New Range Rover Evoque P300e PHEV – Road Test Review by Brian Fahey.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque P300e PHEV – Review by Brian Fahey.
Walking towards my test Range Rover Evoque PHEV, I click the unlock button on the key and 2 things grab my attention. Firstly, the very trendy “animated” indicator lights that flash with the now familiar, Audi inspired, Knight Rider style motioned flash, something that I as a kid of the eighties, think is very cool indeed, thanks to Michael Knight and his famous Trans Am. Secondly, I think to myself, have they given me the wrong key, have they given me the key to a Velar. Looking straight on at the front end of the second generation Evoque, with its bulbous front bumper, smart chromed grille and sleek headlamps, it is hard to deny that it is strikingly similar in looks to its bigger brother the Range Rover Velar, which as a fan of the Velar, I do not have a problem with at all.
The similarities with the Velar continue around the side with flush door handles that glide out from the door when the car is unlocked. Around the back too are more similarities, with wrap-around tail-lights joined up across the rear of the tailgate with a shiny black trim housing the Range Rover lettering. All very sophisticated and grown up looking, the Evoque has definitely matured well with this latest incarnation, especially when seen beside the outgoing model.
When the original Evoque was launched in 2011 it set the standard not just for cars in its class but for interior quality in any mainstream production car on the road. With reports of fashionista Victoria Beckham being involved in the choosing of interior materials and design, it was a watershed moment in the motor industry, with the involvement of the fashion world in the design process of a car, and then actually bringing that car to market with their input in place on the finished product.
Ten years later and with Land Rover having a reputation for driving their cars further upmarket with each new generation, the second coming of the Evoque was not going to be an easy job for the Coventry based outfit, but I am pleased to say that they have not disappointed at all.
The quality of the interior in both design and choice of materials is leagues ahead of any of their rivals in this class and is comfortably up there with the standards set by its big brothers the Range Rover, Sport and Velar. The options lists seem endless, from choices of materials for seats, door trims, headliners, and dashboards, to interior and exterior colour combinations, hours can be lost while deciding on the perfect Evoque for yourself.
The award winning Pivi Pro infotainment system in my test car was a joy to use. With two 10-inch touchscreens, it scrolls through the menu’s smoothly and briskly for everything from climate control, sat nav, parking assists and the audio system, which now comes with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
The Evoque is now on sale with more engine options than ever previously available in our market, with both petrol and diesel options offered and mild hybrid technology available on many. My test car was the P300e PHEV plug in hybrid which comes with a 1.5 litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine pumping out 200BHP and an electric motor adding another 105BHP giving a combined power output of 305BHP and allowing for a reported 0-100km/h time of 6.4 seconds, this car can really move along when asked to.
With CO2 emissions as low as 44g/km and a reported EV only range of 55km, although I averaged 35km per charge, the PHEV makes a lot of sense on paper. Company car owners will love it for the low BIK, and for anyone on regular shorter journeys, school runs, commutes to work, will all benefit from the cheaper running costs.
Land Rover quote a WLTP combined fuel consumption as low as 2L/100km, but this will vary greatly depending on how much the EV mode is in use. Expect north of 8L/100km if driving on petrol only.
The petrol engine in the PHEV solely drives the front wheels while the electric motor sits on the rear axle and only drives the rear wheels, yet it feels very natural on the road with a smooth delivery of power and seamless shifts both from the automatic gearbox and when shifting from engine to electric power.
The car drives well on the road with good grip through the corners, even when being pushed with all that power, and all with a good balance of firmness and comfort from the chassis and suspension. The cabin is well insulated with very little noise intrusion and the PHEV sounds more refined than the Evoque’s diesel-powered versions. It is a smoother drive too with that instant hit of electric power when taking off leaving the diesels still waiting on their power to build up.
Land Rover do insist that four-wheel drive will be available at all times, even when the hybrid battery is at 0%, they say there will constantly be a back-up of electrical power available to drive the rear wheels when four-wheel drive is required.
The electrification of motoring continues and, in my opinion, plug in hybrids still seem the best option for now for most people considering the shift to electric. With the environmental benefits of an electric car and the reassurance that the petrol engine will ensure you get home regardless of battery charge.
Land Rover have brought one of the best PHEVs to the table yet, with quality, style, power, and economy, it drives better and is more responsive than their diesels, it is also quieter and more refined and therefore is hard for me to see any reason why people will choose anything other than the PHEV if they are purchasing a new Evoque, excluding regular long-distance drivers of course.
With the diesels starting at €58,312 and the PHEV starting at €61,195, ex works, the Evoque is not the cheapest car in this class, but if quality and style is what you’re after, it’s the one to go for.
Visit www.landrover.ie for further information.
Wording & images by Brian Fahey (October 2021). Test car kindly provided by Stuart’s Garages, Greenhills Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24.