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Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Review

Find out more about the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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8
Out of 10
Average Price £30,102

Model review

Land Rover introduced the Evoque in 2011 as a new entry-level model to the Range Rover suite of luxury SUVs.

Occupying a position below the Range Rover Sport, the Evoque is approximately the same size as any other C-Segment crossover, but brings Range Rover brand qualities and luxury. It was first revealed as a concept called LRX in 2008. Although that model was a hybrid, the size and styling of the car remained through to the production Evoque.

In common with many other cars of this size – it's just 4.3 metres long – the Evoque offers a range of small, two-litre diesel and petrol engines and front or four-wheel drive. Rivals include the Mini Countryman and BMW X1, the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Audi Q3.

The Evoque remains a Range Rover though, with good off-road credentials (on the four-wheel drive cars) and a well-appointed interior. Ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was brought into the Evoque's development team in 2010 as a 'creative design executive' on the car, and famously put together a personalised specification for an early limited edition run of the car.

Unusually, a convertible model was added to the line-up in 2016.

Latest model

Despite being six years old, the Evoque is still in its first generation. There have been a number of subtle trim tweaks, but perhaps the most major change was the introduction of a convertible model in 2016. Other than that, the only significant update was a 9-speed automatic gearbox to replace the original 6-speed version in 2014.

It very closely resembles its siblings, the Range Rover Sport and the new Velar, though both have been styled to take after the Evoque, as it has been a remarkably successful car with, thus far, an ageless design.

The Evoque doesn't use the sort of engines you'd associate with a Range Rover though. While its bigger brothers are home to thumping great V8 petrol and diesel engines and huge superchargers, the Evoque uses a more modest array of 2.0-litre 'Ingenium' engines similar to those found in the Jaguar XE.

Petrol (Si4) and diesel (eD4, TD4, SD4) are available, and power outputs range from 150hp to 290hp, giving the Evoque a range of different performance levels from mild to rather brisk and on-paper CO2 emissions from 113g/km to 173g/km.

Trim levels are fairly normal Range Rover stuff, with the SE model acting as an entry grade car, running through the traditional HSE trim up to the top spec Autobiography. However, even the most 'basic' Evoque has grained leather seats, with 8-way electric adjustment, an eight-inch touchscreen, power-folding, heated door mirrors and rain-sensing wipers, so it's not exactly the cheap seats.

 

Value for money

At the entry price, the Evoque doesn't seem that expensive, especially in the cheapest, five-door model. It starts at £30,760, for a five-door SE model, and while it may be missing some of the creature comforts you'd expect from a high premium badge – navigation isn't standard fit, for example – it's nevertheless quite well-appointed.

There's an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, grained leather seats with eight-way electric adjustment in the front, rain-sensing wipers, powered and heated door mirrors and a forward parking assist.

However, it's something of a false economy as this only reflects the base eD4 engine, which is a bit underpowered for this application. Step up one trim level to get the navigation included, upgrade the engine to the TD4, and go for the popular automatic the Evoque is now a £37,470 car.

The value equation is pushed out of balance the further you go up the range too, though there is a sweet spot where there's enough of the really useful toys and adding any more is luxury for luxury's sake.

Be wary of the options list too – an infrared reflective windscreen, heated and cooled seats and a surround camera system may seem like a great idea, but you could soon be at £50,000 and you're not likely to see a lot of use or value return.

The Evoque's running costs are a mixed bag. The entry-level diesel car is certainly frugal on paper, but it's underpowered and real-world economy will be impacted as a result. The TD4 engine is likely to be a popular choice, and 55-58mpg is a little optimistic but it will be decent enough in regular use.

Other engines, particularly the petrols, will cost a lot more in fuel, and road tax too – the top Si4 petrol will cost £800 in VED for its first year, along with a further £310 penalty if you opt for a high specification car above £40,000.

Insurance will be high too, as even the least expensive Evoque is in group 28 and this rises to group 43 for the Autobiography model. However, the Evoque retains its value well, so depreciation won't be a great issue.

 

Looks and image

The Evoque's design is one of its strongest suits. It looks like it could still be a concept car, never mind a production car that's six years old. The styling makes it seem far more expensive than it is (at least at entry levels), helped along by the fact that the Velar and Sport have both adopted a very Evoque-like overall shape.

However the accessibility lends itself to a slightly more negative image. Evoques began popping up at school gates almost the moment they were on sale, and there is something of the air of the 'WAG' about them, probably not helped by the Victoria Beckham connection. The popularity amongst fleet buyers also creates a mild wrinkle in the image that goes with the perception of company car drivers' road manners.

Space and practicality

Even though there is a five-door version of the Evoque, with five seats, it's not a particularly family-friendly car. Boot space is reasonable at 420 litres, about the same as a decent family hatchback, although this is slashed to 251 litres in the convertible car. Fold the back seats down and the coupe will hold 1,350 litres to the five-door's 1,445 litres.

The five-door car has the edge on rear passenger comfort thanks to a slightly higher roofline. It's not especially roomy, and adding the panoramic roof harms that yet further, but it's a reasonable space. The coupe is far more cramped and the convertible is even worse, to the point where one of the seats has been removed entirely and what remains isn't really suitable for adults for any length of time.

EuroNCAP gives the Evoque a solid report though, with a five star rating. It performed well in the adult occupant safety category, although some areas were marginal in the front offset and whiplash tests, and achieved 86% in the safety assists section.

 

 

Engines

There are five engine options on the Evoque. All are 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units, with petrol and diesel available.

 

The basic engine is the 'eD4' diesel. This 148hp unit is only available with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox. It's the most efficient engine in the range, rated to 109g/km CO2 and 67.3mpg combined in the Coupe, but it's also the slowest. It takes the Evoque 10.6 seconds to reach 60mph with this powertrain.

 

Above this is the 177hp TD4 engine. This is available only with four-wheel drive, and has both the manual and a nine-speed automatic gearbox option. It takes 8.5 seconds to get the Evoque to 60mph, although it takes a second more if you choose the manual. The trade-off is that the manual is more efficient at 58.9mpg compared to the auto's 55.4mpg, and 125g/km rather than 134g/km.

 

The 237hp SD4 is the top diesel engine. Again, this is exclusively four-wheel drive but automatic only, with no manual option. Fuel economy falls to 48.7mpg, with CO2 rated at 153g/km, but the SD4 will hit 60mph in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 135mph.

 

The two petrol engines are both badged as 'Si4', with only the power outputs to differentiate them. They are, like the SD4, four-wheel drive and automatic only. The first is a 237hp engine which matches the SD4's performance figures – 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds and 135mph top speed – but with higher CO2 emissions at 165g/km and a 38.7mpg combine economy.

 

The final option is the 286hp Si4. It's the top performer, with a 144mph top speed and 0-60mph in 6.0 seconds, but shows the worst economy figures with 37.2mpg and 173g/km CO2.

 

 

Running costs

How much the Evoque costs you on a daily basis entirely depends on what engine and specification you get, and varies from reasonable to rather steep.

 

Fans of fuel economy and low road tax will look at the eD4 model, as this manages 67mpg on paper, and 109g/km CO2 means it's the cheapest for first year VED at £140. However with 1.6 tonnes of Evoque to haul around and just 148hp to play with, it's underpowered and you'll struggle to meet those numbers in the real world.

The 177hp TD4 is a better choice, and it's also the lowest-power engine available with an automatic gearbox. It's 12mpg worse off by the official stats, but the gap will be less in reality, and the first year VED is only £60 more.

 

Move any further up the engine range and the costs soon mount up. The next diesel engine is £500 for its first year, and the petrols are pricier still – to say nothing of the likely 30mpg fuel costs. You'll soon hit the £40,000 boundary for higher rate 'luxury' VED too, with a further £310 payable in year one. Go for the Convertible model and the running costs increase significantly.

 

Insurance is model-specific too. The standard SE and SE Tech aren't so bad with the base engine, sitting in group 28-30, but get anything like a reasonable spec and a decent engine and you're well into the mid-30s. The entry-level Convertible is group 39, and some of the higher-specification hard tops manage to hit the mid-40s.

Things to look out for

While sister brand Jaguar has headed reliability surveys over the years, Land Rover has not been quite so fortunate. A lot of this is based on the issues of the original Freelander and Discovery, but the Evoque is a different animal – even if it does share the basic platform of the Freelander, albeit heavily reworked.

It's been subject to a number of recalls along with its sibling the Discovery Sport, but none for major issues. It's well worth making sure that these have been addressed, particularly one which covers a potential steering fault which affected a very small number of vehicles.

As a second-hand buyer, it's worth checking the car over for car park dings. Although capable off-road – it's a Range Rover after all – few cars are likely to have been taken up a rock path but you should check for signs off scuffed undertrays and dings off exposed suspension and exhaust parts anyway. A lot of these cars are used for school runs and general urban use, so check for issues related to the diesel particulate filter on eD4, TD4 and SD4 models as making a lot of short journeys can accelerate the degeneration process.

 

Rivals

Originally there wasn't much that could compete with the Evoque. It was a luxury SUV from a traditional luxury brand that occupied roughly the same segment as the Nissan Qashqai and started at the price of a very expensive Qashqai.

The segment has evolved a little bit over time and there are now a few more alternatives, largely from Germany. The Audi Q3 and the coupe-style Q2 are roughly peers, along with the Mercedes GLA Class (and the Infiniti QX30 that's based on it).

The BMW X1 is also in the same market space, as is the car with which it shares a platform, the Mini Countryman. In fact the Mini may be the Evoque's most significant rival as it appeals to the same sort of buyer. However, none of the alternatives offer a convertible version.

 

Depreciation warning

Larger cars tend to perform worse when it comes to retaining value, not only in terms of the percentage of value lost over three years but also the sheer amount of money lost considering the original purchase price. The same thing often applies to luxury cars too – but the Evoque is an exception to both.

As a desireable car with a design that seems to have aged little – with a personalised plate, as many of them have, you wouldn't know a 2011 car from a 2016 one – the Evoque is as in-demand used as it is new. The high level of standard equipment helps too, and it's not unusual to see  three-year old cars still selling for £30,000 or more. Retained value is easily in the 65% and up range.

Which Range Rover Evoque to Pick

Trims Explained

There are six trim levels on the Evoque, although which you pick may be dictated by your preferred body style

SE

SE is only available on the five door car, and only with the front-wheel drive eD4 manual and 4WD TD4 manual or automatic. It's equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights, grained leather seats with eight-way electric adjustment in the front, ambient interior lighting, a front parking assist, rain-sensing wipers and powered, heated door mirrors with a 'puddle light' that casts an image of the Evoque onto the ground when you lock or unlock the car. An eight-inch touchscreen is also standard.

Prices start from £30,760

SE Tech

SE Tech, or SE Dynamic on the Convertible car, adds satellite navigation. Also included is xenon headlights with an LED signature light and automatic high beam assist (only optional on the Convertible). The seats are upgraded to perforated grained leather, with 12-way electric adjustment, and a heated windscreen is also included.

Prices start from £33,160

Landmark

The Landmark grade, celebrating 600,000 Evoque sales, is another trim exclusive to the five-door car. This includes a fixed panoramic roof, in contrasting grey colour, keyless entry and a hands-free electric tailgate. There's also an upgrade to 19-inch alloy wheels.

Prices start from £39,000

HSE Dynamic

HSE Dynamic is available on all three body styles and with all five engines. It sees an upgrade to 20-inch alloy wheels, a 10-inch touchscreen and the 'Pro' version of the navigation system. The door mirrors gain a memory function and the seats are upgraded to a higher grade leather, with a memory function. There's also a fixed panoramic roof, configurable ambient lighting and 10-speaker audio system.

Prices start from £43,215

HSE Dynamic Lux

HSE Dynamic Lux adds digital television, with a dual view touchscreen so that the passenger can watch television while the driver only sees ordinary infotainment functions. There's also park assist, lane assist and a surround camera system, while the audio is upgraded to a 16-speaker system with a subwoofer.

Prices start from £43,215

Autobiography

Autobiography is exclusive to the hard-top cars, with the top SD4 and Si4 engines. It gains heated and cooled front seats with 14-way electric adjustment and memory, heated rear seats, adaptive LED headlights and a heated steering wheel.

What to look out for

  1. Five-door, coupe and convertible models
  2. Manual or 9-speed auto options
  3. Four-wheel drive on all but entry-level engines
  4. Petrol models are thirsty
  5. High insurance groups
  6. Low depreciation
  7. Five-star EuroNCAP rating
  8. 420-litre boot on hardtop cars
  9. Convertible is very cramped in the rear

Review Rating

"More than four years after sales of its more conventional siblings began, a third bodystyle was added in the form of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible.... Read More"