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With its good looks, premium cabin and comfortable ride, the new Range Rover Evoque will certainly attract customers of a cooler disposition.

22 Jul 2019

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, it's often been said. Well, behold this beauty - the new second generation Range Rover Evoque.

Beauty, you say?

The car may look similar to its predecessor, but in fact everything less the hinges on this car is new.

With design inspiration clearly drawn from the Velar, the new Evoque is definitely attractively styled (and its styling appears to be one of the model's key selling points).

The new second generation Evoque stands out for its cool, stylish exterior design

The Evoque bears some of the boxy design language we normally associate with its bigger, more rugged-looking brothers, but softens it up with rounded edges and simple surfaces.

Land Rover has also managed to create a clean silhouette, thanks to making things flush - door handles, lights, front grille, rear bumper, everything's been 'flattened' to create clear, unbroken surfaces.

There are also nice intricate details on this First Edition model that accentuates the car's elegant style, such as rose gold accents and the 20-inch Style 5079, five split-spoke wheels. 

The Evoque's sleek design is accentuated by flush, clean and unbroken exterior surfaces

How does it feel inside?

The first word that most people will utter when stepping inside the new Evoque should be 'cool'. The cabin is steeped in equipment, with the dual-screen Touch Pro Duo system, 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display, as well as a head-up display.

A cool feature in the Evoque is the ClearSight rear view mirror, a first for Land Rover. It uses a camera located in the antenna roof pod to display a video feed showing what's behind the car. Think of it as a rear-view mirror, but unobstructed by rear passengers' heads and the aperture of the rear windscreen (quite small in the Evoque). It's highly effective, primarily because you get a much wider field of vision.

The ClearSight rear view mirror offers an unobstructed view of what's behind the car

Also, the cabin ranks high on quality and refinement. Materials are premium, seats are comfortable, fit-and-finish is high, and noise insulation is good. 

And on the road?

The Evoque is built on the new Premium Transverse Architecture platform, and is 13% stiffer than the previous generation model. You definitely feel the improvement on the road - the body is tighter, which delivers improved on-road refinement. There's less body roll, and body flex in corners is notably redcued.

Key infotainment functions are accessed via the 10-inch touchscreen

The Evoque is definitely a car geared for comfort. It rides softly and comfortably, with power drawn from a pleasingly torquey engine. The 2.0-litre engine in this First Edition variant produces 245bhp and 365Nm of torque.

Land Rover has also fitted the Evoque with its Terrain Response 2 system, which means that the car has authentic off-roading capability. Not that any Evoque owner is taking the car off-road (not in Singapore, at least), but it's good to know that this Range Rover is still very much capable off the tarmac.

The Terrain Response 2 System offers a variety of driving modes to suit different road conditions

You also get a wide array of safety and assistance systems. This First Edition variant comes with Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitor, Reverse Traffic Detection and Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist.

However, there are issues. One notable issue is the disconnection between the accelerator pedal and the engine. When you step on the accelerator, the engine takes a moment to respond.

The 2.0-litre engine produces 245bhp and 365Nm of torque

More worryingly, there's a half second lag between when you let off the throttle and the engine responding, which means the car will still surge forward even after you have come off the accelerator. This means you have to be quite attentive on the brakes, especially when caught in slow moving traffic.

Also, you definitely feel quite disconnected from the road. You sit quite high, especially since the steering column doesn't lower enough to let you sit comfortably at the seat's lowest height setting (maybe Asians are just short, and this car is designed primarily with taller Europeans in mind). And, there's not much feel from the steering wheel at all.

The Evoque's cabin is premium, comfortable and packed with technology

So who's buying an Evoque? 

Still, the Evoque will undoubtedly appeal to many customers. It's the most affordable Range Rover you can buy ($221,999 for the R Dynamic SE variant and $254,999 for this First Edition variant), and that certainly counts for something. It's a premium, high-quality car with ample ability to impress.

What it lacks in dynamic capability, it makes up for in comfort, refinement and style. And that definitely will appeal to buyers. If you like the Velar, then you'll surely like this new Evoque - in many ways, it's like a mini-Velar, recessed door handles and all.

Stylish, well-equipped and comfortable on the road, the new Evoque will appeal to buyers looking for a cool and different SUV

We'll admit, the Evoque isn't for everybody. But, if you are looking for a stylish, well-equipped and comfortable premium SUV, and something rather quite different from your 'typical' German models, then this new Range Rover Evoque might just be up your alley.

After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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