Familiar looks for

latest Evoque

Range Rover Evoque, 2019, front, off road, static
Range Rover Evoque, 2019, front, action
Range Rover Evoque, front
Range Rover Evoque, 2019, side, action
Range Rover Evoque, rear
Range Rover Evoque, side
Range Rover Evoque, 2019, rear, action
Range Rover Evoque, 2019, interior
Range Rover Evoque, interior

DON'T be fooled if you think the new Range Rover Evoque looks familiar.

Sure, the slick lines and muscular profile are immediately recognisable, but everything is new bar the dust caps and a few door hinges, according to its makers.

The high-rider that brought high style and prestige to the compact SUV sector has been reborn with more luxury, extra tech and more efficient engines to combat a wave of rivals that are fighting for supremacy, including the Volvo XC40, BMW X2 and Jaguar E-PACE.

The British designed and built Evoque, which first dawned in 2011, has earned £17.6bn in foreign orders for UK during its eight year reign with 80 per cent of sales heading overseas.

The new range, priced from £31,600, includes two diesels and three petrols with a plug-in hybrid version arriving within a year.

Despite being the same length as the original, a 20mm longer wheelbase has allowed more rear legroom and a 10 per cent boost in boot space - you can now fit in your golf clubs.

It's still not exactly spacious for backseat occupants, but noticeably better than before.

Nearly all versions are four-wheel-drive, apart from the 148bhp diesel with manual gearbox which is the entry model of the range. Most popular model is expected to be the 2.0-litre, 178bhp Ingenium diesel engine while the flagship version gets 296bhp petrol power with nine speed ZF transmission.

All four-wheel-drive Evoques are mild hybrids boosting acceleration and reducing fuel consumption - the first time such a system has been adopted by Land Rover.

Built on a new platform which is 13 per cent stiffer than the earlier model, handling and refinement is noticeably improved. Travel is remarkably hushed with little wind noise and even less mechanical intrusion.

The cabin, now much grander, borrows a number of cues from the larger Velar with a 10-inch centrally positioned touchscreen that moves forward to make it easier to read after the car is started. A number of apps allow the owner to check fuel levels remotely or heat it before getting in.

Some of the controls, however, are a bit fiddly such as the heated seats which require several touches of the screen to activate.

The front seats are nicely shaped and supremely comfortable, offering ample support and hugging you in place around corners.

The 2.0-litre 178bhp diesel sampled on the launch had good reserves of power with spritely mid-range pick-up and minimal commotion. The automatic gearbox, however, is a tad slow-witted and can be caught out when a fast pick-up is required, such as when joining a roundabout.

Ride and cornering are about as good as it gets in tallish crossovers with little roll and good bump suppression thanks partly to adjustable dampers.

While the vast majority of all Evoque miles are spent either pottering into or around towns, or thrashing up and down motorways, owners can be secure in the knowledge that their stylish steed is well capable of scaling all but the most severe terrains.

To make difficult tracks even easier you can spec a Clearsight Ground View camera as an option which allows the driver to see what horrors are approaching...and to take avoiding action.

Despite the Evoque's status as a style icon, the new range will not include either a convertible variant or a three-door model as the original did. Meagre sales of both versions did not merit further production.

Land Rover's formula of allowing the Evoque to evolve rather than imposing a radical redesign is good common sense. The old adage of ‘why fix it, if it isn't broken' is likely to pay dividends.

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