“Stunning to look at, highly capable on and off-road, luxurious and efficient to run… the Range Rover Evoque has it all.”
The Range Rover Evoque has had a huge impact on the premium SUV market since it was launched in 2011. It blends futuristic looks, with a high driving position, fun handling and a luxury cabin. It can be had in either three or five-door forms, with trim levels including Pure, Prestige and Dynamic. Much of the Evoque's appeal is its ability to deliver the qualities of more expensive models further up the Range Rover range, but at a much lower price. That means that the Evoque blends excellent on and off-road performance, with classy looks and a premium cabin. Its three engines also set new standards for efficiency, making it the cheapest model to run on a daily basis. The result is a car that is more than a match for rivals such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q3, and one that took the CarBuyer Best Luxury 4x4 award in 2012.
MPG, running costs & CO2 emissions
The Evoque is at its most fuel efficient with two-wheel drive and the lower-powered diesel engine. In this specification, it returns economy of 57.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 133g/km for annual road tax of £125. Go for the more powerful diesel, fitted with four-wheel drive, and economy drops to 49.6mpg, while road tax goes up to £140 annually. Most costly to run is the petrol version – it can manage just 36.2mpg, while CO2 emissions of 181g/km translate into road tax of £260 a year.
Interior & comfort
You get nearly everything you’d expect from a Range Rover inside an Evoque – while the amount of space is actually a nice surprise considering its more compact dimensions. Comfortable and luxurious, the interior is made from quality materials and decked out with lots of accessories and technology. The centre console in the dashboard is well laid out and solid, while the optional panoramic roof is expensive at around £800, but floods the interior with light. The Evoque's cabin is also extremely quiet, making it excellent for long motorway journeys. The suspension is adept at absorbing lumps and bumps, whatever surface you're driving on, be it smooth motorways or pot-holed urban streets.
Practicality & boot space
Those looks do come at a cost – especially in the three-door model, which isn’t as versatile or as easily accessible as the five-door car. Rearward visibility is also poor on cars lacking the reversing camera. Based on the exterior, it's obvious that headroom isn’t going to be class-leading, but it's not as tight as you might think. The five-door model is actually 40mm higher, which makes it better for any adults sitting in the back. There's 575 litres of boot space on offer with the standard-fit split-fold rear seats still in place (more than the Audi Q3 and BMW X3). Fold the back seats down flat and that expands to a hefty 1,445 litres. The seating position is good, keeping you low enough for a sporty feel, but high enough to look over most other cars. The Evoque's off-road ability is pretty good, too, thanks to systems such as hill descent control and a terrain response system that sets the car up for varying road surfaces.
Reliability & safety
The Evoque made its debut in the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, placing itself firmly in the middle of the top 100 ranking at 52nd. Poor reliability and build quality stopped it from moving further up the list. Meanwhile, Land Rover itself dropped five places down the manufacturers' rankings, from 25th to 32nd, with reliability and running costs being the main bugbears. Safety, however, is a strong point, with the compact Evoque being awarded the full five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety test awards.
Engines, drive & performance
Small dimensions mean the Evoque is the sportiest Range Rover that Land Rover has ever put on the road. Three engines are available – a 2.0-litre petrol and two 2.2-litre diesels. Buyers can also choose between two-wheel drive, for low running costs, and four-wheel drive for added grip. The Evoque is not as tall as other Range Rovers in the range so there is less body roll when driving round corners, and its precise steering makes it feel like a much smaller car. We’d recommend the 187bhp 2.2-litre diesel, which can get from 0-60mph in 9.5 seconds, because it combines enough performance for safe overtaking with reasonable economy. The 147bhp diesel version gives even more economy at the cost of some performance, with 0-60mph taking 10.6 seconds. Fastest of the lot is the 237bhp 2.0-litre petrol, which can get from 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds. The Evoque can also be fitted with a nine-speed automatic gearbox, which improves both economy and acceleration over the old six-speed auto.
Price, value for money & options
Range Rovers Evoques are undeniably expensive, but you do get a lot of kit for your money. Six specifications are available - Pure, Pure Tech, Prestige, Prestige Lux, Dynamic and Dynamic Lux. All Evoques come with cruise control, leather seats, climate control and Bluetooth phone connection. While moving up the range adds equipment such as sat-nav, front parking sensors, powerful xenon headlights with automatic dipping, and a heated windscreen. The top-of-the-range models get a premium stereo, a dual-view touchscreen – which allows the passenger to watch TV, while it also displays information to the driver – an electrically closing tailgate and electrically controlled seats.