The strong pick-up and easy mid-range delivery of the 187bhp turbodiesel engine make it our favourite Evoque powerplant. There’s also a148bhp version of the same 2.2-litre engine. It’s relatively strong at low revs but quickly runs out of puff, so there’s little point in revving it beyond its comfort zone. The 247bhp petrol engine packs a punch but it’s far too thirsty for serious recommendation.
The Evoque has quick and accurate steering, and the ride is supple enough to absorb most imperfections in the road surface, without being so soft that the car wallows when you turn into a corner. Okay, the suspension isn't perfect – it sometimes lets the body bounce up and down a couple of times before bringing it under control – but the set-up is generally well judged for UK roads. The exceptions are the 2WD models, which don’t ride as comfortably as the other models.
Land Rover's petrol and diesel engines are audible when worked hard, but at motorway speeds they're pulling around 2000rpm, so they fade nicely into the background. The wind noise that builds up around the door mirrors is far more intrusive, and road noise can also be a problem, particularly with cars on 20-inch wheels.
The Evoque is Range Rover’s most affordable model, and it’s one of the most desirable cars on the market, so resale values are strong. Our favourite engine’s CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are higher than those of most rivals, so company car drivers will be better off with the 148bhp, front-wheel drive version.
Land Rover has hidden harder-finish cabin plastics out of sight – and the upper areas of the fascia are plush enough to make the Evoque feel like a Range Rover. There are concerns, though; Land Rover has an awful habit of finishing dead last in our reliability survey with Warranty Direct. We can only hope this new model improves matters.
Four-wheel drive is standard on all but the most basic model, and the cabin features driver and passenger airbags, knee airbags, side curtain airbags and thorax airbags. All this helped the car achieve a five-star crash rating from Euro NCAP. Adaptive headlights and blind spot-monitoring are available as options, and the braking system includes Corner Brake Control and Electronic Brake Force Distribution. Security kit is also extensive.
The driving position is slightly elevated, so you get a good forward view (particularly in the five-door, which has a taller windscreen than the Coupe). Unfortunately, rear visibility is more compromised: the screen is wide, but extremely shallow. Most of the car's systems are controlled through a touch-screen, with icons that are large and easy to hit, although the layout of some of the menus is confusing.
The Evoque has enough room for four six-footers, although the Coupe is a little tighter than the five-door, and gaining access to its rear seats is tricky. In both bodies the rear cabin is fairly dark, but the optional panoramic glass roof brightens things up. The Evoque's boot is a little on the small side, with a high floor, and its rear seats don't fold completely flat.
Even the entry-level Pure spec gets leather upholstery and an eight-inch touch-screen infotainment system, while the two 'premium' specs, Prestige and Dynamic, focus on luxury and sportiness respectively. Prestige brings chrome flourishes and a plusher cabin; Dynamic 20-inch wheels, a rear spoiler and side skirts. Options include sports seats, a panoramic glass roof, a 17-speaker hi-fi, and a dual-view screen that lets the front passenger watch TV while the driver is looking at the sat-nav.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
The Range Rover Evoque 2.2 SD4 190 Pure is our favourite version of the Evoque because it strikes the best balance between performance and affordability, as well as style and practicality.