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

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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

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.

Most Popular

G-Power G5M Hurricane RR takes BMW M5 to 888bhp
BMW M5 saloon

G-Power G5M Hurricane RR takes BMW M5 to 888bhp

German tuner G-Power reveals its new ultimate version of the F90 BMW M5
6 Nov 2020
Porsche unveils 911 Turbo S to match your £8m Embraer business jet
Porsche 911 Turbo

Porsche unveils 911 Turbo S to match your £8m Embraer business jet

The Porsche 911 Turbo S has been given the Exclusive Manufaktur treatment, this time, in collaboration with Embraer
6 Nov 2020
2021 Land Rover Discovery 5 updated with fresh tech and engines
Land Rover Discovery

2021 Land Rover Discovery 5 updated with fresh tech and engines

Updated Discovery receives latest JLR engines and re-emphasises its family focus
10 Nov 2020
2021 BMW iX revealed – the next big leap towards BMW’s BEV future
BMW

2021 BMW iX revealed – the next big leap towards BMW’s BEV future

500bhp all-electric SUV leads the charge for BMW’s EV range expansion
11 Nov 2020