Review

Range Rover Evoque SUV

The Evoque is the compact and fashionable baby of the Range Rover line-up. It was a hit when it was launched and it remains so now. With prices starting at around £30,000, it's not anything like as expensive as its bigger brother, but it goes head-to-head with premium SUV rivals such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and recently launched Lexus NX.

If you're considering buying an Evoque, it's worth knowing that a heavily facelifted version is due to arrive in August 2015, with orders open from April. We say 'heavily facelifted,' but the biggest change is under the bonnet, where you'll find a new 148bhp 2.0-litre 'Ingenium' diesel engine. This promises improved fuel economy (68mpg) and CO2 emissions (for £20 road tax) and replaces the existing 2.2-litre diesel.

In addition, there'll be a more powerful 178bhp version for higher-performance models. The 237bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, which will continue to come as standard with a nine-speed automatic gearbox, remains in the line-up.

The revised model's looks don't depart too far from the current successful formula. Changes include a new front bumper, new LED lights and alloy wheels. Inside, there are new materials, door trim and a larger display screen. Technical upgrades include off-road cruise control that 'reads' the terrain and mantains a crawling speed, as well as various safety assistance features, including lane-keeping.

There are two versions of Evoque: a three-door, called the Coupe; and a five-door. Basic models are front-wheel drive and therefore more economical; all others are four-wheel drive. The Evoque isn't as capable off-road as the Range Rover, but it's able enough and the enhancements coming later in 2015 are sure to keep it one step ahead of the competition.

For this reason, and because Evoque owners are unlikely to take their car off-road too often, we recommend the least powerful diesel engine with two-wheel drive. On the road, the Evoque drives extremely well, with little body lean in corners and lots of grip. It rides comfortably, too – just as people buying a car badged 'Range Rover' would expect.

Currently there are five trim levels: Pure, Pure Tech, Dynamic, Dynamic Lux and top-of-the-range Autobiography. Alloy wheels, leather trim, climate control and a touchscreen are all standard, making the Evoque feel at least as luxurious, if not more so, than its German rivals.