By Maggie Barry on 2019-03-18 - Experienced car journalist.
New Evoque an eye
THE eyes have it. No, we are not talking about yet another dastardly Brexit vote - perish the thought - but Range Rover's unveiling of its new, second generation Evoque.
For those who remember the first, it caused quite a stir particularly among the young and not-so-young fashion conscious motorists who embraced its style and design.
Now its successor has hit the catwalk with two quite striking eyefuls. One gives the car X-ray vision and the other gives the driver a movie for a mirror.
At first glance the rearview mirror in the new Evoque is quite simply that. Flip it towards you however and it becomes a wide angle screen offering an instant video of what's happening behind the car. It is quite extraordinary and immensely practical since the Evoque has a rather narrow rear window.
The popularity of the model however made designer Gerry McGovern loathe to tinker with the lines and now he doesn't have to because the camera provides the perfect solution - and it's in glorious technicolour.
It's called Clear Sight Rear View and together with Clear Sight Ground View it makes up one of two interesting innovations in the 2019 Evoque.
Ground View allows you to look through the bonnet of the car as if it were an X-ray by means of cameras front and below. It is quite a strange feeling to see the ground whizz past below you as you drive but for those who want the four wheel drive capability that this car offers it is very practical.
On rough terrain or cresting a steep hill where you cannot see the way forward Ground View gives you a sight line and helps you drive safely and comfortably forward. We forded and then drove down a stream with it on (the Evoque now has a wading depth of 600mm) and had fun watching the water - it was like paddling without getting your feet wet.
It is also great for getting in and out of parking spaces.
The new Evoque looks a lot like its predecessor but Land Rover will tell you it is completely new save for the door hinges.
It is smoother and sleeker on the outside with handles that latch into the doors. It sits on a longer wheelbase which gives passengers more legroom and adds ten per cent more luggage space and it is cleaner and more refined looking.
Land Rover's marvellous Touch Pro Duo system sits on the central console and under it a second screen for features like air con. Switch on and they spring to 21 century life but turned off they sit glossy and black.
The whole interior is plush and sophisticated but here's the thing - it is also very green, the greenest car in the range yet.
There are several trims, the entry-level Evoque, then S and SE, HSE and First Edition and some can be specified with R-Design a sporty trim with special design cues.
Depending on the trim customers can opt for an interior made from eucalyptus , plastics are all 100 per cent recycled and, yes, you can have leather seats, or Kvadrat an alternative wool blend that is warm in winter and cool in summer.
As cars go it is heading towards Vegan but perhaps still lingering in vegetarian.
The keys to the first Range Rover Evoques handed to us were limited to two engines, both 2.0-litre Ingeniums. The petrol delivered 250ps and the diesel 240ps and both were excellent to drive on and off-road around the Peleponnese region of Greece.
The petrol felt slightly lighter but the diesel was just as responsive and agile. They were both smooth and quiet and comfortable with any off-road challenge thrown at them.
I took the diesel across a disused railway bridge spanning the Corinth Canal and the petrol over dusty gravel tracks with slippery surfaces and neither car baulked at the terrain or found any difficulty.
Both were mild hybrids which means they recoup energy when you take your foot from the accelerator and then use it to lower emissions and give you greater fuel efficiency. Expect a plug-in hybrid in the not too distant future.
Most people buy Evoques and simply use them in town but for those who want to go off-roading there are a plethora of systems onboard to make life exceptionally easy like Terrain Response 2, Hill Descent Control, Hill Ascent, Mud, Snow, Gravel, Sand auto and Eco modes and you can choose to use the nine speed automatic or opt for manual. If you want it, there is also a sport driving mode.
The petrol has a top speed of 143mph while the diesel can take you up to 140mph. The petrol offers 35.8mpg with 180g/km of CO2 and completes the 0-62 dash in 7.5 seconds. The diesel gives you 45.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 163g/km while making 0-62 in 7.7 seconds.
Prices start at £31,600 for the 150ps front wheel drive manual diesel rising to £40,350 for the all wheel drive petrol with 300ps. First Editions will come in around £50,000 . Residual values are expected to come in at 63 per cent and the standard three year, 36,000 mile warranty applies to all.
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