When Land Rover took the covers off the original Range Rover Evoque back in 2011, it heralded a new era for the brand. It was the company’s first compact SUV, and Land Rover hadn’t held back with the design. A lot more edgy than we’d seen from the brand previously, it heralded a new design swagger for the company and became an instant hit with the more fashion-conscious driver. It wasn’t a case of style over substance either. The Evoque still had the chops to take on the rough stuff if needed.
With more than 750,000 sold worldwide, the Evoque has been a huge success for Land Rover and one of the best compact SUV options there is. Eight years on from launch though and with the competition getting ever more aggressive, it’s time for a second-generation model to take on its rivals.
Range Rover Evoque: Design
- Shares a similar silhouette to the outgoing model
- Dimensions pretty much identical to the older model
- Compactness is a key consideration for potential buyers
Engines: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol or 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel
Power output: 296bhp (P300) | 237bhp (D240)
Max speed: 143mph (P300) | 150mph (D240)
0-62mph: 6.6 seconds (P300) | 7.7 seconds (D240)
Fuel economy: 34.4mpg (P300) | 47.9mpg (D240)
Land Rover hasn’t been tempted to tinker with the design too much with this new model after so much success. The new, second-generation Evoque sees it share a similar silhouette to the outgoing model, but the design has been freshened up. It looks much cleaner and smarter in design, with the Evoque borrowing some design flourishes from the sleek-looking Range Rover Velar launched in 2017.
The new Evoque feature some nice design cues, including flush-fitting door handles that deploy when you unlock the car, while the Matrix-Laser LED headlamps also enhance the elegant lines. To our eyes the Evoque is definitely one of the best looking small SUVs around.
Rather refreshingly, Land Rover’s kept the dimensions of the new Evoque almost identical to the older model It is only 0.15-inches wider than its predecessor, with the car measuring 15.5 x 5.4ft. As for height, and the Evoque has actually shrunk by 0.4-inches to measure 5.4ft high. The reasoning for keeping the size almost unchanged is because compactness is a key consideration for potential buyers, while those looking for something larger have the Velar up the range.
Range Rover Evoque: Interior
- Incredibly comfy seats and spot-on driving position
- Touch Screen Duo provides a sleek interface
- Every Evoque comes with parking sensors and a reversing camera
Despite not growing in size, interior space hasn’t been compromised, with plenty of space upfront for tall occupants, while there’s a decent amount of storage space as well, with a good-sized glovebox and a cubby under the central armrest. If you’re going to be undertaking regular long journeys, you’ll soon appreciate the incredibly comfy seats and spot-on driving position.
In the back, and thanks to the slightly longer wheelbase over the previous model, there’s actually a bit more space. It’s now one of the roomiest small SUVs for rear passengers, with good levels of leg room and head height. Passengers certainly aren’t going to feel cramped in the back, whether they’re kids or adults.
Trunk space is good as well, while for those occasions when you need a bit more space, the 40:20:40 split rear seats fold down leave an almost completely flat base to provide a decent-sized loadbay. Land Rover quotes 21.5 cubic feet of space with the seats up and 50.5 cubic feet with the rear seats down, which it typical for this type of SUV.
The Evoque might be the first step in the Range Rover model range, but there’s nothing entry-level about the interior. The cabin of the Evoque is a very nice place to be.
The materials Land Rover has chosen are suitably luscious. While you can spec leather seats, they can also be upholstered in a premium alternative that’s been developed by Danish textile experts, Kvadrat. It’s made from a durable wool blend that’s combined with a technical Dinamica suedecloth, which uses 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle, while the tactile suede steering wheel is also made from recycled plastic. Don’t let this put you off - the look and feel of the interior is distinctly upmarket.
The Evoque also benefits from Jaguar Land Rover's lustrous Touch Screen Duo interface – something we've already seen on the Velar and Jaguar's I-Pace. With two large screens and dual 'floating' dials to control it, it's allowed the designers of the Evoque's interior to keep exterior controls to a minimum.
The top screen gently tilts forward when you start the car, and provides access to the likes of the gps, stereo and phone connectivity, while the bottom screen offers additional controls for climate control, seat settings and driving modes and more. This is complemented by capacitive touch controls on the steering wheel and a 12.3-inch virtual dash with four configurable modes.
You're paying a premium for the Range Rover Evoque compared to many rivals, with prices starting at $42,650 / £31,295 for the base S model, while the range-topping First Edition will set you back $56,850 / £49,565 before extras.
Every Evoque comes with front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard, while the optional ClearSight GroundView technology makes the bonnet appear transparent. This isn’t some magic trick, but instead a feed is taken from the cameras mounted on the wing mirrors and front grille, and merges these into a single display to give you the impression you're looking 'through' the bonnet. This is more than just a gimmick though – it's designed to help you traverse tricky terrain, allowing you to keep an eye out for unseen obstacles close to the ground so you can avoid dings.
This ClearSight technology also has a secondary application that sees the rear-view mirror turn into an HD monitor, which means that should your rear view be obscured by a full trunk or passenger sitting in the rear middle seat, you can simply flick a switch and the mirror will switch to displaying a live feed from the Range Rover Evoque's rear-facing HD camera.
Range Rover Evoque: On the road
- Available with three petrol and three diesel engines
- Evoque's engines complemented by a mild hybrid 48V system
- Wade through water up to 60cm deep
The Evoque is offered with three 2.0-litre petrol engines: the entry-level P200 with 197bhp, a P250 with 247bhp and a top of the range P300 with a hefty 296bhp. There’s also three diesel engines to now choose from as well: a 148bhp D150, 178bhp D180 and 237bhp D240.
The Evoque is based around Jaguar Land Rover's all-new Premium Transverse Architecture, which sees the Evoque's petrol and diesel engines complemented by a mild hybrid 48V system. The system will cut the engine off below 11mph, rather than when the car comes to a stop. This is designed to help improve the efficiency of the engines, while there's also a starter generator to assist with acceleration. If you’re interested, there’s a dedicated plug-in hybrid version expected soon too.
As we’ve touched on, driving position is very good, while the steering delivers pleasing weight and slickness. There’s some body roll when you throw it into corners, but that’s to be expected with any SUV. There’s plenty of grip though and we found that the automatic gearbox seamlessly shifted through the gears. Combine this with the supple suspension that delivers a smooth ride and quiet cabin, and long-distance journeys aren't an issue.
Should you want to take it off road, then the Evoque is more than up to the job. With the exception of the entry-level D150 engine option, all cars get four-wheel drive. Should the heavens open, you can wade through water up to 60cm deep quite happily. Clearance is also good, while it’s loaded with plenty of clever off-road traction electronics to see you happily ascend and descend steep inclines without too much drama. It’s safe to say that this is one of the best compact SUVs out there when it comes to off-roading.
Range Rover Evoque: Verdict
While it might be one of the pricier compact SUVs available, you’re not left disappointed with the Range Rover Evoque. It oozes class, with its sleek looks certainly making it stand out from the crowd, while the sumptuous interior doesn’t fail to impress. The handling is assured, while the company’s renowned off-road engineering means that should you need to take it off road, it’ll perform as you expect a Land Rover should, making the Range Rover Evoque one of our favourite compact SUVs.