The Range Rover Evoque looks superb, has an upmarket interior and will prove superb off-road. It’s a shame it weighs so much, though, hence its average fuel economy figures
This is the 2019 Range Rover Evoque, the car the company calls its ‘great second album’. It replaces the hugely successful current Evoque, which went on sale in 2011.
The new Evoque gets freshened up looks, a smarter cabin design, a stacked infotainment system with augmented reality, mild hybrid engines and will offer a full plug-in-hybrid version coming later. The car’s off-roading ability – key to Land Rover’s go-anywhere image – has also been improved.
At first glance the 2019 Range Rover Evoque could easily be mistaken for the outgoing car, but in reality, only the door hinges are carried over from the old version.
Up front, the 2019 Range Rover Evoque gets slimline LED headlights that look sophisticated and have a detailed light signature that’ll make the car easily spotted at night. Scrolling LEDs – same as you get with the Audi Q5 – are now standard and they light up sequentially to indicate what direction the car is turning. Round the back you get pretty LED taillights that also feature scrolling LEDs, a diffuser-style rear bumper and a boot-mounted spoiler.
Inside, the Range Rover Evoque looks as posh as you could hope of a car coming from the company that created the original posh SUV.
In top-spec versions at least, you get quilted leather seats, leather on the dashboard and yet more leather on the insides of the doors. Top-of-the-range cars also get a pair of stacked infotainment borrowed from the Range Rover Velar. Basic trim levels do without the high-tech infotainment screens and the leather but do get cool ambient lighting and aluminium trims.
If that doesn’t float your boat then you can also have your cabin decked out in a Eucalyptus textile that’s production is less harmful to the environment than more conventional fabrics.
In all, up to 33kgs of natural and recycled material go into the production of each car.
The 2019 Range Rover Evoque is available with a choice of three infotainments systems. The system fitted to the entry-level car doesn’t show the Evoque in its best light. It has a 10-inch centre screen with Bluetooth connectivity.
You’ll need to step up to an Evoque S if you want integrated sat-nav along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. S cars are also the first to create their own wifi hotspot so your passengers shouldn’t have any problems getting a decent internet connection.
To get the best the infotainment on offer you’ll need to go for an Evoque SE or above, though. They get the Touch Pro Duo system – essentially two 10-inch glassy screens stacked on top of each other in combination with a digital display in place of the old-fashioned analogue dials behind the steering wheel.
The headline-grabbing tech is called Clear Sight Ground View. It uses cameras in the front bumper to display an augmented view of the ground underneath the bonnet on the car’s infotainment screen. The technology was first previewed on the 2014 Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept as an off-roading tool to help you negotiate tricky terrain.
Clearsight is the next innovation in the Evoque’s arsenal. It turns your rearview mirror into a monitor that beams back images from a rear-mounted camera. It means that even if you boot is full to the roof and blocking your mirror, you can still get a clear view of the road behind the car.
Finally, there is Smart Settings Technology – another first for the 2019 Range Rover Evoque. Identifying you either by your phone or your key, overtime it learns your habits. So, it’ll know your preferred position for the steering wheel and driver’s seat, the temperature you like the cabin and whether you like to rock out to Radio 6 or ease back with a little bit of Radio 4.
The Range Rover Evoque has been a runaway success for Land Rover, so it hasn’t strayed too far for the previous Evoque’s design on this new model. And who can blame them?
Practicality has also been improved in the 2019 Range Rover Evoque. First off, unlike the old Evoque, this version is only available with five-doors so your passengers get great access to the back seat. Once in, your kids in the back seat also get more knee room than they would have in the old Evoque.
The Evoque also has a boot that’s 10% bigger than the old car’s – at 590 litres, it’s slightly more than you get in the Evoque’s aforementioned alternatives. In real terms, that’ll give you enough room to pack away a fortnight’s worth of luggage for a family of four.
There’s a choice of six 2.0-litre engines that are split equally between petrol and diesel. Around 12 months after the car goes on sale, you’ll also be able to choose a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid that’ll offer improved fuel economy and be capable of running short distances on electric power alone.
Right now though, the D150 (the number denoting horsepower) has the best fuel economy in the range, but its 42.1mpg figure isn’t brilliant when you consider an equivalent Audi Q5 officially returns 56.5mpg. Performance isn’t great either, the Range Rover rolls from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds – exactly two seconds slower than the Audi.
The same engine can also be had with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and mild-hybrid tech, but because a power-sucking four-wheel drive is fitted, it’s actually slightly less economical on fuel and slower than the standard Evoque.
The petrol range includes the P200, P250 and P300. All of them will return fuel economy of less than 30mpg – about 10mpg off what you’d expect for a car like this – and only the P300, which gets from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds, offers a useful performance advantage over the top-of-the-range diesel.
You may never use your 2019 Range Rover Evoque off-road, but it’s good to know it’s capable if you need it to be. To that end, four-wheel drive Evoques come with Terrain Response 2 as standard. It makes setting the car up for a variety of off-road conditions easy, even if you’re a novice, by giving you a variety of presets to choose from including Sand, Grass, Gravel, Snow, and also Mud and Ruts. You can even wade through water up to 60cm deep – 10cm deeper than the old car managed.
The new Range Rover Evoque is available to order now with a starting price of £31,600 for a 150hp 2.0-litre diesel with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. That starting price compares favourably to what you’ll pay for entry-level alternatives such as the Audi Q5 (£40,000), BMW X3 (£39,000) and Mercedes GLC (£36,000), although the prices will be much closer once you’ve specced your Evoque with a similar amount of equipment.
We’ll have more on the Range Rover Evoque’s driving characteristics once we’ve gotten behind the wheel.