For 2014 Land Rover has introduced a newly updated model of one of their most successful vehicles to date, the Range Rover Evoque. Along with new driver assistance features, driveline technologies and improved interior and exterior design elements, this new Evoque features the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission available for a passenger vehicle. The optional ZF-9HP automatic transmission has lightening-fast gear shifts and improves the fuel efficiency, along with a reduction in emissions.
The Evoque is available across three trim specifications, Pure, Prestige and Dynamic. All are offered in both five-door and Coupé variants. Our test car was the five-door TD4 model, complete with the new nine-speed ZF automatic transmission. Under the bonnet is a 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine that produces 150hp and 400Nm of torque, there is an SD4 variant of this engine also available which offers 190hp. On the move we found the TD4 engine to provide ample power on city and country driving routes. Prior to testing the Evoque we did question the need to have nine gears, however in reality this ZF transmission works a treat in the Evoque. In full automatic mode the gear changes are seamless and power is plentiful for the vast majority of drivers. You can also opt to change gears manually by using the gear shift paddles neatly tucked behind the steering wheel.
Although smaller then its larger sibling the Range Rover Sport, the Evoque has a bright airy cabin that’s pleasant to spend a lot of time in. There is a quality feel to the fit and finish, with tactile materials evident throughout. On start up the aluminium gear selector rises automatically out of the centre console, it creates an occasion every time and enhances the luxurious feel to this premium SUV. The colour touch screen infotainment system is effortless to use and navigate your way through the various options. The driver’s instrument cluster is large with unambiguous dials. Rear passenger comfort is adequate with a decent luggage capacity in the boot.
One of Land Rover’s new features available on the Range Rover Evoque is their Active Driveline. This system constantly monitors the driving conditions (on and off-road) and will switch from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive when necessary in just 350 milliseconds. The benefit of this is that you will only drive in two-wheel-drive for the vast majority of roads therefore improving fuel efficiency.
When the Evoque was first launched it was a striking-looking premium SUV, Land Rover has thankfully not stalled on its laurels and has continued to develop the Evoque. This new model has been delicately styled so it’s instantly recognisable as the Evoque, yet packed with new technology, primarily its all-new nine-speed ZF automatic transmission which it is utilising to build on its ever-increasing sales.
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