The all-new Range Rover Evoque is now available in South Africa, which begs the question: does it maintain the moxie that catapulted it to the upper-echelon of all-purpose SUVs? I tested and experienced the vehicle to find out if it does.
Land Rover’s decision to release an updated version of its Range Rover Evoque is indicative of the car’s popularity. It has well over 200 international awards and has sold nearly 800,000 units globally; giving more reason to improve and implement new technology to the luxury compact SUV.
Aesthetic appeal is upheld
The Range Rover has always been a sexy car on the outside, thus prompting Land Rover to opt for an aesthetic look that is almost completely similar to its older version.
Pop-out door handles create a neat look around the doors and its new 21-inch wheel size gives it a more robust SUV look. To couple with the blend of robustness and smartness is its super-slim Matrix LED headlamps and rear lamps, which I absolutely adore. Stretching across the rear of the vehicle is a striking black accent that creates a sense of visual width. There is also a precise reduction of exterior panels.
My verdict on the outside of the new Evoque: It is sexy, sophisticated, and slick looking.
Inside the car: less is more, but more is more
If I had to describe the look and feel of the inside with one word, I would go with the word “simplicity”. I’m of the opinion that less clutter is better, in certain cars that is. However, the new version does not fall short of being packed with capability.
The inside gives me this feeling of being off-road in a distant land with a starry night sky, especially when its massive sun-roof is peeled back. I’m also quite fond of the straightforwardness of the central console. The materials used for the cabin are of high quality, and the fine gloss finishing touch gives it a luxurious feel.
The luggage space is 10% larger and wider (591l). Second-row knee room has been incresed by 20mm. The overall legroom is nifty - thanks to adjustable toggles and the longer length of the car. So whether you are tall or short, you are perfectly accommodated for.
Its overall design on the inside screams: “I’m easy to understand and I’ll always be here for you”.
Improvements in technology
The technology aspect is perhaps where the new Evoque has improved the most. My favourite thing about this car is the Clearsight Rearview system, which apparently is "a world first". It acts as a camera replacement for rearview mirrors, but with a wider and clearer vision. One might be fooled and turn a blind eye to it at first, but it really is a piece of technology that benefits drivers. The camera, which is a 1mg pixel camera, fits within the shark fin of the car. Check it out below:
Another standout feature is the Land Rover Wade Sensing, which offers a live display of water depth on screen. This is, of course, useful when driving through water.
Other technological capabilities include front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, cruise control, auto emergency braking, ClearSight Ground View, Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control, and All-Terrain Progress Control.
The standard Range Rover Evoque 2.0 D 132kW D180 costs R734,300 and the standard five-door Range Rover Evoque 2.0 P 183kW P250 costs R776,300.
My overall opinion
The new Evoque certainly does its job visually and it does good work to be one of the best SUVs on the market. It successfully brings its point across of being a mixture of everyday driving and off-terrain driving. However, the car was not built with a focus on engine performance (especially the standard diesel model of 132kW), which is where it may fall short against its competitors. The new Evoque lives up to its name and will continue to win awards.
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