Kampala, Uganda | AGENCIES | The Range Rover Evoque pretty much invented the idea of a style-led baby crossover, back in 2012. Plenty of critics said it seemed a bit frivolous, but three-quarters of a million buyers around the world prove they were wrong. It’s been a massive success, selling three-quarters of a million copies.
This new one launches in 2019. It’s got some clever technologies to make sure there’s substance behind the style. Its surprisingly serious off-road chops are given another leg-up. But it’s also got some canny gadgetry and furnishings to serve the real majority of its buyers: smart city couples.
It’s been given an-all-new platform with amazingly little carried-over hardware. That should make it stronger, safer, quieter and better-driving than before, as well as slightly roomier – all within the same city-friendly overall length and width.
Driveline technology hasn’t been overlooked. Like rivals, the engines are 2.0-litre four-cylinder units, but there’s a mild hybrid system attached to all the AWD versions. This is a 48-volt motor-generator that harvests energy during braking and feeds it back in as a helping hand of torque in gentle slow acceleration. It saves about 6.0 per cent fuel overall, the maker claims, and helps especially in town. On the highway, thirst is trimmed back because of a lower aero drag.
The longer wheelbase means a little more rear legroom than before, so it feels just about adult-sized. But Evoque owners seldom carry people in the back, so the main aim was to improve boot space. It’s now 591 litres. The box under the centre armrest can take big bottles or tablets.
Also the fuel tank is bigger, at 65/67 litres for diesel/petrol, and the AdBlue tank rises to 17.2 litres, cutting the need to stop for that emissions fluid.
By the way, this new platform means the Evoque now has few under-skin similarities with the Jaguar E-Pace or Land Rover Discovery Sport, though obviously when those cars get replaced they’ll move onto the new hardware.