Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
Most Range Rover Evoques are powered by either a 2.0-litre petrol engine or a 2.0-litre diesel, with numerous outputs to choose from. Logically enough, the petrols are prefixed with a 'P' and the diesels with a 'D'.
Suspension and ride comfort
Ride comfort in the Range Rover 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. What's more, it 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 R-Dynamic SE, R-Dynamic HSE and HST trims), ride comfort is far from a deal-breaker, but doing so leads to more fidget. Plug-in hybrid P300e models are the least forgiving, yet still by no means overly firm.
We've also tried the optional adaptive suspension, although only in combination with enormous 21in wheels – the largest you can have on your Evoque (and standard on Autobiography trim). Based on this limited experience, we'd say save yourself the money and stick with the very impressive regular suspension.
As for cruising ability, the Evoque generates a lot less road noise than the XC40 or BMW X1. There isn’t much wind noise, either, although you can hear the suspension working away along pockmarked roads.
The biggest flaw in the Range Rover Evoque’s otherwise pretty calming road manners is its nine-speed automatic gearbox. The stop-start system has a predilection for killing the engine when the speed drops to around 10mph – its assumption being that you’re about to come to a halt. Yet if the road ahead clears and you hit the accelerator before you've come to a stop, the gearbox drops into drive with an annoying jolt. The one version that doesn't suffer from this problem is the P300e – it gets a different eight-speed unit. There’s a six-speed manual, but it’s only available in the entry-level D165 and we haven’t tried it.