If we sat down and walked through the current portfolio of Range Rover products, we’d find pavement-scorching supercharged V-8 engines, go-anywhere multi-gear transfer cases paired with locking differentials, and interiors so posh the Queen herself might blush. Yet despite all of this, it’s the runt of the litter with an economical 2.0L four-cylinder engine, diminutive stature, and conservative styling that outsells all the rest. We’re talking about Evoque, the plucky little luxury SUV that has sold nearly 800,000 units worldwide since its launch in 2012.
Now, for 2020, Range Rover has introduced an all-new second-generation Evoque. At first glance one might think this iteration is but a mild refresh. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Confusion comes from the fact that the second-generation Evoque retains its classic, handsome exterior styling and stays true to what made the first generation a success. Narrow LED headlamps grace the front fascia, side windows are heavily tapered, the beltline gives rise toward the rear, and the roof slopes. Gone are the old side moldings, and door handles now retract flush into the door like those found on Velar.
The 2020 Evoque rides on the new Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA) that is 13 percent stiffer than the outgoing model and utilizes a mixed-metal strategy consisting of steel, high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium. The only carryover parts are the door hinges.
Transitioning to the PTA also gives the vehicle a 0.8-inch-longer wheelbase. While this may not seem like much on paper, it has allowed for increased rear legroom as well as more foot space under each seat. A revised rear suspension, borrowed from the larger Velar, makes room for an additional 1.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, bringing the total to 21.5 cubes with the seats up, 50.5 with them folded.
Under the bonnet is a pair of engine options, both variants of JLR’s fabulous Ingenium turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. The “entry-level” P250 model churns out 246 hp while the higher-trim P300 features a 48-volt mild hybrid system and bumps output to 296 hp. A plug-in hybrid electric is rumored to be coming soon, but sorry, there is no diesel option for North America. Both engines route power through the ZF-sourced 9HP50 nine-speed automatic transmission, and all models feature all-wheel drive.
For our drive JLR flew us to Athens, Greece, and placed us behind the wheel of Euro-spec P250s that were outfitted with the 48-volt mild-hybrid system in R-Dynamic trim. Stateside we’ll only get these two features on P300 models. Nonetheless, they provided an adequate representation of what’s to come.
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