Land Rover Range Rover Evoque SD4 Prestige Auto
Stunning Evoque design is impossible to miss
- Progressive and dramatic exterior
- High quality cabin
- Very impressive all-round driving experience
- Feels like a unique product against its rivals
- Rear seats a challenge in the coupe version
- Quality and image comes at a price
- No auto option on high economy model
- Likely to become a common sight
The long-awaited third model in the Range Rover line up has arrived and as well as representing a large part of the future output of the British-based manufacturer, the Evoque will open up the Range Rover brand to a much bigger audience. It is therefore a crucial car as it must please newcomers and existing Range Rover owners.
The Evoque is an all-new car from top to bottom and is the result of a massive engineering and design effort for the UK company. With any car the exterior design is the first thing that makes an impact but with the Evoque it is arguably its most important feature: with a look that is almost like a concept car made real, the Evoque's striking and modern appearance may be too striking for some but the majority will find it an arresting and highly appealing sight.
The Evoque is the smallest car in the Range Rover line up and is also smaller than the comparable Land Rover Freelander 2, although it lacks no presence despite its compact nature. Available in a three-door coupe model or five door versions, and as well as the extra pair of doors the window line behind the front doors is significantly different. It is also an indication of how the Evoque will be a luxury vehicle more than a practical one.
Underneath the striking skin the Evoque sticks with the typical Range Rover format with a front-engined and four-wheel drive layout, although as with the Freelander there is also the option of a front-wheel drive version with a lower power diesel engine to give the best economy and emissions performance possible. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available across the majority of the engine line-up too.
In keeping with the boutique feel of the Evoque, it comes with a multitude of options not seen on any previous Range Rover. Right from the start customers have the choice of 12 exterior colours, six alloy wheel designs, three different roof colours and 16 interior designs as well as a huge options list. This level of personalisation will be a key part of the car's appeal to the fashion conscious.
Our verdict on the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque SD4 Prestige Auto
The Evoque sets out with a clear aim to reproduce the Range Rover experience for a wider audience, and it undoubtedly hits the mark. It has the look and feel of one of its bigger brothers yet the driving experience is first rate. Practically it is bettered by some rivals, but it has the crucial 'want it' factor that will surely result in it being a huge success.
Outside of the purchase price running costs are very dependent on the particular model, but with the diesels capable of impressive economy figures it may be a luxury car without epic fuel bills to match.
Space and practicality
Those in the front seats are very well looked after, with plenty of head and legroom as well as storage spaces dotted around. The rear seats are perfectly usable and offer sufficient space for adults towards the taller end of the scale, though in the Coupe model the difficulty of entry and exit plus the smaller windows might make it an unfavourable option for those in the rear.
Controls and display
The Evoque hits the high standards expected of a Range Rover in this department, with attractive and clear instruments, well laid-out switches and clever design that incorporates themes from the exterior treatment. The only minor criticism is that the size of the buttons on the touch screen display could be bigger and a little more sensitive, as it can be hard to operate on the move.
Refinement is essential in a car of this class and the Evoque does not disappoint. The seats both front and back are very comfortable, noise levels are low even with a little road rumble on rougher surfaces and engine refinement is excellent whether diesel or petrol powered.
With all versions getting an alarm and immobiliser as standard there are few security worries, although the crime-conscious may want to consider a tracking system for ultimate peace of mind.
With very little on the options list in terms of safety it is comforting to know that the standard car is packed with safety equipment. As well as the usual airbags and electronic safety systems, in terms of active safety the capable chassis and strong grip will help to avoid an accident in the first place.
The rest of the Range Rover line up tends to focus on comfort rather than dynamism but within the first few yards behind the wheel it is clear that the Evoque has moved forward. The steering is very quick to react and well-weighted, while the ride is still comfortable but firmer than other Range Rovers, and this inspires confidence in the driver. With a higher power engine and the optional Magneride system giving a choice of suspension settings, the Evoque is car that can be comfortable and enjoyable to drive too.
Family car appeal
Only the five door version can claim to be a family vehicle, but it does so with good reason as it has sufficient space and practicality to be able to achieve family car status. It's also likely to be a hit with all of the family.
First car appeal
The Evoque is likely to be outside the reach of most first car buyers, but the well-heeled might well be able to afford a cheaper model and once accustomed to the size will have no trouble using it on a regular basis.
Quality and image
Even the entry-level Evoque still wears the Range Rover badge and therefore carries expectations, and thankfully it achieves more than the required standard. There is a high quality feel throughout, certainly worthy of the price tag, and it will inevitably deliver the feel-good factor that buyers are looking for. This goes hand in hand with the Evoque's image, which builds still further on the impeccable Range Rover image with added appeal to the young and the fashion conscious.
In five door form the door apertures are generous and although a slight climb is required getting aboard requires little effort. In the Coupe version front seat occupants are equally well catered for, but getting in the rear requires patience for the seat to electrically slide forward and even then the aperture is quite narrow.
Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)
The standard Evoque set up is a good quality 11-speaker Meridian audio system with a high standard of sound reproduction, as well as the option of an upgrade to incorporate more speakers and the clever Dual-View screen that allows the front seat passenger to watch TV or a DVD while the driver can only see conventional data on the display.
Colours and trim
More than most the Evoque is sensitive to colour, and with a choice of roof colours too brighter hues do bring out the drama in the shape better than traditional sober metallics. Inside the sky is the limit, with a multitude of options for fabric and trim there is no excuse for having an Evoque that doesn't suit your tastes.
Although the chunky pillars reduce visibility a fraction, the combination of a high driving position and a reversing camera on some models makes parking a breeze. The option of a self-parking system makes it as easy as it could be.
Emergency tyre repair kit as standard with option of full size spare.
Petrol engine options - 2.0-litre (237bhp). Diesel engine options - 2.2-litre (148bhp and 187bhp). Transmission options: Six-speed manual standard on all models bar petrol, six-speed automatic available on all models bar low output diesel. Trim levels: Pure, Prestige and Dynamic
Audi Q3 Downsized Audi SUV is capable and practical, looks staid in comparison
BMW X3 Excellent all-rounder with a desirable badge
Mini Countryman A little smaller but follows the same template as Evoque
Volkswagen Tiguan Classy alternative with a distinctive appearance