Land Rover pioneered the luxury compact SUV with the original Range Rover Evoque in 2010. Eight years on and and the next generation is once again aiming to make a similar statement with a new design and increased capability.
There's also an attempt to improve the environmental impact of the new Evoque with recycled materials, leather alternatives, and hybrid technology added to the mix.
The Evoque is already a seriously desirable car and the latest version is unlikely to alter that fact.
If you've heard a criticism of the Range Rover Evoque it's probably that it isn't a proper Range Rover. Nonsense! It may be smaller and more fashion conscious than the rest of the range but don't for one minute think the Evoque isn't as good as its siblings. Just because it's more likely to be found in the city doesn't mean that's all the Evoque has to offer.
When a car performs this well it's ok for it to be a fashion accessory. Lots of cars have been characterised as fashion accessories; the Mini, the Fiat 500, the MX-5, the Austin Princess. Ok, maybe not the Princess. Apart from that those so-called fashion accessories are all brilliant cars in their own way. But none of them can do what the Range Rover Evoque does when the going gets a bit rough. The Evoque is a seriously accomplished feat of off-road engineering wrapped up in a 21st Century design.
If you want proof take a look at the average Evoque driver. You'll find there isn't one. Old or young, male or female, it really doesn't matter because the Range Rover Evoque has the technology and capability to attract a wide range of drivers.
The new Evoque retains the low roof and coupe shape but both appear to have been sharpened so it somehow looks the same, but better. The front end is clean and elegant with super-slim Matrix LED headlamps to provide a more sophisticated look. The rear light cluster shares the same wrap around look and flush door handles add to the smooth, sculpted feel.
Inside the cabin it's as luxurious as you would expect. Uncluttered surfaces, simple lines, and carefully chosen materials create a luxurious space. The cabin is designed to be a calm and serene space, and to ensure the comfort of the occupants includes technologies such as the twin touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system, 16-way seat controls and cabin air ionisation. In terms of space, although the new Evoque is essentially the same size as the old one the new interior offers more legroom and a larger luggage space.
The new Range Rover Evoque is available in five trim levels with six engines. A full Plug-in Hybrid will follow in around 12 months, in the meantime you'll have to be satisfied with the 48v Mild Hybrid system that recovers energy when braking and stores it to assist with fuel economy or to add a small boost of power when needed.
The diesel engines, which are likely to be most popular, come in either 150, 180, or 240bhp versions, petrol engines offer either 200, 249, or 300bhp. Clearly the diesel will be the most economical to run but there will be some out there who fancy the idea of a 300bhp Evoque enough to make the sacrifice. The entry-level D150 is the only model that can be specified with a manual gearbox, but let's face it, most of us will choose the auto anyway so that doesn't really matter.
We could tell you about all the equipment available across the new Evoque range but to be honest if we did you'd probably give up after half an hour and go put the kettle on instead. There's an awful lot of choice and a huge amount of standard equipment, as you would expect from a luxury SUV.
The new Range Rover Evoque was officially launched at 19:45 on 22nd November, order books opened at exactly the same time. Which means if your current lease is about to expire, or you're looking to lease for the first time, then you're timing is impeccable.
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