The new Evoque looks like a high-tech leap for Range Rover

26w ago


Range Rover’s just pulled the wraps off the brand-new Evoque – which goes on sale today and replaces the brand’s first truly sexy small SUV which stunned everyone when it came out in 2011.

Looks-wise, it’s very much a mini Velar – it gets cool super-thin LED headlights, flush-fitting door-handles and optional copper-colour accents on the side. It looks pretty similar to the outgoing version from the side, but it’s been such a sales hit that’s probably no bad thing – so it still has nice chunky wheel arches, but now has a new 21-inch wheel option for maximum bling.

Copper accents are optional

The really interesting stuff, however. is under the bonnet and in the cabin.

At launch (ie, today) you can get it with JLR’s usual Ingenium range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, all of which are four-wheel drive and have automatic gearboxes, apart from the entry-level 150hp diesel.

But the big news is that there’s a three-cylinder petrol plug-in hybrid version coming out in late 2019, along with new three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Right now you can buy a ‘mild hybrid’ which uses a belt-driven starter generator that shaves a few g/km CO2 off your emissions (and therefore tax bill in the UK), and gets decent fuel consumption of 50.4mpg. The mild hybrid system also cuts the engine off when you’re braking at speeds below 11mph. Every little helps, right?

Here’s the techy stuff (and some Koala-friendly bits)

New Evoque owners can rejoice in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the cool two-touchscreen setup

There are cool steps forward inside the new Evoque’s cabin – with some genuinely impressive technological firsts.

Slump into the optional non-leather seats (made out of a choice of Eucalyptus, a wool blend or suedecloth) and you’ll probably decide that Land Rover has gone a bit Volvo. Serenity looks order of the day, with a nicely minimalist dashboard design featuring twin touchscreens.

Ground view lets you literally see what's under your bonnet. Handy for dodging next door's kitten on a frosty morning

The top one can display Land Rover’s brand-new ‘ground view’ tech that shows you what you’re driving over – it’s as if your bonnet has gone see-through, giving you the confidence to tackle parking on the kerb or tackling off-road routes.

There’s cool camera tech integrated into the rear-view mirror too. Are your lanky mates blocking your view out the back? Flick a switch and the mirror suddenly displays a wide-angle, high-res, dark-eliminating video feed out the back. Land Rover says it gives a wider field of view than the mirror, and gives you a better view at night. How well it copes with dazzling tailgaters remains to be seen, but it’s nice to see this sort of smart tech getting into mainstream cars.

Now you see it… now you don't

Yes, it can still go off-road

The Evoque sounds like it will still be great off-road, thanks to a more fuel-efficient 4x4 system and a 60cm wading depth – which means you can go through 10cm deeper water than the old one. It has the usual bunch of electronic aids to help you cope with muddy stuff, including a system that automatically senses the terrain you’re on and sets up the 4x4 system to give you maximum grip.