Range Rover Evoque Review
The Range Rover Evoque is a small SUV with an upmarket interior and more off-road ability than you’ll probably ever need. Many of its desirable high-tech features cost extra, however.
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
- Upmarket interior
- Great off-road
- Good-sized boot
What's not so good
- Looks like the old model
- Alternatives are cheaper…
- …and more economical
Range Rover Evoque: what would you like to read next?
The Range Rover Evoque is a small, premium SUV that you should consider if you want stylish looks, a high-tech interior and the ability to traipse further off-road than the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X2 and Volvo XC40. This all-new model features some of the fanciest tech of any small SUV, too.
It doesn’t look particularly futuristic from the outside, though. In fact, from the side, this new model looks almost identical to the old Range Rover Evoque – even though they only share their door hinges. From the front, it looks much more fresh-faced thanks to some hand-me-down headlights borrowed from its bigger brother – the Velar – as well as some tasty copper-coloured details in high-spec R-Dynamic guise.
So, it might look similar to its predecessor on the outside, but the latest Range Rover Evoque’s cabin is a feast of high-tech features – a bit like a modern digital camera that’s been made to look like a retro 35mm item. Go for a top-spec model and you get three infotainment displays including a digital driver’s display and a screen on the centre console that’s exclusively for controlling the heating and ventilation.
The whole system’s pretty easy to use and it can even learn where you want your seat positioned, how warm you want the cabin and even whether you prefer a gentle or heavy-handed seat massage. Very impressive.
Sadly, all these headline-grabbing features don’t come as standard, but at least entry-level cars do come with a single 10-inch screen, some slick aluminium trims and mood lighting.
You do have to pay extra for leather seats, but you can choose to trim your Evoque’s cabin with upholstery made with a Eucalyptus-based fabric instead. It’s kinder to the environment and will doubtless score you plenty of (dairy-free) brownie points from any vegan passengers.
Even in the company of many swanky small SUVs, the Range Rover Evoque is one of the most stylish. And, it comes with some seriously impressive in-car tech, too.
Vegan or not, even your fussiest friends won’t have much to complain about in the Evoque. There’s enough space in the back for six-foot-tall adults to get comfortable and the seats themselves are nice and supportive. Things are even better in the front, where you get loads of adjustment to help you find your ideal driving position.
Unlike the old Evoque, this new car comes with five doors as standard so it’ll be dead easy to fit a child seat in the back. Loading the boot won’t present any problems either – the new Evoque’s 590-litre boot is around 10% bigger than the old car’s and much larger than the BMW X2’s. There’ll be space for plenty of suitcases or a few generously proportioned dogs.
If you fancy taking your four-legged friends for a countryside excursion, the Range Rover Evoque is more than up to the job – providing you avoid the entry-level model with its manual gearbox, front-wheel drive and 150hp diesel engine. The rest of the range comes with a smooth automatic gearbox, grippy four-wheel drive and your choice of petrol or diesel engines producing as much as 300hp.
You get a plethora of off-road driving aids to help make sure you don’t get stuck too, including Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system. This makes setting the car up for a variety of off-road conditions easy, even if you’re a novice, by giving you a variety of presets to choose from including Sand, Grass, Gravel, Snow, and also Mud and Ruts. You can even wade through water up to 60cm deep – 10cm deeper than the old car managed.
If pottering around town sounds more like your thing, you can get the Range Rover Evoque with a clever camera system which helps you avoid scraping its lovely alloy wheels on tall kerbs or narrow width restrictors.
All this means the Range Rover Evoque is just as happy nipping to the shops as it is clawing its way up rocky farm tracks. So, if it’s a small SUV with a posh cabin, plenty of off-road ability and an impressive amount of tech you’re after, this could be the car for you.
The Range Rover Evoque’s interior looks super smart, but it doesn’t feel quite as well built as alternatives and its fancy infotainment isn’t particularly user-friendly
The new Range Rover Evoque is much more spacious than the rather cramped model it replaces, but alternatives still have bigger, more practical boots
The Range Rover Evoque’s raised suspension means it’s easy to climb into and its relatively tall roof means there’s absolutely loads of headroom in the front. You get eight-way adjustable front seats as standard too, and the steering wheel comes with reach and height adjustment to help you find a comfortable seating position. Pay extra for an S model and you get 10-way electrically adjustable seats, too.
The old Range Rover Evoque felt pretty cramped in the back, but this new model has enough knee and headroom for six-foot-tall passengers to stretch out. There isn’t a great deal of room for them to put their feet under the front seats, though, and you can’t adjust the angle of the back seats like you can in the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.
The seats themselves don’t have a great deal of upper-leg support either, which will prove slightly uncomfortable for tall passengers on long journeys. At least the optional panoramic glass roof doesn’t eat into their headroom.
There’s just about enough shoulder room to carry three adult passengers in the back at once, but those in the outer seats will find the shape of the seat backs forces them to sit at a slightly odd angle. The central seat is raised above the outer two, but not to the extent that your middle passenger will have much to complain about.
There’s more than enough space to carry three kids comfortably, though. And, the standard Isofix anchor points for fitting a child seat are easy to access behind removable plastic covers. The back doors don’t open particularly wide but there’s still just enough room to lift in a bulky rear-facing child seat.
All four of the Range Rover Evoque’s door bins are big enough to carry a couple of small bottles each and there’s a decent amount of space under the central armrest for a few more beside a 12V socket and a pair of USB ports.
You get two cup holders behind the gear selector, but these sit beneath an awkward removable plastic tray instead of a neat sliding cover like you get in the Audi Q3. There’s another pair of cup holders built into the rear armrest and you get an extra 12V socket between the front seats – but no USB ports.
The Range Rover Evoque has 475 litres of boot space which is more than you get in a Volvo XC40 but less than you’ll find in the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. There’s still enough room to carry a few suitcases and a baby buggy and the boot itself is wide and square so it’s easy to pack with bulky items.
There’s no annoying boot lip to lift heavy luggage over and you get just enough space under the boot floor to hide a soft bag or two hidden out of sight. Unlike in the Audi Q3, there’s nowhere to store the parcel shelf if you need to remove it.
You can’t slide the back seats forward like in the Audi, either, but you can fold the back seats down in a three-way (40:20:40) split as standard in every Evoque. You’ll need to raise the headrests slightly to fold them all the way down, but even then they don’t sit completely flat. As a result, it’s a little tricky to push heavy items right up behind the front seats.
With all the Evoque’s back seats folded, its boot grows to 1,156 litres – that’s significantly less than you get in the Volvo XC40 and miles behind the roomier load bays in the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. Having said that, there’s still space to carry a bike with its wheels attached and you get plenty of tether points and shopping hooks to stop your luggage rolling around on the move. There’s also a 12V socket in the boot – perfect if you need to plug in a portable vacuum cleaner and give it a bit of a spring clean.
The Range Rover Evoque is as fun to drive on the road as it is capable when you head towards the rough stuff. But, it isn’t quite as comfortable as some alternatives around town
The Range Rover Evoque might be the baby of the Range Rover range, but it’s still a very capable 4x4 that’s very nice to drive
You can get the Range Rover Evoque with three diesel and three petrol engines and – depending on which model you pick – front- or four-wheel drive and with a manual or an automatic gearbox.
The most affordable D150 models come with a 150hp diesel engine driving the front wheels through a manual gearbox. They’re well-worth avoiding, though, because the automatic model with four-wheel drive doesn’t cost a great deal more.
If you fancy something a bit faster, there’s a D180 model with 180hp and a perky D240 with – you guessed it – 240hp. The former is the best choice if you do lots of motorway miles while the latter will be more suitable if you plan to tow heavy trailers. They’ll accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.8 and 7.2 seconds respectively – significantly faster than the automatic D150’s 10.4-second time. Despite this, all three will return around 35mpg in normal driving conditions.
The entry-level 200hp P200 petrol version is slightly faster than the 180hp diesel model and will be a better choice if you do mainly short journeys around town. There’s also a faster 250hp P250 version that’ll reach 60mph from rest in seven seconds and a pretty rapid P300 model that’ll complete the same sprint in just 6.3 seconds. Just like the diesel engines, all three return similar fuel economy – only in this case it’s closer to 25mpg in normal driving conditions
The Range Rover Evoque’s raised body and large windscreen give you a great view out which helps make it relatively easy to drive in town. The steering’s pretty light too, so your arms won’t ache after a few U-turns and you can have a neat Clearsight Ground View camera as an option that’ll help you nip through width restrictors without scraping your lovely alloy wheels.
Unfortunately, the Range Rover Evoque’s tiny rear windscreen and thick rear door pillars mean rear visibility is much worse than in the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 so parking can be a little tricky.
The Evoque fidgets over poorly maintained road surfaces more than most small SUVs, too – especially in cars fitted with whopping great 20-inch alloy wheels. Thankfully, it all smooths out nicely when you head out of town onto the motorway. You won’t hear a great deal of wind or tyre noise at speed either, but the diesel engines do groan quite loudly when you accelerate.
The lethargic automatic gearbox doesn’t help matters, either. Accelerate hard to leave a busy junction or overtake slow-moving traffic and it takes much longer to change gear than in a BMW X1. At least R-Dynamic models come with paddles on the steering wheel so you can choose when to change gear yourself.
Thankfully, it feels like the Range Rover Evoque’s engineers spent more time on its suspension and steering than on its dithering gearbox. This high-riding SUV feels remarkably nimble on a twisty country road and it doesn’t lean a great deal so passengers in the back won’t have any reason to feel car sick. It feels much more fun to drive than the likes of the Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40, and runs the overtly sporty BMW X1 pretty close in the smiles-per-mile stakes, too.
It’s not just good on-road – as you’d expect from a Range Rover the Evoque is perfectly happy getting its wheels dirty, too. Besides the entry-level D150 manual model, every Evoque comes with four-wheel drive. The basic system can disconnect drive to the rear wheels to save fuel and send power to all four wheels when it senses you need extra grip, while the more advanced system can send power to individual wheels if you find yourself stuck halfway through a seriously taxing off-road trail.
Once you’ve finished larking about in the mud, you’ll find the Range Rover Evoque does all the sensible stuff well to help make long journeys feel like popping to the shops. It comes with cruise control as standard and HSE models come with an upgraded system that’ll accelerate, brake and steer for you on motorways.