The Range Rover Evoque has established itself as a hugely popular compact SUV since its introduction to the market in 2011. It’s become known as an urban vehicle despite its off-roading capabilities. A direct competitor to the Volvo XC40, Audi Q3, BMW X3 or Jaguar E Pace. Let’s see how the newest generation Evoque fared up.
Your entry-level engine is the one we’re driving – the D150, which is a 2 litre diesel and 150bhp. This is available as a 6-speed manual with Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) or a 9-speed auto with All-Wheel Drive (AWD). Go for a slightly more pricey option with the D180 and that allows you a bit more ‘oomph’ – something we probably would recommend. Above that, you’ve got the D240 – which is a twin-turbo diesel and a bit quicker again.
The Petrol engines are all 2-litres, and come in the form of the P200, P250 and the P300. Whilst there isn't currently a plug-in hybrid, Land Rover have told us to expect one for 2020.
That’s the first thing we like - simple engine names. D180 means a diesel with (roughly) 180 bhp. P300? You guessed it… Petrol with (near enough) 300 bhp. The new Evoque also boasts a mild hybrid system - MHEV - (which we didn't realise until it went into action!) with the automatic gearboxes to help aid consumption – which cuts the engine off when coasting, braking or stationary – ideal for congested start-stop city traffic.
In terms of good looks, the new Evoque undoubtedly has them. We were in the almost entry-level ‘S’ model – which doesn’t get you the dramatic body styling of an R-Dynamic, but still offers a sleek, sporty aesthetic. ‘S’ models get 17”/18” alloys as standard, but our model had the upgrade 20” 5-Spoke alloys in Gloss Sparkle Silver.
The new Evoque has borrowed a lot of it's design elements from the bigger and pricier Range Rover Velar. Pop-out door handles stay flush against the cars body when not in use, and there's improved visibility and a tiny bit more space. In most cases, everything looks very thought out and well placed.
The view for the driver is great, however I found the lower screen a bit of a distraction - I can only imagine this would heighten if it were the second touch screen. I'm a bit distracted by touchscreens in general - although I'm aware that this is very much a personal stick, not to be blamed on the car!
With the D150, the one thing we noticed is it is undoubtedly noisier on the road than the previous SUV test drives we’ve carried out. At low revs, it had the sound of a diesel engine on a much heavier car. Certainly not the worst thing in the world, but maybe not something you’d expect in a ‘compact SUV’ with relatively minimal horsepower. I think to really hit the sweet spot with this one, you'd want the D 180. Or go petrol and get the P250 for great fun.
As I'd hoped, the Evoque is very intuitive to drive, and suited the country lanes as well as it did the inevitable congestion we came across in the city (at least we had that MHEV system!). Visibility is good despite the small rear window, and all models get a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors as standard.
The Evoque has a maximum wading depth of 600mm. We couldn’t find a ford that deep, but can confidently confirm that it went through a pretty sizable puddle without complaint. Towing capacity isn't bad either - ranging from a 1500kg - 2000kg braked trailer.
One of the first things you notice if you're a driver or a passenger is the amount of light brought in by the optional fixed glass roof - it looks amazing. The Evoque also had some really nice soft-touch surfaces across the dash.
Up to 33kg of recycled materials are used in every Evoque, and there are also several interior material options such as standard leather (what ours had), a wool-blend that keeps you warm in a cool climate and cool in a warm climate and another notable addition being Eucalyptus Melange - a fully vegan plant-based fabric for a more Eco-conscious driver. These are model dependent - so just make sure you're choosing the right spec if you want a certain upholstery option.
There's 20mm of extra knee room in the back, a good sized boot, with no boot lip and underfloor storage (nowhere to store the parcel shelf though). There's also a couple of handy hooks to hang your shopping bags. The rear seats also split 3 ways for easy access to and from the boot.
With an 'S' model you'll get just the one 10” touchscreen that does looks great, however if you go for a SE or HSE you’ll get the Touch Pro Duo; which gives you a secondary screen to allow you to control heated seats etc. via touch. I also found that the screen wasn't quite as receptive to touch as the screen on the Mercedes-Benz GLC. It's worth noting that higher spec’d models will also get the digital driver display and you can also get a Heads-Up display as an optional extra.
All models get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For something really cool, HSE models get Clearsight technology, which means the rear-view mirror can switch between a mirror and a camera display to an image of what’s behind the car.
All the Evoques will get a selection of Dynamic features as standard, such as:
•Hill descent control
•Roll Stability Control
•Low traction launch
An entry-level Evoque gets you this as standard:
•Auto LED headlights
•10” Touch Display
•17" 10-Spoke Alloys
•Front and rear parking aids
•Lane Keep Assist
•Cruise Control and Speed Limiter
•Driver Condition Monitor •Emergency Brake Assist
•10-way electric heated memory front seats
•18" 5-Spoke Alloys
•10-way electric seats
•4G WiFi hotspot
•10” Pro Touchscreen
•Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
•Auto-dimming, folding, heated door mirrors with approach lights
•Premium 20” Alloys
•Premium LED headlights
•Auto highbeam assist
•14-way electric heated memory front seats (optional Eucalytpus textile or Ultrafabrics)
•Touch Pro Duo
•Interactive driver display
•Park Pack – which consists of Parking Assist, Clear Exit monitor, Rear Traffic Monitor and Rear Traffic Monitor •Auto-dimming, folding, heated door mirrors with memory and approach lights
•20” Alloys with a Diamond Turned finish
•Clearsight interior rear view mirror
•Park Package – helps you manoeuvre in and out of tight spaces
•Drive Package – gives you blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control and high-speed emergency braking.
The Evoque impressed us with it's ability to switch from city driving, motorway cruising and narrow lane traversing. The styling made up for the slightly less user-friendly touchscreen interface. I do think when it comes to this car, if you can spec up, do. Whilst what we had as standard was great, I do think you'd benefit from a bit more horsepower and a few of the extra bells and whistles.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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