2020 Range Rover Evoque Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the 2020 Range Rover Evoque.
Car Tested: 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque D180S; Road Test No. 1222; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 70 lakhs
Land Rover’s most road-going SUV gets some new features & cosmetic changes making it even more attractive both inside & outside
The Range Rover Evoque has always been a very distinct product in Land Rover’s line-up. The first generation was quite perfect for the modern demand of an SUV. So, with the second generation Evoque, Land Rover has added new features, and have addressed a few niggles of the old version too. This generation also cements this car’s position in Land Rover’s lineup as the compact SUV built for the road, (more on that soon).
Exteriors – Have a quick glance at the exterior of the Evoque, and you can instantly see the resemblance to this car’s bigger brother, the Velar. The slim headlamps, and the wide taillights all allude more to the Velar than the previous Evoque. While the previous version was a bit of a balance between a rugged, cliche SUV look and an urban look, this version tips the scale to the urban side. The bumpers have been modified to fit with the modern approach, and they really do seem to work.
The cosmetic changes on the Evoque make it look much sleeker, dynamic and kinda like a mini Velar, robbing away its distinct look
The side of the car remains largely unchanged. The large wheel arches, and the body lines all have been carried over from the previous Evoque. The most noticeable change from the side is the flush door-handles that present themselves to you when you unlock the car. Land Rover says it is to improve aerodynamics, but then again, this is an SUV, and you can only do so much with aerodynamics with the silhouette like that.
The back of the car is where the Velar’s influence can be seen further, as mentioned before. Once again the bumpers have been remodelled to accentuate the sophistication that this update is all about. It’s either that Land Rover already had the Evoque update in mind while designing the Velar or realised that the characteristic components that make the Velar distinct, also work with the Evoque’s design aesthetic. Whatever the case was, it looks good.
Interiors – The interior of the new Evoque is the standard JLR layout. This means that the interior is festooned with glass. JLR wants to unify their interiors, and we are seeing just that. The main 10.25-inch touchscreen stays flush when off, but can tilt itself automatically, or as per your setting using motors. The cool factor aside, the maximum angle could have been steeper, to avoid glaring from the sun.
The all-black cabin feels extremely sporty and premium thanks to the use of high-quality materials and soft-touch plastics
The second screen with the programmable dials below is the best way to approach a user interface if you are going to remove the buttons. While driving, some kind of tactility is needed as feedback and these dials are the best alternatives to the dedicated buttons. As with all the other cars that use this system, the functionality is good, but the animations could do with more frames, and they seem a bit choppy.
A standard gear lever now replaces the very cool looking gear dial that was there in the previous version, presumably for durability reasons. The steering wheel again, is lifted off other Land Rover models, which means you get a plush build, fitted with dynamic steering mounted controls.
The rear seats are adequately comfortable but are not on par with the Discovery Sport’s spacious and more practical cabin
The rear seat experience is a bit hampered by the roofline, which has a bit of a rake. The panoramic glass roof brings more light into the cabin, and is much appreciated. However, the Discovery Sport is the better option if interior space is something you are looking for, as it is physically bigger, and is a bit more boxy in its overall shape.
What you would appreciate, if you are in the market for an Evoque is new tech. This car has all the latest gizmos one would expect a car of this price point to have. A 380W Meridian sound system, a heads up display, a 360-degree camera, lane keep assist, park assist and a digital driver’s display. Do note that the driver’s display and the 2nd display are only available in the higher R-Dynamic trim.
Performance – Land Rover offers the same set of engines with the Evoque as they do with the Discovery Sport and yes, the output is identical too! With the platform and powertrain being the same between both the models, the way they perform is also quite similar. The diesel engine is refined but not the most refined in its class. It’s drivable but lacks top-end grunt while the mid-range is strong. The 9-speed torque converter automatic is quick with upshifts but a bit easy-going with downshifts. Clearly, if you want the show to match the go, petrol is the power of choice for the Evoque.
The refined diesel engine offers good driveability and is best enjoyed in its mid-range
The Range Rover Evoque D180S produces 180 PS of power and 430 Nm of torque from its 2.0-litre 4-pot oil-burner. The standard drive mode is Comfort and you can opt to put the car in Eco mode for frugal driving, the other driving modes are for off-roading only. A sports drive mode is shockingly missing on a car that looks this sporty although the gearbox does have a Sport mode with both Tiptronic function on the gear lever and steering mounted paddles giving you manual control of the cogs but not completely as it will still upshift at its near 4500 RPM redline. Fuel efficiency is between 10-12 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – The Evoque is underpinned by a new platform which is more rigid and the theme of this update is to make the Evoque feel more at ease on the road, rather than off it, the car is no slouch when it comes to off-road assists. Everything from 4 wheel drive, Terrain Response 2, roll stability control, hill launch assist, hill descent control etc. If you decide to make your paintwork dirty, this car should not break a sweat.
The stiff suspension setup does make the ride a little harsh at low speeds but in turn, improves handling and high-speed stability
However, Land Rover has opted for a stiff suspension set-up to offer a better drive experience around the corners as body roll is quite well contained while the steering offers good feedback. The lane keep assist works very accurately too and puts the car back in a lane. However, the stiffness results in bumps being felt at low speeds but the ride flattens out quite nicely as you up the pace. High-speed stability is very good and so are the brakes which offer an excellent bite. The Evoque is a fun car to drive and its compact dimensions make light work of the urban run.
Verdict – The Range Rover Evoque was initially Land Rover’s more experimental product. The launch of the 2-door version and the infamous convertible version all were examples of Land Rover trying out different things to see how the market would respond. With the launch of this update, Land Rover has found a path and pursued it.
This car is the most city-ready Land Rover they make. It is small, sophisticated, and looks more urban. If you see the brochure of this car, all 78 pages of it, there are just 6 images of this car being off-road. For a car that has all the off-roading tech it has, that is quite less. It goes to show where they want this car to be. Every Evoque will most certainly spend more hours in mall parking lots than in a desert, in the middle of nowhere. Land Rover knows this, and has catered to the sudden increase in customers by launching the Velar, and now the latest Evoque.
If you want something more rugged, then the Discovery Sport might interest you, it is less sophisticated, but a tad bit more practical. The coexistence of this model means that the Evoque can be a better road car than it would if the Discovery Sport did not sit parallel to it. Either way, Land Rover has got you covered in this segment.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Volvo XC60, Lexus NX
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