Why did Jaguar Land Rover wait until yesterday, America’s Thanksgiving holiday, to drop the all-new 2020 Range Rover Evoque? I know JLR is a British company, but dumping news during or around any big holiday is usually reserved for stuff like Facebook’s “Sorry we secretly paid some guys to attack George Soros, our bad, again” admission—not for when you actually want attention. Anyway, the Evoque is back for 2020, it’s all-new, it only has five doors now and it adds some interesting tech to the mix.
It’s almost hard to fathom that the compact crossover and entry level member of the Land Rover family has been around since 2011 now, so it was definitely due for a replacement. And this new one, which we’ll see at next year’s Chicago Auto Show, looks pretty similar to the old car but is fully new under the skin. It debuts the new Premium Transverse Architecture, and while it’s not really any bigger than the Evoque it replaces, it is said to be roomier inside, stiffer and quieter.
Two engines are available at launch: a 2.0-liter turbo four, or a 48-volt mild hybrid version of the same. Those engines are good for 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, or 296 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque, respectively. Both come standard with all-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic gearbox and Land Rover’s Terrain Response system with six modes for different types of road conditions.
There’s some cool gadgets at work this time too. The new Evoque debuts Land Rover’s ClearSight Ground View technology, which projects a 180-degree view of the ground onto one of the touch screens. Whether you’re squeezing into a tight parking space or doing some light off-roading, this lets you see what you’ve been missing so you can position the car exactly where it needs to go. It’s a pretty clever idea.
Years ago we experimented with a similar system that projected an image onto the hood itself, but this does effectively the same thing in a much more convenient (and presumably cheaper) way.
There’s also the ClearSight Rear View Mirror, which turns the rear-view mirror into a wider-angled HD camera to give a better view of what’s behind you. I’ve used similar systems on Cadillac’s cars and I’m generally a big fan. The days of cameras replacing mirrors are soon upon us, regulations permitted of course.
If you were a fan of the three-door model, however, say goodbye. According to multiple reports, it’s been axed due to slow sales, much like a lot of the smaller hatchbacks have. Oh well. That car looked cool, I suppose, but I don’t think any of us should spend more than a few hours mourning its demise. Days, at most.
I’ve never had strong feelings about the Evoque one way or another, but this new one looks pretty nice. Real talk: It wasn’t important enough to make me stop binge-eating cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie to write about it at the time, but it should make plenty of mall-goers in Santa Monica very happy.
Correction: This post originally said the new Evoque would debut at the LA Auto Show. It actually debuts at the Chicago Auto Show next year.