Johannesburg - The original Range Rover Evoque rocked the premium compact SUV market almost a decade ago with its daring look inspired by the LRX Concept, and now it’s time for the remake, which has just docked in South Africa.
The second generation Evoque's design forges an evolutionary path, while also taking some ‘smooth’ inspiration from the Range Rover Velar, with its flush lines, hidden door handles and full-length tail light housing.
Built on a new mixed-material platform that’s 13 percent stiffer than before, the new SUV is a similar size to its predecessor, but a 21mm longer wheelbase brings more interior space, while luggage capacity grows by 10 percent to 591 litres.
On the technological front, the Evoque offers some interesting new gadgetry.
If you venture off-road you can make use of the ClearSight Ground View system, in which front-mounted cameras give you a view - via the central touchscreen - of what’s underneath the front of the vehicle, while the Clear Sight digital rear view mirror uses cameras to show you what’s behind even when there are objects in the boot obstructing your view, while also providing a wider and clearer view.
You’ll get Ground View when opting for the 360-degree Surround View system, which is an R8400 extra, while the fancy mirror costs between R300 and R3000 depending on model.
Did we mention off-roading?
Yes, as much as some might want to make pavement-hopping jokes about the smallest ‘Chelsea Tractor’, the Evoque is equipped for medium-level off-roading, with permanent all-wheel-drive fitted as standard, along with Terrain Response 2, which offers four modes: Comfort, Sand, Grass-Gravel-Snow, and Mud & Ruts.
Ground clearance is quite generous at 212mm, while the approach and departure angles are listed at 30.6 and 25.0 degrees respectively.
But no doubt more relevant to you in your daily grind is what powers the Evoque, and here you have a choice between a pair of 2-litre ‘Ingenium’ engines in petrol or diesel.
The petrol unit produces 183kW and 365Nm, and gets you from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds (according to claims), while the diesel unit is good for 132kW and 430Nm, with 100 coming up in 9.3 seconds. Both are mated to a ZF nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Velar vibes inside too
The Evoque’s cleaner-looking cabin also gets some Velar glamour, with the company’s new Touch Duo electronic interface, with a separate lower screen for the climate control functions, being standard from the SE grade upwards.
As an option, Land Rover is offering an interesting and eco-friendly alternative to leather seats. Developed by Kvadrat, it mixes a durable wool blend with a ‘technical Dinamica suedecloth’, made from recycled plastic bottles.
Talking model grades, the Evoque has a more affordable base price than before - the range now starting at R734 300 - thanks to the inclusion of base and S trims that weren’t previously available.
You can see the full price list below, but for now let’s take a look at what the different model grades have to offer as standard.
Range and features
The Base version is fitted with a 25.4cm single touchscreen infotainment system with reverse camera, and other standard features include push-button start, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, ambient lighting, front and rear parking aids, Driver Condition Monitor and Lane Keep Assist. On the outside, LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard.
Upgrade to the S and you get ebony leather seats with 10-way adjustment upfront, as well as Navigation Pro with 3D maps.
But the real fun starts at SE, where you get the dual-screen Touch Pro Duo electronic interface, along with a digital instrument cluster, powered tailgate and 14-way electric adjustment for the front seats. On the outside you’ll tell it apart by 20-inch alloy wheels, Premium LED headlights with the 'Signature' daytime running lights, animated indicators and ‘Signature’ tail lights.
Things get even more lavish if you opt for the HSE, with two-tone perforated Windsor leather seats (now featuring 16-way seat adjustment), upgraded Meridian sound system, keyless entry, Blind Spot Monitor, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and much more. Oh, and the 20-inch alloy wheels have a contrasting ‘Diamond Turned’ finish.
The R-Dynamic design pack comes as standard on the HSE too, although you can optionally specify it with the S and SE grades. As per tradition, a First Edition is also offered, with its own unique mix of features.