Driving report: Range Rover Evoque plug-in hybrid

A cable between the socket and the battery helps to make things that tend to be thirsty by nature frugal. So the Evoque is also a saver when it comes to fuel consumption and the driver is disciplined.

The British off-road vehicle specialist Land Rover is adding a model with a plug-in hybrid to its best-selling Range Rover Evoque series. The all-wheel drive with a total output of 227 kW / 307 hp has an electric range of 55 kilometers. The battery can be charged at the socket.

Electronic rear wheel drive

Range Rover is actually known for its powerful engines. It's unusual that the new top-of-the-range Evoque has such a small engine. A displacement of just 1,5 liters across three cylinders is a size that is normally rarely found under British hoods with this brand logo. But before the fan base writes angry letters and emails to the board of directors, it is advisable to take a closer look. Because the small gasoline engine is not solely responsible for getting ahead in the 55.000 euro SUV.

Of course, it is about one of the trendy representatives of plug-in hybrid technology, who have a powerful electric motor on board in addition to the classic combustion engine. In the case of the Evoque, it sits on the rear axle and also drives its wheels. Its 80 kW / 109 PS ensure that the overall package puts a whopping 147 kW / 309 PS on the road. And the world of the performance hungry is all right again. According to the data sheet, the at least partially electrified designer SUV can travel a good 55 kilometers where the action is taking place without emissions. At least according to the norm.

Quiet start

One of Jaguar Land Rover's two technical centers is at home in the village of Gaydon in the county of Warwickshire, with a population of 446, the heart of the off-road vehicle specialist, so to speak. This is where the first tour starts in the Doppelherz-Mobil, which looks no different from its petrol or diesel siblings. Not even in the interior. The only indication of the electric in the small range is a display in the tachometer that reveals the status of the battery. Of course, the Evoque has been well fed at the company's own charging station, the battery is full to the brim.

Since we always start in the so-called EV mode (Electric Vehicle), our all-wheel drive whispers from the factory premises. Shortly after the barrier, the speed on the country road is required, 60 miles per hour so a good 100 km / h. The hybrid setting is activated beforehand in the monitor. It leaves the choice of drive type to the electronics. The tachometer needle shoots up, the three cylinders get to work. The hybrid innovation becomes a normal car again.

Double drive when accelerating

Apparently, at least, because the aforementioned display always moves into a green area. It signals that energy released when coasting, braking or releasing the accelerator is going back into the battery. It is only astonishing that the combustion engine is not shut down for a short time as with other hybrids of its kind, but continues to run cheerfully when driving downhill, albeit at visibly lower speeds. The on-board computer also uses navigation and GPS data for this purpose. When the distance radar is activated, for example, he automatically takes off the gas at intersections.

Even when gliding smoothly in normal traffic, but especially during intermediate sprints such as when overtaking, the power supply in the battery dwindles. When you step on the gas vigorously, the two drives work together. So the Evoque comes to its lavish overall performance. If you want to drive the last few miles on the way to your heir at the place of arrival electrically, the third mode comes into play. It is called "Save" and ensures that the current battery charge is frozen, so to speak. If it should drop during the tour, the combustion engine takes care of recharging.

Not every driver is environmentally friendly

With all this, the Evoque retains all the advantages that its many fans appreciate. Powerful, handy, precise and gentle eight-speed automatic. In addition, a well-tended interior with British nobility and an even better online connection. For example, the charging processes can be controlled with the help of a timer using a smartphone app, for example if a cheaper electricity tariff can be used for the home socket at night. Incidentally, an empty battery is full again in less than seven hours. With a wallbox, it takes just under an hour and a half to reach 80 percent of the capacity.

In this respect, this Evoque is a completely normal hybrid car, but like all other cars with this technology, it will not be spared from severe criticism. Because whether the Brit can really make his contribution to the environment depends on the driver. If he really recharges his battery in practice, he really is on the road more gently in order to drive electrically as often as possible. Or is he just happy about the additional power injection from the electric motor. In any case, it is a blessing for Land Rover's CO2 balance, because because of the still impractical test method, only measured 44 grams of CO2 are recorded. The same applies to the Land Rover Discovery with the same technology. And this can then be offset in the final bill of all models, for example with the almost 300 grams released by the classic Range Rover with a five-liter eight-cylinder.


Five-door SUV in the compact class with five seats, length: 4,37 meters, width: 2,00 meters (width with exterior mirrors: 2,10 meters), height: 1,65 meters, wheelbase: 2,68 meters, trunk volume: 591 - 1.576 liters

Power Type 1,5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine with turbo, 147 kW / 200 PS combined with 80 kW / 109 PS electric motor. Total output: 227 kW / 309 PS. maximum torque: 540 Nm at 2.000-2.500 rpm, all-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic, 0-100 km / h: 6,4 sec; Vmax: 213 km / h, lithium-ion battery with 12,17 kWh, electric range according to WLTP: 55 kilometers. Standard consumption: 2,1 liters / 100 kilometers, CO2 emissions: 44 g / km., Emissions standard: Euro 6d-final, efficiency class A +

Price from € 54.563

In brief

Why Because the lifestyle SUV with very good off-road properties can now also power

Why not Because you just don't feel like reloading frequently

What else The other compact models with plug-in hybrids, e.g. the VW Tiguan, Toyota RAV 4 or Volvo XC 40

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