FIRST DRIVE: 2019 Range Rover Evoque – Velar-lite

It’s hard to overstate just how important the Range Rover Evoque has been for Land Rover – as a design icon, it inspired everything from the Discovery Sport all the way to the full-fat Range Rover, and it also opened up the Range Rover brand to a new, upwardly mobile audience. Now, there’s a new Evoque, and this L551 model borrows plenty from its larger Velar sibling.

The new Evoque retains the distinctive styling that has won it many awards and fans, including the wraparound head- and tail lights, rising beltline, falling roofline and prominent wheel arches. But everything has been smoothened out for a cleaner, more minimalistic look, with details like the flush front and rear ends and the flush-fitting electronic door handles lifted straight from the Velar.

Another item lifted from the Velar is the Touch Pro Duo system that uses two screens – one for infotainment, the other for the climate control and vehicular settings. Other new features include the ClearSight digital rear-view mirror and the ClearSight Ground View display, which enables drivers to see the ground below, allowing them to accurately place their car off road (or, more likely, avoid kerbing their wheels).

Underneath, the new Evoque rides on a new Premium Transverse Architecture that will underpin the next Discovery Sport and Jaguar E-Pace, and it features a brace of new 2.0 litre Ingenium petrol and diesel engines ranging from 150 PS to 300 PS. Land Rover has also increased the car’s off-road capabilities, fitting the latest Terrain Response 2 system and raising the water wading depth by 100 mm to 600 mm.

All that aside, does the new Evoque deliver the kind of comfort, refinement and peerless go-anywhere ability that buyers have come to expect from the Range Rover brand? We went all the way to Greece to see if the new offering has what it takes, and you can watch the video review above.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.




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