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REVIEW – Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic SE

Editor-in-chief, Senior Reviewer


Land Rover Range Rover Evoque P200 R-Dynamic SE
  • Exterior Styling
  • Interior Finish
  • Engine / Performance
  • Ride / Handling
  • Economy
  • Practicality
  • Equipment
  • Value For Money
4.5

Summary

It may look slightly similar to its predecessor, but this Evoque is all-new and much-improved. The cabin, with Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, is masterful. Thankfully a wide range of engines are available because the P200 is, on balance, lacking in both power and economy. Plenty of space and Land Rover AWD know-how sorts out practicality. So at long last, the Evoque feels like a proper – albeit smaller – Range Rover.


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Exterior Styling

Having recently reviewed the Range Rover Velar, we commended its exterior styling. With good reason of course; it is a thing of beauty. But it has to be said that this new Evoque is providing some serious competition for it in the looks department.

Land Rover has been incredibly clever with the design of the new Evoque. It is very recognisable, to the point that you may just think it’s had a mid-life nip and tuck. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Look closely behind the familiarity and you will notice the lines are softer, giving the car a sleeker appearance. There are also many styling cues taken from the Velar, which is no bad thing at all.

At the front, signature LED daytime running lights let you know this car is part of the Range Rover family. The corner of the bumpers also feature air vents, accented with copper blades. The copper flourishes can also be found on the bonnet and front wings.

To the side a variety of wheel options are available, from 17 to 22 inches in fact, but we liked the 20-inch numbers found on our test car, which are standard on the SE.

The seriously-cool retractable door handles have made their way onto this car, which only furthers that sleeker appearance. And, let’s be honest, it’s a cool thing to show your mates!

At the rear, there’s a little bit more copper around the exhausts, but the standout design feature is the black stripe that runs right across the tailgate. Brandishing Range Rover lettering, and incorporating smoked taillights, it provides a wonderful contrast to the painted body.

As this was an R-Dynamic car, it has an extra dash of sportiness, well worth the £1,500 premium over standard models.

Interior Finish

What impressed us most about the Velar was the cabin quality. It was full of high-quality materials and crammed full of technology.

The Evoque is much of the same. And given that’s the area where the outgoing car felt the most dated, this is a welcome and refreshing change.

Inevitably, the materials are not quite on the same level as they were in the Velar. But that’s perfectly acceptable given the respective price points of the two models. And in the Evoque there is still a great mix of textures and finishes that elevate the ambience inside the car.

The leather seats have a subtle curve to them, meaning they feel like they’re wrapping around you. And once you settle down into the driving seat things get even more interesting.

Ahead of you is the steering wheel which features capacitive buttons that change appearance based on the menu/function being used. Beyond this is a fully-digital instrument cluster, which can be customised to show one or two dials, a full-screen map and several other combinations in between.

The centre piece of the cabin is undoubtedly the Touch Pro Duo system. Comprising two touch screens – hence the name – it comes as standard on the SE model.

The top screen is home, primarily, to the navigation, media and telephone interfaces. On the bottom screen are the drive modes and vehicle dynamics, climate and seat controls. The setup is both intuitive and immensely stylish.

The build quality is top notch, giving the Evoque a solid feel. The soft-touch materials on the dashboard and door cards is inspired. It may not be as opulent as leather, but still makes for a more-premium feel than simple plastics.

Engine/Performance

There are but two basic engines in the Range Rover Evoque. A 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre diesel, both with four cylinders.

But both of these engines are available with various different power outputs, resulting in a rather full-looking offering. With everything from 150PS up to 300PS, there is sure to be something that tickles your fancy. And all variants except the entry-level D150 come with 48V mild hybrid technology.

The engine in our test car was the P200. This is the lowest-power of three petrol engines, with 200PS and 320Nm of torque. The P250 has 250PS and 365Nm, whilst the P300 is the most powerful of all with 300PS and 400Nm.

Ultimately the P200 is not what you’d call fast. It takes a leisurely 8.5 seconds to go from 0-62mph, and the top speed is 134mph. It’s not just lacking on paper either, because the P200 just doesn’t have the effortless momentum that a luxury car should possess.

The P200 never feels urgent, even when you mash your foot into the carpet and let it rev right up to the limiter.

One ever-so-slight saving grace is that with 48V MHEV technology you get a punchier initial throttle response, which make the P200 feel nippier around town.

If power is your aim, then it would be well worth stretching to the P250 or P300, which will complete the 0-62mph dash in 7.5 and 6.6 seconds respectively. And with 400Nm of torque the P300 should pull well in all situations. That said, it is out-torqued by the D240 with its 500Nm, which is very impressive for a 4-cylinder engine.

Ride/Handling

Putting the engine choice to one side, there can be no other complaints about how the Evoque drives. It has a balanced setup that allows it to excel in pretty much every scenario, and that’s one of the main reasons we love SUVs in this country.

Before I go on, I will say that our test car had the optional Adaptive Dynamics. It costs £800 but, given how we found the ride, is worth every penny. The system monitors wheel position and body movements, whilst analysing steering, throttle and brake inputs. This analysis feeds electronically-controlled dampers, which can adjust 100 times per second.

The result is that the Evoque can deliver the type of ride you want, whatever that may be at a given moment.

For a long motorway journey, you can select comfort mode. The damping will be supple, and forgiving. Passengers will be comfortable and, most importantly, you feel like you are in a Range Rover. As you should.

Get onto an A-road with bumps and undulations, and Dynamic mode will be your best friend. This will firm up the damping and prevent the Evoque from hurling its weight around. The system works, with surprisingly little body roll for a car of this stature.

Steering lacks feel, but is nice and direct. It’s nicely weighted in each mode too: light and relaxing in comfort road and heavier in dynamic mode.

Brakes are 349mm front discs and 300mm rear discs. Given that this is the same setup as in the P300, it provides more than enough stopping power for the P200.

Economy

Economy is another area where the Evoque P200 leaves a little to be desired. Combined fuel consumption is 29.1mpg on the WLTP cycle, which hardly fills you with excitement.

Now if this was a performance model, lower economy figures can be forgiven, But this is the entry-level petrol engine that is not all that fast, so it’s harder to forgive it. And to add insult to injury, the P250 returns the same combined figure. Even the P300, with 50 percent more power, returns 28.9mpg.

CO2 emissions are 173g/km, or 176g/km if you opt for a 21-inch wheel. That results in first year VED of £855. Subsequent years will be £145, but as this particular Evoque costs more than £40,000 there will be a surcharge of £320 for years 2 – 6.

Both the P250 and P300 engines can sit in the same VED band, with the same cost. However if you choose a 21-inch wheel with the P300 the first year rate rises to £1,280.

So ultimately the P200 doesn’t gain any economy boost for its reduced power levels over the other two petrol variants. But that’s not through a lack of trying.

There is a lot of technology on the Evoque with economy in mind, not least the 48V mild hybrid system. You also get start/stop technology and eco drive mode. Having 9 gears also helps to keep the engine’s workload to a minimum under gentle driving.

Practicality

The Evoque may be the smallest Range Rover available, but that doesn’t put it at a disadvantage when it comes to practicality. In fact, it works to its advantage in certain areas.

One such area is parking. Being more compact makes the Evoque easier to park. You needn’t trawl the car park looking for the widest bay. Nor should you have to resort to being ‘that motorist’ who takes up two spaces.

And despite being smaller than the likes of the Velar and Range Rover Sport, the cabin still feels roomy. You can get two adults in the rear in reasonable comfort, and three kids will have plenty of room to wreak havoc.

Boot space in the Evoque isn’t too vast, at 472 litres. But that is plenty for shopping bags or a bit of luggage. And you have to make allowance for the AWD system under the boot floor which inevitably takes up a few litres.

In order to maximise this space, our test car came with the ClearSight rear view mirror, which uses a camera hidden in the shark fin aerial to turn the rear-view mirror into a screen. Even with a boot full to the roof, you can see behind you. It’s brilliant!

And that AWD system is worth a more detailed mention too. Because it’s good. And whilst it’s fair to say the Evoque is most likely to see very little off-road action, that’s not to say it can’t hold its own.

This will no doubt be the most capable car in its class. Should you opt for the Adaptive Dynamics, there are preset modes for grass/gravel/snow, one for mud ruts and one for sand. So should you ever feel the need to go berserk on Pendine Sands, the Evoque will be a great choice!

Equipment

As you would hope for any Range Rover, the Evoque comes with a decent specification, and plenty of equipment. There are four trim levels: ‘Evoque’, ‘S’, ‘SE’ and ‘HSE’. All of these can also be specified in R-Dynamic guise, which adds a sportier design pack both inside and out.

You get plenty of driver assistance technology as standard, including reversing camera, lane keep assist, autonomous emergency braking and cruise control with speed limiter.

Standard infotainment comes from a 10-inch Touch Pro screen, with manual controls below. The instrument cluster comprises analogue dials with central TFT display.

Seats are finished in fabric with 8-way adjustment and heated function on the front seats. 17-inch alloy wheels look a little on the small side, but with plenty of options to increase the size.

S models gain 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming door and rear-view mirrors and grained leather seats. The infotainment offering gains Navigation Pro, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto an InControl Apps. S models also feature front and rear parking aid, traffic sign recognition and adaptive speed limiter.

We tested the SE model, which has a few extra goodies over the S. Wheels are up to 20-inches, and the LED headlights are ‘Premium’ with automatic levelling, directional indicators and auto high-beam assist.

Front seats are 14-way electric-adjustable with memory function. Best of all, you get the hugely impressive Touch Pro Duo system. For convenience SE models feature a power tailgate and auto-parking technology.

HSE models get a standard-fit ClearSight rear-view mirror, gesture tailgate and keyless entry. Inside a Meridian sound system and quilted Windsor leather seats add some next-level luxury.

You also get the Drive Pack on the HSE, which comprises blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control with stop/go function and high-speed emergency braking.

Value For Money

By now we’ve established that this new Evoque is rather good; a significant improvement over its predecessor in fact. So I’m sure you’re wondering what the cost of this improved offering is…

The new Evoque starts from a very reasonable £31,295 for the D150 manual with front wheel drive. The D150 is also the cheapest AWD version, at £35,115.

You then work your way up the range, increasing power and specification until you reach the P300 R-Dynamic HSE, which starts from £51,075.

Our test car, the P200 AWD Automatic, starts at £44,125. Yes, it’s going to incur the VED surcharge, but it is such a well-equipped car that you won’t care.

Then we come to the options list. There are many things to choose from: premium paints, larger and alternative design alloy wheels; the list goes on.

Our test car was finished in Indus Silver metallic paint (£670) and benefited from privacy glass (£350) and a fixed panoramic roof (£1,100).

To turn the Evoque into a car for all situations, and to make the most of the Touch Pro Duo system, you’re going to want the Adaptive Dynamic (£800). Configurable Dynamics (£230) allows you to customise Dynamic mode, allowing you to find your ideal drive mode.

Lastly it had the ClearSight rear-view mirror (£315), bringing the cost of the car as tested to £47,590.

You may think that the Evoque is expensive, but I would urge you to see one for yourself. This is no longer lacking in substance, and is easily good enough to wear the Range Rover badge with pride.

And when you compare the equipment to that you get on the Velar and Sport, the Evoque easily provides the most Range Rover for your money.

Facts and Figures

Engine 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol with 48V MHEV technology
Max power 200PS at 5,500rpm
Max torque 320Nm at 1,250-4,500rpm
Drivetrain 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
0-62mph 8.5 seconds
Top speed 134mph
Fuel tank size 67 litres
Fuel consumption 29.1 mpg combined, WLTP
CO2 emissions 173 g/km NEDC equivalent
Kerb weight 1,818kg
Towing capacity 1,800kg braked / 750kg unbraked
Luggage capacity 472 litres
NCAP rating 5 stars
Base price £44,125
Price as tested £47,590
Company website www.landrover.co.uk/vehicles/new-range-rover-evoque/index.html

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