The new Range Rover was quite easily one of our favourite cars of last year and with waiting lists already approaching 12 months, the (rather lucky) public seem to agree. But with prices starting around the 80 thousand pounds mark, it definitely isn’t a car for everyone. We take a closer look at it’s smaller and more affordable sister with our Range Rover Evoque SD4 Review.

Range Rover Evoque SD4 Review

When the Evoque first hit the market back in 2011 opinion seemed to be a little divided, did we like, didn’t we like? But again, numbers talk and with over 100 thousand of the mini monsters sold last year alone, the Evoque has been a re-sounding success. Available in 3 engine options, one 2L petrol pushing out 240 BHP and two 2.2L diesels pushing out 150 or 190 BHP, and a total of three trims, the Pure, Prestige and Dynamic, the Range Rover Evoque starts at just over £30, 000 on the road.

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Range Rover Evoque on the Road

See that fun looking aggressive exterior and looks? Well we are afraid to say it doesn’t quite transfer onto the road. You will find ride, speed and comfort more suited to traditional Range Rover, and the previous generation at that. The body roll is evident on anything slightly above normal cornering speeds which is disappointing, though that slightly softer ride does allow for a remarkable level of comfort on most road surfaces for such a small vehicle.

We also found a slight lack of punch in our review model. Sporting a 2.2 litre diesel engine and 190 PS we just didn’t get the feeling of excitement and the huge smile on our face we had hoped. And bearing in mind over the course of a week we only returned an average MPG of just under 30, we don’t see a clear trade off between performance and economy…

If slow moving comfort is key, then the Evoque ticks all the boxes, but then again so did the original Range Rover.

Interior and Technology

As you would guess with a car under the marquee of Range Rover, it’s all here, if you are willing to pay for it of course. The interior is quite majestic, opt for the plain black trim and you will end up with a nicer modern twist to the heritage of RR and near unrivaled technology. From the split screen TV with touch (extra lux pack) to the automatic boot it is all here, but it isn’t all perfection.

For some unknown and quite stupid reason the doors wouldn’t shut properly on my review model. Now I would hope it to be a flaw on my particular car but all of the doors wouldn’t close upon what I would call ‘normal’ closing, they needed a right good English slam! It was nearly like the Evoque was supposed to have electric closing doors and they forgot to install the wires. My final quibble would be the small and not overly well shaped boot space. A 4×4, albeit an SUV and I couldn’t fit my golf clubs and trolly (how country do I sound?!) in the boot without over-riding the electric close mechanism to slam it. Very strange…!

Even with these two little faults, there is no denying the depth of sheer class and elegance inside the cabin. Everything is solid, works and is quality to boot. Not to mention there are enough buttons and toys to keep you going for a year, and the touchscreen is a must with one of the best UI’s we have played with.

Exterior

The Evoque is unmistakable, I have no worries claiming it is one of the most eye catching and aesthetically pleasing 4×4’s ever to be put into production, it may not be made of 100% beef such as the Mercedes G or GL, but this is certainly no horse! It is aggressive in terms of its stance and actually looks quite large, but at the same time it seems small enough to look sporty and nimble.

I am sure the odd person won’t like the look of Evoque but unlike Marmite, this is very much a fall in love with car. People look, people stare, and it is all with good reason. It makes you happy to drive one, it’s one of those cars where traffic doesn’t matter, you are comfortable, and you know everyone looking in wants to be sitting there right next to you.

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Range Rover Evoque SQ4 Review Conclusion

There is no doubt that the Evoque isn’t perfect, but for the city dweller who wants a more usable 4×4 in terms of size, or the country home that is already a Range Rover family and would like one for the wife, it really is unbeatable. And you get to make a statement whilst you are driving it.

In terms of a brand, Range Rover is rich, old, mature and stacked in tradition. In terms of a car, the Evoque is fresh, an infant and a new kid on the block. The Range Rover Evoque has the opportunity to be become a name and design which becomes a corner stone of motoring and the benchmark for everything ‘sports utility’, but it’s not quite there. Yet.

Review Model Stats:

Range Rover Evoque SD4 Prestige, Price £39,995 (est); 0-62mph 8.0sec; Top speed 121mph; Economy 44.1mpg; CO2 174g/km; Kerb weight from 1600kg; Engine 2200cc, diesel; Power 154bhp at 6000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd automatic.

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