Used Range Rover Evoque long-term test

Does plug-in hybrid power make sense in a hard-working small SUV? And is nearly-new the best way to buy it? We're finding out...

Range Rover Evoque 2023 long-term hello

The car Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic HSE 1.5 plug-in hybrid AWD Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer

Why it’s here To find out whether this plug-in hybrid SUV really is at home in town as it is in the countryside, and whether nearly-new is the way to buy one

Needs to be fuel efficient in town and on the road alike, and as indulgent as it is practical

Mileage 8467 List price new (2023) £55,560 Price new with options £57,795 Test economy 34.9mpg Official economy 189.4mpg Dealer value now £31,383 Private value now £31,271 Running costs (excluding depreciation) Fuel £1008 (petrol and electricity)

3 April 2024 – It's been fun hanging out

One of the more novel aspects of my work as chief photographer for What Car? is performed only on a private test track. It sees me donning a harness to securely hang out of the boot of a moving vehicle, in order to get tracking shots of the one following behind. It’s an endeavour that my car absolutely must enable me to perform, so it came as some relief that my used Range Rover Evoque was up to the task.

Range Rover Evoque Long Term review, boot tracking shots goodbye

In fact, being a small SUV, the Evoque has a relatively high boot floor, so when I’m laying down in my daredevil posture, the view through the eyepiece of my Nikon is at precisely front grille level – pretty much just what I need. However, as I mentioned last time around, the Evoque’s boot isn’t the biggest in the world. When it’s set up in photographer’s platform mode, the seats have to be folded down to free up enough space for me to lie down, and that means anything I happened to be carrying has to be disgorged first.

In my Cupra Leon Estate or the BMW X1 I once ran, I could do my trapeze act and still have room for at least some of my photography gear to stay on board. It’s a compromise I’ve been only too happy to make, though; in other ways, the Evoque has given me more than I was banking on.

For one thing, It’s given me a really nice travelling environment for the last several thousand miles. You’ll struggle to find a smarter interior in a small SUV, and the Evoque outclasses quite a few models in the family SUV category, too. If I got a micrometer out, I’d possibly find that the X1 is more precisely assembled, but it’s nothing like as visually appealing. 

Range Rover Evoque Long Term review, meridian speakers

It’s well equipped, too; in my car’s HSE-Dynamic spec, the infotainment comes with wireless Android Auto smartphone compatibility as well as the more common Apple CarPlay, and there’s a superb sounding sound system from hi-fi specialists Meridian.

And it sounds all the better for the fact that the Evoque is so quiet. At motorway speeds, the tyres kick up much less noise than those of my X1 did, and there’s nothing much in the way of wind noise. Most of the time, the engine is pretty subdued, too. However, you’ll hear the unmistakable machine-gun bark of a three-cylinder engine when you put your foot down – and that’s well worth doing.

Range Rover Evoque Long Term review, driving

The Evoque P300e has a total of 305bhp, the petrol engine making up the bulk of it, with an electric motor supplying the rest. When the two power sources join forces, they take me from 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds. Swift overtaking is easy, too; with this much get-up-and-go, opportunities present themselves frequently enough to ensure that I’ve rarely been stuck behind a tractor for long on forays into the countryside.

And, of course, there’s the Evoque’s all-electric mode. This is virtually silent, yet provides more than enough grunt to suffice when I’m not on the motorway. In fact, when I’ve been able to, I very much enjoy effectively treating the Evoque as an electric car at the weekends. A full battery officially provides 38 miles of range; I didn't quite match that figure, but a cross-capital trip in surprisingly free-flowing traffic once yielded 27 miles of zero-emissions motoring.  

Range Rover Evoque Long Term review, plugged in

Driving on electrons alone when I can will have taken the edge off the Evoque’s overall petrol consumption – but not quite as much as I’d have liked. Over 5000 or so miles of driving, in a mixture of urban, rural and motorway conditions, the final reckoning was just below 35.0mpg – slightly less than I got from the mild hybrid BMW X1 xDrive23i. If only more of my driving had been urban (or if I didn't end up doing so many far-flung photo shoots during my time with the Evoque), that number would have been a lot bigger. 

Still, while I’ve not seen miraculous fuel economy, it’s impossible for me to not feel quids-in overall. By opting for a low-mileage, pre-facelift 72-plate example, I’ve avoided that initial bite of depreciation. When it came to me, its part-exchange value was £35,180; that’s now dipped to £33,183, and in terms of value lost, that’s a drop in the ocean compared with buying new. By my maths, my used Evoque gave me more than I expected, for less money than I feared.

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