Range Rover Evoque Review & Ratings
- 15 February 2018
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
The Range Rover Evoque has been given a suite of technical changes to improve fuel economy and efficiency, most important of which is a new nine-speed automatic gearbox. Other updates include engine stop-start technology (previously unavailable on automatic Evoques) and a new four-wheel-drive system called Active Driveline, which has further fuel-saving benefits. The system, which is available only on petrol models to begin with, allows the Evoque to run in front-wheel-drive mode at speeds above 22mph, but it will also send power to the rear wheels when it senses extra traction is needed. Together, these updates have lowered CO2 emissions by as much as 9.8%, while fuel economy is boosted by up to 11%.
However, while the biggestselling 187bhp 2.2 diesel auto is more efficient than before, it is by a smaller amount than other Evoques; CO2 emissions have fallen from 174g/km to 159g/km while official economy has risen by just 3.0mpg to 47.1mpg. These figures should improve again later in 2014 when it gets the new four-wheel-drive system. In addition to the mechanical changes, the revised Evoque is available with more convenience and safety tech, including a Park Exit system that can automatically steer the car out of parking bays. Reverse Traffic Detection is also offered; this warns you of potential hazards when backing onto a road. There are also new paint choices on the outside and a wider selection of trim options inside.
What’s it like to drive?
We’ve sampled the new gearbox in both petrol and diesel Evoques. In both cases, there’s a big improvement. The Evoque now responds more sharply when you pull away from a standstill, and gearchanges are swifter and smoother; the only time the gearbox can be caught out is if you ask for a sudden burst of acceleration at low speeds. True, the gearbox does change up and down quite a bit on the motorway, but you’re not really aware of this unless you look at the rev counter and see how its needle is rising and falling. Impressively, the petrol Evoque we drove flitted between front- and four-wheel-drive modes almost imperceptibly.
The Evoque’s ride isn’t perfect on poorly surfaced roads, but the Evoque manages to keep body lean to a minimum through corners. Of course, while Land Rover claims the Evoque’s fuel economy is better, we’ll need to confirm that for ourselves. We’ll be putting the car through our True MPG test in the coming weeks to see if it lives up to those claims.
What’s it like inside?
Apart from those new trims, exactly the same as before. That’s no bad thing, because the Evoque has a classy cabin that contains plenty of equipment. Most of the car’s systems are controlled using a touch-screen on the dash, with icons that are large and easy to hit on the move. That said, some of the menu layouts are confusing, and it isn’t the most responsive system on the market. The
Evoque is relatively comfortable and spacious enough for four adults – although getting into the back is tricky in the three-door Coupé version, and rivals such as the BMW X3 have a much bigger boot. Our bugbears about the Evoque’s rear visibility remain, due to the rear windscreen being extremely shallow and the rear pillars particularly thick. Furthermore, the oversized door mirrors still make tight turns and mini-roundabouts a visual challenge.
Should I buy one?
Our biggest problem with the old six-speed auto Evoque was its disappointing fuel economy. The latest nine-speed auto model has the potential to be a better proposition for everyone, then; company car buyers will pay less tax, due to the reduction in CO2 emissions, while private buyers will welcome any increase in efficiency, however marginal. The Evoque still isn’t as good an all-rounder as the BMW X3, but it’s decent to drive and classy inside. Its huge desirability will also continue to keep resale values sky high.