Ride, refinement and handling

* Testing in northern Sweden * All engine variants sampled * Evoque on sale in the summer...

23 February 2011
Ride, refinement and handling

There's little or no difference between the three- and five-door when it comes to ride and refinement, so you'll be comfortable and cosseted at motorway speeds in any model, we think. The most noticeable intrusion is a little wind noise around the door mirrors, and that isn't bad.

The bumpy frozen surface of the lake and lanes in Sweden also provided a big challenge for 'road' noise and comfort, but the new Land Rover wasn't fazed in the least.

Handling felt sharp and precise, although on frozen surfaces it was hard to tell how much, or how little, it may lean through corners.

The stability control system did an amazing job of keeping the car together despite heavy-footed, full-throttle abuse on polished ice. If you're capable and confident enough to switch this off, and balance the power yourself, the steering responded quickly in the hands of Richards. Stability control systems kick back in temporarily if anti-lock brakes are called on and re-gathered the cars very well.

The Evoque has wide axles, so promises to be very sporty. It will also be the first 4x4 in Europe to offer MagneRide magnetic adaptive damping as an option. The ride with this suspension felt as comfortable as the standard set-up, but the system delivers owners extra dynamic edge, even more taut body control and added bite.

Check out our video of the Evoque in winter testing.