The Range Rover Evoque first made its appearance as a concept car named “LRX Concept” back in 2007. Then due to public’s highly positive response, Land Rover, which in the meantime was acquired by TATA Group, decided to put the car into production in 2011. In 2015, it received a cosmetic and mechanic update. I’ve always been a big fan of the Evoque, so when my friends at International Motors – JLR gave me the opportunity to test the car, I couldn’t wait to see if it would have lived up to my expectations.
The car is a 2016 SE model; it features a two-tone Fuji White/Santorini Black paint job and sports 18-inch wheels both at the front and at the rear with a five-twin-spoke design. Headlights and tail lights feature LED illumination and Xenon lamps. Optional extras are the tinted rear windotws, the keyless entry system and the electronic tailgate
The interior is a really nice place. It’s fully upholstered in Cirrus/Lunar leather with brushed aluminium and glossy piano black elements. It looks and feels premium with Range Rover’s distinctive attention to detail. The steering wheel has fixed paddle shifters. It’s wrapped in leather and hosts several controls. The eight-way power-adjustable seats are extremely comfortable and offer plenty of lateral support.
The InControl Touch is the multimedia and navigation system and is located in the floating centre console. I found it very easy to use through the 8.0-inch touch-screen and lateral quick-access buttons. It could be a bit more responsive but it’s not slow by any means. The centre console also hosts the rotary wheel used to select gears, akin to other Land Rover and Jaguar models.
There are two 2.0-litre engine options to choose from; the TD4 diesel in two power steps of 150 horsepower/380 Nm and 180 hp/430 Nm, and the Si4 petrol with 240 hp/340 Nm. All of the diesel units belong to the new family of Ingenium engines, which means they feature lightweight aluminium construction and offer low levels of vibration and noise intrusion thanks to reduced internal friction. Also, they provide enhanced fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions, while improving overall performance.
I had the 150 hp TD4 mated with the brand new ZF nine-speed gearbox driving all four wheels. The engine is amazing and it delivers very good performances while barely drinking any fuel. The transmission is fantastic. It’s new from ZF and offers silky smooth gear changes in automatic mode yet incredibly quick ones when manually shifting using the paddles.
The Evoque is equipped with the Terrain Response, allowing the driver to select one of several modes that optimise performance on a variety of different surfaces, from muddy or rutted grounds to sandy, snowy and icy ones. I only drove the car on tarmac and it felt planted even at high speeds. It offered a good balance between ride comfort and composed handling. Both dive and body roll are well contained and the steering is accurate. Travelling on the motorway is a relaxing and pleasant experience.
The Range Rover Evoque is a great all-around capable SUV, offering luxury and comfort in a stylish body. The only complaint I have to make is the not-so-great rear visibility. However, my examples had as standard front and rear parking sensors along with the rear camera, making manoeuvring a piece of cake.
If I were in the market for a premium SUV, the Evoque would be on top of the list!
- Pros – Style, Fuel efficiency, Comfort, Boot capacity, Build Quality
- Cons – Rear visibility, Some optionals are expensive