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The second generation Range Rover Evoque is a head turner and a highly refined compact SUV on the tarmac.

22 Mar 2019

When an impressive-looking concept car goes into production, it usually ends up looking nothing like its concept. And more often than not, it can be a tad disappointing.

However, when the Range Rover Evoque saw daylight in 2010 before it went on sale the following year, it looked every bit as distinctive as its LRX concept vehicle.

There's now a rear view camera on the roof

Thus, it wasn't hard to understand the Evoque's global success in the sales charts, with over 770,000 units sold worldwide.

What about the all new baby Rangie?

Now with the all new second generation model, the British carmaker knows not to mess with a successful formula.

Changes to its sheet metal are minimal. It takes inspiration from the pricier and bigger Range Rover Velar, particularly in the slim head and taillights as well as the progressive recessed door handles that deploy when you unlock the car.

Evoque has ample presence when viewed from behind

Arguably, even though the exterior maintains a close relationship to the previous generation - with its rising beltline and dropping roof - the Evoque is practically all new. In fact, there isn't a common panel between the new and outgoing model.

Still, in more ways than one, you could say the Evoque manages an extremely desirable design on the outside that has plenty of appeal for young and trendy buyers alike.

This really means the much-loved Evoque should have no problems fending off rivals such as the Audi Q3, the BMW X1/X2, and the Volvo XC40.

Slim headlamps are inspired from the pricier Velar

Of course, when it comes to competitors, the Evoque also goes head to head with the next Jaguar E-PACE, of which the Rangie will share its new Premium Transverse Architecture platform with.

New platform, you say?

This new space-efficient platform is an electric-ready solution that can accommodate the carmaker's future plans for electrification.

In about a year's time, the Evoque will make its appearance in a form of a three-cylinder 48V plug-in hybrid engine.

2.0-litre powerplant churns out 249bhp and 365Nm of torque

But firstly, when the car arrives in Singapore by middle of this year, it'll be armed with a 48V mild hybrid system and a 2.0-litre unit underneath the bonnet.

Interesting... How does it drive then?

Unfortunately, we didn't experience the Evoque with the mild hybrid system during our time in Athens because the test cars all came with regular internal combustion engine.

The new Evoque drives with high levels of refinement

No loss, really, because the new SUV manages to offer a highly refined and quiet drive. It behaves more of a contented cruiser rather than an outright bruiser that's capable of covering long distances with comfort.

All 249 horses and 365Nm of twisting force is sent to four wheels in such a linear and refined manner via the smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic gearbox that you'll hardly experience any sort of jerkiness that's often associated with turbocharged engines.

More than just refinement, the four-wheel drive system also ensures the car feels secure in different weather and road conditions.

Not only does it behave on the tarmac, the Evoque is right at home off the road

So it is still capable of off-roading?

Thanks to the Terrain Response 2, you can have a choice of selecting specific driving modes that suit the road conditions. Alternatively, you can just leave it in Auto mode and the system will automatically detect the road surface and adjusts the setup accordingly.

As such, the baby Rangie performs impeccably off-road. It's almost a shame that buyers of this car are unlikely to explore the jungle, since this SUV will most probably thrive more around the urban areas in Singapore and perform weekly grocery shopping and school runs.

But should there be a need, the Evoque will not disappoint, as what we've experienced with the car through some of the most interesting yet challenging terrains.

Cameras on each door mirrors help to show you a view of what's under the front of the Evoque

Also interesting is the optional Ground View system that allows you to view the area under the front of the car through the infotainment screen. As you'd expect, this is useful when manoeuvring through tight spaces, or tackling rough terrain.

Smart evolution of its cabin

More tech savvy and refinement can also be seen in the Evoque's cabin. It's obviously more tech-savvy than the outgoing model and arguably more luxurious in our eyes, too.

In here, the car utilises new materials and colours to enhance its already trendy positioning in the market. Making it even more upmarket in its segment is the adoption of a live feed through the rear view mirror.

The live feed on the rear view mirror is sharp and clear

This said mirror, which will come standard on the First Edition variant in Singapore, sees a camera that's positioned on the roof that projects a high-definition view of the back.

As with the Velar, the new Evoque gets two touchscreens that fill the centre console. When you start the car, the large central touchscreen acknowledges you by tilting forward. Here, you'll be able to access the car's features such as radio and Bluetooth, while the other touchscreen below it handles functions such as the air-conditioning system and the driving modes.

More impressively and relevantly, this compact SUV doesn't disappoint with its space. Thanks to an increase in its wheelbase by some 20mm, rear legroom has been significantly improved.

The cabin, in our eyes, is luxurious, modern and tech-savvy

And through some engineering wizardry, boot space has increased to 591 litres while maintaining the overall length of the car.

Smallest Rangie with the biggest heart

The starting price of the Evoque should set you back by some $229,999, but it's every bit worthy of its price tag. Not only does this all new SUV features some of the fanciest tech in its segment, it is an Evoque in every detail possible. No one is going to miss that from its instantly recognisable design.

And as you explore its driving behaviour and luscious cabin in detail, there's absolutely no doubt in our minds that this Evoque is a true blue Range Rover.

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