Review

Range Rover Evoque SUV

£29,205 - £49,805

The Range Rover Evoque has the luxurious feel of a more traditional Range Rover SUV, but adds cool looks, car-like handling and a trendy image to the regular car's long list of attributes. Buyers can choose between the sleeker three-door model or the more practical five-door car, while rivals range from the cheaper MINI Paceman right through to the upmarket Audi Q5 and BMW X3. The new Lexus NX is arguably the Evoque's biggest rival, however.

Land Rover wanted the Evoque to appeal to a new generation of Land Rover buyers, while keeping the off-road ability and luxurious qualities that are the cornerstones of the brand. When it went on sale in 2011, its striking styling meant it could have easily rolled off a motor show concept stand and straight to your local dealer. Even now, regular styling tweaks and new colour options keep the Evoque looking fresh.

Once you’ve taken in the looks and climbed inside to admire the cool, luxurious interior, the next revelation is the way the Evoque drives. For a Land Rover, it feels extremely taut, with minimal body lean and plenty of grip in corners. It's arguably the most involving car to drive in the Range Rover line-up, but it keeps the comfortable suspension that traditional customers of the brand expect. Off-road, it doesn’t have quite the same go-anywhere ability of the full-sized Range Rover, but it has enough rough-terrain prowess to keep its main rivals in check.

Engine options include a 2.0-litre petrol and a choice of two 2.2-litre diesels. The least powerful diesel is only available with two-wheel drive, which means it returns excellent fuel economy but isn’t much use off-road. Nevertheless, it's our pick of the range, as most people are unlikely to need four-wheel drive. The petrol version is the quickest in the range, but also the least relaxing and most expensive to run.

Land Rover offers the Evoque in five trim levels – Pure, Pure Tech, Dynamic, Dynamic Lux and Autobiography. All models have alloy wheels, leather trim, climate control, an eight-inch touchscreen and a premium stereo. No matter which model you go for, the Evoque arguably feels more luxurious inside than its rivals from BMW, Audi and Lexus.