Range Rover Evoque
Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is a Digital Copywriter in the Carparison marketing team, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.

Read time of 6 minutes.

The Range Rover Evoque and the Volvo XC40 are both stylish, practical, and comfortable. But which one should you choose for your next monthly lease?

The market for premium compact SUVs has become increasingly popular over the last decade or so. Where families would've once been confined to the large estate or family saloon when they outgrew the traditional five-door hatchback, there is now a more desirable, trendier option.

The premium compact SUV is designed to be stylish and aspirational, with those good looks matched only by their practicality and performance. It's the best of both worlds category for those who need to upgrade to something with more space - though not as much as the hulking Volvo XC90 or mammoth Land Rover Discovery - but without compromising on driving ability or looks. 

While a monthly lease makes a premium SUV a more affordable option than having to pay for one outright, it's the versatility of the category that makes it a great choice - their smaller stature makes them just as easy to drive as a hatchback, they're easier to get into and out of than their larger counterparts, and they tend to be a very safe choice with plenty of added features.

And when it comes to great compact SUVs with that luxurious edge, the Range Rover Evoque and the Volvo XC40 often come out on top.

The Evoque was launched in 2011 and has proved popular ever since. It was Land Rover's best-selling model in 2020, and stormed the way for the premium compact SUV market to expand. The Volvo XC40 was released in 2017 and has been a strong contender ever since, offering a smaller option to the ever-popular XC60 and XC90.

They're both a fantastic option - but which one is right for you?

Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque

The latest iteration of the Range Rover Evoque has come on leaps and bounds, with fresh styling, stacks of up-to-date technology, and mild hybrid engines to make the Evoque trendier, safer, and more efficient.

It's the smallest SUV in Land Rover's enviable line-up, and filled a niche in the market at the time it was released. That niche is now rammed with some of the best vehicles around, but the Evoque still stands out.

There's a choice of engines - two diesel, four petrol, and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) - as well as four trim levels on offer: Evoque, S, SE, and HSE. Each one can be combined with the R-Dynamic package which adds sportier exterior detailing. Famously, Land Rover's upper trim levels can get a little pricy, but the basic entry level model will still do everything you'd want it to do - and more.

The overall driving experience is as pleasant as you would expect from the luxury British brand: they've built their legacy on good, solid cars that offer a well-rounded experience. The newest Evoque model is even better than the last, with Land Rover ensuring that it's not just a sports car in an SUV body.

Range Rover Evoque interior

And though the Evoque hasn't been designed with outright off-road thrills in mind - it's an urban car built for urban living - it still performs well even under trying circumstances.

The wading depth has been increased to 600mm, while Land Rover's Terrain Response 2 System will adjust the Evoque's behaviour automatically to account for the current conditions. The settings - Comfort, Sand, Grass-Gravel-Snow, and Mud and Ruts - can be manually selected too, so you'll never be caught short.

Inside, the Evoque has been built with a mix of luxury and practicality in mind. There's a good amount of storage - 4 bins, a large cubby under the front centre armrest and a rubberised tray on the centre console that'll hold a phone or wallet - and the boot clocks in at a generous 591-litres. 

The back of the Evoque, while spacious enough for 3 adults, does taper in a way that might mean taller people will struggle on longer journeys. But as long as you're not driving from Land's End to John o'Groats in one sitting, the Evoque is more than spacious enough for everyday needs.

Safety wise, the Range Rover Evoque has been granted five stars by the Euro NCAP and it comes equipped with plenty of safety equipment, even in the most basic model. Standard kit includes a rear camera, front and rear parking assistance, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, and cruise control.

All in all, the Range Rover Evoque is an excellent choice. The original Evoque changed the market back in 2011, and the newest model is carrying on that legacy. It's stylish and practical, and ready to handle pretty much anything you could throw at it.

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40

Released in 2017, the Volvo XC40 became one of Volvo's best-sellers with nearly 50,000 sold across Europe the year after launch. 

In a market that's becoming increasingly fuller, the XC40 is a strong contender. One of the most affordable premium SUVs on the market, Volvo has managed to strike a balance between comfort and refinement while making sure that the XC40 doesn't lack any practicality.

The interior of the XC40 is minimalist and refined, with funky styling, a good infotainment system, and plenty of space for 5 adults (even in the back). The cabin comes equipped with plenty of storage too: good-sized door bins, a removable section in the central armrest, and a large boot with a pop-up divider to hold shopping bags or similar loose items in place.

Much like the Evoque, there are plenty of choices on offer to suit different budgets and needs. It comes in a choice of trims, starting with the entry level Momentum Core right up to the sumptuous Inscription Pro. When it comes to engine, you can pick between petrol, plug-in hybrid, or even fully electric - making the Volvo XC40 an appealing choice for a company car. 

Volvo XC40 interior

When it comes to the driving experience, the Volvo XC40 is comfortable and works well under different conditions - it's as at home pootling around town as it is roaring down the motorway. The PHEV models - the T4 and T5 Recharge - can even go short distances on electric power alone, making them perfect for short journeys across the city. 

And, as ever, the Volvo XC40 carries on Volvo's legacy of safety-focused vehicles. Euro NCAP rated it 5 stars after its safety testing, and the XC40 stands up as one of the safest cars on the road without needing to add any extras. But if you wanted to bolt on additional safety features, Volvo offers extras like blind-spot monitoring and an advanced cruise control system that keeps you a safe distance away from the vehicle in front, automatically keeps you in lane, and works even in stop-start traffic.

There's a good reason why the Volvo XC40 is such a popular choice, and it truly stands out as one of the best compact SUVs in its class. 

Verdict

It's a tight battle between the Range Rover Evoque and the Volvo XC40. 

Though similar at first glance, there are a few key differences that might make all the difference when it comes to making your mind up.

But ultimately you're onto a winner whichever vehicle you choose. Whether you go for the decades of British heritage that have been piled into the Evoque, or you pick the sensible Scandinavian SUV, you'll end up with a practical vehicle that'll last the test of time.

Intrigued? Browse our best-selling Range Rover Evoque lease deals, or take a look at our latest Volvo XC40 personal contract hire offers.