5 reasons to buy the new Range Rover Evoque
Fleet Europe went to Hamburg to find out if and why the new baby Range is the better choice in the premium compact SUV segment that today is dominated by the BMW X1 and the Volvo XC40. We came back with five arguments in favour of the new Evoque – and a few constructive notes to its maker.
- Silence. Unless you are squeezing every horsepower out of the four-cylinder engines during acceleration, the new Evoque is remarkably quiet in its operation. The engineers have done a great job in getting those engine decibels down compared to the previous generation. Road en wind noise is also contained better than in most competitors, adding to the sense of serenity and effortlessness while you drive.
- Comfort and agility. It all starts with the good driving position and the ergonomic seats, which support the lower back and your upper legs very well. Add to that the magnificently tuned suspension, which is neither too soft nor too rigid and offers enough absorption capabilities while keeping the car remarkably level in corners, and you get a vehicle that feels extremely comfortable yet nimble.
- Sophistication. The attention to detail on this Evoque is remarkable. The curated materials and the fully digital control panels exude a sense of true quality and sophistication, making this unmistakably a new Range Rover. The interior is inimitably British in its craftsmanship yet very modern in its presentation. Interestingly, you can opt for vegan upholstery.
- Electrified powertrains. We tried both the P200 and the D240, which come with a 48-volt battery and a belt-integrated starter generator. This makes the Evoque a mild hybrid and allows the ICE to shut down sooner than with a standard stop start system. The engine also restarts in a much smoother way and gets a tiny bit of e-assistance during acceleration. This technology will only save you a few decilitres of fuel per 100km, but it does bring down the CO2 rating and hence taxation.
- Cleverly packaged luxury. With a total vehicle length of just 4.37 metres, the Evoque is 5cm shorter than a Volvo XC40 but it features a bigger boot and offers the same amount of interior space. That’s because its wheels are positioned in the far corners of the platform. It truly is a Range Rover in a handy format, offering lots of personalisation options and the feeling that you are driving with something of value.
Of course, a car is never absolutely flawless. In the case of the new Evoque, we still had a hard time finding our way in the Touch Pro Duo digital HMI. It looks awesome, but it lacks intuition. Also, we don’t understand why JLR still does not offer the entry-level fleet-oriented front-wheel drive model with an automatic gearbox. Then again, the 9-speed automatic transmission is frustratingly indecisive when you want to regain speed 'dynamically' after slowing down. It’s as if it has one too many gears, really. Volvo’s and BMW’s Aisin-sourced 8-speed is much to be preferred.
Feature in the spotlight: Clear Sight Ground View and Rear View
Cameras in the front grille and on the door mirrors create a ‘see-through’ bonnet: they project a feed onto the central touchscreen to show what is ahead of and underneath the front of the car with a virtual 180-degree view. This allows for safe manoeuvring around obstacles. Another and even more valuable novelty is the Clear Sight Rear View Mirror. A rear-facing camera in the shark fin roof antenna feeds high-definition images onto the rear-view mirror. Your view remains unrestricted by passengers or cargo in the back, while the field of vision is virtually widened. Finally, you have better visibility in low light conditions.Simply brilliant.
Off-road demo: King of the ramps
Not many people will use their Evoque in such demanding conditions, but this demo in the port of Hamburg shows that Land Rover still is the undefeated King of the Off Road - or in this case, King of the Ramps. With all the advanced grip management and torque vectoring technologies and especially the virtual 'see-through' bonnet (see Feature in the Spotlight) you don't have to be a terrain specialist to master these exercises.