Seven years ago, Range Rover decided it needed a smaller SUV, ready to satisfy the need of a growing segment. It launched the Evoque and the car proved to be a hit, with global sales of over 772,096 (20% sold in the UK) and more than 217 international awards.

The footprint is almost identical, yet built on Land Rover’s new mixed-material Premium Transverse Architecture, there is more interior space than before. A longer wheelbase yields 20mm extra rear kneeroom and an increase in small item stowage – the larger glove box and centre cubby can now fit tablets, handbags and bottles with ease. The luggage space is 10 per cent larger (591 litres) as well as much wider and easily fits a folded pram or set of golf clubs, with space increasing to 1,383 litres when the flexible 40:20:40 second-row seats are folded.

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The new architecture has been developed for electrification, with a 48-volt mild-hybrid available at launch and a plug-in hybrid model offered around 12 months afterwards. The mild hybrid powertrain is a first for Land Rover and works by harvesting energy normally lost during deceleration thanks to the engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator, storing it in the under-floor battery. At speeds below 11mph (17km/h), the engine will shut off while the driver applies the brakes. When pulling away, the stored energy is redeployed to assist the engine under acceleration and reduce fuel consumption. The result is a refined, quiet and efficient drive in built-up traffic heavy areas, in addition to efficiency savings.

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Available across the range (when specified with automatic gearbox) of four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines, the mild hybrid delivers CO2 emissions from as low as 149g/km and fuel economy from 50.4mpg (based on the new NEDC Equivalent WLTP test procedure). If the customer chooses the 150PS diesel engine with front wheel drive, Evoque only emits 143g/km. An even more efficient plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) model and three-cylinder petrol Ingenium engine will also join the range next year.

The new Range Rover Evoque is also the first in the world to feature Ground View technology, which effectively makes the bonnet invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle. This is useful when negotiating difficult parking spaces, navigating high city centre kerbs or tackling rough terrain and is the realisation of the Transparent Bonnet technology previewed by Land Rover in 2014.

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Evoque is the first Land Rover with Smart Settings, which uses artificial intelligence algorithms to learn the driver’s preference and acts as an onboard butler. In addition to seat position, music and climate settings, Evoque can also control steering column preferences.

Available to order now, the new Range Rover Evoque priced from £31,600 in the UK. The most expensive version of the Evoque, the version P250 with 249HP PETROL AWD and AUTOMATIC reaches £50,400.