The Evoque’s interior looks smart, but the basic infotainment system is slow to respond and alternatives feel posher inside
Even now, several years after it first went on sale, the Evoque can still turn heads, and its slick interior is a perfect match for that eye-catching exterior. A selection of brushed metal trims, plush leather seats and a minimalist centre console make it a truly lovely place to spend time.
Admittedly, it’s not quite as sporty inside as the BMW X3, nor does it feel quite as posh as the BMW or the Mercedes GLC, but it manages to mimic the larger Range Rover models without costing anything like as much.
Every model comes with subtle ambient lighting, which is adjustable on high-spec cars and very welcome, because it keeps your eyes focused on the slick brushed metal centre console and not on the cheap scratchy plastics on the doors and under the dashboard.
However, nothing Land Rover has done can disguise the clunky, low-resolution eight-inch infotainment screen you get on the more basic Evoques. And, If you’re looking for an SUV with a plush, stylish interior that’s roomy and full of modern tech, the Mercedes GLC will suit you better.
The Evoque’s tall centre console and relatively slim side windows make it feel more like you’re sitting in a sports car on stilts than in a high-riding SUV
This is one of the Evoque’s weak areas, as the more basic versions of the car come with just an 8.0-inch touchscreen. It doesn’t look particularly sharp, it’s often slow to respond, and it lacks the bells and whistles of BMW and Mercedes systems.
Still, at least it’s surrounded by easy-to-reach, physical buttons to help you access key functions quickly. In addition, the menus are laid out logically and it comes with Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB digital radio as standard.
The upgraded InControl Touch Pro system – standard on high-end models and a cheap option elsewhere in the range – comes with a larger 10.2-inch display and it’s much faster and sharper than the basic version. That said, the sat-nav’s indecisiveness might just drive you up the wall.
The system comes with a CD and DVD player and voice-recognition features as standard, but the lack of any smartphone mirroring features really let the side down. Land Rover does offer a dedicated InControl app that’ll let you access your phone’s contacts, music and calendar through the infotainment system, but that’s about it. To make matters worse, it’s only available on upgraded InControl Pro systems and can’t hold a candle to the intuitive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity offered by BMW and Mercedes.
If you’re a fan of tunes rather than tech, one saving grace is the Evoque’s audio system. The standard unit is fine, but the upgraded 10-speaker Meridian system – standard on some higher-spec models – is louder and bassier. And, if you’re really into your music, you can upgrade further to the rocking 825W 16-speaker Meridian unit, which is standard on top-end models. This is ideal if you prefer to share your listening habits with the whole neighbourhood.
The optional head-up-display is another nice touch, but it bathes the windscreen in a spooky green glow at night.