my favorite parts of the 2020 land rover range rover evoque's north american debut at the 2019 chicago auto show were the booming electronic music befitting such a stately luxury brand, and an evoque driving up and then down a steep dirt hill and parking on the decline — something that owners of the new compact suv from land rover will definitely be doing all the time.
this isn't meant to disparage the new range rover evoque. in fact, i found it quite impressive in my time with it on the show floor. the interior is luxurious and the optional incontrol touch pro duo infotainment system certainly looks the part of a futuristic vehicular nerve center. rear-seat room was enough that i could theoretically sit behind myself and be comfortable in both positions — i'm 6-foot-1 — though the rear seating position did leave my knees higher than i'd like. rear headroom is also more than adequate and, while the higher beltline and small window seem to shrink the cabin, the panoramic roof opens it back up with lots of light and keeps it from feeling claustrophobic.
outside, the evoque's updated looks are fairly iterative. it still has the same floating roof, angled beltline and attractive-if-stunted profile, with the wheels located almost at its four corners and little front or rear overhang. its face gets the most significant update, where it seems land rover has taken the face off the range rover velar and grafted it onto the evoque. it looks good and probably portends the future of range rover models.
the available tech is also remarkable. it's the first land rover to get the clearsight ground view technology that displays what is in front of and under the evoque, making negotiating obstacles and dangers easier when you don't have someone to spot for you.
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the bad? you may have noticed i only talked about the incontrol touch pro duo's appearance above; that's because i'm not a big fan of removing most physical controls and replacing them with touchscreen-based systems. even worse, the steering-wheel controls on the evoque are capacitive. fortunately, that didn't migrate to the mirror adjustment controls like it has in the range rover sport.
the unknown factor with the evoque is its new optional mild-hybrid powertrain, an electrified version of its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder used engine that offers a claimed 296 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque — 50 more hp and 26 more pounds-feet than the gas-only version. both are paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and drive all four wheels thanks to standard all-wheel drive. despite an additional 140 pounds of weight, land rover says the mild-hybrid version hustles to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, 0.7 second quicker than the base used engine . it certainly sounds promising, but we'll have to wait to drive it to confirm that suspicion.
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