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

What Car? - - Contents - Steve Hunt­ing­ford Steve.hunt­ing­[email protected]­mar­ket.com

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

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