Range Rover Evoque Review

$49,995 $77,395 Mrlp
  • Fuel Economy
    5.7L
  • Engine Power
    140kW
  • CO2 Emissions
    149g
  • ANCAP Rating
    4Stars

The Range Rover Evoque was a guaranteed money-spinner before the first vehicle rolled off the Halewood assembly line

Range Rover Evoque SD4 Coupe (Prestige) 2.2L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel common-rail fuel injection, full-time 4WD, 6-speed automatic transmission, 140kW/420Nm: $74,395 (Manufacturer’s List Price)

Range Rover Evoque Si4 Coupe (Dynamic) 2.0L 4-cylinder direct injection petrol turbo, Full-time 4WD, 6-speed automatic transmission, 177kW/340Nm: $60,395 (Manufacturer’s List Price)

Location: Anglesey, Wales/Liverpool, England

One minute we’re charging through some incredibly slippery bog mud in absolute luxury and minutes later we’re blasting along a deserted Welsh road with the same sort of gusto as you would in a super lightweight Lotus Elise.

Meet the Range Rover Evoque Si4 Coupe. If Lotus ever decides to build a lightweight SUV – it would be the Evoque, and this model in particular. Under full throttle in third or fourth, it even sounds like an Elise.

There are some spectacular roads in Anglesey and they’re usually deserted on week days, and although that’s a good enough reason for Land Rover to hold the worldwide launch of the their smallest, lightest and greenest Range Rover ever, on the largest Island in the Irish sea, it’s not the only reason. Not by a long shot.

Anglesey also happens to be the rightful birthplace of the original Series I Land Rover. Conceived by Maurice Wilks with assistance from his brother Spencer on his Anglesey farm (Maurice was said to have drawn a sketch of the Land Rover on a beach there) the Land Rover was later launched at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show to an enthusiastic press corps.

Sixty-three years later the press are no less enthusiastic with the launch of the smallest and least expensive vehicle ever to wear the prestigious Range Rover badge.

Based on the successful Freelander 2 platform although, that’s about where any similarities between the two compact SUVs start and stop, at least, when it comes to styling.

With Evoque, Land Rover has effectively created a new automobile segment – the ‘luxury compact SUV’. It won’t matter that the automotive market is as crowded as it has ever been, that won't worry Evoque sales in the slightest if current interest is anything to go by.

The newest Range Rover has already racked up over 20,000 paid deposits and most of those customers have neither seen, nor driven, the vehicle.

Its concept-like styling and Range Rover badge at an affordable price are what is fueling unprecedented global interest in Evoque with a ‘must have’ reaction from a wide spectrum of potential buyers, most of whom are new to the brand. Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton wants one, as does half the world’s automotive press. That’s pretty much based on the Evoque’s styling alone.

Land Rover will need to watch their supply of the Evoque as there is already talk of a nine month waiting list despite the Halewood factory currently building a new Evoque or Freelander every seventy seconds. It’s a mind-blowing statistic and it means that working two shifts, Halewood can deliver 170,000 vehicles per annum.

That might sound like a lot of Evoques, but that still may not be enough to satisfy initial demand from current super markets such as China and Brazil. Add to that sizeable demand from Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States, and things at Halewood could become decidedly hectic over the coming months.

These are exciting times for Land Rover and Evoque could rapidly increase the company’s fortunes within twelve months of production.

There are just two engine types to choose from; one diesel and one petrol. The diesel comes in two flavours; the 2.2-litre TD4 tuned for 110 kW/400Nm, or the more powerful 2.2-litre SD4 with 140kW/420Nm on tap.

While most folks will be thinking along the lines of SUV equals diesel, the surprise package is the petrol Si4 2.0-litre engine in the Coupe body. It should be noted that all engine variants are available in both Coupe and five-door bodies and all vehicles produced this year will be four-wheel drive.

Land Rover Australia will also offer the less expensive two-wheel drive eD4 manual from $49,995 but don’t expect to see it on the showroom floor until March 2012.

Our first drive route though from Anglesey’s RAF Valley (the search and rescue helicopter base where Prince William and wife Kate Middleton are stationed) was in an SD4 diesel auto Coupe and involved a short road drive to a lengthy mix of various off-road terrains.

First impressions are that it is indeed a stunning looking vehicle. The rear and side three-quarter angles best display that concept-like styling that sets the Evoque apart from any other SUV on the market today, including all other Range Rover models.

Most noticeable features of the Evoque’s design language are the high beltline that rises to meet a tapered roof line. It doesn’t look like a lot of glass area and you might be forgiven for thinking that things might get a tad claustrophobic inside, but it’s just not like that at all. In fact, apart from the relatively narrow tailgate window, which still offers a clear view of traffic, all round vision is good.

So to is the useable space inside Evoque. There’s a tonne of it. In fact, the five-door version has more rear headroom that a Range Rover Sport, like 35 millimetres more. The substantial width of the Evoque means there’s also plenty of space between the driver and front passenger – more like it’s larger siblings in that respect.

Boot space is better then expected too with up to 575-litres with rear seats upright and growing to 1445-litres with the rear seats folded. Performing U-turns aren’t much of an issue either, with a commendable turning circle of 11.3 metres.

Petrol or diesel, coupe or five-door, and which trim level to go with (Design Themes in Land Rover speak); Pure, Dynamic and Prestige in order of pricing level.

Our SD4 was fitted out in the luxury Prestige theme and one thing is for certain; it’s all Range Rover quality inside this cabin. There’s a rich smell of premium leather with twin-needle contrast stitching, along with a stack of luxury kit. The central features of this cabin are the Range Rover/Jaguar-borrowed DriveSelector and the high-definition eight-inch touch screen.

There’s also a host of real metallic and wood accents throughout the cabin and a full-length panoramic glass roof to enhance that feeling of space and light.

The leather seats are superb offering a tonne of seat and side bolster, but not at the expense of width for the larger members of our society.

You may not have heard of the British audio company Meridian, but crank up the volume on the 825W sound system with 15 amplifier channels driving 17 loudspeakers, and you’re unlikely to forget the name. The audio quality and power of the sound delivery with zero distortion at considerable volume will have you upgrading from the perfectly acceptable 380W system, in a heartbeat.

With most functions handled through the touch screen interface, the rest of the switchgear and centre console is refreshingly uncluttered.

The piano black accents on the console are also a nice touch with nothing too over done inside Evoque.

There is an extensive inventory of standard features across the Evoque line-up from the entry level ‘Pure’ theme, which grows even larger if you choose either the ‘Dynamic’ of ‘Prestige’ themes.

There’s also an equally extensive array of optional extras, available either individually, or as part of some reasonably well-priced option packs. The tech pack is something of a must with the ‘Pure’ level, as features include the eight-inch high resolution screen, 380W Meridian sound system, Audio connectivity, Configurable interior mood lighting, Pure Grained full leather seats, Carpet Matt set and 18-inch Style 2 Sparkle Silver Alloy Wheels for a grand total of $4500.

Naturally the Evoque comes with a push button start and despite the fact that you can still hear the diesel engine note, it’s natural born clatter has been extremely well muted as part of the Range Rover experience.

The overall pace on the motorways in the UK tends to be considerably quicker that on Australian roads so punching the throttle on entry to the motorway is just par for the course. With 420 Nm coming on song early down in the rev range, the Evoque SD4 has got plenty of low down grunt for any motorway duties and won’t get left behind at the traffic lights. The six-speed auto ensures a smooth power delivery and the standard fit paddle shifters are a treat on these deserted Welsh B-roads.

It’s still a small diesel so at times under heavy load the engine will result in a louder diesel engine note especially on kick down, but again, it’s not an annoying sound due to what is very good noise insulation.

No sooner than we were on the motorway, were we of the motorway and climbing into some rather steep hilly terrain, which ended up a slippery, slimy, boggy mess.

The four-wheel drive Evoque comes properly armed for this type of off-road excursion with Land Rover’s proprietary Terrain Response system. There are four settings, but we’ve dialled up ‘Mud and Ruts’ as it looks incredibly slippery and we’re on standard road tyres, which should make things even more interesting.

It’s a steep decent into these muddy tracks, so just to be on the safe side, we’ve also activated the Hill Decent Control for minimal speed control down this slope. This system also makes use of Gradient Release Control, which ensures a smooth release of the brakes for better control. It works too although, the mud is so slippery that the Evoque’s rear wheels slide out until more power is applied and we simply drive right through this stuff. The only worry is that we have decimated the Land Rover Experience guys, who are acting as safety observers with mud from the spinning tyres before traction control kicks in.

Out of the bog and onto some steep rock trails and we hit the button on the Terrain Response for Grass/Gravel/Snow and the Evoque makes light work of the course.

It’s not just the ease by which the Evoque can cover such off-road trauma, but equally impressive is the comfort it affords driver and passengers. Clearly Land Rover engineers have properly tuned Evoque’s fully independent suspension to deliver nothing but a supple ride despite conditions off road or on-road.

It’s that combination of long-travel suspension, large diameter gas dampers and the isolated front and rear sub-frames that provide such a pliant ride over poor surfaces.

In diesel guise the SD4 Evoque weighs in at 1685 kilograms and while that’s certainly not the lightest in class, it is however ‘light’, when you factor in its off road capability and the extensive level of luxury kit on board.

Not content with just a supple ride, Evoque’s monocoque body feels stiff enough to throw it into a tight, twisty, Anglesey corner at a considerable pace. There’s very little body lean on turn in, and things get even better behind the wheel of the Si4 Petrol.

There’s plenty of weight and feel through the thick-rimmed sports leather steering wheel and response rate is superb.

Frankly, we hadn’t paid too much attention to the only petrol engine Evoque, after all, 420 Nm of low down torque seemed to work just fine in the diesel.

After just five minutes in the driver’s seat of the Si4 2.0L Evoque I’m thinking to myself that it can’t be this much fun driving a compact SUV, can it?

There’s forty-five less kilos to haul around, but it’s not just that. Power is up to 177 kW and torque output is a respectable 340 Nm.

It’s considerably more responsive than diesel too and works a treat with the six-speed auto and even better when using the steering wheel mounted shift paddles.

Twisty roads are simply a blast in the Evoque Si4 and you tend to quickly forget that you’re piloting a stylish compact SUV with enough ground clearance to handle half a metre of water.

The moment you see a stretch of clear road ahead, you’ll want to drive it like a Range Rover Sport at full tilt. That’s how agile this thing feels as you literally throw it into bend-after-bend while working the paddle shifters. And by the way, we were on typically wet roads for most of the drive program, but it didn’t seem to bother the Evoque as the grip and traction was excellent.

The Aisin six-speed auto mated to this powertrain is pure genius. Paddle shifting up and down the ratio range, the shifts are more like a dual-clutch transmission that any automatic I’ve ever driven.

Anywhere north of 3000 rpm and the Evoque Si4 sounds something like a Lotus Elise S and you can’t get enough of it.

In-gear acceleration is impressive as we found out when passing a fast moving Volkswagen Passat with effortless ease. From a standing start the Si4 is said to be able to deliver a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.6 seconds and we have no reason to doubt that figure after several enthusiastically driven loops in the Welsh countryside.

While most Evoques are likely to spend the majority of their time fulfilling urban duties and office commutes, it gives nothing away to the heavy-duty four-wheel drive vehicles in the ground clearance department. Clever architecture and component packaging has meant that Evoque’s platform sits 27mm lower than Freelander yet there is more ground clearance.

With a wade depth of 500 millimetres we took our test vehicle for a quick swim in the Albert Dock in Liverpool Harbour, which attracted a good deal of attention and had become quite the tourist attraction over the previous five weeks.

Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque was already a guaranteed money-spinner before the first vehicle rolled off the Halewood assembly line. It may even achieve iconic status in a far shorter period than any Land Rover product before it.

Far more interesting though is how the designer Gerry McGovern, and his team, will export those fundamental design features that make Evoque such a styling sensation across to future Range Rover models. No doubt that process has already begun.

Evoque Australian Recommended Retail Pricing

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE: (COUPE VARIANTS ADDITIONAL RRP $1,500)
RRP
eD4 110kW 6 Speed Manual 2WD (available in March 2012)
eD4 Pure 6 Speed Manual 2WD $49,995
eD4 Dynamic 6 Speed Manual 2WD $63,495
eD4 Prestige 6 Speed Manual 2WD $65,495
TD4 110kW 6 Speed Manual 4WD
TD4 Pure 6 Speed Manual 4WD $53,395
TD4 Dynamic 6 Speed Manual 4WD $66,895
TD4 Prestige 6 Speed Manual 4WD $68,895
SD4 140kW 6 Speed Manual 4WD
SD4 Pure 6 Speed Manual 4WD $57,395
SD4 Dynamic 6 Speed Manual 4WD $70,895
SD4 Prestige 6 Speed Manual 4WD $72,895
Si4 177kW 6 Speed Automatic 4WD
Si4 Pure 6 Speed Automatic 4WD $60,395
Si4 Dynamic 6 Speed Automatic 4WD $73,895
Si4 Prestige 6 Speed Automatic 4WD $75,895

Key Option Prices
6 Speed Automatic Transmission with Drive select and Paddle Shift (TD4/SD4
only) $2,480
Option Packs
Pure Tech Pack (Mandatory fit to Pure models until November Production) $4,500
Prestige/Dynamic Tech Pack $5,900
Dynamic Plus Pack $7,200
Individual Options
HDD Navigation including 4x4 information and hard disc drive audio server. $3,400
Park Assist $1,090
Power Tailgate $1,020
Metallic Paint $1,300

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE AND RANGE ROVER EVOQUE COUPÉ
PURE
STANDARD FEATURES

Transmission, Suspension & Driving Dynamics
• eD4, TD4, SD4: six-speed manual transmission with intelligent stop/start system
• Si4: CommandShift® six-speed automatic transmission including drive select with paddle shift and Sport mode
• Standard full-time intelligent 4WD system (not on eD4)
• Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS)
• Electric Parking Brake
• Terrain Response® (not on eD4)
• Hill Descent Control (not on eD4)
• Gradient Release Control (not on eD4)
• Gradient Acceleration Control (not on eD4)
• Hill Start Assist
• Push Button Start
Exterior Features & Wheels
• LED Fog Lamps - front
• Black Evoque Tailgate Badge
• Front grille, tailgate finisher, lower side
blade and side fender blade in Brunel
(Range Rover Evoque only)
• Front grille, tailgate finisher, lower side blade and side fender blade in dark Atlas
(Range Rover Evoque Coupé only)
• Bonnet Louvres in dark Atlas
(Range Rover Evoque Coupé only)
• Waist finisher – high gloss black
• Rear Spoiler
• 17 inch Alloy Wheels ‘Style 1’ with
225/65 R17 tyres
• 18 inch temporary spare steel wheel with tool kit
• Solid Paint
Interior Seating, Features & Finishes
• Partial leather seats
• Oxford leather steering wheel
• Oxford leather gearknob (Manual only)
• Satin Brushed Aluminium horizontal finisher
• Satin Brushed Aluminium centre console finisher
• Rear seat – Range Rover Evoque – three seat rear bench
• Rear seat – Range Rover Evoque Coupé – two individual seats. (three seat bench Available)
• Rear seat centre head restraint (three seat bench only)
Safety & Security
• Headlamps – halogen and manual headlamp levelling
• Airbags – front (driver and front passenger)
• Airbags – knee bolster (driver)
• Airbags – side curtain, driver and front
passenger and second row
• Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
• Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
• Traction Control System (TCS)
• Roll Stability Control (RSC)
• Engine Drag torque Control (EDC)
• Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD)
• Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
• Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
• Hazard warning lights under heavy braking
• Height adjustable seat belts – front
• Child seat anchor points
• Seat belt reminder
• Electrically adjustable heated exterior mirrors
with directional indicators
• Range Rover SmartKey remotely controls
lock/unlock/double lock/lights on/tailgate open
• Diesel mis-fuelling device (diesel models only)
Comfort & Convenience
• Manually adjustable seats for driver and passenger 6/4 way (including electric height adjustment for driver seat)
– Range Rover Evoque
• Electrically adjustable seats for driver and passenger 6/4 way (including electric
height adjustment for driver seat) –
Range Rover Evoque Coupé
• Global opening for all windows
• Automatic Climate Control with air filtration
• Covered centre console stowage including two cup holders
• Sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors (driver and passenger)
• Proximity sensing and touch detection for overhead map lights
• Rear seat 60/40 split
• Luggage cover
• Luggage compartment with lashing eyes
• Illumination for footwell, glovebox, rear and luggage compartment
• White lighting in door release and over head console down lighter
• Front header courtesy (with delay theatre dimming) and map lights
• Manually adjustable steering column (4-way)
• Cruise control with steering wheel mounted controls
• Rear Parking Aid
• Solar attenuating glass
• Heated rear screen
Information, Communication & Entertainment
• 5 inch Colour TFT Driver Information Centre
• 8 speaker audio system controlled via 5 inch colour display including radio FM/AM, single slot CD, MP3 disc and file compatibility and twin antennae system
• Auxiliary power socket – front and luggage compartment
• 3.5mm stereo auxiliary input socket
• Bluetooth® telephone connectivity and streaming audio

PRESTIGE
STANDARD FEATURES in addition to pure

• Silver Evoque Tailgate Badge
• Front grille, tailgate finisher, lower side blade and side fender blade in Atlas
• Bonnet louvres in Atlas (Range Rover Evoque Coupé only)
• Waist finisher in Bright Finisher (Range Rover Evoque)
• Waist finisher in Gloss Black (Range Rover Evoque Coupé)
• 19 inch Alloy Wheels ‘Style 5’ Diamond Turned with 235/55 R19 tyres
Interior Seating, Features & Finishes
• Oxford leather for seats, door casings, mid and upper section of instrument panel
• Satin Brushed Aluminium waist finisher
• Satin Brushed Aluminium centre console finisher
• Premium carpet mats with edging
• Range Rover chrome treadplates front and tailgate
• Auto Dimming rear view mirror Safety & Security
• Xenon headlamps with signature LED lighting and automatic levelling
• Rain sensing windscreen wipers
• Automatic Light Sensing Headlamps
• Heated exterior mirrors with electric adjustment, powerfold, puddle lamps with projected Range Rover Evoque graphic and directional indicators
• Exterior Mirrors - Memeroy Function and auto dipping in reverse gear
Comfort & Convenience
• Customer configurable interior mood lighting
• Electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats 8/6 way, including recline, height, tilt with memory and lumbar support for driver and recline, height with memory and lumbar support
for passenger (Range Rover Evoque only)
• Electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats 8/6 way, including recline, height, tilt with memory and lumbar support for driver and recline, height and lumbar support for passenger
(Range Rover Evoque Coupé only)
• Rear centre armrest including two cup holders (fitted on rear bench seat only)
Information, Communication & Entertainment
• 8 inch high resolution Touch-screen
• 11 speaker including subwoofer 380 Watt Meridian™ Sound System with radio and single slot CD player, MP3 disc and file compatibility
• Audio Connectivity System (including iPod and 2 ports for USB connectivity)

DYNAMIC

Standard Features in addition to Pure
Exterior Features & Wheels
• Red Evoque Tailgate Badge
• Dynamic front bumper, side sills and rear bumper with integrated Dynamic exhaust
• Front grille, tailgate finisher and side fender blade in Sumatra Black
• Exterior mirror caps in Sumatra Black
• Bonnet louvres in Sumatra Black (Range Rover Evoque Coupé only)
• Aeroflip on rear spoiler in Sumatra Black
• 19 inch Alloy Wheels ‘Style 4’ with 235/55 R19 tyres (Range Rover Evoque only)
• 19 inch Alloy Wheels ‘Style 3’ with 235/55 R19 tyres (Range Rover Evoque Coupé only)
Interior Seating, Features & Finishes
• Dynamic Grained leather perforated seats with contrast stitching
• Dynamic perforated Oxford leather steering wheel
• Dynamic perforated Oxford leather gearknob (manual transmission only)
• Textured Aluminium horizontal finisher
• Textured Aluminium centre console finisher
• Aluminium pedal finisher kit
• Range Rover chrome treadplates
• Carpet mats with edging
• Auto Dimming rear view mirror
Safety & Security
• Xenon headlamps with signature LED lighting and automatic levelling
• Rain sensing windscreen wipers
• Automatic Light Sensing Headlamps
• Heated exterior mirrors with electric adjustment, powerfold, puddle lamps with projected
Range Rover Evoque graphic and directional indicators plus memory function and auto dipping
Comfort & Convenience
• Customer configurable interior mood lighting
• Electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats 6/4 way, including recline, height with
memory and lumbar support for driver and recline and lumbar support for passenger
(Range Rover Evoque Only)
• Electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats 6/4 way, including recline, height with memory
and lumbar support for driver and recline with memory and lumbar support for passenger
(Range Rover Evoque Coupé only)
• Rear central armrest including two cup holders (fitted on rear bench seat only)
Information, Communication & Entertainment
• 8 inch high resolution Touch-screen
• 11 speaker including subwoofer 380 Watt Meridian™ Sound System with radio and single slot CD player, MP3 disc and file compatibility
• Audio Connectivity System (including iPod and 2 ports for USB connectivity)