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New Evoque sets pulses racing

Created on 07/09/2019 @ 13:47

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

It’s hard to believe that it’s already eight years since Range Rover revealed the Evoque, kick-starting a whole new SUV sector in the motor industry.

You have to go back as far as 2011 to remember Evoque being revealed to the UK market in a blaze of publicity – so it’s hardly surprising the suits decided it was time for an update.

But working on the premise that “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” designers have produced an SUV which looks pretty similar to the original offering. It’s only when you get under the skin that you realise just how different the new arrival is

The original Evoque launch made it possible for a completely new buying group to get their hands on a Range Rover – the downside of course was that the model lacked the technology and refinement of its bigger brothers.

Now that’s all changed and the latest model really is a “baby Range Rover” complete with all the technology and comfort we’ve come to expcet from a market leading brand.

There’s a wide range available and we tested the P200SE, an all-wheel-drive, nine-speed automatic powered by a 2.0, four-cylinder 200hp turbocharged petrol engine with CO2 emissions of 176g/km, combined fuel consumption of 28.6mpg, 0-60mph in just eight seconds and a top speed of 134mph.

And despite being packed to the roof with the latest available technology the test car checked off the forecourt at just £42,600, which is a competitive price in a busy sector.

Be careful what you’re adding though because that price can soon take you to a place you might not be able to afford. Metallic paint, Ebony headlining, aluminium trim finish and privacy glass soon pushed the test car price to £44,330 and there’s lot of other additions dealers will be tempting you with.

The list of standard specification is endless but the most outstanding must be the rear view mirror which doubles as a screen for a back-up camera – badged as a ClearSight Rear View Mirror, showing an unobstructed view of what’s behind the vehicle.

Replacing mirrors with cameras is on most car company agendas but Range Rover has gone straight in and done it. You can easily switch the system back to a simple mirror at the flick of a button and although the idea will not be to everyone’s taste it’s a real talking point for passengers.

Standard equipment on the test car included: Flush deployable door handles, automatic LED headlights, rear fog lights, rain sensing windscreen wipers, tailgate spoiler, heated door mirrors, heated windscreen, approach illumination, all-season tyres, tyre pressure monitoring, standard treadplates and push button start.

All the driving aids you would expect on the more expensive models are included such as: Efficient driveline, active driveline, terrain response, all terrain progress control, low traction launch, hill descent control, torque vectoring and passive suspension.

For additional safety there’s hill launch assist,  electronic power assisted steering, dynamic stability control, electronic traction control, roll stability control and electric parking brake and lots more.

The new Evoque sits on a very heavily modified version of the old car's D8 platform called Premium Transverse Architecture with the same overall footprint as the outgoing model, but longer wheelbase to create some more room in the rear seats.

So should you go out and buy one? If you are already an Evoque lover there’s absolutely no reason why not. The arrival of the 48-volt mild-hybrid version is another bonus, while 2020's PHEV will add even more appeal for those moving away from diesel.

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