April 21, 2019

2019 Range Rover Evoque First Drive Review

Everything you need to know about the new Evoque!

The new Range Rover Evoque in the Peloponnese region of Greece
The new Range Rover Evoque in the Peloponnese region of Greece

When the Range Rover Evoque debuted in 2011, it was a significant departure for the Land Rover brand. The Evoque was designed to appeal to a new and more urbane customer looking for a stylish, premium SUV. It also carried the prestige of belonging to the high-end ‘Range Rover’ family of vehicles. Now the Evoque is back for a second generation, with all the modernity and technology needed to carry itself successfully into a new era. Caroline travelled with Land Rover Ireland to Athens, Greece, to test drive the new 2019 Range Rover Evoque. The Evoque will officially arrive in Ireland in May, but a preview model is currently touring Land Rover dealerships nationwide.

Styling

The new Range Rover Evoque still carries the classic high beltline/sloping roofline silhouette that made the original Evoque a trendsetter. There are new super-slim Matrix LED headlamps, flush door handles and other new trim elements around the front and rear. The surfacing of the car has been refined for a clean and contemporary look. The wheel arches can house up to 21-inch wheels. The Evoque undoubtedly has kerb appeal.

The Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in Ireland officially in May priced from €42,845
The Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in Ireland officially in May priced from €42,845

Interior

The interior of the 2019 Range Rover Evoque has taken a step up in terms of quality and design, along with the integration of the latest driver assistance technologies and digital displays. There are soft touch materials aplenty. Land Rover has also come up with some alternatives to classic leather, including Kvadrat premium wool blend, Dinamica® suedecloth, and Eucalyptus fibre textiles, which are very tactile indeed.

The twin touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system comes as standard on some trim levels. Ventilation and other vehicle settings are controlled via the lower screen. It looks very impressive, though can be fiddly to use on the move. There is also an optional 12.3″ Interactive Driver Display and Head-up Display for the full digital experience.

The interior of the new Range Rover Evoque
The interior of the new Range Rover Evoque

Practicality

The new Evoque is built on Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture. While the overall dimensions are near on identical, there is more interior space than before. A longer wheelbase yields 20mm extra rear kneeroom. The Evoque will seat five with reasonable rear leg and headroom for a compact SUV.  The luggage space is wider and 10 per cent larger than the outgoing car at 591 litres. The second row seats can be folded 40:20:40.

The new generation of the Evoque has a bigger boot
The new generation of the Evoque has a bigger boot

Engines

In Ireland the 2019 Range Rover Evoque will be available with 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engines with MHEV, a mild hybrid system that harvests and stores energy normally lost during vehicle deceleration to assist the engine to maximise efficiency. Power outputs for the diesel include 150hp, 180hp and 240hp, while the petrol will have outputs of 200hp, 250hp and 300hp. Front wheel drive and all wheel drive models are available. A manual gearbox comes as standard, with a 9 speed automatic also available.

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will join the range next year.

The new Range Rover Evoque will be available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid on the way in 2020
The new Range Rover Evoque will be available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid on the way in 2020

On the road

The new Range Rover Evoque sits on a new, more rigid platform. On our test drive, the Evoque handled very well through corners with excellent ride quality that means it can transition from off road to on road remarkably well. Optional Adaptive Dynamics alter the suspension damping rates depending on the road surface and deliver the optimum balance of comfort and agility.

The new Evoque now features Terrain Response 2 and a number of driving aids for off-road. You can hit the Auto button among the off-road settings and the SUV automatically detects the surface being driven on and adjusts the set-up accordingly. The Evoque can now wade through water up to 600mm (previously 500mm).

We had the opportunity to test the Evoque extensively on and off road in the rugged Peloponnese region of Greece. We drove through river beds, up steep inclines and down them, across rough terrain littered with ruts, stones and gullies, and even on a stage from the Acropolis Rally! We crossed the Corinth Canal on an old railway bridge, using the new ClearSight Ground View to guide us. This new feature effectively makes the bonnet invisible so you can see the ground between the wheels from a camera view transmitted to the screen in the centre console.

Crossing the Corinth Canal in the Range Rover Evoque
Crossing the Corinth Canal in the Range Rover Evoque!

The Evoque might be a stylish looking SUV for the city but its off-road capability is truly outstanding. Then the Evoque just effortlessly shrugged off the dust from its shoulders and glided out onto smooth tarmac roads once again.

We tested the 2.0 litre diesel 240hp and the 2.0 petrol 250hp all wheel drive models. Both were quiet on the move with plenty of power and flexibility through the rev range. I look forward to bringing my full driving impressions once we test the new Range Rover Evoque on Irish roads later in the year.

Equipment

In Ireland the 2019 Range Rover Evoque will be sold across a range of trim lines including entry, S, SE, and HSE and the sportier looking R-Dynamic, R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic SE and R-Dynamic HSE. Standard equipment includes dual zone climate control with rear vents, 17″ alloys, LED headlights, cruise control, 10″ touchscreen, push button start, ClearSight interior rear view mirror, rear camera, parking sensors and lane keep assist. Please visit landrover.ie for a list of equipment for each model.

The Range Rover Evoque can effortlessly transition from off-road driving to smooth, tarmac roads
The Range Rover Evoque can effortlessly transition from off-road driving to smooth, tarmac roads

Pricing

Pricing for the 2019 Range Rover Evoque starts from €42,845 for the front wheel drive 2.0-litre diesel model with 150hp and a 6 speed manual gearbox. All wheel drive diesel models with automatic gearbox as standard start from €49,595.

Rivals

The Evoque’s rivals include the Audi Q3, Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-PACE.

Summary

The Evoque brings a certain level of distinction to the premium, compact SUV segment with cool good looks, Land Rover’s legendary off-road ability and the prestige of the Range Rover badge. The Evoque offers a smooth, quiet and sporty drive with on trend mild hybrid tech, while there is no mistaking the premium cabin ambience, enhanced with the latest digital screens and alternative fabric options. The Range Rover Evoque made its name as a trendsetter back in 2011; now it has successfully crossed into a new era of technology and modernity.

Caroline Kidd

Photos courtesy of Land Rover