The Land Rover Defender on test for Changing Lanes

Land Rover Defender 75th Limited Edition Review

Read Caroline's Land Rover Defender review for everything you need to know about buying Land Rover's iconic off-roader in Ireland.

Land Rover is famous for building tough, off-road vehicles and the pinnacle of all that has to be the Defender.

In 2020, the all-new Defender arrived in Ireland. It's quickly become one of the brand's most popular models, outselling the Discovery. To celebrate 75 years of this legend, Land Rover has introduced an eye-catching Defender 75th Limited Edition.

The Defender starts from about €87,727 but the five-door Defender 110 75th Limited Edition 2.0 plug-in hybrid - like the one on test - will set you back closer to €123,160.

So is it worth it? Let's find out!

The Land Rover Defender on test for Changing Lanes
The Land Rover Defender on test for Changing Lanes

What's so special about the Land Rover Defender?

The Defender offers quite an extensive line-up. There are three body styles - 90, 110 and 130 - with varying numbers of seats available. There are a range of four- and six- cylinder petrol and diesel engines, and a V8. There's also a popular plug-in hybrid that offers punchy performance and some EV driving, which is particularly useful in town.

If it's kerb appeal you're after, the Defender has it all. The design is a brilliant interpretation of the classic Defender, all boxy dimensions and attitude with plenty of little design nods to the original like the classic circular in rectangle headlights.

The 75th Limited Edition goes with famous Grasmere Green and matching painted alloy wheels. It's very distinct and it looks better the more mud is thrown at it. The Defender is a vehicle that was made to play dirty.

There are a myriad of off-road tools like the configurable terrain response system that allows you to switch between a number of modes depending on what sort of ground you're tackling - snow, mud, rocks, sand, you name it!

It's pretty special inside too.

The cabin of the Defender 75th Limited Edition
The cabin of the Defender 75th Limited Edition

Inside the Defender

The Defender has one of the most utilitarian cabins of any Land Rover on sale. But somehow it all works. There's a pared back, tough chic to it all. Yet the quality is excellent, everything feels good to the touch. Synthetic leather upholstery come as standard.

Luxury features included heated front seats with 14-way power adjustment and memory function, 3D surround camera and a Meridian sound system.

75th versions stand out with a Grasmere Green dash panel but otherwise it's classic Defender with exposed screwheads, a stubby gear selector on the dash, and sturdy steering wheel.

The digital tech is another highlight - full digital driver display and an excellent Land Rover 'Pivi Pro' infotainment system with touch display. It's heaving with functionality but the menus are all easy to scroll through. There's lots of good off-road driving aids hidden in there too like wade sensing to alert you when you're reaching the Defender's awesome limit of 900mm!

There is a nice spread of buttons below the touchscreen and some dials for the ventilation. You can also find buttons here to adjust the height of the vehicle for off-roading.

It's all so clever and intuitive to use.

The Defender 75th Limited Edition gets a unique Grasmere Green finish
The Defender 75th Limited Edition gets a unique Grasmere Green finish

Is it practical?

The Defender 110 is the five-door model and it's available with five, six or seven seats. The boot offers over 800 litres of space in five seat models. Though beware the door is hinged from the side so you'll need lots of room to open it!

The cabin is huge and feels very roomy. There are alpine windows in the roof, just like the original, and the option of a glass roof. The big windows also let lots of light in. You can fit three easily across the rear seat and there's loads of legroom too.

Driving the Defender

On the road the Defender offers a very high-end driving experience. There's really nothing agricultural about it, despite its rough and ready roots. From the lofty driving position, you can enjoy the comfort and affability of it all. The 110's standard fit air suspension ensures a high level of control and comfort.

The Defender can trundle through town easily enough with well-weighted steering though it does feel big once you find yourself in a tight car park. Yet it's a great companion for motorway cruising, while it can easily tackle whatever obstacles an Irish rural road might throw up.

The P400e plug-in hybrid offers good performance and a limited range of 43 kilometres (WLTP) of electric driving, provided you are diligent about keeping it charged - 80% in as little as 30 minutes using a DC fast charger or 2.5 hours from a 7kW wallbox.

The 404hp is delivered smoothly, responsively through the 8-speed automatic, with a strong 640Nm of torque for a respectable three tonne towing capacity. Yet fuel consumption is still higher than most conventional SUVs, though keeping the battery charged does make a difference, along with stints on battery power alone.

Boot space in the Defender 110 P400e
Boot space in the Defender 110 P400e

Did you like it?

The Land Rover Defender is such an incredible motoring icon and has excellent capability - and kerb appeal. Its off-road pedigree is well documented, but the on-road driving manners are equally impressive. It's no surprise it's been such a big hit among Irish motorists.

The 75th edition is an acquired taste, with its classic Grasmere Green body and wheels combo. But what's underneath is still an extremely desirable machine and the plug-in hybrid is a solid choice.

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

Simply the best!
The Land Rover Defender - simply the best!

The new Range Rover Sport on test for Changing Lanes!

Range Rover Sport Review

Read Caroline's Range Rover Sport review for everything you need to know about buying the luxury SUV in Ireland.

The Range Rover Sport first debuted back in 2005. It quickly became a byword for luxury and performance with a sportier edge than the brand’s flagship Range Rover.

Now it’s back for a third generation but it’s the new plug-in hybrid that attempts to add more efficiency to the range.

It goes on sale priced from €111,400 for a plug-in hybrid rising to €220,267 for a top of the range 4.4-litre V8. That puts it up against other high-end SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and the Audi Q7.

So is the Range Rover Sport still the king of performance luxury SUVs?

The new Range Rover Sport on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Range Rover Sport on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the Range Rover Sport?

The Sport is all about performance and luxury worthy of the Range Rover badge, but in a sportier and more dynamic package. Well that's the premise anyway.

It's no surprise Land Rover took the prestigious Range Rover badge and expanded its range with models like the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque. But the Sport is surely the most luxurious and desirable of them all.

It's built on the same platform as the new Range Rover but is a bit shorter in length with more dynamic styling. For this new generation the styling has been modernised with the brand’s new design language. The standard fit pixel LED headlights are a bit slimmer for example.

A luxury sports SUV wouldn’t be complete without big wheels and this one does not disappoint with standard fit 21-inch wheels, rising to 23-inch. Red brake calipers are a no cost option.

In Ireland the Range Rover Sport is available with a range of powerful engines from plug-in hybrid to 3.0-litre diesels and a range-topping V8 petrol with 530hp. There are a range of trim levels but this SUV is packed with luxury features no matter which one you go for.

The interior of the new Range Rover Sport
The interior of the new Range Rover Sport

Inside the Range Rover Sport

Inside the cabin it’s pure luxury - from the finish of the materials to all the tech on board. It feels like a big step forward. All the materials feel good and leather upholstery comes as standard. There are also electric heated front seats with memory function and 20-way adjustment.

Every Range Rover Sport comes with a digital driver display as well as a new 13-inch touchscreen that is a real highlight of the cabin experience. There's also a wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection, wireless smartphone charging and a Meridian sound system.

Most of the car’s functions are controlled from the large touchscreen including the operation of the heated seats and lumbar support for example. But it's relatively easy to navigate and there are shortcut buttons on the centre console to pull up menus quickly.

Being a Land Rover, there’s also lots of driving aids for off-road driving as well.

The new Range Rover Sport is bigger than before so it feels a bit roomier inside with more legroom and kneeroom. There is loads of space in the back and luxurious features like heated, power reclining seats. There’s also a huge boot measuring 835 litres stacked to the roof with lots of clever features as standard including a power tailgate. You can lower the rear suspension from a button to make it easier to load things. There’s also a handy divider and buttons to release the rear seats, which split fold 60:40, and also bring them back up again. This SUV brings luxury to the next level, even when it comes to practicality.

The Range Rover Sport brings luxury to the next level
The Range Rover Sport brings luxury to the next level

Driving the P440e hybrid

The new Range Rover Sport is available with a range of high-performance petrol and diesel engines, and two plug-in hybrids. The all-electric version is expected in 2024. The plug-in hybrids use a six cylinder, 3.0-litre petrol engine, with two different power outputs available - 440hp and 510hp. That's the power box ticked.

Or you can have a 3.0-litre six cylinder diesel or petrol engine with mild hybrid technology, or a top of the range 4.4 litre petrol V8 with 530hp!

But the plug-in hybrids are quite special because the 38kWh battery gives an all-electric driving range of up to 113 kilometres (WLTP) or 88 kilometres in real world driving on a single battery charge. It takes less than five hours to charge the P440e at home from a wallbox. There's also a CCS adaptor so the Sport can accept DC fast charging, giving 80% battery in just under an hour. You can switch between three different modes - EV, Hybrid and Save - the latter holds on to the battery range for town or city driving for example. But even running in hybrid mode, average fuel consumption sticks around 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres. That's not bad for an SUV that weighs about 2.7 tonnes.

On the road, the Range Rover Sport P440e is fast when you put your foot down. There's 620Nm of torque and 0 to 100km/h takes just 5.8 seconds. Standard air suspension offers excellent comfort and control. Yet the Sport is not quite as dynamic as what you might expect from the badge. It's hard to disguise all that weight on board. It never really feels that sharp or engaging when you’re pushing on through corners.

But what it is very good at is comfort and refinement. There is no noise in the cabin as it glides across the tarmac. That's thanks to Active Noise Cancellation as standard, which filters out wind and road noise through 29 cabin speakers. Sublime!

The Range Rover Sport is available from €111,400
The Range Rover Sport is available from €111,400

Did you like it?

The Range Rover Sport has one of the world’s most prestigious car badges. But it’s not immune from changes in the motor industry towards hybrid and electrification.

Thankfully the brand has done an amazing job with the new P440e plug-in hybrid. It offers all the power and luxury you would expect, with an excellent electric driving range and a high-tech interior. What it misses in pure dynamism it makes up for it in refinement.

If you’re looking for a luxury SUV that’s comfortable and refined with lots of kerb appeal, there’s really nothing quite like the Range Rover Sport.

Model tested: Range Rover Sport P440e Dynamic SE 
Price: From
€111,400
Engine:
3.0-litre petrol electric plug-in hybrid
Power: 440hp
Torque: 620Nm
Top speed: 225 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 5.8 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€140 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year


The new Land Rover Defender Commercial Hard Top

2020 Land Rover Defender Commercial

The new Land Rover Defender Commercial Hard Top
The new Land Rover Defender Commercial Hard Top

Land Rover Defender Commercial is expected in Ireland before the end of 2020 and the brand has now released some more interesting details about this classic icon!

Land Rover says that the new commercial Defender 90 and 110 models will restore the Hard Top name to its rugged 4x4 family. The new Defender Hard Top is designed to give professionals a unique combination of cargo space, practicality and premium comfort.

The Hard Top name dates back to 1950, when the introduction of demountable Hard Tops gave early Series Land Rovers added security and protection from the elements. New Defender Hard Top continues this ethos, sharing its fixed metal roof and silhouette with the iconic original.

Land Rover has experienced unprecedented global demand for the new Defender 90 and 110 since the world premiere last September and the new Hard Top models will be the next additions to the legendary bloodline.

The brand says that the Defender’s aluminium-intensive D7x body architecture is three times stiffer than the best body-on-frame designs. Sharing its strong body structure and next-generation Electrical Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0) with passenger models, the Defender Hard Top is being developed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations to deliver unrivalled durability, practicality and toughness.

Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said:

“We will maximise the functionality and usability of New Defender’s cargo area, with tough materials and clever storage solutions to ensure it surpasses the capability of any previous Defender Hard Top.”

The 90 and 110 Hard Tops will both feature independent coil-sprung suspension, with advanced electronic air suspension also available on the 110. Both set-ups promise outstanding off-road geometry, with ground clearance of 291 mm, while the 110 Hard Top will have approach, breakover and departure angles of up to 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively (in Off-Road height). Full technical details will be confirmed later this year.

Nick Collins, Land Rover Vehicle Line Director, said: 

“New Defender 90 and 110 Hard Top will be the toughest, most capable and most connected commercial 4x4s we have ever produced. They have been engineered to meet global safety standards and deliver impressive long-haul comfort, giving businesses and professionals the best of all worlds.”

The Defender Hard Top is expected in Ireland before the end of 2020
The Defender Hard Top is expected in Ireland before the end of 2020

The flexible cabin has no second or third-row seats, but the optional front-row jump seat means it will still accommodate up to three people. Land Rover’s ClearSight Rear View mirror system preserves rearward visibility when the jump seat is occupied, or when the load space is full. It uses a live video feed from a rear-facing camera to give drivers an unobstructed view at all times.

The towing capacity of the new Land Rover Commercial will be up to 3,500 kg and has many technologies to help hitch, drive and reverse safely while pulling a trailer. Land Rover’s intelligent Advanced Tow Assist system takes the stress out of difficult reversing manoeuvres by letting drivers steer trailers with their fingertips using a rotary controller on the centre console.

The maximum wading depth of 900 mm is also supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system.

Inside there is a Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment for intuitive control of all the major vehicle functions, including smartphone integration using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Twin eSIM technology underpins Pivi Pro and supports Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) capability, allowing customers to download updates for a variety of vehicle systems. For professionals using the Defender Hard Top for business, this will minimise time spent off the road as SOTA updates can be completed without the need to visit a Land Rover retailer.

New Defender Hard Top models will also feature a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Land Rover’s 3D Surround Camera system provides an all-round visualisation of the vehicle on the central touchscreen, helping drivers manoeuvre in tight spaces or position the vehicle close to items ready for loading.

Convenience will be enhanced with the Remote smartphone app, which will allow businesses to keep track of the location, fuel level and journey history of their vehicle remotely.

The first passenger models of Defender 110 are now being delivered to customers in Ireland. Read more about the newly launched passenger versions of the 2020 Land Rover Defender here.


The new Land Rover Defender is now on sale in Ireland

2020 Land Rover Defender On Sale In Ireland

The new Land Rover Defender is now on sale in Ireland
The new Land Rover Defender is now on sale in Ireland

Land Rover Ireland has confirmed that the new Land Rover Defender is now on sale in Ireland, priced from €59,410.

It will be available in 90 and 110 body designs (short and long wheelbases), with six trims: Defender, S, SE, HSE, Defender X and First Edition. Commercial models will join the line-up later in the year.

The first model to arrive in Ireland this summer is the Defender 110, while the three door, short wheelbase Defender 90 will arrive later in 2020. Irish pricing starts from €68,160 for the Defender 110 2.0 SD4 AWD Auto model. The Defender 90 will start from €59,410.

What's so special about the 2020 Land Rover Defender?

The Defender is an iconic model for the Land Rover brand, known for its all-terrain capability and toughness. It has now been reimagined for the 21st century, with a modern design and the latest technology and features.

The new generation of the classic Defender is powered by petrol and diesel engines with electrified powertrains introduced with mild-hybrid technology and a plug-in hybrid coming later. 200 hp and 240 hp diesel engines will be the backbone of the range in Ireland at launch.

Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 technology is enhanced with new Wade programme, while Configurable Terrain Response allows the driver to tailor set-up more precisely. A maximum payload of up to 900kg, static roof load of up to 300kg, towing capacity of 3,500kg and wading depth of up to 900mm help the new Defender to live up to the image as the ultimate 4x4 for overland adventures.

Four Accessory Packs - The Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban - each give the new Defender a distinct character. The exclusive First Edition model features a unique specification and will be available throughout the first model year of production.

Finbar McFall, Land Rover Global Product Marketing Director, said:

“We have experienced unprecedented demand for New Defender 110 and the official introduction of Defender 90 is sure to boost interest. As the family grows to include an efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain and commercial derivatives later this year, we look forward to continuing this success. If our experience with the Defender 110 is anything to go by, we can expect over half of customers to opt for one of the four Accessory Packs, making New Defender the most accessorised and personalised Land Rover we have ever produced.”


The new Land Rover Defender (2020)

Land Rover Defender (2020) Preview

The new Land Rover Defender (2020)
The new Land Rover Defender (2020)

The 2020 Land Rover Defender has been previewed to Irish motoring media at a reveal event hosted in Jaguar Land Rover HQ in Sandyford, Dublin.

Eddie Kavanagh, Managing Director at Jaguar Land Rover Ireland, said:

“The new Land Rover Defender has been much anticipated and the reaction to the new model has been fantastic. This is the most durable and capable Land Rover ever produced, the most tested vehicle ever and a vehicle with huge appeal. We expect strong interest from the Irish market when the vehicle arrives later this spring.”

Land Rover has defined all-terrain capability and toughness from the conception of its very first 4x4. The Series and Defender models before it, have gone above and beyond for decades, securing iconic status for their ability to help people make more of their world. The new Defender takes these much-loved characteristics and reimagines them for the 21st century.

The interior of the new Defender
The interior of the new Defender

The result is a visually compelling vehicle that couldn’t be anything else but a modern Defender for a world that has changed massively since the original was created.

With its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, the new Defender has toughness at its core while its interior’s rugged modular architecture embraces the spirit of adventure that has been a fundamental part of Land Rover DNA for more than 70 years.

The new Defender is available in 90 (short wheelbase) and 110 (long wheelbase) body designs, with six models available: Defender, S, SE, HSE, Defender X and First Edition, with practical commercial models set to join the line-up later in the year. Irish prices start from €68,160 for the Defender 110 2.0 SD4 AWD Auto model.


The 2020 Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque Review (2020)

The 2020 Range Rover Evoque
The 2020 Range Rover Evoque

The world’s trendiest SUV enters the new decade. Caroline reviews the 2020 Range Rover Evoque. 

The Range Rover Evoque was a dramatic new model for the Range Rover brand back in 2011, putting the brand on the radar of style setters everywhere with Victoria Beckham undoubtedly becoming the poster girl for the car. The Evoque was a huge success and high on many wish lists.

In 2019 it was time for the Evoque to evolve once again. The game for stylish premium compact SUVs had moved on with plenty of competitors looking to replicate the Evoque's success.

But the Evoque's blend of cool styling and the heritage of the Range Rover brand is a hard one to beat. Designers have wisely not upset the classic Evoque silhouette - high beltline/sloping roofline – instead opting for some subtle but modern refining of the surfaces. The super-slim Matrix LED headlamps are new and the flush door handles slip elegantly out from the car once you unlock it. Yes, this is a car you want to be seen in. It’s cool and stylish with the underlying pedigree of not just the Land Rover brand, but the prestigious Range Rover one too. Believe it’s a baby Range Rover because it really is.

What are my options?

In Ireland the Evoque range kicks off at €42,845. There are front wheel drive and four wheel drive models available with the 2.0-litre diesel with 150, 180 or 240 hp the popular choice in Ireland. A 2.0-litre petrol is available with 200, 250 or 300 hp. Mild hybrid technology (MHEV) now features across the range to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. An Evoque plug-in hybrid is expected soon also. A manual gearbox comes as standard and a 9-speed automatic is also available.

The interior of the new Evoque
The interior of the new Evoque

Trim lines are based around an entry Evoque and a more sporty Evoque R-Dynamic with S, SE and HSE packages available for both.

The car I had on test was a Range Rover Evoque S with four wheel drive and the 2.0-litre 150 hp diesel. It is a sweet spot in the range and is available from €49,285. The Evoque S is instantly luxurious inside with specification including leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear view camera, impressive infotainment, dual zone climate control and cruise control. On the outside there are 18” alloys and LED headlights. The capability of four wheel drive models is second to none as we found out testing the Evoque in Greece in 2019. The 2.0-litre diesel is also well up to the job here.

Inside the 2020 Range Rover Evoque

The cabin is comfortable with many beautiful soft touch materials. It’s reasonably spacious and competitive in terms of size for a compact premium SUV. Built on Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture, the overall dimensions are near on identical to the previous generation of the car but there is more interior space now than before. A longer wheelbase provides 20 mm extra rear kneeroom. The electric tailgate opens to reveal a generous 591 litres, perfect for impromptu shopping trips or day trips to the mountains.

The controls for the ventilation and four wheel drive system are set on a touchscreen like panel, which you might be at odds to operate when you first slip in behind the wheel. But after a while, it's actually very easy to use and looks so impressive. It's a proper 21st century technology addition! The new infotainment system also looks very well and is an improved unit.

The Range Rover Evoque is available from €49,285 in Ireland
The Range Rover Evoque is available from €49,285 in Ireland

Driving the new Evoque

On the road the 2020 Range Rover Evoque excels first and foremost for comfort and refinement. This is a premium driving experience with no such foibles as wind or road noise to upset passengers. A new, more rigid platform means the Evoque feels athletic in the corners with good handling and supple suspension reacting well to all road surfaces and changes in direction.

The 2.0-litre diesel with 150 hp is ideal for the Evoque and feels lively and powerful.  It mates well to the automatic gearbox, never getting too noisy in the cabin, even under hard acceleration. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 6.6 l/100 km.

The Evoque will slip perfectly from smart city streets to rougher terrain and looks good doing both. The cabin experience is great for passengers with lots of comfort and luxury detailing. There are new powertrains on the way, but the Evoque diesel should still be popular. For buyers looking for a premium mid-size SUV, the Evoque still makes a great case for itself. It looks great and has a fantastic image. Land Rover have successfully brought the Evoque into a new era, with a welcome addition of new technology.

The Evoque matures perfectly. Still utterly desirable!

Caroline and the new Range Rover Evoque
Caroline and the new Range Rover Evoque

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Range Rover Evoque S D150 AWD Automatic
Price: 
€55,995
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel
Power: 
150 hp
Torque: 380 Nm
0-100km/h:  
11.2 seconds
Top speed: 196 km/h
Manufacturer Quoted Economy: 
5.6l/100km
CO2 emissions:  
149g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


The new Range Rover Evoque in the Peloponnese region of Greece

Range Rover Evoque First Drive Review

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


2017 Land Rover Discovery Review Ireland

Land Rover Discovery Review

The Land Rover Discovery is a legend of 4x4s, beloved of everyone from well-heeled urban families, to farmers, film crews and rural dwellers. The Land Rover brand is synonymous with heavy duty off-roaders that can go far into the wilderness traversing rivers, rocks and hills with little fuss, but these days style is just as important.

As such the new 2017 Land Rover Discovery has had one heck of a makeover. The Discovery is now on its fifth generation and this is the most stylish yet, following in the footsteps of the smaller Land Rover Discovery Sport. The new car still plays some homage to its boxy predecessors, including the stepped roof and the offset rear number plate, the latter being a particular point of controversy because it does look odd here.

Climbing into the new Land Rover Discovery reveals a plush cabin that will have you seated head and shoulders above most other road users. Sitting in the Discovery is nothing short of ‘stately’. The new interior has a beautiful mix of materials including lots of leather and stylish wood inserts built around the new 10" InControl Touch Pro infotainment system.

2017 Land Rover Discovery Review Ireland
The interior of the 2017 Land Rover Discovery

Passenger accommodation is royal too, with both five and seven seat versions available in Ireland. The car is longer than before but narrower and lower with a longer wheelbase boosting interior space. The footwells are large and three will sit comfortably in row 2, while row 3 is better than most too. There are five ISOFIX points to please family buyers. The second row seats slide forwards and back so luggage space or rear legroom can be optimised depending on preference. The boot is huge in five seat mode, with a smaller 258 litres in seven seat mode.

In Ireland the new Discovery range starts at €57,815 for a five seat model, while seven seat models start at €68,950. There are four trim levels for the Irish market including S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury, while standard equipment includes 8" touchscreen, 19" alloys and air con.

The new Land Rover Discovery has a new lightweight construction that saves a massive 480kg when compared to the older car, thus boosting efficiency. Land Rover's Ingenium family of 2.0-litre diesels are available for the first time in the new Discovery, with either 180hp (badged Td4) or 240hp (badged Sd4). There is also a 3.0-litre TDV6 with 258hp and 600Nm of torque. Four wheel drive is standard, as is an 8 speed automatic gearbox.

My test car was a 2.0-litre Sd4 HSE Luxury 7 seat model with an eye watering list price of €94,120. Equipment included 20" alloys, LED headlights, rear view camera, Windsor leather seats, keyless entry, electric sunroof, Meridian sound system with 16 speakers and subwoofer, 10" touchscreen and tri zone climate control.

2017 Land Rover Discovery Review Ireland
The new Land River Discovery has had a stylish makeover and has even more space inside

The Land Rover Discovery feels nothing short of a luxury barge. Seated high above most other road users, occupants are well isolated from the great outdoors and the road underneath. The ride on the standard air suspension is beautiful and the automatic gearbox changes gear with little fuss. The 240hp 2.0-litre diesel moves the Discovery along nicely and returned about 33mpg for me over a week of driving.

The Land Rover Discovery does feel large on the road but you can hustle the car along with a great deal of precision. Don't get me wrong - it's definitely not sporty - but it's far from lumbering and Land Rover has improved the on road driving manners considerably.

A glance down at the dials and switches on the centre console reveals the true mastery of this car. Land Rover has boosted ground clearance of the new Discovery by 43mm and the maximum wading depth is 900mm, an increase of 200mm. There is also the multi mode Terrain Response 2 system on board that adjusts settings for whatever terrain you encounter from rocks to sand and everything inbetween. The All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) can keep the car in an automatic crawl speed so the driver can concentrate on just steering when taking on challenging terrain.

2017 Land Rover Discovery Review Ireland
The 2017 Land Rover Discovery benefits from a new lighter construction and greater efficiency

The Land Rover's offroading ability is undisputed but it's a sign of the times that this new generation of the Discovery has gone upmarket and more stylish, with generous accommodation and practicality for families. As well as benefiting greatly from a more lightweight structure and greater efficiency from the Ingenium family of 2.0-litre diesels, the new Land Rover is beautifully appointed and the comfort and refined cruise ability of this car will have you on cloud nine as soon as you climb aboard. The looks might be controversial but the Land Rover Discovery remains utterly desirable.

Model tested: Land Rover Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE Luxury 7 Seat
Price: €94,120 (Range starts €57,815)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 240hp
Torque: 500Nm
0-100km/h:  8.3 seconds
Top speed: 207km/h
Claimed Economy: 6.3/100km
CO2 emissions:  171g/km
Motor tax: €750 per year

Caroline Kidd


The Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

The Land Rover Discovery Sport
The Land Rover Discovery Sport

Scroll down to read a review or watch my video review:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck1IVDjMhfg]

Land Rover has been on a push in recent years to appeal to a new, more urbane and image-conscious buyer.  They’ve been doing it really well: the sleek and stylish Range Rover Evoque has been a runaway success. But now they’ve turned the attention back to the Land Rover product line with the launch of a new lifestyle vehicle bearing the Discovery name: the Discovery Sport.

Think of the Discovery Sport as a more family-oriented Evoque, with more space and the option of seven seats. But with the same sort of glamour and prestige as the Evoque, and of course Land Rover’s legendary off-road ability. Launched in early 2015, the Discovery Sport line-up has new vigour with the recent addition of Jaguar Land Rover’s new, more efficient Ingenium 2.0-litre diesel engine.

The Discovery Sport is the obvious successor to the Freelander but it has the modern face of the Land Rover brand. The front is pure Evoque. Gorgeous and curved - with characteristic two-bar grille with hexagonal mesh. The rear styling is again familiar design territory from the Discovery Sport’s Rangier cousins. It’s got the kerb appeal and pedigree, and can definitely turn heads.

The interior of the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Inside the Discovery Sport is a comfortable, luxurious five seater but you can turn it into a seven seater at a €2000 cost option. The space in the third row is small so the seats are more suited to children. In fairness Land Rover do sell their Discovery Sport as a “5+2”. Space in row 2 is excellent, and a seat slide and recline feature adds extra versatility. Boot space is limited when the third row of seats is in place. But with those seats folded neatly into the floor, there’s a spacious 689 litres.

The Discovery Sport positions itself as a premium compact SUV and the interior lives up to that. It’s a utilitarian but stylish design, with plenty of luxury materials and surfaces. I particularly like the way the rotary gearshift dial rises from the centre console when you start the car. A touchscreen infotainment system comes as standard - it has nice graphics and is easy to use.

This is the inside of the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
This is the inside of the 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

There are four trim levels for the Discovery Sport on the Irish market: S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury. Standard equipment includes alloys wheels, electric windows and mirrors, lane departure warning, air con, electronic parking brake, keyless start, and touchscreen. My test car was an SE model and adds equipment like auto lights and wipers, cruise control, dual zone climate control, and rear parking sensors. The top two trim levels add more equipment but the price starts to creep up.  The range kicks off with a FWD eD4 model at €39,050 for S, €45,230 for SE, €51,140 for HSE and €58,310 for HSE Luxury.

Driving the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

On the road the Discovery Sport feels agile, and yes, sporty. That feeling is enhanced by steering that’s sensitive enough to allow you to tuck the car neatly into corners. If you push the car hard into a corner you will pull back because the body starts to lean. But it doesn’t take it long to right itself again on its springs and really grip the road so you can hit the power quickly to surge out of the corner. The car is excellent on the motorway, with really very little noise getting into the cabin. The seating position is properly high and lofty. It feels like one of the more authentic SUVs from behind the wheel. But in a refined way - there’s no roughness about this beauty!

Land Rover is phasing out the old 2.2-litre diesel that the Discovery Sport was launched with and replacing it with a new 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel with either 150bhp or 180bhp. My test car had the new diesel with 150bhp power output mated to a 9-speed automatic (a 6-speed manual gearbox is standard). It feels quick, smooth and extremely refined, returning good economy of 53mpg considering the size and scope of the car. CO2 emissions are 139g/km, which places it in tax band B with a reasonable €280 for annual motor tax.

Like a lot of drivers, off-roading would not be part of my weekly routine. But when driving a Land Rover Discovery Sport it seemed only right to try out my test car’s off-road ability. The great thing about the Discovery Sport is its off-road capability is packaged so well that you don’t need to be Bear Grylls to feel confident off-road in this. The Terrain Response system simplifies things a great deal allowing you to select between grass, gravel and snow, mud and ruts, and sand settings for optimal grip and control depending on the surface.

The Discovery Sport makes a great family SUV
The Discovery Sport makes a great family SUV

Did you like it?

I tested the car in early February after some heavy rainfall, over gravel, mud and grass and it was as simple as selecting the setting to best describe the terrain. I found the hill descent control a great tool on a slippery grass/mud slope – again you select it from a button on the dash and then just ease the car forward. The instinct might be to touch the brakes - hit them too heavy and you could slide out of control. During a hill descent, if engine braking is insufficient to control the vehicle speed, the hill descent control will automatically operate the brakes to slow the vehicle.

To sum up the Land Rover Discovery Sport: it’s premium and practical, tough but refined, and is as good to drive as it is to look at. As a compact luxury SUV it doesn’t come cheap, especially once you start moving up the trim levels and maybe add the automatic gearbox and those extra seats. But if you really like the look of the Discovery Sport, you’ll have one of the most desirable, authentic and capable SUVs.

Now click here to read our latest review of the Land Rover Discovery!

Caroline Kidd

Model Tested: Land Rover Discovery Sport SE 4WD 2.0 TD4 Automatic
Price:
€50,765 (Range starts at €39,050)
Engine: 
2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power:
150bhp
0-100km/h:
 10.3 seconds
Economy:
53.3mpg
CO2 Emissions: 
 139g/km
Motor Tax: 
€280 per year