Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 4x4 full 9 point review
There’s a 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine that comes with a manual gearbox and two-wheel drive, but while it’s relatively strong at low revs, it quickly runs out of puff at higher revs. The stronger, even more flexible four-wheel-drive 187bhp diesel model is better, so it what we recommend. There’s also a 247bhp petrol version that packs a punch, but its acceleration isn’t as effortless as the diesels’.
Ride & Handling
The Evoque has quick and accurate steering, and the ride is supple enough to absorb most small imperfections in the road surface, without being so soft that the car wallows when you turn in to 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 they fade nicely into the background at motorway speeds. 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 nine-speed automatic gearbox (optional on the 187bhp diesel model and standard on the petrol) is smooth and rarely gets caught in the wrong gear.
Buying & Owning
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.
Quality & Reliability
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.
Safety & Security
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.
Behind The Wheel
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.
Space & Practicality
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.