The new Range Rover Evoque in the Peloponnese region of Greece

2019 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

2017 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


land rover discovery sport irish review

Land Rover Discovery Sport Review

Scroll down to read a review or watch my video review:

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.

land rover discovery sport irish review
The Land Rover Discovery Sport

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, while 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.

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, and 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.

Land Rover Discovery Sport
The Discovery Sport's interior has a utilitarian but stylish design

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.

On the road the Discovery Sport feels agile, and yes, sporty, and 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, and 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 Discovery Sport irish review
Land Rover Discovery Sport: Premium and practical, tough but refined

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.

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.

Land Rover Discovery Sport irish review
Land Rover Discovery Sport: 4WD models are equipt with Terrain Response that simplifies driving off-road

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.

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


Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Does The World Really Need A Range Rover Evoque Convertible?

After some time in limbo, it looks like the Range Rover Evoque Convertible will go into production.

That should make me really happy, right? Since 2010, when Victoria Beckham first pouted petulantly beside the car at its launch, the world’s female population has been salivating at the mouth for a Range Rover Evoque.

It’s been a rip-roaring success; Land Rover struggled to build the Evoque fast enough to meet demand soon after it went on sale. A convertible version by its very open top nature should be even more desirable?

Range Rover Evoque Victoria Beckham
Fashion icons: Victoria Beckham and the Range Rover Evoque

Well no actually. Read more