the body, before popping out electrically when needed
R-dynamic models get a black roof and copper detailing
Interior quality is comparable with the far pricier Velar’s