Range Rover Evoque review

Category: Small SUV

Small SUV has desirable looks but it's impressive by more objective standards too 

Range Rover Evoque front right driving
  • Range Rover Evoque front right driving
  • Range Rover Evoque rear cornering
  • Range Rover Evoque interior dashboard
  • Range Rover Evoque interior back seats
  • Range Rover Evoque interior infotainment
  • Range Rover Evoque right driving
  • Range Rover Evoque front cornering
  • Range Rover Evoque front right driving
  • Range Rover Evoque rear driving
  • Range Rover Evoque left static boot open
  • Range Rover Evoque rear static boot open
  • Range Rover Evoque PHEV badge detail
  • Range Rover Evoque interior front seats
  • Range Rover Evoque interior steering wheel detail
  • Range Rover Evoque interior detail
  • Range Rover Evoque PHEV boot
  • Range Rover Evoque boot open
  • Range Rover Evoque front right driving
  • Range Rover Evoque rear cornering
  • Range Rover Evoque interior dashboard
  • Range Rover Evoque interior back seats
  • Range Rover Evoque interior infotainment
  • Range Rover Evoque right driving
  • Range Rover Evoque front cornering
  • Range Rover Evoque front right driving
  • Range Rover Evoque rear driving
  • Range Rover Evoque left static boot open
  • Range Rover Evoque rear static boot open
  • Range Rover Evoque PHEV badge detail
  • Range Rover Evoque interior front seats
  • Range Rover Evoque interior steering wheel detail
  • Range Rover Evoque interior detail
  • Range Rover Evoque PHEV boot
  • Range Rover Evoque boot open
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Introduction

What Car? says...

The Range Rover Evoque changed Land Rover for ever. Before its watershed launch, the 4x4 maker's SUVs were handsome enough, but in quite a functional, boxy sort of way. After it, the British brand was as much about fashion and glamour as off-roading and country estates. 

It’s hardly surprising, then, that the designers of this second-generation Evoque opted to take an evolutionary approach to the small SUV. It would have been daft not to, given the huge popularity of the original.

The new car's styling was also clearly influenced by the pricier Range Rover Velar – for example, in the squintier front and rear lights, and the flush-fitting door handles, which slide out gracefully when you unlock the car.

Land Rover hasn't been resting on its laurels, either. Changes over time have included adding a more sophisticated infotainment system and a range of more powerful engines that feature mild-hybrid technology to boost efficiency. You can also get a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version, allowing you to do shorter journeys on electric power alone.

The Range Rover Evoque's rivals include the Alfa Romeo Tonale, the Audi Q3, the BMW X1 and a former What Car? Car of the Year, the Volvo XC40.

None of those claim to be as capable off the beaten track, but how do they all compare when it comes to performance, interior quality, safety, practicality and running costs? Well, we've driven them all, and over the next few pages of this review, that's exactly what we'll be telling you – and more.

Overview

It may well be the Evoque’s looks that piqued your interest, but it’s a fine car on more objective levels too. It’s good to drive, posh inside and reasonably practical by class standards. Slow depreciation means you should get a lot of that investment back when you sell – and monthly PCP finance costs are surprisingly competitive. The icing on the cake is a plug-in version that offers seriously cheap company car costs.

  • Great driving position
  • Well-equipped
  • Slow depreciation
  • Limited boot space
  • So-so fuel economy and emissions
  • Land Rover’s reliability record
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

Most Range Rover Evoques have either a 2.0-litre petrol engine or a 2.0-litre diesel, with several power outputs to choose from. Logically enough, the petrols are prefixed with a 'P' and the diesels with a 'D'.

The P200 and D200 have similar 0-60mph times (8.0sec and 7.9sec), but the petrol has less low-down grunt and needs to be revved quite hard. That’s worth bearing in mind if you plan to tow a caravan or trailer. The P250 and P300 add more power and acceleration, but the Evoque isn't the sort of car that encourages you to drive quickly anyway, so we'd save the money.

On the other hand, the P300e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is well worth considering – in fact, it's our favourite engine. It's the fastest model in the Evoque range (0-60mph takes just 6.1sec), and is smooth around town and punchy on the motorway. It combines a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and 15kWh battery, and can officially travel up to 38 miles on electric power alone, although it is worth noting that on our real-world test route, we covered just 25.3 miles before the petrol engine kicked in.

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque image
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Suspension and ride comfort

Ride comfort in the Evoque is impressive if you stick with 17in or 18in alloy wheels. Even with these, it's fair to say that the Volvo XC40 is a little smoother over potholes, but the Evoque is better controlled and sways around less along uneven roads. It also rides speed bumps with more grace and stays nicely settled on motorways.

Even if you go for a version with the relatively chunky 20in alloys (they're standard on Dynamic HSE  trim), ride comfort is far from a deal-breaker, but there is more fidget. The PHEV P300e is the least forgiving because of the added weight of its batteries, but is still not overly firm.

We've also tried the optional adaptive suspension, although only in combination with enormous 21in wheels – the largest you can have (and standard on Autobiography trim). Based on this limited experience, we'd say save the money and stick with the impressive standard suspension.

Range Rover Evoque rear cornering

Handling

The Evoque is no Porsche Macan through the corners but like the XC40 it handles assuredly. There's a fair bit of body lean but no shortage of grip, and the steering is accurate and appropriately responsive – not too slow but not so quick that the car feels twitchy. The P300e feels a little less agile because of its extra weight but is still perfectly fine.

You’d expect a Land Rover model to be good off road, and sure enough the Evoque can tackle terrain that would leave the BMW X1 and the XC40 flummoxed. The standard-fit Terrain Response 2 system can automatically tailor the four-wheel drive to suit the surface you’re on. The Evoque also has more ground clearance than most rivals and can wade through 530mm of water (80mm more than the XC40).

The Evoque can tow up to 2000kg (it varies depending on engine fitted). That's not the best figure in the family SUV class but towing stability is good.

Noise and vibration

The Evoque’s 2.0-litre petrol engines are impressively refined at low revs, but can get quite raucous when you ask a lot of them. You feel a bit more vibration with the D200 diesel, but it doesn't need to be worked as hard. The P300e is near-silent in electric mode then switches between electric and petrol power very smoothly (much more so than in the plug-in hybrid Alfa Romeo Tonale). In petrol mode, the 1.5-litre petrol engine isn't as quiet as it is in the Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e but it’s never a nuisance.

As for cruising ability, the Evoque generates a lot less road noise than the X1 or XC40, and there isn’t much wind noise, either. In fact, the only sound you really notice is the suspension working away along pockmarked roads.

One flaw in the Evoque’s otherwise calming road manners is the nine-speed automatic gearbox in non-PHEV versions. The stop-start system is prone to killing the engine when the speed drops to about 10mph. If the road ahead clears and you hit the accelerator before you've come to a halt, the gearbox drops into drive with an annoying jolt. The P300e has an eight-speed unit and doesn't suffer from this. If you want a manual gearbox, you'll have to choose the entry-level D165, which is available with a six-speed option.

"This is a really nice car to drive and the ride comfort is easily one of the best in class. It’s really well controlled and very settled. Even on chunky 20in alloys it’s impressive." – Doug Revolta, Head of Video

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

Land Rover is one of the best in the business when it comes to driving positions, and the Range Rover Evoque is yet another example of it getting things right.

You sit higher than you do in most rivals – including the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 – and the pedals are comfortably lined up with your body. Even those measuring north of six feet tall will find it easy to find the right driving position because there's loads of steering-wheel adjustment, and if you opt for S trim or above you get heated, 12-way electronically adjustable front seats (14-way in Dynamic HSE models). Regardless of which version you go for, the seats themselves are very comfortable.

The dashboard is higher than in most rivals and entirely uncluttered. Other than the window switches and the controls on the multi-function steering wheel, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many physical buttons at all. Dynamic HSE trim replaces physical air conditioning controls with a 10.0in touchscreen that sits beneath the main infotainment screen.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

The Evoque's extrovert styling doesn't mean it wasn't thoughtfully designed, and forwards visibility is good. The lofty driving position gives you a commanding view of the road ahead and the front pillars don’t block too much of your diagonal view at junctions and roundabouts.

Despite the rising rear window line and shallow rear screen, you can see quite a lot of what's behind you compared with some other family SUVs. Every Evoque comes with front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard.

If you pay a bit extra (or opt for Autobiography trim) you'll also get a rear-view mirror that, at the touch of a button, becomes a screen showing a view from the back of the car, so you can see behind even if the car is loaded to the roof.

Range Rover Evoque interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

The Evoque's Pivi Pro infotainment system is pretty much the same as you’ll find in the larger Land Rover Defender. Its 10.0in touchscreen is sharp, and if you go for Dynamic SE trim and above you can adjust its angle to suit your driving position. Trims below that have it recessed into the dashboard unless you pay extra for it to be moveable.

You get plenty of gadgets as standard, including DAB radio, Bluetooth, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring that uses the entire screen to show a trimmed-down version of your phone's display. Models above the entry-level Evoque or R-Dynamic trims have built-in sat-nav as standard.

The system responds promptly to prods and swipes, and although its operating system isn’t as intuitive as the X1 set-up, it’s better than in the Volvo XC40.

Quality

When it comes to outright solidity, the Evoque’s interior matches the best in class, including the XC40. Its materials feel plush, especially with the standard leather seats.

You can opt for a non-leather interior, called Eucalyptus, as a no-cost option. With that, the steering wheel covering is made from recycled plastic (although it feels like suede), and the seats are trimmed with a material that looks and feels a bit like denim. If you’re worried that that sounds a bit low-rent, we can assure you that it doesn’t detract from the overall upmarket look and feel of the interior.

"Land Rover is one of the best in the business when it comes to driving positions, and the Evoque’s is yet another example of it getting things right." – Doug Revolta, Head of Video

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

The Range Rover Evoque is quite a substantial car, so you wouldn’t expect to struggle to fit in the front, and, sure enough, you won’t – unless you’re exceptionally tall.

The front seats slide a long way back on their runners, and you’d have to be close to seven feet tall to feel your hair brushing the ceiling, even if you opt for a panoramic glass sunroof (a feature that often severely restricts head room).

As for storage space, there’s loads, including a reasonable-sized glovebox and cubby under the central armrest, a couple of cupholders between the front seats and lots of handy trays.

Rear space

The Evoque is roomy in the back compared with most other family SUVs. True, the BMW X1 and the Volvo XC40 offer a bit more knee room, but the Evoque's seats are better shaped and there's plenty of space for six-footers.

The relatively broad interior makes carrying three adults in the back less of a squeeze than it is in many rival cars.

Range Rover Evoque interior back seats

Seat folding and flexibility

The rear seats don’t do anything clever, such as slide or recline (handy features that are available on the Audi Q3 and the X1).

However, the rear seatbacks split in a 40/20/40 arrangement. That's better than the 60/40 split you get in the XC40, because the added flexibility comes in handy when you need to carry a combination of rear-seat passengers and a lengthy load.

Boot space

You can ignore the official boot capacity in litres because Land Rover measures boot space in a different way to most other manufacturers. In the real world, there's certainly enough space in the Evoque's boot for a buggy or a set of golf clubs. 

Even so, we managed to squeeze only five carry-on suitcases below the parcel shelf, compared with seven in the XC40 and eight in the X1. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) P300e has the same boot capacity as non-PHEV versions.

The 40/20/40 split rear seats fold down to leave an almost completely flat extended load bay for when you need to cart around more clobber.

"The Evoque is small by Range Rover standards but it’s quite roomy in the back compared with most other family SUVs. There’s plenty of space for six-footers and it’s quite broad." – Doug Revolta, Head of Video

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

One of the most convincing reasons to buy a Range Rover Evoque is how well it’s likely to hold on to its value. Our depreciation experts expect it to be worth more than any of its rivals – including the Alfa Romeo Tonale, the Audi Q3 and the Volvo XC40 – at three years old.

For private buyers, that’s especially sweet when you consider that the entry-level Evoque’s price tag is somewhere in the middle of its key rivals, including the BMW X1 and the XC40. PCP finance rates are often competitive, helping to offset the Evoque’s relatively poor fuel economy (the petrols are especially thirsty). 

If you’re a company car driver, it's not such good news – the Evoque’s fairly high CO2 emissions and list price will bump up your monthly tax bill. The exception is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) P300e. It’s one of the pricier versions to buy, but company car users are rewarded with low CO2 emissions, giving it by far the lowest benefit-in-kind company car tax rating of the range. It has the best official fuel economy in the line-up, but you'll only see the benefit of that if you charge the battery regularly.

Equipment, options and extras

Every Evoque is well-equipped, with 17in alloy wheels, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic LED headlights, keyless start, power-folding door mirrors and heated front seats fitted even to the cheapest version. Unless you go for range-topping Autobiography trim, you’ll still likely dip into the options list.

S trim gets 18in alloys, along with heated 12-way electrically adjustable front seats, leather upholstery and rear animated directional indicators. This trim is our pick for the best value-to-toys ratio.

Dynamic S is similar to S, but gets a sportier look and bigger 19in alloys. Dynamic SE trim is worth considering – it adds an electric tailgate, automatic high-beam assist for the headlights and blind-spot assist. Autobiography is luxurious but very expensive.

Range Rover Evoque interior infotainment

Reliability

This isn’t usually an area of strength for Land Rover. Indeed, the brand finished 31st out of the 32 manufacturers in our 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey (Jeep came bottom). BMW, Volvo and Audi finished 16th, 17th and 21st respectively.

The news isn’t much better when you look at our most and least reliable family SUVs results: the current Evoque came fourth from bottom, while the 2011-2019 Evoque was one above bottom.

Land Rover gives you a three-year unlimited mileage warranty. That’s the same as BMW's offering and slightly better than the three-year, 60,000 mile Volvo warranty.

Safety and security

The Evoque earned the maximum five-star rating when it was tested for safety by Euro NCAP. It didn't score quite as highly as the Q3 or the XC40 for adult occupant crash protection, but it beat the Q3 for child occupant protection. In other words, it's one of the top cars in the class for keeping you and your family safe in the event of a crash.

There’s plenty of safety technology to prevent a collision in the first place, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and a system that alerts the driver if they show signs of tiredness. Blind-spot monitoring is optional on most trims and standard on R-Dynamic SE trim, as is a clear exit monitor and a rear traffic monitor (to stop you reversing into the path of another car).

Two sets of Isofix child seat mounts, one on each outer rear seat, are included as standard on all versions, but there's no option to add a third set on the front passenger seat.

"Aside from the questionable reliability, if you are one of the many potential Evoque buyers living in a city, this P300e could make a lot of sense. It’s got a great interior, a comfortable ride and a decent range." – Doug Revolta, Head of Video


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FAQs

  • There is no electric car version but there is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, called the P300e. The P300e combines a petrol engine with an electric motor and battery, allowing you to do shorter journeys on electric power alone.

  • The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version, the P300e, is our pick of the engine range. It has the best performance, and as long as you can charge it up regularly, will be far more efficient than other versions. Our favourite trim is S, because although it’s the cheapest option it includes lots of luxuries.

  • It should be a very safe car, having scored the maximum five-star rating in its Euro NCAP test. It has plenty of safety technology to prevent collisions, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and a system that lets the driver know when they are showing signs of tiredness.

  • The Evoque has quite a small boot by family SUV standards, and our road testers managed to fit only five carry-on suitcases into it, compared with eight in the BMW X1. The Evoque’s rear seats do fold down in a versatile 40/20/40 arrangement, though.

At a glance
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Target Price from £38,441
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From £35,999
RRP price range £40,115 - £60,485
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)4
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)diesel, petrol parallel phev, petrol
MPG range across all versions 190.9 - 46.7
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,077 / £4,182
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £2,154 / £8,365
Available colours