In-depth reviews

2019 Range Rover Evoque review – engine and gearbox

2019 Range Rover Evoque review

Engine and gearbox

For the moment, the Evoque makes use of two basic engines, one petrol and one diesel, with varying outputs. Both are 2-litre four-cylinder units under the ‘Ingenium’ tag, and all bar the entry-level D150 manual feature a 48V mild-hybrid system. As well as extending the start-stop functionality, the mild-hybrid system subtly assists the combustion engine from take off, but doesn’t quite extend to engine-off coasting.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The system is pretty subtle on the road, but you can definitely feel the regenerative brakes harvesting power when lifting off the throttle. The drawback of this is that in order to maintain speed or slow more subtly, you then have to go back on the throttle where you’ll often find the transmission has shuffled into a high gear (there are nine in total after all), only to then start hunting ratios in order to find the powerband. Drive with very gentle inputs and it does smoothen out, but it can feel disconcertingly remote and above all unresponsive, especially in petrol models. 

> Click here for our review of the Volvo XC40

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

That transmission is a new nine-speed ’box, and under most circumstances shifts smoothly, if not imperceptibly. Unfortunately, the calibration is what seems to let the ’box down, as its correspondence with the powertrain, or more specifically the mild-hybrid system, feels a tad crude and leaves the whole system feeling clunky when your inputs are less straightforward – as they usually are in an urban environment. Use the throttle more liberally and the car will hold gears with more conviction, but at this point the petrol engine’s inherent lack of refinement becomes the issue, as despite the chassis’ impressive isolation from outside noise, the grumbly engine becomes more apparent – liken it to a screaming baby in another room. Quiet in terms of volume, but still irritating.

Diesel models are far more suited to the Evoque’s overall persona, with a more laid-back attitude to its power delivery, making better use of both the transmission and mild-hybrid system. The calibration between the two is no better, however – the gearbox still hunts for ratios like a truffle pig, making smooth progress tricky at any speed. A plug-in hybrid model combining a new turbocharged three-cylinder engine will be available closer to 2020.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
6 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019