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 Evoque is yet another example of how to do things right. You sit farther from the road than you do in many rivals, including the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, there's lots of steering wheel adjustment and the driver's seat is super-comfy – with 10-way electric adjustment from S trim up. The only problem is that you need to add the relatively expensive 14-way seats, or upgrade to SE trim, if you want adjustable lumbar support.
Go for SE trim or above and you also get a secondary 10.0in touchscreen that sits directly below the main infotainment screen. This is used to control the air conditioning (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 that you have to look down to operate it is inevitably quite distracting when you’re driving.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Evoque's extrovert styling doesn't mean it wasn't thoughtfully designed, and in fact it isn't at all tricky to see out of. Its lofty driving position gives you a commanding 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 with some cars in the class. On top of that, every Evoque comes with front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera as standard.
What's more, if you pay a bit extra, you'll get a rear-view mirror that, at the touch of a button, can morph into a screen showing a view directly behind the car, so 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 Pivi Pro infotainment system is pretty much exactly the same as you’ll find in the larger Land Rover Defender. Its 10.0in touchscreen is sharp and its angle can be adjusted to suit your driving position. 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 a trimmed-down version of your phone's home screen.
The system responds promptly to prods and swipes although its operating system isn’t as intuitive as the BMW X1's (BMW's rotary controller is much easier to use on the move), although it’s still generally better than the Volvo XC40's system for usability.
When it comes to outright solidity, the Evoque’s interior matches the best in class, including the Volvo XC40. Its materials feel suitably plush, especially with the leather seats that come as standard from S trim, although 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 that it really doesn’t detract from the overall upmarket look and feel of the interior.
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