When Velars make babies - the 2020 Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic
BORROWING heavily from its larger sibling in the design department, the 2020 Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic D240 SE is kind of like the outgoing model it replaces, only it isn’t. It’s much better, with improvements everywhere.
We mean to take nothing away from the first generation Evoque of course, as it was a pretty damn good car (we gave it an 8/10 after all), but Range Rover has worked hard to build its successor and make it better in every way.
Among the changes, including style and shape influence from the Velar, are the introduction of a mild hybrid electric system to help conserve fuel and increase efficiency, and a diesel engine that quite frankly doesn’t sound or feel like a diesel.
The luxurious all-wheel drive small SUV, which is ironically larger than it used to be, is powered by a 2.0-litre twin-turbo 4-cylinder Ingenium engine pushing out 177kW of power and 500Nm of torque, and mated to a 9-speed auto transmission.
It’s capable of the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.7 seconds and offers a claimed fuel economy of 6.3-litres/100km. An impressive number, which is even more so when you get close to it on a regular basis during testing. We managed 6.4 multiple times.
With a 65-litre fuel tank and the mild hybrid supporting engine operation, the super quiet Range Rover is not only quick to respond to acceleration and handles traffic with ease, you won’t be worrying about where the nearest petrol station is either.
It rides on 20-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels as standard, with ride and handling nothing short of exceptional as it swallows up poor road surfaces at will. Push it hard and it handles the curves like a sports sedan.
Our brief sojourn off road too showed that the Evoque’s pretty capable in the dirt too, providing you remember you have big shiny wheels on, and no one likes scratching their nice alloys.
Inside, the front seats feature 14-way electric memory, high quality interior surface finishes and the latest generation 10-inch Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The sound system is first class, and you’ll find everything from navigation and a 4G Wi-Fi hot spot, to a 12.3-inch interactive driver display, all of it super easy to use. The SE edition also comes with a Park Pack.
This includes clear exit monitoring, park assist, 360-degree parking aid and rear traffic monitor. Other safety features include multiple airbags, dynamic stability control, emergency brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.
Load space with the back seats of the 5-seater upright is 591-litres, and with them folded flat is 1,383-litres. There’s a stack of rear leg and head room too, a vast improvement from the previous generation Range Rover Evoque.
The 2020 Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic D240 SE is available in Fuji White, Narvik Black, Indus Silver, Firenze Red (our test vehicle), Santorini Black, Kaikoura Stone, Yulong White, Seoul Pearl Silver, Eiger Grey, Carpathian Grey and Silicon Silver.
You can add a black exterior pack, which includes black badging, grille surround, bumper highlights, side vents, door mirrors and exhaust tips. Likewise, there are a multitude of alloy wheel choices, some nine in all.
Three solid coloured roofs are available (body colour, silver or black), as well as fixed and sliding panoramic glass options. In reality, if you haven’t worked it out already, there are a tonne of external choices to make your Evoque your own.
Inside too, there’s so much to choose from, including three grained leather options, four Windsor leather variants, two eucalyptus and ultrafabric textile seats, and two kvadrat and dinamica seudecloth choices.
The last of these is a combination of recycled wool and recycled plastic bottles, and before you think, yuck that would be awful, they’re not. Aside from being environmentally friendly, they’re genuinely super comfortable and feel amazing.
We haven’t even mentioned the four roof linings or four trim materials, or four steering wheels, or three sound systems, or the Cold Climate Convenience Pack, or the Drive Pack, or debadging, or configurable ambient lighting. Well, we have now.
All that choice is one of the few downsides to the 2020 Range Rover Evoque though, and while it’s truly lovely to be able to completely customise your SUV, most of it isn’t free. Even the towing pack comes at a price.
It does mean you can tow up to 2,000kg (braked) though, with a tow ball weight of 150kg. It’s an impressive capability for the Velar-esque SUV, and one that puts it ahead of most of its rivals.
To their credit, Range Rover has negated some of the costs, by simply creating an R-Dynamic model variant, which alleviates some of the optional extras pain, by adding the most common packs as standard features.
The base version without all the inclusions we had on our test vehicle starts from about $78,000 drive away, but by our best calculations, ours was worth around $93,000 give or take a few thousand dollars.
The 2020 Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic D240 SE comes with a 3-year 100,000km warranty. It also has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, even though some safety features are optional extras, including high-speed emergency braking.
Our test vehicle was provided by Land Rover Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic D240 SE, contact your local Jaguar Land Rover dealer.