Range Rover Evoque Review
The new Range Rover Evoque has become more of a fashion statement than it has a practical off-road SUV. But it’s a great driving experience and comes with a generous amount of entry-level tech.
Towns and cities seem to be the prime location for most Evoques, which can almost invalidate the many off-road features gifted to the car.
If you want the most out of your Evoque, we would recommend you go with the mid-range S model, which is around £3,000 more than the entry-level Evoque, but gives you everything you need. Instead of the standard fabric seats, you get neat perforated grained leather seats that are 10-way electrically controlled – and heated!
Just like the outside, inside the car is just as trendy. Contemporary materials are littered about the cockpit and extend to the back. The same goes for the dash trims and finishes – everything is nice to the touch. No cheap plastics or gimmicky design features present themselves here.
The only problem when you’re inside the Evoque is it tends to feel quite cramped. Particularly in the back, where small rear windows and a sloping roofline make it seem like you’re a bit cooped up. You can upgrade to have a fixed panoramic roof for £1,100 extra which does wonders for lighting up the inside of your city slicker SUV.
Passengers in the rear will struggle if they are above average height, as the Evoque has tiny footwells that can leave your feet and knees feeling squished. The seats in the back don’t help matters – the rather upright positioning causing discomfort after a while.
Infotainment and tech
Land Rover‘s satnav featured in the Evoque includes a handy off-road function which allows you to navigate through routes that are off the beaten track. It’s available as standard on the entry-level model but is optimised on the mid-range S model through Connect Pro. Among its features are door-to-door routing. After you set your destination on your smartphone, you’ll be directed to your car, which will take over on the display. Once you’ve parked up, navigation goes back to your device and gives you directions for the rest of the way.
Surprisingly, there are some neat off-road tech features as standard. Land Rover has purposefully installed an electronic terrain system on all-wheel drive Evoque models. Terrain Response 2, as it’s known, automatically responds to changes in the surface you are driving on to make the driving experience smoother and comfier. You can override the system to suit your own preferences as a driver.
All-wheel not tickle your fancy? Don’t worry, there’s still some great tech perks to be had from the front-wheel drive standard setup. Hill Launch Assist is one of these features. It helps you pull away safely and smoothly on them God awful hill starts. It does so by cleverly holding the brakes for a moment to prevent backwards rolling while you do the rest.
For an SUV of its size, the Evoque is a bit of a let-down when it comes to practicality.
Despite the handy automatic tailgate as standard, there isn’t really anything to compensate for the rather small volume. With the seats upright the Evoque has a 575-litre capacity, which is a lot less practical than its BMW X5 rival (650 litres). This can be increased to a rather hefty 1,445 litres by folding down the rear seats. But they don’t fold down completely flat, which can leave your items rolling about in the back.
It’s not all bad, though. What’s nice about the Evoque’s boot is the lack of a load lip, which makes putting heavier items in the boot easier. Something to consider if you’re regularly doing shopping trips.
On the road
There isn’t a great range of engines to choose from – the Evoque. 2.0 litre diesels are as far as it goes on SE and SE Tech models. However, you can choose a nippier Si4 2.0 litre petrol on the Landmark Edition, which delivers 240bhp – transforming it into a hot-hatch SUV.
The difference in power is what will ultimately determine your experience on the road. The entry-level diesel is surprisingly responsive for city and town driving, which is where the Evoque tends to be in its natural habitat. But at the same time you can easily get your foot down on the motorway and not feel like it’s asking too much of the car.
Land Rover has included a neat option when it comes to their four-wheel drive models. You can choose between a ‘permanent’ or ‘temporary’ drive-chain, whereby the Evoque can save on fuel consumption by only powering the rear wheels when the front needs the extra traction support.
Still unsure which SUV you want to go for? See our Audi Q7 review to compare your options.
You can see our latest Range Rover Evoque lease deals to find your best offer.