In the motor industry, and I suppose in life in general, you are only as good as your previous effort. And when that effort has been hailed as a design icon, topping it is not only hard but to the eyes of many, impossible. That is the situation the brand new Evoque will face, as it celebrates its launch in Mzansi.

While the previous-generation car won not only numerous global design accolades, it also won the hearts of over 770 000 buyers the world over. Truth be told, the Evoque redefined what an SUV should and could look like, opening the way for competitors to launch their own “boutique” offerings in its segment. Although it is 99% all-new, the new car is an evolution of that design and is instantly recognisable. But it’s also more than just a pretty face. Much more.

For example, the new Evoque features some of the best 4×4 systems in the world. One would not expect Land Rover to equip the car with such, but they have. I will be first to admit that most buyers will probably not take their beloved car on serious off-road excursions. However, it is always good to know what your car is capable of. Therefore I do recommend at least one trip to the new R100 million Jaguar Land Rover multi-purpose facility in Lonehill, Johannesburg, where I myself was able to test some of Land Rover’s claims regarding the Evoque.

One of such claim is that it has a wading depth of some 600mm. That means it can safely and happily drive through water that is 600mm deep maximum, without any issues. Tested and verified. Another one is about its ability to drive itself up a steep hill while the driver relaxes in the cabin. Tried and tested, next. Of course it can also find its way through gravel, snow, sand and muddy surfaces without much trouble. That is thanks to several technologies, one of which is the new Terrain Response 2 system that works with the car’s all-wheel-drive and 9-speed ZF automatic transmission. You do need some real ground clearance to traverse some of these harsh surfaces, so the Evoque comes with a 21.2cm ground clearance, as well as a 25-degree approach angle, and 30.6-degree departure angle.

Two of the coolest systems I have seen in any car are the ClearSight Ground View – a world first really. It displays the surface ahead through the bonnet, via the interior central touch screen. You literally see ahead through the car. The other is the HD smart view rear mirror, which uses a rear camera to project what is behind. Objects can be zoomed in and are visible even in low light conditions. Best of all, nothing inside the car – tall passenger, luggage, rear headrests, etc – can block your rear view. However, because this is based on live camera tech systems, speed is an issue. There is a slight lag in transmission, so beware.


At launch the Mzansi customer will be able to choose between a petrol and a diesel engine. Both are new 2.0-litre turbo Ingenium types, with the D180 turbo diesel able to push out 132kW of power. Land Rover says it can accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in 9.3 seconds and averages 5.8 litre per 100km of diesel. We were not able to test these claims properly at the launch, given the type of time and logistical constraints these events place on the attendees. Nevertheless we hope to drive one on test and see. As for the P250 petrol, it makes 183kW of power, is said to take the 0 – 100km/h sprint in 7.5 seconds and return 7.4 litres per 100km in fuel consumption. JLR South Africa says it will add a 221kW plug-in hybrid model to the range in 2020. We assume that will take the seat of their performance model.

Land Rover has sold over 770 000 Evoque examples in 116 countries over the years. The car was a style icon, a design phenomenon and a true ambassador for the brand. So much so that in Mzansi, over 75% of Evoque buyers were new to the Land Rover brand. The new car should do well in the market too, although some might have asked for a more revolutionary design. Following in the footsteps of an icon is never easy though.



Range Rover Evoque Prices

D180 – R734 300

D180 S – R784 300

D180 SE – R843 800

D180 R-Dynamic S – R813 000

D180 R-Dynamic SE – R872 500

D180 R-Dynamic HSE – R920 200

D180 First Edition – R945 900

P250 – R776 300

P250 S – R826 300

P250 SE – R885 800

P250 R-Dynamic S – R855 000

P250 R-Dynamic SE- R914 500

P250 R-Dynamic HSE – R962 300

P250 First Edition – R987 900

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *