UP UP & AWAY IN MY BEAUTIFUL MY BEAUTIFUL EVOQUE !
Can it really be 8 years since Range Rover launched the Evoque ? Back in 2011, spending billions of pounds on an all-new small Range Rover was a massive gamble by Land Rover, but oh how it paid off, with over 800,000 Evoque’s being sold in 116 countries. But, with success comes copy cats, with a plethora of Evoque wannabes including the Audi Q3, Jaguar E-Pace, BMW X2 & Volvo XC40 all attempting to replicate the Evoque’s success. None has quite succeeded, but all have moved the sector forward, so Land Rover have invested an awful lot of time & money in building a new Evoque, adding fresh styling, better on-board tech, higher quality finishes & most importantly a range of more fuel efficient mild-hybrid engines to it’s baby, with the added flexibility down the line for the new platform to take an Evoque EV.
Whilst the Premier League of Motoring publications took a trip to Greece to try out the new Evoque, the more humble amongst us, including the Northern Group of Motoring Writers, which Company Car & Van belongs to, had a far more interesting experience, visiting the Halewood plant on Merseyside, where along with the Land Rover Discovery, the Evoque is built. This was followed up with a drive through North Wales & finally an off-road drive at the Land Rover Experience in Peckforton.
Residing in north Cheshire, I like to think that I am in the heartland of Range Rover country & it would be no surprise to readers that my immediate neighbour runs an Evoque. He told me that he had viewed the new model when his current car was in for service & that it looked exactly the same as the one he has. As I had just returned literally, from the new Evoque launch, I was able to put him right on a few things, including letting him know that pretty much everything, save for the door hinges on the new Evoque is actually brand new !
Our trip around Halewood had been enlightening to say the least, as we followed the shell of the car along the production line, watching the car being built before our eyes, before emerging fully formed at the end of the three mile line. Amazingly, an Evoque or its stablemate the Land Rover Discovery Sport, drives off the Halewood assembly line every 92 seconds & I can vouch for the care taken by all of the Associates involved in building the cars. Nothing is taken to chance & with over 2.5 million variations of Evoque on offer, featuring different spec, right & left hand cabins, colours & wheels, the system works like clockwork. Halewood employs 4,000 Associates who ensure that the 700+ cars a day meet the quality levels that all Range Rover & Land Rover customers expect.
The latest Range Rover Evoque is based on Land Rover’s Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA), a heavily modified version of the outgoing car’s D8 platform. The new car takes up much the same space on the road, it’s just 21mm longer, which increase’s rear passenger space. The new platform also brings with it up-to-date 48-volt mild-hybrid electrification for all but the entry-level, 2WD model. This system has been designed to improve emissions, whilst readying the Evoque for a plug-in hybrid model & also allows for more sophisticated in-car tech.
Land Rover expects that most customers will choose a diesel engine despite the current trend towards petrol units, so are offering three diesel power plants & three petrol to cover all bases.
The diesels available are the D150 2.0 litre with 147bhp, with either a 2WD manual or 4WD automatic gear box. Next up is a 178bhp D180 & finally there’s a 237bhp D240 with an extra turbocharger.
The three petrol engines offers are the P200, with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine & 197bhp. Next up is the P250 with 246bhp & finally the P300, with a whopping 299bhp. All petrols are available as auto only.
Diesel emissions range from 143g/km for the manual D150, to 169g/km for the automatic D240, whilst the petrols come with 176g/km for the auto P200 up to 186g/km for the auto P300. The diesel’s average WLTP fuel economy is at worst 37.9mpg & at best 41.3 mpg, with the petrols coming in at a worst of 28.7 mpg & a best of 30.7mpg, a clear victory for the diesel option & something fleet customers should take note of. The model spec’s are denoted as currently with the choice of S, SE, HSE & R-Dynamic.
Sidle up to the new Evoque & it’s easier to pick up on the differences over the original. Slimmer LED headlights, recessed door handles, a more bulbous rear end & sweeping direction indicators, all take their cue from the larger Velar, with R-Dynamic models adding black & burnished copper detailing plus a body-coloured front bumper. Alloy wheels range from standard 17″- 20″ or 21″ as an option, with colours ranging from the popular blacks & greys to the brighter Firenze Red
Climb aboard & the interior smacks of quality. Unsurprisingly, there’s lot’s of scope for personalisation. ‘Kvadrat’ textile upholstery is standard, available in two shades & complemented by faux-suede Dinamica elements, whilst quilted leather in four colour ways is a £1,650 upgrade. And it doesn’t stop with the seats, you can choose from numerous headlining options, wood or aluminium trim, configurable ambient lighting & illuminated tread plates.
Entry-level cars get a standard 10″ infotainment system with standard front & rear parking assistance & a rear view camera. S trim adds SatNav, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity. SE & HSE models get Land Rover’s dual screen infotainment system Touch Pro Duo, plus digital dials behind the steering wheel. Touch Pro Duo splits the car’s infotainment functions across two screens on the centre console. The top one allows access to SatNav, DAB radio, Media, phone & park assist, with heating & ventilation moved to the lower screen with the option of using three rotary dials to select the temperature.
For those who want every conceivable extra fitted to their Evoque, you can have ClearSight Rear View, which uses a roof mounted camera to display a widescreen view of the road behind, developed Land Rover says, because of complaints over the Mk1’s rear view being compromised. And new Evoque is also the first car in the world to feature ground view technology, which effectively makes the bonnet invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle.
We were testing the SE R-Dynamic 9-speed automatic diesel, which costs from £46,300 OTR. It comes very well equipped, including features that will take your Evoque off-road; Terrain Response, All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), Low Traction Launch, Hill Descent Control (HDC), Torque Vectoring by Braking, Passive suspension & Hill Launch Assist.
Add on’s fitted to our test car included 16-way heated & cooled, massage electric memory front seats with heated rear seats & a fixed panoramic roof, which along with larger alloys, special paint & the ClearSight mirror, took the cost all the way up to £54,700. But as Land Rover pointed out, most retail & all fleet customer’s will look at the monthly cost of around £400 per month when getting into the Evoque & won’t be buying one outright.
The cabin is a joy to be in & is much improved over it’s predecessor. There’s some useful storage on offer, with four storage bins, a cubby under the centre armrest, a rubberised tray on the centre console with two cup holders revealed underneath, decent door pockets & a glove box. The Evoque’s extra 21mm, is most noticeable in the rear where there is more leg room than in the Mk1. Headroom is still a little compromised by the sloping roof & in our case the panoramic glass roof.
The Evoque’s boot is 10% larger than the outgoing car, with 591 litres on offer with the seats up, which increases to 1,383 litres with the rear 40:20:40 seats folded, using a handle in the boot. For those of you who tow, all Evoque models can tow an un-braked trailer of up to 750kg & if you choose an automatic gearbox-diesel engine combination, there’s up to 2000kg of braked trailer towing ability. The entry level diesel with 2WD drive & a manual gearbox is limited to 1,600kg braked trailers.
After our drive to Halewood taking in the M56 & the new Runcorn Bridge Mersey crossing, we set off for North Wales & particularly the Horseshoe Pass. The Evoque offers excellent levels of comfort & is a satisfying car to be in whether driving or as a front passenger. The on-board tech works well. I connected my iPhone to Apple CarPlay & whilst the JLR SatNav was okay, I still favour Google Maps accessed this way.
There’s enough power on offer to overtake slower moving traffic, which we did several times on route & on the A55 & M53 the Evoque sits happily at motorway speeds utilising cruise control. The cabin is very quiet with little wind or road noise noticeable. On the winding roads around Llangollen, the small Evoque handled exceptionally well & after a couple of hours behind the wheel, I really couldn’t fault it.
Reaching our destination, which was the Land Rover Experience off-road centre at Peckforton, we had the opportunity to take the baby Range Rover on a series of challenging tasks, all of which it comfortably coped with, to great aplomb. Most customers won’t ever put their Evoque through such a tough environment, but it’s good to know, that if you buy one, the option is there for you to attend one of these UK wide specialist Land Rover off-road centres, to see just what your Range Rover or Land Rover really is capable of.
For SME fleet customers reading this, Company Car & Van would put the new Evoque back at the top of the class for SUV’s in it’s sector. Whilst the old model was clearly lagging behind the new Audi Q3 & BMW X2, this new version, whilst matching both the Audi & BMW for build quality & good looks, is clearly ahead, with the options customers can choose for their Evoque, the available tech, it’s desirability & of course, it’s go anywhere capability.
A Made in Liverpool 4.25/5
Ingenium 2.0L 4-cylinder 240hp Turbocharged Diesel
Maximum Power (Hp/rpm)
240 / 2,400
Maximum Torque (Nm /rpm)
500 / 1,500 – 2,500
All Wheel Drive 9-speed Automatic
Fuel Economy – NEDCEquivalent
CO₂ Emissions Combined (g/km)
Fuel Economy – WLPT
Consumption Combined mpg (1/100km)
TEL – TEH
40.4 – 37.9 (7.0– 7.5)
Acceleration (secs) 0-60mph (0-100 km/h)
Maximum speed mph (km/h)