First drive: Range Rover Evoque 2019 review

Moving Well | Tim Nicholson | Posted on 05 June 2019

Tim Nicholson takes the second-generation Range Rover Evoque for a launch drive.


First impressions:

The new Range Rover Evoque proves it is more than just a style icon, with impressive new technology and environmentally friendly powertrains and interior options.

 

Few new models have made as much of a splash as the Range Rover Evoque did when it arrived in late 2011. The sleek coupe-style small SUV became an instant design classic with a look that has been mimicked by many manufacturers since.

More than just a style icon, the Evoque captured a whole new type of buyer for Land Rover thanks to its price and positioning, which made it the most affordable model to wear a Range Rover badge.

The second-generation Evoque is built on a new ‘Premium Transverse Architecture’ that will eventually form the basis of most Land Rover models. The new platform has increased the Evoque’s wheelbase by 20 millimetres, all of which has gone to the rear seat where knee room is up by 20 millimetres.

 

The overall footprint of the new Evoque is much the same as the old one, but luggage space is up by 10 per cent to 591 litres with the 40:20:40 rear seats in place, or 1383 when folded.

The new Evoque is offered in S, SE and HSE model grades, while the R-Dynamic body kit can be optioned on any of these grades for a premium of between $2980 and $4000. There is also a First Edition variant from launch. Pricing ranges from $62,670 to $94,290 before on-road costs. As expected there are innumerable options and packages, but beware. A few options can push the total price into six figures.

The Evoque is offered with three diesel and three petrol 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engines. Power outputs range from 110kW, 132kW and 177kW for the diesel and 147kW, 184kW and 221kW for the petrol.

Land Rover has ushered in a 48-volt mild hybrid system that uses an engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator to harvest energy that’s usually lost during deceleration. The energy is then used to help reduce turbo lag during acceleration and lower fuel consumption. The mild hybrid is fitted to all three diesel units and the 221kW petrol. More electrified Evoques are on the way too, with a plug-in hybrid expected to land next year.

The mild hybrid powertrain in the 177kW diesel we briefly dove at the launch didn’t seem to have much impact on acceleration as there was still lag on take-off. It is, however, still a punchy powertrain. But if straight-line performance is key, the 221kW petrol variant we sampled is the pick. The engine picks up pace rapidly, offering brisk acceleration. It also has impressive handling characteristics, carving through tight bends with the ease of a hot hatch. Being lower to the ground than other SUVs means the Evoque stays flat through corners and there is no hint of body roll.

Inside, the changes are huge. The new cabin now resembles the look and feel of the larger Velar, with a sleek, modern design and premium materials throughout.

 

A front on photo of a bright blue Ford Focus Trend 2019 parked in a residential driveway
A close up image of the gears of the ford focus trend 2019
A close-up photo of the rear of the Range Rover evoque 2019 model

 

It also features innovative new technology including a tilting 10-inch ‘Touch Pro’ infotainment screen, a smart rear-view mirror that transforms into a high-definition video screen to see beyond any obstructions in the cargo area, and a new ‘Ground View’ system that uses camera images projected to the touchscreen showing a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle. This is useful for off-roading and for urban parking, according to Land Rover.

Impressively, Land Rover is offering a ‘vegan’ option for the Evoque, with a eucalyptus-derived textile and a premium suede-cloth trim made from recycled plastic for the seats available as a no-cost option for those who don’t want leather. 

Land Rover appears to be taking sustainability seriously, but it has also ensured the Evoque retains its fun-to-drive nature and youth-focused appeal.

For many more vehicle reviews, including  the Porsche Macan, Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and Hyundai Kona Electric, go to royalauto.com.au.

 

A stone Range Rover Evoque drives along a bridge on a clear day

Range Rover Evoque 2019 P300 R-Dynamic SE

PRICE

Pricing as tested: $86,490 plus $9000 (estimated) on-road costs.

Model range: $62,670 to $94,290 plus on-road costs.

DRIVETRAIN

2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol, nine-speed automatic, all-wheel drive.

Power: 221kW@5500rpm.

Torque: 400Nm@1600 to 4500rpm.

Tyres:  245/45 R21.

FUEL

Fuel: 95 RON petrol, 67-litre tank.
Fuel consumption: 8.2.L/100km (government test).
CO2 emissions: 185g/km CO2.

STANDARD SAFETY

Cruise control with speed limiter, driver-fatigue detection, autonomous emergency braking, reversing camera, lane-keep assist, park assist, traffic-sign recognition.

STANDARD FEATURES

Dual-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Navigation Pro, Bluetooth, 10-inch touchscreen.

WARRANTY/SERVICES

Three-year/100,000-kilometre warranty; service plan can be purchased for up to five years.