Home Editors' Picks Range Rover Evoque: Distilling a legend

Range Rover Evoque: Distilling a legend

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Why the Evoque is a game-changing, segment-redefining Range Rover

THE WORLD sat stunned when the first-generation Range Rover Evoque debuted in 2010. Here was a true-blue 4×4 that brings with it decades of Land Rover off-roading experience and mastery but in a dramatically small size, and cloaks it in sleek, drop-dead gorgeous sheet metal.

Not exactly something you’d expect from the company that brought the world the seminal Land Rover Defender and the original all-conquering Range Rover — two classics that have always been the epitome of boxy style.

Since then, the Evoque — now on its second generation — has garnered more than 220 awards, redefining the world of compact luxury SUVs. The new Evoque is equipped with improved features and modernized amenities that make it a new standard in its segment.

Based off the Velar platform, the new Evoque is created with Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture — making it longer and wider, with its wheelbase now 100mm longer than its predecessor’s. The dimensional increases enable the Evoque to accommodate the components for both plug-in and mild hybrid systems, and gives it substantially more space and storage areas.

While the Evoque is still instantly identifiable as a Range Rover, it pushes the traditional design with its coupe-like silhouette typified by its distinctive fastback roofline and rising beltline. These are underscored by its pronounced shoulders and powerful wheel arches that, filled with huge 20-inch wheels, combine to create a strong and dynamic stance.

The Evoque also introduces jewel-like elements such as super-slim LED headlamps that provide a more sophisticated front and rear lamp graphic. The R-Dynamic HSE models, on the other hand, come with burnished copper accents that add a distinctive appeal. The new Evoque is also equipped with flush, retractable door handles — first seen in the Velar — that help endow the vehicle with a smooth, sculpted aesthetic.

The longer wheelbase of the new Evoque yields 20mm extra rear kneeroom and an increase in small item stowage — the larger glove box and center console storage can now fit tablets, handbags and bottles with ease. The luggage space is 10% larger (591 liters) as well as much wider and easily fits a set of golf clubs or two travel suitcases side-by-side, with space increasing to 1,383 liters when the flexible 40:20:40 second-row seats are folded.

Inside, the new Evoque has a finely crafted design that integrates uncluttered surfaces and simple lines with carefully curated premium materials that create a luxurious yet minimalist cabin.

The interior is designed to be a calm and serene space, ensuring true Range Rover standards of comfort, with amenities such as the twin 10-inch touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system, partnered with a Meridian sound system that comes standard on all models. This interior also features two-tone Perforated Windsor leather seats (R-Dynamic HSE units only) and Perforated Grained Leather (SE units only) equipped with 16-way seat controls.

The Evoque features a second-generation Active Driveline with Driveline Disconnect to enhance efficiency and Adaptive Dynamics, delivering the optimum balance of comfort and agility. True enough, driving around the metro showcased the uncanny ability of the Evoque to blend what is arguably the most comfortable ride in the subcompact and even compact SUV class with inspired handling and responsiveness.

The vehicle also has Terrain Response technology — first found on full-size Range Rovers — that automatically detects the surface being driven on and adjusts the powertrain and suspension parameters accordingly.

Not only is the new Evoque longer and wider, it is now also taller, enabling it to wade through water up to 600mm (previously 500mm) deep. Ground clearance of the Evoque is at 212mm, while approach and departure angles are 20.8 degrees in the front and 20.6 degrees in the rear. All are numbers befitting a truly capable off-roader.

The latest Evoque comes with a suite of all-terrain technologies such as Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control and All Terrain Progress Control. These go with active safety features such as Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking (for R-Dynamic HSE units only) and Driver Condition Monitor that are available to keep occupants safe.

The new Evoque is also a vehicle of firsts. One of these is the impressive and segment-first ClearSight Rear-View that transforms the rear-view mirror into an HD video screen. If rear visibility is compromised by passengers or bulky items on the rear compartment, one can simply flick a switch on the underside of the mirror and a camera feed from the top of the car displays what is behind the vehicle in crisp high definition. The screen provides a wider (50-degree) field of vision and superior visibility in low light.

The new Evoque also has the world’s first ClearSight Ground View technology, which effectively makes the hood invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle. This is useful when negotiating difficult parking spaces, navigating high city center curbs or tackling rough terrain. This is all backed up with a 360-degree surround camera.

The new Evoque was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and is hailed as one of the safest vehicles in the world for both adults and children.

The Evoque is also the first in its segment to offer a mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) option. The Evoque MHEV boasts of an efficient 48V mild hybrid powertrain designed to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy with no plug-in charging required.

The new Range Rover Evoque comes in four variants: the entry-level SE 2.0 Diesel at P5.09 million; the midrange R-Dynamic HSE 2.0 Diesel and R-Dynamic HSE 2.0 Petrol at P5.49 million and P5.59 million, respectively; and the top-of-the-line R-Dynamic HSE MHEV 2.0 Petrol at P6.9 million.

Regardless of which variant you choose, you get an extraordinary vehicle that’s as spectacularly proficient off road as it is on road. That it offers the state-of-the-art in luxury, safety, design, comfort — and of course that priceless Range Rover cache — makes it all the more desirable. I’ve admired the Evoque since the first generation debuted a decade ago. I want one even more now.