Under the skin, there are significant changes; more than 90 per cent of the components in the car’s bare body are new, in fact, and the Evoque is the first Jaguar Land Rover model to be based on the firm’s all-new Premium Transverse Architecture. The new platform is designed to offer the companies’ smaller models more scope for technical progress (in particular in electrification) than the old car’s LR-MS set-up, which could be traced back to the second-generation Freelander and Ford’s ownership of the British brands.
PTA has been designed from the outset to offer electrification - and that’s precisely what will be available on the Evoque, because all automatic variants, regardless of whether they’re diesel or petrol, will have a 48-volt mild hybrid system equipped with an 8Ah lithium-ion battery.
The enhanced quality is made obvious by tighter panel gaps, and the upmarket models now roll on 21in wheels. Design boss Gerry McGovern resists suggestions that the Evoque has hardly changed, but labels the new car as “a smart evolution, rather than a revolution”.
The 2019 Evoque rides on an all-new “mixed-material” platform labelled Premium Transverse Architecture, a Jaguar Land Rover group design capable of housing the various electrified powertrains that will come soon to Jaguars and Land Rovers with transverse engines. The body is 13% stiffer than the current car, engineers say, improving refinement and handling.
The system will cut the engine off completely below 17kph (11mph), instead of waiting for the vehicle to reach a standstill - and use a belt-integrated starter generator to assist with acceleration if required. The electric device, which can produce 100Nm of torque but more normally supplies between 20Nm and 30Nm, also helps to reduce turbo lag and overcomes any delay in stop-start activity. Land Rover says the MHEV system alone brings a up to a six per cent reduction in fuel consumption, saving as much as 8g/km of CO2 emissions.
The new Evoque will be available with two trios of engine line-ups - all Ingenium four-cylinder units. The petrols produce 197bhp, 247bhp and 296bhp, while the diesels have 148bhp, 178bhp and 237bhp. There will be a manual gearbox available on the lowliest diesel, in front-drive form, but the rest of the range will get a new nine-speed automatic.
Within the next 12 months, the car will get a less powerful three-cylinder turbo petrol option. And this engine will be available as a standalone unit or as part of a plug-in hybrid configuration. Land Rover hasn’t announced stats on the PHEV Evoque but chief engineer Pete Simkin told us, “It’ll be able to go a competitive distance on electric power alone.” And the packaging of the larger battery pack does not impact on cabin or boot space, it’s claimed.
All but the most basic of Evoques will be four-wheel drive, but their transmission has something called ‘driveline disconnect’, which in effect makes the vehicle front-wheel drive when it’s cruising along on a motorway. Land Rover will also offer an Active Driveline, which uses a rear-mounted double-clutch to offer torque vectoring on the rear axle - instead of using the brakes to aid turn-in.
Responses from Evoque owners to extensive customer research have shown that city-bound motorists continue to value the Evoque for its relative compactness. The new model has exactly the same 4.37-metre length as the original (150mm shorter than an Audi Q3) but the 2019 car has a 20mm longer wheelbase that delivers its extra space directly to the rear cabin as enhanced leg room. The rear doors are bigger, improving access, and there’s 10% more boot space. Rear accommodation, problematic for some customers of the original Evoque, is now acceptable if not class-leading. The three-door ‘coupé’, whose sales have dwindled for years, is discontinued.
The new Evoque’s MacPherson strut front suspension now features fluid-filled Hydrobushes for better road isolation. At the rear it adopts the Velar’s new Integral Link set-up, which not only separates lateral and longitudinal forces (for improved refinement) but also saves space compared with the previous system, helping deliver the Mk2 version’s bigger, wider boot space. Most Evoques get adaptive shock absorbers, whose sensors continuously adjust their damping to suit varying road conditions.
At launch, all new Evoques are powered by JLR’s 2.0-litre Ingenium engines, in both diesel and petrol guises. Nearly all Evoques are four-wheel drive; the only two-wheeler is the 148bhp manual gearbox D150 diesel starting at £31,600. At the other end of the price and performance scale sits the P300, an allwheel-drive petrol version with a 296bhp petrol engine driving the familiar nine-speed ZF automatic gearbox (which gets a conventional selector lever rather than the twist-selector used in Range Rovers).
The Clearsight concept also extends to the limited view out of the car rear window - one of the car’s known issues. This Mk2 Evoque will be available with a rear-view mirror that can be flicked between conventional use and a 1600x320-pixel, 9.5-inch display that shows footage captured by a rear-facing camera on the car’s roof, at 60 frames per second. Based on our brief experience with the system, it’ll take a while to get used to the ultra-wide angle - which makes items seem further away than they are. But we could easily see most owners leaving the digital display as the default, given time.
Land Rover has yet to issue final CO2 figures across the range but it says the 150PS front-drive diesel manual will emit 143g/km of CO2, and that the cleanest mild-hybrid auto diesel will emit 149g/km and return 50.4mpg. These figures are based on the new, tougher WLTP test cycle, too.
Land Rover has also tried to fix another of the Mk1 Evoque’s bugbears: range. The diesel version gets a larger tank (now 65 litres) in a bid to give it more long-distance usability, while the tanks in the petrol models are bigger again, at 67 litres.
Step up to S and you get 18in alloys regardless of engine, plus perforated leather, electrically adjustable front seats, an improved infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, auto dimming on the side mirrors and rear-view mirror, and traffic sign recognition with an adaptive speed limiter.
SE upgrades the headlights, incorporating high-beam assist, and animates the LED indicators so they ‘sweep’ in the direction of intended travel. You also get 20in alloys, further adjustment and heating on the front seats, an interactive driver display, an electrically powered tailgate and a parking pack that includes a rear traffic monitor.
HSE upgrades the leather upholstery again and brings a 380W Meridian sound system, the ClearSight rear-view mirror camera, gesture control for the powered tailgate, adaptive cruise control and a different finish of 20in alloys.
Engineers have used the platform to extend the Evoque’s wheelbase, so while the new model is actually a few millimetres shorter than the old one overall, it has shorter overhangs (slashed by a substantial 30mm at the front) for better cabin packaging. This is chiefly to bring benefits to rear-seat passengers, who should find it easier to get into the vehicle, and enjoy more leg and kneeroom once they’re aboard.
The boot capacity with the rear seats in place increases by around 10 per cent, to 591 litres - enough, Land Rover says, for a full set of golf clubs or a folded pram. The overall maximum capacity is actually a little smaller, though; with the second row folded down, there’s 1,383 litres on offer.