Used Range Rover Evoque review: 2011 to 2018 (Mk1) - Engines, performance and drive

The Range Rover Evoque is good to drive, surprisingly good off-road and comfortable on bumpy roads

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, drive and performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Range Rover Evoque handles well and is comfortable too, so it scores highly when it comes to the driving experience. It’s not quite as enjoyable to drive as a BMW X3, but it’s more composed in bends than an Audi Q3 and more comfortable than a Mercedes GLA, so it has the edge over some of its main competitors.

In fact the Evoque’s strongest suit is the way it drives, as it has shortcomings in some other key areas. Along with its stylish looks, it’s one of the main reasons to consider buying a used example. If you’re on the fence about it, the Mk2 model built from 2018 onward is even better to drive and more comfortable.

What is the Range Rover Evoque like to drive?

Compared to the rest of the models in the brand’s line-up, the Range Rover Evoque is relatively small and feels more like a conventional car to drive. For the best driving experience, look out for the Adaptive Dynamics system (it was an optional extra on HSE Dynamic, HSE Dynamic Lux and Autobiography models). This clever technology makes the Evoque even more composed in corners, but not at the expense of comfort.

In models with four-wheel drive, the Evoque is good as an off-roader – it will tackle terrain that you’d never dream of taking a Mercedes GLA over, for example. While it’s primarily a road car, the Range Rover still has credentials and will keep you out of trouble if you venture away from tarmac. All models (even the two-wheel-drive ones) come with Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which allows you to set up the car for a variety of conditions such as mud, gravel and snow.

The Evoque Convertible is worse to drive than the normal model. It’s heavier and quite a bit more uncomfortable on bumpy roads, plus because the roof is made from fabric, it’s noisier at high speed. It’s not terrible but the hard-top car is much better to drive overall.

The best gearbox is the smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic gearbox, which suits its luxurious nature and will make the car more appealing to used buyers. It’s been set up to provide decent fuel economy rather than lightning-quick gear changes and acceleration. The earlier six-speed auto isn’t as good.

Which engine should I choose?

We reckon the best Evoque is a five-door diesel, partly because of the limited number of Coupes and petrol Evoques available, and partly due to space and running costs: the three-door Evoque is pretty cramped in the back, while the Si4 petrol only manages 32mpg.

The 190bhp diesel takes 8.5 seconds to go from 0-62mph when fitted with an automatic gearbox (it’s slower with a manual), while the four-wheel-drive TD4 150bhp diesel takes 10.8 seconds and the front-drive eD4 11.2 seconds. Those who cover a lot of motorway miles will likely favour the extra grunt of the 190bhp SD4 diesel, though. Four-wheel-drive Evoques outnumber front-wheel-drive models by 10 to one, but don’t discount the eD4 if you plan on keeping the Evoque firmly on tarmac.

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