The Range Rover Evoque and Porsche Macan are both at the very highest end of the luxury compact SUV segment. Both models have been outrageous successes for Land Rover and Porsche so are natural rivals for buyers.
The pair are extremely high regarded by critics, but take different approaches to the SUV brief. So, which should you choose? We compare the two to find out. Don’t forget, if you love its British charm, you can spec up a Range Rover Evoque in our car configurator to see the deals offered.
Since its 2011 debut, the Evoque has proven hugely popular with buyers, who can’t get enough of the concept car-like looks. It bears a resemblance to the larger, more expensive models in the range, enhancing its luxury credentials.
From some angles, it arguably renders rivals like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 rather bland and dated by comparison. The five-door’s larger shape and more sensible roofline, for some, doesn’t have quite the same visual impact, but it remains a very striking car.
Like the Evoque, the Macan draws heavily from other models in the Porsche range. It resembles the larger Cayenne, but it’s the Macan which is arguably more handsome. The bonnet line is quite low by SUV standards, and large air vents at the front hint that there is plenty of power lurking under the bonnet.
Like the outside, the Range Rover and the Porsche arguably boast the two most stylish cabins in the sector. The Evoque is immaculately trimmed in materials that wouldn’t look out of place in one of its big brothers. The major controls are chunky and sensibly laid out, while the dials are big and easy to read to remind the occupants that this is still a 4×4 at heart.
If you’re going to be transporting the family on a regular basis, then the larger five-door is the better bet – it makes access to the back seats easier and, once there, occupants are treated to a little more headroom.
The Porsche takes a different approach, with a low-slung driving position making it feel a bit like a tall sports saloon. Almost every surface is trimmed in soft leather or metal, while the driver gets a gorgeous three spoke steering wheel. Rear passenger space can’t quite match the five-door Evoque, and the 500-litre boot is marginally smaller than the 550-575 litres of the Range Rover.
Testers are very positive about the way the Evoque feels on the road, often commenting about how “car-like” it is to drive. The accurate steering makes it easy to place and, around corners, it never feels as tall as it looks. Wind and road noise are well-suppressed, making the Evoque a comfortable cruiser.
As long as you steer clear of the enormous optional 20-inch alloy wheels, it rides fairly smoothly, too. The futuristic looks have one minor drawback, however – the rear window is small, making reversing visibility poor. At least every model in the range is equipped with rear parking sensors.
While the Evoque feels capable through the bends, this is the Macan’s specialist subject. Despite its tall body and near two-tonne weight, it’ll out-turn all but the most capable of sports saloons. The tyres serve up enormous levels of grip, and the steering communicates to the driver exactly what is going on at the road’s surface.
It even rides more smoothly than you might expect, remaining comfortable on all but the roughest surfaces – a testament to the abilities of Porsche’s engineers.
It’s under the bonnet where the two cars’ biggest differences lie. While the Evoque offers small four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines which focus most on refinement and fuel economy, the Porsche boasts a selection of monstrously powerful engines which would be enough to make a Boxster blush.
The Evoque is available with one of three units – a 2.0-litre diesel producing either 150 or 180hp, while a 240hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol is the most potent option in the range. The diesels are smooth and impressively quiet, and can average 65.6mpg in the lesser powered, front-wheel drive model. The petrol can accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds, but the mid-thirties mpg figure stings a little. The optional nine-speed automatic gearbox, meanwhile, is excellent.
The entry-level Macan is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol, good for a 6.9-second 0-62mph sprint, and reasonable 39.2mpg fuel economy. Further up the range sits the Macan S – powered by a 355hp 3.0-litre V6, it delivers deeply impressive performance and flexibility.
At the top of the Macan range sits the Turbo. A 395hp 3.6-litre twin-turbocharged unit that helps the Macan to smash its way to 62mph in only 4.8 seconds – faster than the Cayman GTS – and on to a top speed of 165mph.
Value for money
If a low purchase price is what you prioritise from your compact SUV, then neither of these cars should be at the top of your shopping list. However, given the talents both offer, you still getting plenty for your money.
In terms of bare figures, the Evoque is the cheaper car of the two, generally costing a full £10,000 less than the Macan. However, this is only a relevant comparison if price is the only factor. The entry-level Macan is much better aligned with the most potent unit in the Evoque range, which is almost £1,500 pricer than the Porsche.
The Range Rover Evoque and Porsche Macan are two of the best premium SUVs on the market. Both offer handsome styling inside and out, impeccable refinement and a driving experience that belies their size and weight, but the pair offer slightly different merits beyond that.
The Evoque’s diesels are by far the cheaper of the two to run, yet still provide a level of performance that’s sufficient for most buyers’ needs. If power and speed are most important to you, then the Porsche wins the contest easily. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re taken with it, put the Range Rover Evoque in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you’re still struggling to pick your next car, check out our car chooser.