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Juliet McGuire

First drive in the new Range Rover Evoque

Eight years ago the Range Rover Evoque arrived and people were so excited they nearly lost their sh*t. It became the fastest selling car in Land Rover history and won a total of 217 global awards. Sooo…no pressure on the new Evoque then…

THE SECOND GEN

The all-new Range Rover Evoque launched this week and many might be asking, “Ya, but what is really different?” Everything actually! It might look like it has only had a mild facelift but you would be very wrong to think this. The only carry-over from the previous generation are the door hinges.

One just needs to look a little closer and you will see the differences. On our drive at the launch we had the previous Evoque driving in front of us and it is then, when you see them side by side, that you can tell what has changed. Like the plastic cladding that is no longer and the fact that it looks a bit like a little Velar, especially with those fancy retractable door handles. The super-slim Matrix LED headlights also look pretty epic.

Range Rover Evoque rear

The body structure is 99.9% new. The wheelbase has increase by 21mm which means some more legroom for rear passengers and we see an increase in boot space by 10%. That means you’re now getting 591-litres. It sounds really big, but I fear it is still not as big as some would want, although JLR do say you can fit a pram or golf clubs in quite easily. Thank goodness it is bigger than the convertible, remember this video?

Range Rover Evoque boot

PULL IN

The Velar appeal carries over in to the cabin with the twin touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system. That means you have two 10-inch high-definition glass touchscreens. You will need to spend time with this system. It is not for the faint hearted. You all know I love a knob button so all this screen touching stuff can be a bit much for me, but shucks it looks fancy. Especially with the 12.3-inch driver display behind the steering wheel with the full-colour head-up display.

Range Rover Evoque interior

The 16-way seat controls ensure you will find your perfect driving position and with the same three trim levels to choose from, there really is an Evoque for everyone. Well for those who can afford it actually.

THE RADDEST TECH

There isn’t much tech in a car that excites me anymore, it all seems to have been done already. BUT, yislaaik I am so excited about two things this car offers. (I am excited by other stuff in the car too, but these two stand out. Plus, I can’t ramble of for much longer so you will have to just trust me on this).

FAVOURITE TECH #1

The smart rear-view mirror transforms into an HD video screen by displaying a rear-facing camera feed onto the mirror. This means the driver’s view remains unrestricted by passengers or large items in the back, while also providing a wider 50-degree field of vision using a camera positioned above the rear window. This technology also delivers clearer visibility in low light conditions. I used this at the launch to not get hijacked when we were driving through Joburg’s streets at night. I would see those punks coming from a mile away!

FAVOURITE TECH #2

ClearSight Ground View – the realisation of Land Rover’s transparent bonnet concept previewed on the Discovery Vision concept – is a world first. Cameras in the front grille and on the door mirrors project a feed onto the central touchscreen to show what is ahead of and underneath the front of the vehicle with a virtual 180-degree view. Check this sh*t out:

ON THE ENGINE FRONT

You will have a choice of a 132kW diesel and 183kW petrol engine. The 221kW plug-in hybrid will be added to the range early in 2020. The diesel (D180) has a claimed fuel consumption of 5.8l/100km and will get you to 100km/h in 9.3 seconds. While the P250-badged petrol claims 7.4l/100km and sprints from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds.

HIT THE TRACK

I always think of the Evoque as a manicured city car until I get it on to a 4X4 course and then I am reminded of just how capable this car is off-road. Ground clearance is at 212mm and it comes with a variety of all-terrain technologies such as Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control and All-Terrain Progress Control. The wading depth has also been increase from 500mm to 600mm. Take it off-road, I dare you? You will be pleasantly surprised.

SAFE AS HOUSES (well not really)

Euro NCAP scored the Evoque 94 percent for adult occupant protection (the highest score in this area for any Jaguar Land Rover product to date). You should watch the crash test.

WHAT DO I REALLY THINK ABOUT THE NEW EVOQUE?

The main appeal of the Evoque is its looks, but what I love even more is that it also delivers in terms of everything else. The ride is smooth, the handling exceptional, the cabin is comfortable and it surprises you in its off-road capabilities. It might not be practical enough for some, but you would still be forgiven for buying it based on its looks alone, if you can afford it that is.

New life has been breathed in to this new Evoque and I predict it will still have many a fan. It might be expensive, but if you want elegance in stylish packages, you need to fork out for it.

PRICING OF THE NEW RANGE ROVER EVOQUE

  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 D 132kW D180: R734300
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 D 132kW D180 S: R784300
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 D 132kW D180 SE: R843800
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 D 132kW D180 R-Dynamic S: R813000
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 D 132kW D180 R-Dynamic SE: R872500
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 D 132kW D180 R-Dynamic HSE: R920200
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 D 132kW D180 First Edition: R945900
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 P 183kW P250: R776300
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 P 183kW P250 S: R826300
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 P 183kW P250 SE: R885800
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 P 183kW P250 R-Dynamic S: R855000
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 P 183kW P250 R-Dynamic SE: R914500
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 P 183kW P250 R-Dynamic HSE: R962300
  • Range Rover Evoque 5 Door 2.0 P 183kW P250 First Edition: R987900
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