In partnership with Autotrader
Used test: Range Rover Evoque vs Volvo XC40
At four years old, these luxurious SUVs are around £14,000 cheaper than their respective new car prices, but is the Evoque or XC40 the better buy?...
Range Rover Evoque D180 S
List price when new £39,015
Price today £25,000*
Available from 2019-present
Style, luxury and mild-hybrid tech are all present here, but does the Evoque come with a catch?
Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro
List price when new £38,235
Price today £25,000*
Available from 2017-present
While its badge carries a little less cache, the XC40 is a thoroughly premium package and a long-standing favourite
*Price today is based on a 2019 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing
A Range Rover Evoque for around £25,000: sounds good, right? And before you picture an old banger of an example – maybe a million miles on the clock and wheels that have kissed the kerb on a daily basis – breathe easy knowing you'd be getting a very respectable 2019 version for your hard-earned cash.
It isn't the only posh, used family SUV available for the money, mind you, because rivals like the Volvo XC40 also exist. What's more, there's no hiding the XC40's commendable reputation – we rank it highly within its class due to its impressive practicality, ride comfort and safety standards, among other points.
So, two great family SUVs here, but which one to buy? Read on and we'll reveal all.
Performance, ride, handling, refinement
In our hands, the XC40 managed 0-60mph in a respectable 8.5sec, while the Evoque completed the sprint in 9.5sec. Sure, the latter is undoubtedly a more lacklustre figure, but the Evoque's performance remains perfectly adequate – it'll keep up with traffic more than easily enough.
In town, the XC40’s floatier suspension softens the edges of potholes slightly better than the Evoque’s. However, you have to put up with more consistent side-to-side sway than there is in the Evoque, which still rocks your head gently from left to right, but less often.
Both cars ride in a smooth, composed manner on the motorway on their standard-sized wheels, although it’s worth noting that the Evoque does become a bit fidgety if you get one with the optional-from-new 20in alloys.
These two cars are effortlessly light to steer in town, but we wouldn’t recommend any of them if you have a penchant for nimble handling. However, if all you need is something that’s surefooted and undemanding to drive, the XC40 is quite appropriate. Its steering is direct enough that you can place it easily and keep it tracking straight on motorways, and you only notice the car running out of grip or leaning more than the best-handling family SUVs when you start wilfully throwing it at turns with gusto.
The Evoque is broadly the same. Its steering is a little too keen to return to the centre, which makes it slightly less confidence-inspiring to guide along a narrow road, but it otherwise feels as trustworthy and competent as the XC40.
The Evoque, aided by its mild-hybrid system, has a stop/start function far smoother than its predecessor's (the 2011-2019 Range Rover Evoque). It kicks in and out as seamlessly as the XC40's does and is even quieter as it does so.
The Evoque is also much, much quieter than its rival at motorway speeds. Yes, there’s a bit of wind flutter, but the comparative lack of road noise makes it the more peaceful cruiser. The XC40 is a little better for wind noise, but the loud tyre rumble you hear across any coarse surface somewhat spoils the cruising experience.
Page 1 of 5
Best family SUVs 2023
Want practicality, class and an elevated driving position in a relatively compact and affordable package? These are the top 10 cars you should be looking at – and the ones that are best avoided
Honda CR-V Hybrid long-term test
Being a big family SUV with a hybrid engine should make the Honda CR-V pretty hot property right now. But, does it have its work cut out over the next few months?