Range Rover Evoque 2019: first drives, specs, prices and release date

Critics put Land Rover’s cheapest model to the test

Land Rover’s all-new Range Rover Evoque is due to hit the showrooms in the coming months.

Revealed at a launch event in London in November, the new model is the second-generation version of the British marque’s entry-level off-roader, which hit the roads almost a decade ago.

While the visual upgrades are subtle, Land Rover has introduced a number of styling tweaks and hi-tech features that set the new Evoque apart.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the compact off-roader:

First drives

Just a few weeks before the Range Rover Evoque goes on sale this spring, critics were able to sample a prototype version of the car. So how did Land Rover’s cheapest SUV perform off-road? And did it live up to its go-anywhere image?

On the surface, the new Evoque looks more at home on the leafy streets of Chelsea than on the off-road trails of rural England. But, as Car magazine points out, the compact SUV’s ability to climb steep inclines and wade through deep rivers more than lives up to Land Rover’s heritage.

The Evoque “relishes” challenging road surfaces and never feels uncomfortable when cruising over rough terrain, the magazine says. The car’s nine-speed automatic gearbox, which has been revised for the new model, feels “fluid and intuitive” – ensuring the car has plenty of power when drivers need it the most.

“The sheer range of the car’s dynamic dexterity is clearly extraordinary”, says Auto Express. Even on the most slippery of surfaces, the car’s all-wheel drive system is capable of finding grip where other SUVs wouldn’t.

Overall the Evoque appears to be in a “completely different class” to the model it replaces, the magazine says, but a final verdict will have to wait until the production car launches in the coming months.

Prices and release date

Prices for entry-level Evoque models start at £31,600, with S and SE variants carrying £3,150 and £6,650 premiums respectively over the base car.

Above the SE sits the HSE at £38,500, while the £44,000 First Edition model sits at the top of the range. This version includes matrix LED headlights, privacy glass and adjustable interior ambient lighting, says Auto Express.

Orders for the new Evoque are open now, with deliveries due to kick off in the spring.

Design and interior

Range Rover Evoque

At first glance, the differences between the new Range Rover Evoque and its predecessor may not be obvious, but a closer look reveals a number of tweaks.

The new model has “smoother” panels to make it “more slippery through the air”, reducing drag and thus improving fuel economy, says The Daily Telegraph. And while the previous model could be specced as a three-door, the new Evoque will only be launched in five-door form.

At the front, the new Evoque has a more rounded bumper, while the radiator grille appears to be the thinner than those of any other Land Rover model.

Meanwhile, the rear incorporates the same body-wide tail-light cluster as the Range Rover Velar, although the Evoque’s boot is flatter than that of its luxurious sibling.

Inside, the cabin has been overhauled to give it a “more modern” feel, notes Autocar. A large digital panel containing the car’s instruments can be found behind the steering wheel. Next to that is another touchscreen for controlling the infotainment system.

A separate touchscreen panel is nestled in the centre console, featuring the car’s climate control settings.

Engines and performance

Range Rover Evoque

(Image credit: Triggershoots LTD)

Drivers can choose from a selection of three petrol and three diesel four-cylinder engines when speccing their Evoque. Power outputs for the petrol motors come in at 197bhp, 247bhp and 296bhp, with diesels producing 148bhp, 178bhp and 237bhp.

Full fuel and emissions figures have yet to be revealed, but CarBuyer says the entry-level manual diesel model produces 143g/km of CO2, while the most efficient automatic mild-hybrid diesel manages 149g/km.

With the exception of the entry-level manual diesel, all of the new Evoque models are equipped with 48-volt hybrid units, adds Auto Express. These systems can run on electric energy alone at up to 11mph and also reduce turbo lag, a term used to describe the slight delay in acceleration on some turbo cars.

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