The Range Rover Evoque is an obvious choice for fashion-conscious buyers. Not only does it flaunt a prestigious badge and striking looks, but it has genuine substance to back up the promising first impressions.
But what if style isn’t the number one priority? There are plenty of more practical alternatives out there, and one of the best is the seven-seat Land Rover Discovery Sport. So which is the SUV to have?
If you’ve made your mind up, put either the Range Rover Evoque or the Land Rover Discovery Sport in our car configurator to see the deals carwow could help you get.
Range Rover Evoque vs Land Rover Discovery Sport styling
While design will always be considered subjective, it’s hard to argue that among its SUV rivals, the Evoque is one of the most handsome choices out there. From the slim, swept-back headlights to the chunky wheel arches and slim glasshouse that lends a coupe-like silhouette – particularly in the three-door form – the Evoque offers undoubted presence in the metal. The proportions are neat and well-judged, yet with just enough of the chunky features that buyers in this class demand.
The Discovery Sport’s taller, longer body results in a slightly less extravagant appearance, but it’s still easy on the eye. Details such as the grille and headlights offer obvious family ties to the Evoque, while elsewhere the more flamboyant features have been toned down somewhat to match the regular Discovery’s more practical intentions.
Range Rover Evoque vs Land Rover Discovery Sport interior
The Evoque’s desirability doesn’t diminish once you step inside, either. Taking clear inspiration from the larger Range Rover Sport, the beautifully-appointed cabin treats occupants to lashings of leather on the seats, the door cards and even the dashboard. The centre console is swept back for a sportier feel and, though the driver sits in a typically high SUV position for a great view of the road ahead, the high window line makes you feel more cocooned inside.
However, the exterior style comes at the expense of cabin space. Those in the front won’t have any complaints, but the rakish roofline compromises rear headroom. At a pinch you could squeeze five in there, but an optional two-seat rear sacrifices a fifth position for a little extra elbow room.
The Discovery Sport’s cabin looks slightly plain in comparison to the Evoque, but somehow that suits the attitude of this more sensible SUV perfectly. Everything feels solidly bolted together, too.
There’s plenty of room for passengers in the second row. Equally, the bench can slide back and forth, which not only allows easier access to the sixth and seven seats in the back but gives any occupants a little extra space. Adults may start to grumble back there in longer journeys but overall the Discovery Sport is a fairly usable seven-seater.
Range Rover Evoque vs Land Rover Discovery Sport driving
Under the skin, the Evoque and the Discovery Sport ride on a near identical platform, though the Discovery’s is slightly longer overall. Confusingly, considering the name, it’s the Discovery Sport that’s set up for a more comfortable ride of the two.
By SUV standards, the Evoque delivers an entertaining drive. It isn’t quite a match for the Porsche Macan, but feels nimble and composed when cornering, yet never harsh over bumps. The steering is nicely-weighted and accurate, and body roll is kept neatly in check. Road and wind noise are suppressed inside the cabin too, so it’s a pleasant place to while away long journeys.
Out on the road, the Discovery Sport feels softer than the Evoque, and its extra height and length are noticeable. The balance it offers between a smooth ride, taut handling and hushed refinement places it towards the top of the class overall. Remember that it’ll do all this and go further off-road than any other rival, and what Land Rover has achieved with the Discovery Sport is remarkable.
Range Rover Evoque vs Land Rover Discovery Sport engines
Under the bonnet, the pair share the same two diesel-powered choices, while the Evoque is also available with a range-topping petrol. The diesels are 2.0-litres in capacity, offering a choice of either 148 or 178hp. We’d go for the more powerful of the duo which, in the Evoque, blends a sub-10-second 0-62mph time with a claimed 59.4mpg.
The diesels all offer decent refinement but don’t quite feel as powerful as equivalent units in rival cars. The extra size and weight of the Discovery Sport blunts the engine’s performance further – the same engine here is both marginally slower and 6.1mpg more thirsty in official tests.
The petrol Evoque is significantly quicker than the diesel choices (0-62mph pops up in 7.1 seconds) but it’s very thirsty, so it’ll cost significantly more to run.
Each car is equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. If you can stretch a further £1,800, we recommend adding the automatic ‘boxes to either car. It’s wonderfully smooth and will be desirable for used car buyers when the time comes to sell.
Range Rover Evoque vs Land Rover Discovery Sport value for money
The more premium Range Rover badge on the nose of the Evoque means that, despite the reduced space and practicality, like-for-like it remains priced almost identically to the Discovery Sport. Our pick of each range – the 178hp diesel – costs from £33,200 for the Evoque and £33,695 for the Discovery Sport. The less practical Evoque Coupe costs an extra £1,000.
The further you venture up the Evoque range, the greater the price disparity becomes. The Autobiography model with posher leather upholstery, a 16-speaker Meridian surround sound audio system and adaptive LED headlights, costs more than £51,000. You’ll need to get seriously over-excitable with the Discovery’s options list to pay the same amount of cash.
Range Rover Evoque vs Land Rover Discovery Sport verdict
Sharing so much mechanically, it shouldn’t be a massive surprise to discover that this pair share many similar strengths and weaknesses. Both are great to drive, comfortable and refined, yet both suffer from a limited engine range.
In the end, the final decision comes down to one question – given the choice between practicality and luxury, which do you value more highly?
The Range Rover Evoque looks and feels the more special car – the cabin is as immaculately assembled as it is to look at and the exterior is truly eye-catching. The Discovery Sport, on the other hand, sacrifices just a little of the style in favour of much more cabin space and a generous boot.
Wearing our most sensible hats, we’d just lean towards the Discovery, but the Evoque remains a very tough car to fault.
Save money on your next car
If you’ve decided which is the one for you, take a look at the Range Rover Evoque deals page or the Land Rover Discovery Sport deals page to see how much you could save on a new car. Still undecided? Take a look at our car chooser or our latest deals.