2019 Range Rover Evoque driven

We go for a brief drive in the second-generation Range Rover Evoque, as Land Rover launches it with a splash in the urban jungle...

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Claire Evans
22 November 2018

Range Rover Evoque
Range Rover Evoque

To demonstrate the new technology that’s in the second-generation Range Rover Evoque at the launch event, Land Rover created an urban assault course in a series of abandoned railway arches in London’s East End.

While the second-generation model may not look all that different on the outside, pretty much everything under the skin has changed or been updated. And it was the innovative new electrical aids and improved all-wheel-drive ability that was demonstrated on a specially created 4x4 course.

Range Rover Evoque

To test the smoothness and precision of the latest Terrain Response 2 system, we drove the Evoque in auto mode up steep climbs and descents – the intelligent all-wheel-drive system can operate in two-wheel-drive mode on normal surfaces and switch to four-wheel drive in milliseconds when it’s needed so it can cope with sudden inclines and slippery slopes.

We also got to try out the new Clear Sight Ground View system. At the push of a button, a real-time camera image of the front wheels and under the bonnet of the car is shown on the screen on the centre console. We drove along narrow railway sleepers, able to ensure the wheels didn’t stray off the edge by watching them on the screen. However, this system would also be useful for more mundane things to make it easier to negotiate narrow streets and car-lined urban roads without scraping the wheels or bodywork.

2019 Range Rover Evoque

Another innovative piece of technology we tried out was the Clear Sight Rear View Mirror. Flip a button on the mirror and the rearward view changes to a camera image of the road behind the car. The image doubles the field of vision and provides a view that is three times brighter than a smartphone screen, making parking and other reversing manoeuvres far easier.

Finally we headed down a steep slope and into and a swimming pool to showcase the Evoque’s improved wading depth of 600mm. The centre console screen told us how deep the water was and where it was coming up to on the sides of the car.

Range Rover Evoque

These off-road tests aren’t things most Evoque buyers are going to do – 60% of current Evoque owners live in urban areas – but they do show that the baby Land Rover still has all the 4x4 capability of its larger siblings.

The tight turns of the twisty course also highlighted the small turning circle of the car, which has smaller overhangs than its predecessor. And, although the drive was very brief, the 2.0-litre 180PS diesel-engined Evoque we drove remained quiet and refined over broken surfaces, undulations and ridges, which bodes well for Land Rover’s claim that it has improved the car’s ride.

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