Review – All-New Range Rover Evoque (2019) D180 First Edition

Published : Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 12:02 pm
ACROFAN=Yong-Man Kwon | | SNS
In the SUV market highly popular around the world, Land Rover and Range Rover are considered the most iconic brands. Land Rover has been showing a special presence since SUV’s early concept establishment, which emphasized rough road driving performance for military use and other many reasons. Hereupon, in the current Range Rover lineup, which is based on the monocoque body, ‘off-road performance’ is valued as something that cannot be given up. Besides, the early Range Rover, the top model of the Land Rover brand, set the standard for the ‘Luxury SUV’.

The appearance of the Evoque in Land Rover and Range Rover brands has been an impetus for major changes in many ways. The first Evoque, introduced in 2011, reflected the unique design of the concept car introduced in 2008. With the new positioning strategy of Range Rover, it also created a momentum that led to a change to a new design. Also, the early Evoque, which has driven fresh changes in various ways, has successfully sold more than 750,000 units worldwide and more than 10,000 units in Korea since its commercial launch with a more dynamic brand image as the entry model of Range Rover.

Evoque, which led the change in Range Rover, appeared as a second-generation model that is fully changed after eight years. The new 2nd generation all-new Range Rover Evoque is based on the successful design of the existing Evoque, and the latest common design of Range Rover family is applied to show the familiarity and freshness at the same time. And as a position of an entry-level model of Range Rover, a premium brand of Land Rover, the premium aspect that matches the brand’s status and various latest technologies are applied, and it is also outstanding in that it presents a higher level of perfection than the previous generation.

▲ Evoque’s unique design has been refined in the latest common design of the Range Rover family.

▲ The deployable door handle introduced at Range Rover Velar has also been applied to Evoque.

The design of the all-new Range Rover Evoque is based on the design features of the previous generation Evoque and reflects the latest common design of the Range Rover family. Here, if the first generation of Evoque changed the overall design of the Range Rover family, the most recently revealed ‘Range Rover Velar’ could be the one that symbolizes the latest common design of the current Range Rover family. All-new Range Rover Evoque has a line of coupe-style SUV with Evoque-specific aggressive proportions that blend the details of the latest design from Range Rover Velar to give a feeling of "Little Velar".

The all-new Range Rover Evoque is based on the first-generation Evoque coupe-style design, adding to Evoque's iconic character line, a rising beltline, a slant body line and a sleek roofline for a more sporty and sophisticated bodyline. In addition, it inherited the brand’s common headlamp design, which has been applied from 'Range Rover Velar'. The headlamps have a slimmer design based on LEDs, and the rear lamps also use an all-around slim rear lamp that resembles that of Range Rover Velar, giving a more sleek impression than the previous generation.

An indispensable part of the all-new Range Rover Evoque's exterior design is its integrated deployable door handle. This door handles introduced with Range Rover Velar also have an advantage in aspects of design and aerodynamics, as the door handles only appear when the door is unlocked. Land Rover explained that the deployable door handle is prepared for the exposure to sand, dirt, impurities, ice, etc., and it also provides the function that automatically deploys handle so that the door can be easily opened from the outside in case of an accident.

▲ The interior is strikingly harmonized with the luxuriousness of the understated line and the latest digital technology.

▲ Touch Pro Duo consists of two touchscreens that are similar to Range Rover Velar.

In the interior, the combination of high-end digital technology and the luxuriousness of the understated line expressed by the Range Rover brand are noticeable. In aspect of the material's luxuriousness, a high-quality finish such as leather fascia mid-roll, fine stitching, metal or wood trim finish, and the leather steering wheel has been applied for the elegance and comfort of the interior space. And at the heart of the latest digital technologies harmonized with these designs, a Touch Pro Duo and Full Digital Dashboard are newly applied. Evoque’s new Touch Pro Duo, which is similar to the one seen in Range Rover Velar, has a composition of separated 10-inch upper and lower part.

The ‘Touch Pro Duo’ infotainment system offers a new standard 10-inch dual-view touch screen that allows users to view and interact with multiple functions at the same time, eliminating most physical switches except the bottom three dial switches to complete the minimalist interior. And almost all of the vehicle's controls are accessible via the touchscreen. Moreover, the 'InControl App' provides strong connectivity with smartphones and T Map x NUGU's Virtual Personal Assistant service provided through collaboration with SK Telecom to enhance the convenience.

Meanwhile, in terms of the 4,371mm length, it secured a wheelbase of 2,681mm, which is 21mm longer than the existing length, and a more comfortable interior space with a width of 1,904mm. The rear legroom secured 11mm more space, making it more comfortable than the previous generation. The efficient interior design also offers a total of 26 liters of storage space and a larger 591 liters of luggage space. By folding second-row seats, it can get up to 1,383 liters of storage space, and compared to the previous model's 6:4 split-folding, the new model allows 4:2:4 individual folding for greater flexibility in space utilization.

▲ The diesel engine with a maximum output of 180 hp and the mild hybrid system is the first combination of the brand.

The all-new Range Rover Evoque, introduced in Korea, is a combination of two powertrains, nine-speed automatic transmission and AWD, including two types of 2L 4-cylinder turbo diesel engines and 2L 4-cylinder turbo petrol engines. The diesel engine lineup features the D150 with a maximum output of 150 PS and 38.8kg.m maximum torque, the D180 with a maximum output of 180 PS and a maximum torque of 43.9kg.m, and the 2L four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine P250 with a maximum output of 249 PS. It provides a maximum torque of 37.2kg.m. In addition, the Jaguar Land Rover brand's first 48V Mild Hybrid system has been applied, which can be expected to improve fuel efficiency in urban environments.

The 48V Mild Hybrid system on all-new Range Rover Evoque saves energy through Belt Integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) and a lithium-ion battery and assists the engine during driving. The engine is stopped when driving below 17km/h, and the stored energy can be used to accelerate the vehicle when it resumes driving. As a result, all-new Range Rover Evoque has improved fuel efficiency by about 5% and can be expected to have a greater effect on heavy roads. Furthermore, while braking, the engine is stopped, so it is effective in reducing fuel consumption and exhaust gas. The mild hybrid system is mounted on the underside of the vehicle, and with advanced stop and start systems, higher efficiency can be expected.

Although it has the appearance of the urban compact SUV, the Terrain Response 2 and All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) make it easier for the driver to access off-road. Terrain Response 2 in the all-new Range Rover Evoque uses a sophisticated “intelligent” system to analyze current driving conditions and automatically select the most appropriate terrain program. As well as automatic setting, you can also choose from seven modes: Dynamic; Eco; Comfort; Grass/Gravel/Snow; Mud and Ruts; Sand; and Rock Crawl. In addition, drivers can control the height of the suspension, the engine response, the traction control intervention to create the best driving environment.

On top of that, the All-Terrain Progress Control, which can maintain a constant speed below 30km/h, allows the driver to concentrate only on the steering when driving on rough roads. Even on low-friction roads such as ice, snow or wet grass, it helps escape smoothly and reliably. Also, the all-new Range Rover Evoque features agile and stable cornering with torque vectoring that monitors the torque distribution of the wheels and improves traction and steering performance through a braking system. It also features an improved wading depth of 600mm (up from 500mm in the previous model).

▲ Various new driving assistances help a safer driving.

All-new Range Rover Evoque is equipped with a variety of latest driving and parking assistance and safety features. In terms of driving assistance, a Lane Keep Assist is applied to keep the vehicle in the lane through steering interference when the vehicle accidentally leaves the lane. And the advanced radar technology allows the vehicle to determine the speed of the vehicle in front of the vehicle and drive at the appropriate speed. On top of that, Adaptive Cruise Control helps you to stop safely through stop-and-go function when the vehicle is stopped due to congestion. A Blind Spot Monitor continuously monitors blind spots where the driver's vision is limited and alerts the driver by displaying a warning icon in the side mirror when a vehicle is detected.

Surround camera that gives you an entire view of the vehicle from above can be used for low-speed driving up to 30km/h. The four cameras, including front, rear and side, provide the surroundings in 2D form by securing a 190° field of view. Moreover, the 12 parking sensors working together assist in the safe driving of the vehicle. ClearSight Rear View Mirror, the first of its kind in the brand, transforms a room mirror into an HD video screen as needed, and transmits images to greatly improve the rearview by using a 1.1MP image camera mounted on an external antenna.

ClearSight Ground View, applied to the all-new Range Rover Evoque, shows a 180° front view like looking through the bonnet to add convenience to driving. This feature allows the camera at the bottom of the front of the vehicle to recognize barriers or obstacles that approach the underside of the vehicle and the wheels. Since the bottom of the front wheel, which is hidden by the car bonnet and is not visible indoors, is displayed on the indoor display, it is very versatile in off-road environments or narrow alleys. In particular, it can be useful when driving at difficult parking spaces, high curb roads, and rough terrain.

▲ The feeling around the driver's seat gives a feeling of “Little Velar” in many ways.

The all-new Range Rover Evoque D180 First Edition is a top-of-the-line model in the new Evoque lineup, based on a 180 PS 2L diesel engine, a ZF ninth-speed automatic transmission, a mild hybrid system and AWD. When I first got in the car, I thought of the Range Rover Velar, which I had previously test-driven. In many ways, the design and technical aspects of the new Evoque come to my mind as the feeling of “Little Velar”. In addition, as it has a wider width compared to the short full length and uses the large 20-inch wheels on the high beltline, in aspect of design, its presence feels bigger than its class.

When you get in the car, you'll find Range Rover's capabilities as a luxury brand in interior design and finish. In particular, the new Touch Pro Duo, similar to the Range Rover Velar, organized the center fascia's controls, emphasizing design smoothness and the latest technology. In the case of the transmission, it has returned from the conventional dial-type to the electronic stick type, and there is a little luxury that emphasizes the “First Edition” in the decoration around the transmission. The feeling of the seat also meets or exceeds the expectations of luxury brand entry models, but it is a bit unfortunate that the seat does not have ventilation function.

When first took Evoque, I felt that it has poor sight due to some design features such as a high beltline and small windows. Of course, Evoque is a part of the luxury brand, so these weaknesses could be overcome with many of the latest technologies. In addition to car sensors and surround-view cameras, technologies like ClearSight Ground View allow overcoming the limitations of physical visibility. Of course, if you use it for the first time, you may experience delays or strangeness on the monitor screen, but once you get used to it, you will not be able to give up due to its convenience.

▲ It is equipped with a variety of driving modes, including on-road and off-road

The engine of the all-new Range Rover Evoque D180 model has a maximum output of 180PS at 2,400rpm and a maximum torque of 43.9kg.m in the 1,750~2,500rpm range and is equipped with a ZF 9-speed automatic transmission and an AWD system. It also features a mild hybrid system that delivers 11.9km/L of combined fuel economy. In terms of launching performance, the 0-100km acceleration of the D180 engine-based models is around 9.3 seconds, which is enough but not great. When you first start the engine, even at the entry-level, it has a well-refined level of vibration and noise in line with luxury brands. As a result, it feels much better than the previous generation.

Among the various driving modes, the ones worth using on the usual on-road are the Comfort and Eco modes. In Eco mode, it has fairly much interfered with the system in rapid acceleration for fuel-efficiency. And even in Comfort mode, which generally corresponds to most driving situations, the vehicle feels a bit heavy at the beginning. This is because the 9-speed automatic transmission holds the engine speed as low as possible in the general situation, so the rpm does not rise even in the area where the maximum torque comes out. Of course, if you step hard on the accelerator or put the transmission in sport mode, you can take advantage of this maximum torque range to get the performance you expect.

The engine speed remains around 1,500rpm at around 100km/h, which is the speed of general highways and expressways. At this time, the aspect of quietness is okay. The suspension of the front MacPherson strut and rear integral multi-link configuration is a bit hard, but the large shocks on the road are smoothly delivered and the small shocks are expressed as they are to increase driving sensitivity. In cornering, the solid suspension well controls left and right movements and AWD and torque vectoring system play great roles for exceeding cornering performance.

▲ It seems that the improvement in the fuel economy is created by the optimization of the overall vehicle control system rather than the mild hybrid system.

One of the hallmarks of the all-new Range Rover Evoque powertrain is the 48V Mild Hybrid technology, a passive motorization strategy that delivers less battery charge than conventional hybrid drives. With the engine's stop and start system, it helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions by reducing engine uptime when running slowly or stopping. In fact, in the test environment, this mild hybrid system wasn't impressive. Stalling just before a stop of less than 17 km/h was impressive, but it didn't maintain that long. It may be more accurate to recognize this mild hybrid system as an assistant to the engine stop and start system than it is by itself.

Safety features include a variety of features, including actively-interfering Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Assist to alert vehicles on blind spots. And when all-new Range Rover Evoque turns on Lane Keep Assist, it not only keeps the recognized lanes, but if there is a fast-approaching car from the rear or side and if the vehicle is sided on one side of the lane, a slight steering interference reduces the chance of an accident by moving the vehicle to the center of the lane or the opposite side. Of course, due to the test drive environments, it was hard to check whether it continuously maintains the lane. It's a system that can run semi-autonomous to some extent, but it will be better not to check it in a real environment.

To control the various functions of the vehicle, the Touch Pro Duo Information System provides the convenience of accessing most functions with little adaptation time and provides various information such as navigation, vehicle driving information and audio at once. However, it's a little unfortunate that the analog dial's operation is unclear and the system's response is quite slow in some features. However, the Touch Pro Duo Information system uses SK Telecom's “T Map”, which has strength in the domestic environment and has strong connectivity with mobile devices, so its convenience aspect can be evaluated fairly highly.

▲ The new Evoque feels like a new youngest member of a brand with a "pioneer" flag.

For Land Rover and Range Rover, "Evoque" is Range Rover's entry model and a major volume model, but that doesn't mean much. The emergence of Evoque created the opportunity for Range Rover to rise from 'vehicle' to 'brand', and Evoque's design was later applied to Land Rover's SUVs beyond Range Rover. Thus, for Range Rover, Evoque is not just an entry model, but also the youngest model that drastically embraces new technologies and changes.

In this sense, the all-new Range Rover Evoque has presented a drastic change over expectations in many ways. In aspect of design, the brand's many new design codes introduced in the previous Range Rover Velar are reflected while inheriting the intense design features. However, in aspect of technology, by applying the latest and first technologies of the brand in powertrain, safety, convenience features, etc., it suggests the direction of change that will be applied to the next-generation new cars of Range Rover. In many ways, the current Evoque is not just a "new entry model," but a "Range Rover family of advanced technologies."

Personally, the existing Evoque was an entry model of a luxury brand with unprecedented design, and it had an inconspicuous image in which the meaning as an entry model in the competition between the luxury brand and the entry model. However, the new all-new Range Rover Evoque is more suited to luxury brands, improving its completeness, and finding new positions within the brand through the latest technology. Now, Evoque is not meant to be an "introduction to the luxury brand," but rather close to being a "member of the luxury brand."

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