Testing the All-New Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover has revealed the new Range Rover Evoque, and we got the chance to test out its new tech at an indoor driving experience.

The new model is about the same size as the previous but looks a lot like the Velar with its updated grille design.

The main upgrade is in the improved tech list, with Land Rover’s new infotainment system and ClearSight Ground View – a system that projects a view of the road below the front wheels onto the dash.

Petrol, diesel and hybrid will all be available

From launch, the new Evoque comes with the choice of petrol and diesel – Land Rover stresses that diesel remains a main part of its offering.

It also has the option of front-wheel and all-wheel drive, as well as six-speed manual and nine-speed automatic transmissions.

The model we drove, however, had the diesel mild-hybrid that’ll become available later in the year with a petrol plug-in hybrid. As of yet, there are no plans for a fully-electric option.

The new Evoque impressed on the course

We’d like to try it on the roads before giving our full verdict, but our tester performed well on the indoor course prepped by Land Rover – complete with artificial hills, train tracks and a swimming pool to wade through.

Yes, the route was designed by the manufacturer, but the new Evoque impressed nonetheless. And it was a great opportunity to try out the new assistive technology – maybe that was the aim of the whole thing.

The most notable of these features was the ClearSight Ground View system. Three cameras mounted on the grille and door mirrors project a view of the car’s underside onto the dash, giving a helping hand when navigating the Evoque through tricky routes.

It helped in positioning the car on the mock-up circuit, and we reckon it’ll do just as well in real-world situations – either in off-roading or avoiding kerbs in the city centre.

Another helpful feature was the digital rear-view mirror, displaying a clear view of the road behind from a camera mounted to the roof. It can also operate as a standard mirror if you don’t fancy the digital version.

A focus on design and appeal

This latest Evoque has built on the foundations set by the last model, rather than completely rework them. It’s roughly the same shape but has the addition of ultra slim LED headlights and more imposing wheel arches, that Land Rover say give it a ‘strong and dynamic’ look.

A silver Range Rover Evoque, used in the manufacturer's demo event for the new model

It’s not too dissimilar to the Velar – which isn’t a bad thing – and like the previous Evoque, it’ll probably become the next go-to motor for many.

Those trends carry on inside, as well, with the type of design that we’ve come to expect from the manufacturer, but more space and just enough to give it a fresh feel.

The new tech is one of the Evoque’s strongest offerings

Replacing the outgoing instrument panel is the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, with two screens sharing the media, navigation and heating controls.

You can also opt for eco-friendly cabin materials with the ‘Kvadrat’ leather alternative, created using wool, Dinamica suedecloth and recycled bottles.

It feels great, but we’d want more time behind the wheel before judging its comfort on longer journeys.

Spec and pricing

Orders have opened on the new model, starting at £31,600. For that money, you’ll get the D150 model with the manual gearbox and 148bhp, 2.0-litre diesel engine.

The new Range Rover Evoque beneath an illuminated tunnel during the demo event

Although it’s the entry level Evoque, you get LED headlights, automatic wipers, cruise control and upgraded Touch Pro Duo infotainment setup as standard.

To get the ClearSight Ground View and digital rear-view mirror, however, you’ll need to jump to the HSE trim. It’s pricey, at £41,250, but you can bet those features will appeal to many.

The new model has much in common with the hugely popular first-gen Evoque, so you can expect it to do just as well. And with the new tech that’s been thrown in, Land Rover might’ve come up with an even better package.

We’ll delay our ultimate verdict until we’ve tried one on a full road test, but the new Range Rover Evoque is looking very promising.

For more on the new Range Rover Evoque, including current offers, visit the Lookers Land Rover site.

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