New engine boosts Range Rover Evoque’s street cred
12:12 20 December 2015
The baby Range Rover is still a spring chicken but it’s fresher still now thanks to some new technology and improved manners, says Matt Joy.
The Evoque arrived in 2011 and the downsized Range Rover came with much of the kudos and presence of the full-size version but with a smaller price tag, fuel bill and parking space requirements.
Four years on and it’s on the receiving end of some notable enhancements. Outside there’s mild tweaks to keep it fresh but, more importantly, it gains the latest Ingenium diesel engine already keeping fuel bills low in the Discovery Sport. There’s also a revised suspension set-up, some new off-road gadgets and cabin updates.
Range Rover Evoque
Price: Evoque HSE Dynamic 2.0 180PS, £42,300 (range £30,200 to £51,800)
Engine: 2.0-litre, 180PS, four-cylinder turbo petrol
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic driving all four wheels
Performance: 0-62mph 9.0 seconds; top speed 121mph
MPG: 46.1 combined
CO2 emissions: 134g/km
Looks and image
So popular is the Evoque – it accounts for one in every three Land Rovers sold – that it’s easy to forget just how radical it looked when it first arrived. Familiarity hasn’t hurt its appeal, but the updates are welcome. The new LED headlights look very smart, while the restyled front bumper freshens up the face and ties it in more closely with its sibling products. There’s additional colour options and more alloy wheel designs too.
Popularity hasn’t hurt its image either – for a relatively small car it packs a lot of cred.
Space and practicality
Front seat occupants sit nice and high and have plenty of space to stash odds and ends, while welcome comforts such as ventilated and massage seats are now options. If your regularly carry people in the back, the five-door version makes more sense. Headroom is less generous than the front with sloping roof but this isn’t an issue unless you’re six foot tall.
Behind the wheel
The Ingenium diesel, mated to the nine-speed automatic gearbox, is a willing companion in high-output 180PS form. Although nine forward ratios might seem a lot, the Evoque switches between them smoothly to make the most of the generous torque for fuss-free progress. Push harder and the Ingenium unit is a little more vocal but the relaxed cabin ambience isn’t hurt.
Better still is the way the Evoque effortlessly blends a comfortable ride with responsive driving dynamics. Most of the time you simply enjoy the way road imperfections are soaked up without fuss, especially impressive when with large alloy wheels. When you need to hurry along a challenging B-road, the Evoque responds with much more alacrity and accuracy than it has any right to.
Value for money
The mechanical improvements are matched by enhancements to specification. All Evoques now get the latest InControl Touch infotainment system, upgraded materials on the door trims and new features such as the all-terrain off-roading system.
Who would buy one?
Fashion-conscious young people and older folks who want something with style and comfort will enjoy the smart looks and it is one of the few design-heavy cars that appeals to both men and women. In five-door form it also suits smaller families and it has more off-road ability than many people will ever need.