The glamorous spell cast by the Range Rover brand was demonstrated brilliantly by the launch of the Evoque.

First seen in 2011, the compact Range Rover proved the marque’s allure worked just as well on a smaller vehicle as a full-sized SUV.

With the original turning into a star performer and racking up more than three-quarters of a million sales worldwide, the second generation Evoque has a tough act to follow.

The heartening news is that while the new model looks and feels much like its predecessor, every aspect of the restyled car has been thoroughly improved.

Quieter, more luxurious and packed with technology, the Halewood-built Evoque is looking to the future, thanks to a new platform which can accommodate plug-in hybrid and fully-electric versions, as well as internal combustion engines.

The 2.0-litre, turbocharged, petrol-powered car driven here, as with virtually all the range, uses a new 48-volt ‘mild hybrid’ system to recover braking energy, which is stored in a battery to use for low-speed driving and to boost acceleration.

Mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the car handles even more tautly than its predecessor, while delivering superb ride comfort. Optional adaptive dampers fitted to the test car help to insulate everyone on board from all but the lumpiest surfaces.

The way the engine’s 250 horsepower is slickly delivered also suits the car’s unruffled personality and the only downside is that it is a little thirsty.

Though the car is virtually identical in size to the previous model, its longer wheelbase delivers more room for passengers in the back and more space for luggage, answering the most common complaints about the original.

Prices start from just under £32,000, so the vehicle driven here is right towards the top of the range. The interior is classier than ever, with an array of digital instrumentation including a driver’s display that can be configured at the touch of a button, a ten-inch touchscreen which glides out from the centre of the dashboard and a large colour head-up display.

The touchscreen operates like a smartphone, with ‘pinch to zoom’ gestures, a customisable home screen and shortcuts to favourite features.

Common sense says the Evoque is likely to spend most of its time tootling around town or zooming along motorways, but it carries a small oval Land Rover badge on the nearside of the front grille which means it needs to be able to deliver serious off-road performance.

Leading the way is the car’s ‘terrain response’, which adapts the reactions of the vehicle’s engine, gearbox, centre coupling and braking/stability systems to match the demands.

It has four settings covering everything from driving on-road to gravel, snow, mud and ruts and sand.

The Evoque can also wade through water to a depth of 50cm, using information from sensors in the door mirrors to tell you the current depth of the water, along with how much deeper the car can safely wade, with a visual display on the car’s touchscreen and an audible tone that increases as the depth rises.

As useful as these features might be, it is more likely that buyers will be impressed by the likes of the 14-way electrically-adjustable, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and ambient interior lighting that can be adjusted through 18 shades, including Ultra Violet, Amberglow and Racing Red.

So inside and out, every aspect of the Evoque’s star quality has been allowed to shine.

Auto facts

Model: Range Rover Evoque P250 First Edition

Price: £51,120 as tested

Insurance group: 35

Fuel consumption (combined): 36.7mpg

Top speed: 143mph

Length: 437.1cm/171.6in

Width: 190.4cm/74.5in

Luggage capacity: 472 litres/16.6 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 14.7 gallons/67 litres

CO2 emissions: 180g/km

Warranty: Three years/unlimited mileage