The cheapest and most efficient Evoque comes with a 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine. It’s badged eD4, but is available only with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox.
The performance of this model also leaves a little to be desired, so we’d opt for the stronger 178bhp TD4 engine. You can have this with a six-speed manual gearbox or, for a bit extra, the more appropriate nine-speed automatic. Straight-line performance still isn’t sparkling compared with, say, an Audi Q3, but there’s enough urgency from low revs to keep pace with fast-moving traffic.
At the top of the range is a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 237bhp. It’s unsurprisingly faster than the diesels, but acceleration still isn’t as impressive as you might expect – 0-62mph takes 7.6sec.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque ride comfort
The Range Rover Evoque doesn’t ride as well as the best small SUVs, including the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. There’s a noticeable dip and wobble from the body as it soaks up bumps, and small ripples typical of torn-up British town roads can cause it to fidget and shudder.
True, you can add adaptive dampers to Dynamic models, but these do more to reduce body lean in faster cornering than they do to improve ride comfort. Higher-spec Evoques also come with bigger alloys, which emphasise the choppy-feeling ride around town.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque handling
The Evoque’s steering is surprisingly quick to respond by SUV standards, which is great when you’re threading through urban backstreets, but it also makes the car feel nervous at higher speeds. And while the Evoque doesn’t sway about through corners like an old-school 4x4, neither does it change direction as sharply as rivals like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.
The cheapest model gets front-wheel drive, while the four-wheel-drive models either have drive permanently sent to all wheels, or there’s an optional (standard on the Si4) 'Active Driveline' system, which allows the Evoque to run on front-wheel drive alone when it can, for better efficiency, before activating the four-wheel drive if it senses the need.
Either way, the Evoque does live up to Land Rover’s off-road credentials. All four-wheel-drive models come with a system that allows you to set the car’s system to best suit specific terrains, a 500mm wading depth is best-in-class, and 215mm ground clearance is better than most rivals, so you can be sure that a wet grassy field or some mud-wallowing is well within its capabilities.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque refinement
Diesel Evoques are a touch clattery under acceleration, but quieten down to an easily ignored thrum at a steady cruise. There’s some vibration through the controls under acceleration, but nothing too bothersome.
More intrusive is the wind noise that kicks up a blustery soundtrack over the door mirrors at high speeds; road noise is a distant but noticeable background noise.
The manual gearbox has a fairly precise shift and a light clutch, so it’s no chore to use even in traffic. The nine-speed automatic is more relaxed, as it blurs its shifts well and is rarely caught out in the wrong ratio unless you ask for a sudden burst of speed.
This is the lower-powered of the two available versions of the 2.0-litre diesel, and is only available with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox. The claimed emissions and economy are very competitive with other efficiency oriented SUVs. However, performance is a bit sluggish so we’d recommend the more powerful TD4.
Our pick 2.0 TD4
The most popular choice, this 2.0-litre diesel engine has a bit more power than the entry-level ED4 and also gets four-wheel drive as standard. It can be had with a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional nine-speed automatic. Performance is adequate but similarly powerful rivals offer better acceleration.
Best avoided. The 2.0 turbo petrol engine doesn’t suit the Evoque and, although it brings better performance than either of the diesels, it still isn’t exactly rapid. The engine makes the Evoque very pricey, too.