Car Reviews

2020 Range Rover Evoque First Look: Second Time Around

New platform, handsome look

New platform, handsome look

It’s remarkable how fresh the Range Rover Evoque seems after eight years without a full redesign. The sculpted crossover, which won our 2012 SUV of the Year award, continues to hold a place in our hearts for its sporty handling and off-road capability. Not to mention periodic updates that have spruced up the interior. Now entering its second generation, the 2020 Range Rover Evoque benefits from a new platform and available mild-hybrid powertrain.

The small crossover keeps the same basic look, with the controversially sloped roofline and high beltline. But many key details have changed, including the grille, lower vents, and slim LED headlights. A new black accent runs along the bottom of the vehicle. The Evoque also gains flush door handles and a completely new rear end, including longer taillights.

More important is that the Evoque rides on the new Premium Transverse Architecture. This platform allows for a 0.8-inch-longer wheelbase, which increases rear leg and knee room as well as foot space under each seat. The cargo area has increased to 50.5 cubic feet, and the new platform also affords space for a larger glove box and center console. Of course, the new platform also promises improvements in ride quality on and off the beaten path. The new body is 13 percent stiffer than before, and new subframes are said to reduce noise and vibration. Kudos to Land Rover if the Evoque can offer a refined ride on optional 21-inch wheels.

Two engine options will be available. The first is a 2.0-liter turbo-four making 246 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. That’s ahead of the current 2.0-liter offering 237 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. Range Rover is also offering a mild-hybrid powertrain consisting of a 2.0-liter turbo-four and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery. With the help of a belt-integrated starter generator, the Evoque harvests energy lost during deceleration and stores it in the battery, using it to assist the engine once acceleration begins again.

Drivers have multiple terrain modes to choose from: General, Eco, Sand, Grass-Gravel-Snow, and Mud & Ruts. There is also a new Auto mode that automatically adjusts its torque to suit the specific terrain. Land Rover says the new Evoque can wade through water up to 23.6 inches, up from 19.7 inches on the previous model.

The Evoque’s interior comes with an optional dual touchscreen setup, with both screens measuring 10.0 inches. This set is paired with a 12.3-inch driver display behind the steering wheel and a head-up display that projects key information onto the windshield. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto join the mix for the 2020 model year, and there are six USB ports throughout the cabin. A new ground view camera shows drivers what is ahead of and underneath the front of the vehicle with a 180-degree view projected onto the touchscreen. This comes in handy for high city curbs or navigating difficult terrain.

Land Rover will announce North American pricing in February at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.