Driving position and dashboard
Land Rover is one of the best in the business when it comes to driving positions, and the Evoque is yet another example of how to do things right. You sit higher from the road than you do in many rivals, including the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, there's lot's of steering wheel movement, and the driver's seat is super comfy — with 10-way electric adjustment from S trim. The only problem is that you need to add the relatively expensive 14-way seats if you want lumbar adjustment, or to upgrade to SE trim, with which they come as standard.
Go for SE trim or above and you get a secondary 10in touchscreen that sits directly below the main infotainment screen. This is used to control the air-con (along with a couple of physical dials to tweak the temperature and airflow), the heated seats and the various different driving modes. There’s no doubt this arrangement keeps the rest of the dashboard looking wonderfully clean, but the fact you have to look down to operate it is inevitably quite distracting when you’re driving.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Despite its extrovert styling, the Evoque isn’t too tricky to see out of. Its lofty driving position gives you an elevated view of the road ahead and its 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 compared to some other cars in the class. Plus, on top of that, every Evoque comes with front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard.
What's more, if you pay a bit extra you can turn the rear view mirror into a rear camera display, which means you can still see behind you while driving even if the boot is loaded to the roof. You can also pay more to have a surround view camera that displays a bird’s eye view of the car on the central touchscreen.
Sat nav and infotainment
The infotainment system is pretty much exactly the same as you’ll find in the larger Range Rover Velar. Its 10in touchscreen is sharp and the angle can be adjusted so you can see it better. You get plenty of gadgets, too, including Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone integration on all but the entry-level trim, which uses the entire screen to display you phone's home screen (unlike the XC40, which just uses a small section of its screen).
Unfortunately, the screen can sometimes be bit sluggish to respond to prods and its operating system isn’t as intuitive as the BMW X1's (BMW's iDrive rotary interface is much easier to use on the move), but it’s still generally better than the XC40's system.
When it comes to outright solidity, the Evoque’s interior matches the best in class, including the Volvo XC40. And the materials used feel suitably plush, especially with the leather seats that come as standard from S trim, however you can opt for a 'Eucalyptus' non-leather interior as a no-cost option.
Go for this and 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 all sounds a bit low-rent in what’s supposed to be a premium SUV, we can assure you it really doesn’t detract from the overall upmarket look and feel of the interior.