New car review: Range Rover Evoque R Dynamic D240 SE (MY20)

The Evoque fits with the company’s espoused mantra of ‘sustainable luxury’.

The latest Range Rover Evoque brings improvements and new technology to Land Rover’s medium-sized SUV while retaining stylish looks that bear the unmistakeable body lines and Range Rover family face.

The Evoque model line-up is complex encompassing 28 variants and six different powertrains. Entry to the range starts at $62,670 and tops out at $94,290. Sampling from the more than ample smorgasbord of options can quickly escalate the price though.

Our test car’s options included panoramic glass roof ($2040), metallic paint ($1480), Drive Pack ($1340 and includes adaptive cruise, blind-spot assist, high-speed emergency braking), Meridian sound system ($1200), keyless entry/push button start ($900), privacy glass $690, 14-way power/heated front seats with memory ($560), Smart Rear View mirror ($515), surround camera ($410), ambient lighting ($410), DAB+ radio ($400), and Responsibly Sourced Pack ($4188).

The last of these provides seats upholstered in a premium alternative to leather developed by Danish textile maker, Kvadrat. The durable wool-blend material is paired with a technical Dinamica suede-cloth made from recycled plastic bottles.

This fits with the company’s espoused mantra of ‘sustainable luxury’, including greater use of natural and recycled materials (up to 33kg in Evoque) in their products, increasing electrification of powertrains, purchase of carbon-neutral power for all UK operations, and carbon-neutral certification for UK manufacturing and product development.

Evoque

All diesel models, including the 177kW D240, feature a 48volt mild-hybrid drive system that harvests energy normally lost during deceleration, storing it in an underfloor battery, for redeployment assisting acceleration for increased fuel efficiency. Once over some initial lag getting off the line, the 2.0-litre diesel, mated to a nine-speed auto revised for smoother shifts, responds quite strongly. It’s not especially quick but offers good drivability.

Road manners are well resolved balancing agreeably supple ride comfort with sure-footed handling, aided by the new torque vectoring (Active Driveline) system.

A longer wheelbase and revised suspension design have helped liberate additional rear occupant and load space.

Off road, the all-wheel-drive Evoque equipped with multi-mode Terrain Response 2, proved capable of tackling terrain tougher than most owners are likely to attempt, but it will throw in the towel well before its larger Rangie and Discovery siblings.

There’s a range of new technologies on the Evoque, but we liked the clever and practical ClearSight Ground View camera system that allows the driver to see what is ahead and 180⁰ under the front of the vehicle, almost like a transparent bonnet. Very handy off-road.

KEY STATS

  • MLP: $87,060 (As tested $101,193 – both prices do not include on-road costs)
  • ENGINE: 2.0-litre (177kW) turbodiesel 4-cyl
  • ANCAP SAFETY RATING: 5 stars (2019)
  • TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 165

FOR:

Road manners, stylish looks, quality finish, more off-road able than most buyers will need, technology available.

AGAINST:

Plentiful expensive options, spacesaver spare, like other prestige brands warranty should be longer.

Evoque