The Range Rover Evoque is a compact SUV that's the fashionable baby of the current Range Rover line-up. It became an instant hit when it was launched in 2011 and continues to be so now. With prices starting from roughly £30,000, it's not as expensive as its bigger brothers (the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport), but it has competition from other premium SUVs like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the Lexus NX.
If you’re considering buying an Evoque, a heavily facelifted version is coming in August 2015. Order books have already opened and that facelift mainly consists of a new 148bhp 2.0-litre ‘Ingenium’ diesel engine. The new engine is said to burn fuel a lot more efficiently and promises fuel economy of up to 68mpg and low CO2 emissions, meaning cheaper road tax of just £20 per year. It replaces the ageing 2.2-litre diesel that was also used on the now deceased Land Rover Freelander.
Plus, there will also be a more powerful 178bhp version for higher-performance models. There's also a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 237bhp and comes with a nine-speed automatic as standard that remains an option.
The facelift does little to change the actual look of the car from its already successful format other than a revised front bumper, new LED headlights and fresh alloy wheel designs. On the inside, new materials feature, as does a larger display screen for Jaguar-Land Rover's InControl infotainment system. A new off-road cruise control system scans the terrain ahead and maintains a crawling speed, as well as various new safety systems.
There's a three-door Coupe version, and a more practical five-door. Entry-level models are front-wheel-drive only thus are more economical; all other editions are four-wheel-drive. The Evoque isn’t quite as capable off-road as other cars in Land Rover's range, but it still performs well enough, and the enhancements in coming in August 2015 should keep the Evoque one step ahead of the competition.
Because Evoque owners are less likely than most Land Rover/Range Rover drivers to take their car off the beaten track, we’d go for the least powerful diesel engine in a two-wheel-drive configuration. The Evoque is a strong performer on the road, with little body roll and loads of grip available. It has a really comfortable ride, too.
There are currently four trim options available: SE, SE Tech, HSE Dynamic and HSE Dynamic Lux. Rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, heated front seats and all-round parking sensors are standard across the range, making the Evoque feel just as luxurious as its German rivals.
Reliability, a stigma that Land Rover can’t seem to shake off, hampers the Evoque slightly. A pretty poor reliability score in our Driver Power 2015 customer satisfaction survey shows that Land Rover still have some work to do.