The benefits of all-wheel-drive are clear, but not all motorists need total mud-pugging ability. That’s why the popular Evoque model from Land Rover has been to date one of their most successful models. It delivers the fashionable promise of Range Rover allure but in a compact SUV form that highlights modernity and sophistication inside and out, as can be seen in the images.
The Latest Model
Following the recent launch of the P300e plug-in hybrid, additional new engine options are now available for the Evoque; two updated and efficient next-generation four-cylinder ‘Ingenium’ diesel engines which both feature Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology.
As is usual with this technology, the system uses a belt-driven starter motor and battery pack. MHEV vehicles harvest energy normally lost under deceleration and this energy is fed back into the vehicle’s 48volt battery to boost performance and deliver enhanced fuel economy.
Available in 162bhp (165PS) and 197bhp (200PS) outputs, these engines are more powerful than previously while still improving CO² emissions and the all-important fuel economy. Petrol fans need not be concerned because there remains a selection of additional petrol engines to choose from with three options, all fitted with MHEV technology, in line with the brand’s stated electrification plans for the future.
On The Inside
The new minimalist interior is impressive. There’s a significant uplift in cabin quality with yet more touches inspired by the related Velar model, such as the pair of 10” touchscreens. The dashboard is clean and uncluttered, but with so few knobs and buttons, prodding different parts of the screen to operate things will take some getting used to, especially for drivers more geared to conventional controls. With new ways of operating cars, care needs to be taken; how many times have we seen vehicles wandering in lanes as the driver seeks to adjust something? We all have to learn technology as we go these days, but not at the expense of others.
Whatever, the Evoque certainly feels sumptuous inside with a choice of trims from leather, faux suede, a new woollen option and, interestingly, a new eucalyptus-derived textile, highlighting the company’s environmental credentials, although koala bears might have something to say about that.
As the cabin is so advanced Land Rover have chosen to debut a couple of new features in this latest Evoque. Called ClearSight, at the touch of a button the rear-view mirror converts into a display screen for a camera mounted at the rear – perfect if your rear seat passengers or an over-filled boot is cluttering up the rear view.
The digital experience inside the Evoque has also been transformed with the introduction of Land Rover’s state-of-the-art Pivi infotainment system which is, they say, ready to go as soon as it’s switched on. A separate ‘data plan’ and battery mean there’s no delay. Software updates are available over-the-air via the vehicle’s embedded data connection, at no cost, and can even be scheduled at a time to suit. Thus customers are assured that they will always have the latest maps, apps and features without having to visit a dealer. The system is enabled by a new ‘Electrical Vehicle Architecture’ and is available as either standard Pivi, or Pivi Pro from the S-specification model onwards.
Streaming music and media has never been simpler. Spotify is integrated directly within the infotainment menu along with Bluetooth connectivity for two smartphones at once. There’s also wireless device charging with signal-boosting option.
Other technology updates include a comprehensive suite of new Advanced Driver Assistance features for the Evoque, which achieved a five-star Euro NCAP rating for safety. The new Rear Collision Monitor uses radar to constantly monitor the vehicle’s back end, meaning the vehicle is primed to reduce the severity of an impact for the occupants, while the introduction of a 3D Surround Camera lets the driver see what’s happening around the vehicle at speeds of up to 19mph, making parking, manoeuvring and even navigating difficult terrain simpler than ever. The Range Rover Evoque is now available to order priced from £32,100 at base level in the UK.
Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite, www.drivewrite.co.uk